This final note, in which we learn that Washington gets hit with annoying banking fees just like the rest of us.
The Washington Post reported that the federal government has 13,712 bank accounts with zero balances. When that happens -- as we all know from possibly personal experience -- you start paying service charges.
In this case, $890,000 worth of service charges this year.
Sequester that, right?
United Continental, JetBlue, Southwest, and Alaska Airlines are all reporting earnings today. Overall, the industry says profit margins are fragile, and they’re blaming the FAA for the latest threat.
Fewer air traffic controllers are clocked-in nationwide, because of automatic federal spending cuts. That means flight delays and a whole lot of angry customers. So far the delays are not that bad; it’s what’s coming in the next few months that airlines are worried about.
“Especially as we go into the summer peak season, this could most definitely have a negative impact on their bottom line,” says Darin Lee, an airline industry consultant at Compass Lexicon.
Lee says these days airlines are flying fewer planes, so more flights are full.
“If they’re forced to reduce number of flights out of D.C., O’Hare, LaGuardia because of controller cuts, then that does represent lost revenues for those airlines,” he explains.
The airlines say they’re trying to minimize frustration for passengers, but the industry trade group Airlines for America (A4A) says the delays are unpredictable, and unaffordable.
“This is an industry that last year, in a profitable year, our profit amounted to $0.21 a passenger, so you can see that that’s very narrow margins,” says A4A spokeswoman Jean Medina.
Airlines are asking employees and passengers to be patient with the delays, and take their complaints to Congress.
Today is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, when parents host their kids at the office to expand their career horizons. Originally called Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the event was founded in 1993 by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women.
"The effects were explosive," recalls Marie Wilson, who was president of the Ms. Foundation at the time. "First of all, the visibility of girls in the workplace, showed up the invisibility of adult women."
Wilson says countless women have told her that going to work with a parent of other adult shaped their careers. Still, many critics say girls no longer need to be singled out. After all, women now make up half the American workforce.
"It’s becoming a little archaic," says Susan Heathfield, a human resources expert. "My personal preference would be Take Your Child to Work Day."
In fact, the day’s official title was changed in 2003 to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Still, Ms. Foundation’s Wilson thinks a day that focuses on women’s role in the workplace is still relevant.
"Women are still far behind in leadership in every area," she says, pointing out that American women hold fewer than 20 percent of leadership jobs and make about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.
After two months of political stalemate, Italy has a new prime minister. Italy's President named Enrico Letta, of the center-left Democratic Party, premier and asked him to form a government. Letta announced that he intends to fight the move towards austerity in Europe -- investors applauded and Italy’s borrowing costs fell.
This reaction underscores an important change in sentiment. At the start of the euro zone debt crisis, investors demanded that heavily indebted countries like Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Greece get their public finances under control. They punished wayward governments by dumping their bonds and driving up their borrowing costs. Creditor countries -- led by Germany -- demanded deep cuts in public spending and radical economic reform.
But the tide against this austerity has clearly turned. And the reaction to the new Italian prime minister demonstrates this. Investors now see low growth as the primary problem. Simon Tilford of the Centre for European Reform says investors are more likely to reward a government that stimulates growth and punish one that cuts:
“All investors worry whether they are going to get their money back," says Tilford. "If they think they are not going to get their money back because an economy is performing so poorly that it’s not going to be able to pay its debts, then they are going to charge more to lend to that country."
The pressure to lighten up on the austerity in Europe seems likely to grow, not least in Spain where unemployment has just hit 27.2 percent and -- critics argue -- austerity is largely to blame.
Earnings season continues today, with reports from companies like Exxon Mobil, Amazon and Coca Cola.
So far, the companies have told us mostly good things about their bottom lines. But Allan Sloan, senior editor-at-large for Fortune magazine, isn't buying it. He says so-called "tax games" obscure business performance.
Click on the audio player above to hear Sloan's take on corporate taxes, international business, and Apple's stock moves.
Amazon is coming out with its own media box for TVs, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The device would compete with Apple TV, Roku, and possibly cable and satellite companies.
