Posts by Bernice Napach
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker20 hrs ago
Every once in a while a book, movie or piece of theater captures the Zeitgeist so completely that its popularity soars. Thomas Piketty's new book Capital in the Twenty-First Centuryis the latest example, and an unlikely one, as it is a 700-page economics book.
Published just weeks ago in the U.S., the book is now the Number 1 bestseller on Amazon.com.(Its author is a professor of the Paris School of Economics and it was first published in France.)
The primary theme of "Capital" is that income inequality is growing and will continue to grow due to the structure of capitalism in the 21st century.
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker1 day ago
It looks almost like a marriage made in heaven: Liberal entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are starting companies that can profit from the growing marijuana trade. "The entire tech-industrial complex is getting in on the action: investors, entrepreneurs, biotechnologists, scientists" and more, writes Mat Honan, senior writer at WIRED, in his latest story "High Tech: How Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are rushing to cash in on cannabis." Related: Grover Norquist wants "tax equality" for marijuana industry
These entrepreneurs include manufacturers of vaporizers such as Firefly and UpToke, which allow pot smokers to inhale vapor instead of smoke; software makers including MJ Freeway and Agrisoft, which track pot sales and inventory; and the Stanley Brothers — Jared, Jesse, Joel, Jon, Jordan, and Josh — who operate medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado in addition to a nonprofit that produces a strain of medical marijuana.
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker2 days ago
There is "absolutely no doubt" in Thomas Piketty's mind that increased inequality in the U.S. contributed to the financial crisis that slammed the housing and financial markets in 2007 and 2008. The author of this year's hot-selling economics book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century,writes, "One consequence of increasing inequality was virtual stagnation of the purchasing power of the lower and middle classes in the United States, which inevitably made it more likely that modest households would take on debt, especially since unscrupulous banks and financial intermediaries .... offered credit on increasingly generous terms."
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker6 days ago
Get ready for a potentially slow buying season in the housing market.
Pending home sales are down 11% from a year ago, mortgage rates are about 1% higher than a year ago and homebuilders are breaking ground at a slower pace than expected -- at an annual rate of 946,000 units, more than 2% below forecasts.
Robert Shiller, co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index, tells The Daily Ticker that the momentum in housing may be changing.
Investors who had become a growing part of the market are pulling back and the Fed, which has been supporting the housing market through its quantitative easing policies, continues to reduce those purchases, says Shiller.
"It's not at all clear that momentum is a safe bet anymore," says Shiller,a Nobel prize-winning economics professor at Yale. But he expects home prices will continue to rise, though most likely at a slower rate.
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker6 days ago
There was a time not so long ago when the income gap between the rich and the poor was shrinking and many near the bottom of the economic ladder moved into the middle class.
Between 1910 and 1950 inequality declined, largely as a result of two World Wars and the Great Depression, writes Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century.But by the 1980s inequality was rising rapidly again, as it had before the industrial revolution, and it hasn't stopped. President Obama calls increasing inequality "the defining issue of our time."
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker8 days ago
Spring is usually the time when potential home buyers hit the road in search of that perfect house, and sales pick up. But this spring isn't looking so sunny.
Housing starts in March rose less than expected, at a 2.8% annual rate, housing permits fell 2.4% and pending home sales in February fell to their lowest level in almost two and a half years. Homebuyer traffic in 40 major U.S. markets in March was down about a third from a year ago, according to a Credit Suisse index. Related: Housing outlook "still very positive," says PIMCO's Kiesel
"We might have already seen the peak of the recovery," says The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task. "Unless overall economic activity picks up and wages pick up we may be plateauing in the housing market."
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker9 days ago
Consumer prices are still rising at a rate below the Fed's 2% annual target but they're creeping higher, weighing on households already under pressure from stagnant incomes. Consumer prices in March rose 0.2%, or 1.5% over the past 12 months, largely because food prices are climbing. Food prices were up 0.4% in March -- but three times as much for just meat, poultry fish and eggs. On an annualized basis that selective food index was up 5.1%. Beef prices alone are at a 27-year high. Related: How 4 companies control almost all the meat you eat
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker10 days ago
Stocks opened slightly higher Monday following a big beating last week that left the Nasdaq (IXIC)down 3.1%, its biggest weekly percentage decline in almost two years. The Dow (^DJI)slipped 2.4% last week.
The major averages could fall even further says David Nelson, chief strategist at Belpointe Capital.
- Bernice Napach at Breakout13 days ago
Remember the holiday hack at Target(TGT) which stole information on as many as 40 million credit and debit card customers and personal information on 70 million more, or the hack at luxury retailer Neiman Marcus involving more than a million credit cards that fall?
Now there's a lot more for you to worry about. Security experts have recently discovered a computer bug called Heartbleed that exposes a popular security protocol known as SSL to a possible major breach. Your personal information such as passwords, credit card information and social security number could potentially be stolen. It's as if you thought you closed the door to your home so no one could get in but actually left it slightly ajar.
Initially it was thought the bug would affect only Internet servers but the latest reports indicate Heartbleed could impact routers, switches and firewalls, even personal mobile devices and printers if they're connected to the Internet.
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker13 days ago
The last thing the stock market needed today was more bad news, but that's just what it got when JPMorgan (JPM)reported a 19% decline in first quarter earnings.
Profits at the country's largest bank fell $1.26B from a year ago to $5.27B, or $1.28 a share, well below expectations of $1.40 a share. Revenues were off 8.5% to $22.3 billion
A major reason for the profit drop: a decline in the bank's mortgage business. Mortgage loan originations plummeted $17 billion, or 68% from the year before.