"Amazon's been really beefing up their home entertainment offerings," says Marketplace Tech reporter Queena Kim. "That TV set is the last screen that nobody had dominated. Apple is going after it, Google has been going after it."
It's not clear whether an Amazon TV box, potentially due this fall, would include extra apps to watch channels like Major League Baseball or Netflix.
Earlier this year, Addae went to what’s called an NFL Pro Day, where scouts, coaches, and general managers got a chance to watch him work out and meet with him.
“Sometimes I feel like they know more about me than I know about myself, you know?” Addae says.
That’s not too far-fetched. The way pro football teams pick players has become increasingly data-driven. They want to feel like they’re making the safest bet possible, particularly when multi-million dollar salaries are stake.
“The data is a very important aspect in evaluating players," says Steve Baker, a San Francisco-based agent who runs Baker Sports Management. "Players have gotten much more sophisticated in the last 20 years of trying to improve that data."
Coaches use to pay a lot of attention to three things, in particular: height, weight and speed -- that was based on how fast players ran the 40-yard dash.
“Now, they’ll look more at their acceleration in the first10-yards,” Baker says. “Or specifics on how that player would perform on the field."
Coaches are trying to quantify as much as they can. How many times a player can bench press 225 lbs., how high he can jump, and how far he can jump. They want to know as much as they can about a player’s agility -- his “lateral quickness.” There are strength tests and IQ tests.
A franchise builds up a big dossier of data on every player, and to make sense of that, many of them turn to scouting consultants, like Eric Galko.
“I know two or three teams that have kind of a decision-making software, where they can kind of plug in their grades and evaluations on players,” he says.
Data can help, but according to Kenneth Shropshire, a sports lawyer who teaches at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, there’s a risk of information overload.
“The clubs are spending a lot of time figuring out which data is the most valuable,” he says.
Even if you know everything there is to know about a player like Jahleel Addae -- tackles, sacks, kick returns, and interceptions -- what you don’t know, what you can’t know, is how he will fit in with the rest of the team.
How is all this calculated?
1. Look at a player's college career
Teams start with the stats from the player’s college career. If he is a quarterback, teams will look at pass completions, pass attempts, passing yards, touchdown passes, interceptions, and rushing yards. Then, there is his passer rating. If he is a running back, teams will look at rushing yards, rushing yards per game, receptions, receiving yards, and rushing touchdowns.
Steve Baker, a San Francisco-based agent, says “statistics have gotten much, much more sophisticated.” He says a team may be interested in how a quarterback performs under certain circumstances -- say, in the fourth quarter, when the team is down by a field goal.
2: Get the basic information on each player
Franchises collect basic information about players.
“They weigh them, they measure them, and they review their entire medical history," David Berri, who teaches sports economics at Southern Utah University says. If a player has been injured in the past, team doctors will re-examine the injury and, if necessary, run more tests and take more X-rays.
3: Put them all in the Combine
Teams collect a lot of data at the NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place every year in Indianapolis, Ind., and at Pro Days across the country. College football players get the opportunity to work out in front of coaches, scouts, and general managers. There is information, from the NFL, on all the workouts here.
4: Answer specific questions in the Combine
How fast can a player run the 40-yard dash? As Steve Baker, the president of Baker Sports Management, points out, teams are parsing that sprint. “Now, they’ll look more at their acceleration in the first ten yards,” he says.
How many times can a player bench press 225 lbs.?
How high can a player jump?
How far can a player jump?
5: The written exams
In addition to the Combine, there are all sorts of drills. Teams administer the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test. They also test a player’s knowledge of the game itself.
They ask questions like:
If the first two statements are true, is the final statement true?
Sandra is responsible for ordering all office supplies.
Notebooks are office supplies.
Sandra is responsible for ordering notebooks.
A) yes B) no C) uncertain
See a host of sample questions here.
6: Just who is this guy, again?
Teams also look at films, and they’ll talk to former coaches to get a sense of a player’s character. Howwill a player behave on the field or in the locker room? The San Francisco 49ers hire Harry Edwards, who used to be a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, to look at how a player could interact with the team.
From Britain comes the story of the four-year-old whose parents took her in for therapy when she became "distressed and inconsolable" without her digital tablet. Research about the early childhood effects of tech is ongoing, but it's an issue parents have to deal with here and now.
Janell Burley Hofmann, a Cape Cod mother of five who helps us explore how to behave with tech, joins Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio to share her tips.
And finally, the Brits call tantrums like these "throwing an iPaddy." That phrasing only works if you know "throwing a wobbly" is a term over there for "completely losing it." Which leaves us with the question: What should we call a toddler tech tantrum here in the U.S.? Let us know in a comment below or on Facebook and Twitter.
Richard Cordray has been the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the past 15 months. The key word there is "acting." He hasn't been approved by the Senate. That became an issue this week when the head of an influential House committee vowed to block Cordray from appearing before his panel.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling wrote Cordray a letter this week. The Texas Republican says Cordray is barred from addressing his committee until he’s confirmed by the Senate. Cordray’s already testified on the Hill a bunch of times. He appeared before the Senate Banking Committee just yesterday.
People testifying on the Hill often look pained, like it’s about as much fun as a root canal. So maybe Cordray should be happy that he won’t have to go before Hensarling’s committee? Or is this a serious challenge to the CFPB? Deepak Gupta is a former CFPB attorney.
“What you worry about is that there’s a chilling effect,” he says.
Gupta isn't worried about what he calls political posturing on Capitol Hill, but he says a recent court case has cast a cloud of legal uncertainty over the bureau. In January, a federal appeals court said the appointment of another Obama administration official was unconstitutional because it was a recess appointment, made while Congress wasn’t in session. Richard Cordray was appointed the same way. Gupta says now it could be hard for the CFPB to enforce rules intended to protect consumers.
He explains, “Anyone that’s sued by the bureau or threatened with an enforcement action has the option of raising the constitutionality of the director’s appointment.”
Already a Texas bank is suing the CFPB over just that issue, and if a court throws out Cordray’s appointment, there will be even more questions about the bureau’s authority and its rules on everything from prepaid debit cards to foreclosure. Howell Jackson teaches law at Harvard and wonders about the fate of rules the CFPB is now in the process of writing.
“Their rule making authority in certain areas might be constrained,” says Jackson.
All of the political and legal challenges to the CFPB have left consumers confused. John Browne is semi-retired, running a plant nursery part-time in Washington state. He’s checked out the bureau’s website and liked what he saw. He doesn’t like all of the controversy over Richard Cordray’s appointment, which he thinks is mainly political.
“A challenge to an appointment like that should be specificm," he says. "It shouldn’t just be, I don’t like him. I think he’s philosophically in the wrong pew.”
Browne says, regardless of Cordray’s philosophy, it would be helpful for consumers to have a full-fledged director at the CFPB.
As a kid, “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” was always something I looked forward to. It was really because of the day off from school, though, as opposed to diving into the exciting world of learning how to be an English professor.
Being a single father, my dad spent most of his time at work. He would teach extra classes and even worked through summers to make sure my brother and I had everything we wanted and needed. We enjoyed the benefits upper-class kids had (private school, trips across the country, video games, etc.) while having a father who worked a middle-class job.
We asked you on our Facebook page to share some of your most memorable stories about “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” Here are the memories you shared:
Mike Verlezza - My dad used to run the Breyer's Ice Cream plant in Philadelphia before they closed it. If I played my cards right, I would get a half gallon of mint chocolate chip "hot" of the presses before it was hard frozen or shipped.
The freshly made ice cream with only pure ingredients (this was before Breyer's made "frozen dairy desserts") is still one of the best things I've ever eaten.
Dawn Sloan Downes - My mom worked for the State of Tennessee's Air Pollution Control division. I often went to work with her and loved it. Because we lived in a small town north of Nasville, my mom's diverse workplace was the first place I met people who were very different from me or anyone I knew...college-educated; from countries around the world including Egypt and India; female engineers and attorneys. Those experiences opened my mind to a host of possibilities I would never have imagined otherwise and taught me that no matter where we're from or what we look like or eat or how we dress, we have the same basic wants and needs.
Cathy Keane - I loved visiting the hospital department where my dad, a doctor, worked. There were certain things that appealed to a kid - besides nice people, that is - I was attracted to plastic and clay models of hearts, and to a small room with huge blackboards and lots of colored chalk (no doubt it had a more serious purpose than what I used it for). Of course it was always sobering and scary to see sick children around when I was there to have a good time (as I saw it). To this day, I have a mixed emotional response to the smell of hospitals - I feel at once cozy and secure, and anxious.
Selina Carreon Rodrigues - My dad was a long distance truck driver. Sometimes he would take me to the yard when he needed items or had work on his truck to get done. I loved it. My dad was gone on the road 4-5 days out of the week and is not what I would call a 'hands on father' but that time I had with him at the yard was always treasured. To this day, everytime I smell diesel gasoline it takes me back to spending time with my father.
Jenni Lawson - My mother and step-father were marine biologists. I spent a good amount of my childhood pushing whales back in the ocean (and swimming with them to keep them there), helping to dissect whales and sharks, going along to investigate shark attacks, caring for ill marine animals such as pelicans and even a baby pygmy sperm whale, and setting/pulling in sample nets. As their kids, we were used as cheap labor, but we loved it!
James Allgood - My dad used to work in the World Trade Center in the early '80s. Before he took me in to work, we hit his gym, where I met Ed Koch. The rest of the day was spent playing space invaders and coloring.
Bonnie Jeanne Tibbetts - My dad took me to work in the late 1960s when I was in junior high and his secretary taught me how to type pictures using characters and spaces on the typewriter. Kept me busy all day and I thought I was so cool using a typewriter.
Mary Fragapane - I'm a professional artist, my nephew, then 13, was a budding artist so I brought him with me for NYC's Art Around the Park festival - they stretch a canvas around Tompkins Square park in the east village and each artist is given an 8x8ft section to paint - hot and sweaty and covered in paint he turned to me and said "this is a lot harder than I thought it would be" - we had a great day, created a great piece of art . He's in college now studying..... philosophy. I think he is probably the only member of my family who truly understands what I do.
John Lyon - Tool & Die
Calipers and micrometers, cradled by the red felt
lining the half opened drawers of the wooden toolbox that belonged to his father,
wait to measure the tolerances of parts that must work together without touching.
And his corrugated space smells of the sweet oil sliding down the bit,
smoking as metal bites into metal,
digging towards the core,
extruding the sharp helix that can tempt blood from my young fingers.
We hide behind masks, he and I,
as he draws a molten bead along the cold unparted edges,
the inscrutable panes protect our dark eyes.
We must not look directly at such couplings.
Even here, among the jagged edges and melting surfaces,
kindness lays down in the teeth.
The blade, oiled to cut softly through the angle iron
eases itself down under his sure fingers , chewing gently
through the 90º angles, 6″ at a time.
And there are no shadows here;
the cold fluorescent lights illuminate every square inch of my father’s workshop.
The only darknessess are the fears
lying beneath his clean work shirt,
beating against the pencils and rulers he carries in his breast pocket.
© 1994, John Lyon
Most days, we would see my father in the morning when he dropped us off at school and at night, when he would be too beat from a long day to really hang out with us. When he did spend time with us, it was usually proofreading (or in my case, re-writing) our essays for class.
My father’s profession, although honest, was for lack of a better word -- boring.
As a kid, hanging out with my father at work didn’t mean mastering the structure of a research paper or learning the ins and outs of grammar. It meant catching the 150th Pokémon, or figuring out how to beat the last battalion on Galaga.
My father’s intentions were pure, but with ill return. He wanted me to get a general sense of the workplace; how you should dress, how you act around your bosses, etc.
While reflecting on this, I realized that this is a confusion a lot of parents may have.
They bring their children with them to work expecting it to be this huge learning experience. They (like my dad) want to show their children what they do for a living with pride, when in reality kids really don’t care.
Hanging out with my dad at work was not about finding out what he did for a living. I already knew, and wasn’t really interested in how he did this boring thing called work he talked about all the time.
It was about getting a chance to spend eight solid hours with a single father who I would literally only see for five hours on a normal day (and playing Gameboy too…that was important).
Getting the chance to see the hard work he put into making sure that my brother and I lived a comfortable, advantaged life; that was what I really got out of spending all those hours in the library at Delta College, sitting next to my dad while he graded papers and prepared lectures. I knew he worked hard, but following him around his job all day made his hard work resonate with me.
“Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” isn’t about showing your kids how you make money.
It’s about having an excuse to spend extra time with your children. Take it from me: that extra day means a lot to them, even if it does look like all they care about is owning the next level of Halo. (Although that’s very important, too.)
Do you have stories of taking your kids to work, or being taken as a child yourself? Share them on our Facebook page.
Immigration has become a hot political issue in Britain. After a big influx of migrants from Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa over the last decade, public anxiety is rising and hostility towards the incomers is increasing too.
But there is one historical group of immigrants that has always been highly regarded in Britain. They are held in such high esteem that more than 300 years after they arrived in London, the city has just staged a festival trumpeting their achievements.
These are the Huguenots, or French Protestants. They fled persecution in Catholic France during the 17th century. They came in huge numbers: 50,000 at a time when the total population of England was only five million. And yet they caused little friction; they quickly settled down and prospered.
“They were industrious. They had the Protestant work ethic. They were thrifty, conscientious and family-orientated,” says Charlie de Wett, a Huguenot descendant, and organizer of the Huguenot Festival. De Wett says many of the refugees were merchants, craftsmen and weavers. And they were enterprising -- in Spitalfields in the east end of London, they created Britain’s highly valuable silk industry.
“Often people say they were the first refugees. Many people say they were the ideal refugees,” says de Wett. “They would work longer, harder, better. The Protestant work ethic is about doing your job 110 percent and more.”
The newcomers integrated well in Protestant England, spreading out across the country and intermarrying with the native English. Today, hundreds of thousands of British people can trace their descent from the Huguenots and many appear to be proud of the connection.
Stan Rondeau, a retired printer, was delighted when he discovered his Huguenot roots.
“It certainly gave me something to crow about," says Rondeau, speaking at the Huguenot Festival in Spitalfields.
The most popular stand at the festival offered visitors the chance to trace their own family trees. Julie Dyet was eager to check her Huguenot heritage, although she was not sure her father would be thrilled to discover a French family connection.
“I think my dad would be a bit upset because all he keeps saying is ‘I hate garlic!' He doesn’t like the French!” she laughs.
Given the ancient hostility between the English and the French, it seems extraordinary that so many French people could arrive in England in the 17th century, and settle down and do well.
Within a decade of arriving, Huguenots were involved in setting up England’s first central bank, and they swiftly spread into many other businesses, helping to fuel the Industrial Revolution. England benefited enormously from the influx while France was deprived of some of its most energetic and talented citizens.
As so often with immigration, the native country’s loss was the host country’s gain.
To the American flying public, our condolences: This is week one of the sequester hitting the not-so-friendly skies.
Air traffic controllers from JFK to LAX have begun their furloughs, making for long and painful delays, especially flying into and out of the big east coast airports around New York City.
Steve Abraham's been an air traffic controller at New York's Kennedy Airport for 23 years.
"My shift today would have been from 5:30 to 1:3o today," Abraham says, although he wasn't in the tower. Wednesday is his first furlough day.
Abraham was at work Sunday, however, the first day that furloughs for air traffic controllers took effect.
"We had perfect weather, and ran 2 1/2 to 3 hour delays, which are delays would see on a horrible day," Abraham says. Think snowstorm. "It's no fun being the political football."
The White House has signaled it would be open to reviewing a standalone bill to restore the FAA's funding, if Congress puts one forward. But for now, controllers like Abraham are getting used to a 10 percent pay cut.
"It's pretty significant. For me, I guess, the shock is my wife lost her job as of March 15, so it's going to be an interesting summer."
Abraham says the FAA has struggled to keep pace with technological innovation, and it's unlikely that sophisticated systems will replace air traffic controllers in the near future.
"Trying to separate airplanes in a two-dimensional environment, going from the ramp to a runway, everyone want to be number one," he says by way of example. Then picture jets flying at 500 m.p.h. in all three dimensions.
Could automated systems handle it? Abraham says, "I don't think we're there yet."
A building collapse at a garment factory in Bangladesh has left at least 100 people dead and injured about 1,000 more. It's the second disaster at a Bangladeshi garment factory in less than six months.
Again, it looks as if factory owners could be to blame. There were reports that officials knew the building was structurally unsafe, says the BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan.
"One of the eyewitnesses also told a local daily that they were reporting cracks near the generator room and also in some of the pillars," Ethirajan says. "One of the Ministers have already said, the building probably violated construction codes and they are looking into this case."
It's not clear yet if the factory was producing clothes for Western companies.
Bangladesh is one of the leading exporters of clothing, right behind China. Most of what they produce is sent to the European Union and the United States. Ethirajan recalls the fire that broke out at the Tazreen factory last November where "a trade union activist found labels of various Western retailers" in the rubble.
It seems likely this second disaster "will put pressure on the Bangladeshi factory owners to improve safety standards," Ethirajan says. The country exports $20 billion worth of garments every year.
The people injured and killed in the building's collapse were mostly low paid factory workers.
The minimum wage for this work is between $37 and $40 a month, but factory owners say wages goes up to $60 to $80 once the worker has been established and learns specific skills.
Still, Bangladeshi unions say their workers make the lowest wages for this type of work in the world.
Last year, the Midwest faced a historic drought, one that was especially damaging to farmers and ranchers who waited for rain that would not come. This year, the Midwest has been hit again by extreme weather but instead of drought, it's massive flooding.
We check in from time to time with a rancher in Rolla, Mo., by the name of Ken Lenox. Today, he says, the sun is shining but it was overcast and drizzling earlier. But the best news? "The grass is just doing fantastic."
Lenox detailed the economic damage the drought did to his ranching operation when we talked to him last year. His region has gotten a lot of rain recently but he says he prefers the rain to the drought. "Both of them bring problems but I'd rather have the too much over not enough."
And the cows -- they're doing well. "The calves that I'm going to sell in the first part of June", he says, "they're putting on probably three pounds a day right now. You can practically see them growing."
When was the last time you heard a college student demanding stricter enforcement of the dress code? That’s one of the complaints of a group of students at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., who walked out of class yesterday.
In the kitchen student, chefs wear the iconic crisp white jacket, kerchief and -- when appropriate -- tall white toque. Students who go on for bachelor’s degrees are expected to wear business casual at all times.
“They’re showing up in UGGs and hoodies and they’re not tucking their shirts in,” says 20-year-old Zachary Hoffman, one of the organizers of the walkout. “They’re wearing shorts sometimes.”
Hoffman says students like that are degrading the value of a CIA degree. Part of the problem, he says, is the rise of celebrity chefs and food-centered television shows.
“I think some of the students come in here thinking they’re going to come out and be the next Anthony Bourdain or the next Cat Cora,” he says.
A more likely reality is a pile of student debt and a tough job market.
The student protestors also worry admissions standards have been lowered. Incoming students used to need six months of experience in a professional kitchen. As of last fall, the school changed the requirement to include so-called “front of the house” experience, like serving or busing tables.
As students’ interests have expanded to include wine and research and development, it made sense to expand the requirement, says CIA provost Mark Erickson.
“It’s really just demonstrating that they understand the rigor that is expected from somebody in our industry,” he says. “That’s satisfied in the front of the house just as it is in the back of the house.”
Erickson admits the dress code could be better enforced and students like Zac Hoffman hope they'll get the chance to wear those chef’s whites once they graduate. When he finishes next January, Hoffman expects to owe more than $100,000 in student loans.
“I want to make sure that that enormous amount of debt is worth what I’m going to get out of the school,” he says.
Apple hasn’t been so good to shareholders recently, if you consider that its stock traded at $700 a share in September and closed at $405 today. And, that’s fresh off news that the Silicon Valley giant’s quarterly profit fell for the first time in 10 years.
But Apple has a plan to make things up to its loyal investors: It will pay out $11 billion in dividends this year set aside $60 billion to buy back its stock -- which, in theory will bolster the share price.
So here’s a puzzler: Why is the company -- which is sitting on $145 billion in cash and famously has no debt -- going to borrow money?
It’s cheaper, says Steve Kaplan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
“Some of this cash is sitting offshore, and because of the complicated tax law that we have, when they bring some of the money back intothe United States, they pay an additional tax,” he says.
This is not just an Apple problem. American companies, including Microsoft, Google and Dell, are estimated to have between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion in cash overseas. The government says it wants to lower corporate taxes, but these hoards are a stumbling block.
Jennifer Blouin, a professor of accounting at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, says bringing that cash home could prove very expensive for companies.
“You know, on average every dime, there’ll be a dime of every dollar that comes home, that will be lost to U.S. taxes,” she says.
That dime is the difference in what companies have already paid in foreign tax and what they’d have to pay in the U.S. And in Apple’s case, Blouin says the difference may be more like 25 cents to 30 cents for every dollar.
“You can look at Apple’s financial statements and estimate their foreign tax rate that’s being paid on their earnings overseas -- at most it’s maybe a couple of percent,” she says.
The top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, which is why Apple may be more interested in borrowing money. Interest rates here are at all time lows. This week Nike borrowed $1 billion and it’s paying bondholders less than 3 percent interest. Apple is likely to get as good a rate, if not better.
Whether it's the hustler on the street or the fake emails we receive from abroad, all of us have had an encounter with a con artist -- and while they make terrible people to know in real life, they are fascinating to watch on film.
In movies, many scammers are portrayed as seductive sociopaths with hearts of gold. But as you’ll hear on Marketplace Money this weekend, most victims of scams never see the cash they were conned out of again. We chose a sampling of some of our favorite schemers -- including the mother-daughter duo of con artists in the film “Heartbreakers” and the streetwise slickster Johnny in “Mo’ Money,” to feature in our slideshow.
Hold onto your wallets and click through to see some of our favorite swindlers from the big screen. Then, take our poll and tell us who you think the most memorable movie scam artist is. If you don't see your favorite con artist on the list, leave a comment and add your own.
Stay safe out there, folks.
Apple plans to spend $100 billion over the next two-and-a-half years to ease investor concerns over the company's shifting share prices.
Earnings season continues on Wall Street with Procter & Gamble, Ford, Boeing, Qualcomm, and Eli Lilly & Co. all reporting today.
Walmart is losing its image man. Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart, will be stepping down this summer after seven years on the job.
Apple is moving to ease investor anxiety following the Tuesday release of an earnings report that beat analyst expectations, but still marked the tech giant's first year-over-year profit decline in a decade. The company pulled in $9.5 billion in revenue this quarter -- down from $11.5 billion in the same quarter of 2012.
In a sign that it hopes to ease the fears of investors who have seen the company's share price sink by 42 percent in the past six months, Apple will buy back $60 billion worth of stock between now and the end of 2015, and raise quarterly dividends by 15 percent.
But it's the absence, to this point, of a "next big thing" that has industry watchers questioning how Apple plans to continue its profitability streak. The iPad mini, which hit stores in November 2012, was Apple's last product release of note.
"Apple's not done innovating," says Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. "We know they've got a television project in the works. It wouldn't surprise us to see an iWatch at some point."
Still, Apple hasn't said publicly when it will announce a new product, making it harder to guess what new, hot gadget the company has on the horizon.
Bajarin says Apple also has the option of producing more and cheaper products in order to capture a greater market share or continue making higher-quality, more expensive products that are profitable.
"My gut," Bajarin says, "is that Apple will not do cheap phones. The fact is, there are people who will only buy cheap phones and that may be going to the Androids of the world, and the Samsungs."
Audio Extra: When Apple announced its quarterly profits report it said it's going to borrow money. Borrow? Apple? Adam Lashinsky, senior editor at large for Fortune Magazine, tells us what this means for the company and its shareholders.
A building housing several clothing factories collapsed in Bangladesh earlier today. At least 87 people are dead and many others are thought to be trapped in the rubble.
The BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to share the scene from the street and discuss worker safety in the region.