Posts by Nicole Goodkind
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance1 hr ago
The Colorado Supreme Court is currently deciding whether employers can fire workers for using marijuana even though the drug is legal in the state. The case, which centers around Dish Network, a satellite TV company that fired 35-year old Brandon Coats in 2010 after he tested positive for marijuana.
Coats, a quadriplegic, was paralyzed in a car accident as a teenager and has been using the marijuana medicinally since 2009. He claims that pot helps him control violent muscle spasms which make it otherwise impossible to work, he also says he never used the drug on the job. “This case need not be an endorsement or an indictment of medical marijuana," said Dish attorney Meghan Martinez referring to Coats' situation. "It’s a zero-tolerance policy. It doesn’t matter if he was impaired or not.”
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance3 hrs ago
Automation makes our lives easier and safer, but it also makes us dumb, according to a new book. Pilots are lulled into complacency as autopilot gets passengers to their location safely; doctors rely on streamlined, computerized processes to diagnose patients, and drivers prefer looking at their GPS instead of street signs.
47% of U.S. employment is at risk of being automated within the next two decades. Automation certainly threatens our jobs, but also threatens the way we interact and function in the world. In his new book, “The Glass Cage,” Nicholas Carr argues that automation erodes our skills, leads to “automation complacency,” and dulls our interest in understanding the world around us.
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance2 days ago
The U.S. economy is showing signs of improvement: unemployment is at 6.1%, the lowest rate since September 2008, and Q2 GDP grew at a 4.6% annual rate. But Gary Shilling, president of A. Gary Shilling & Co., doesn’t think that's enough.
“There’s a huge difference between the economies of the world, which are growing on a subpar basis and all of this investor concentration on what the central banks are doing,” he says. Despite accelerating growth in the second quarter, real U.S. GDP grew by only 2.5% in 2013, below estimates.
It’s not only the U.S. that's been experiencing relatively slow growth. Japan actually saw Q2 GDP contract at an annualized 7.1% rate and Eurozone GDP grew only 0.7% in the 12 months through July. Meanwhile, central banks in Asia, the U.S. and Europe are buying bonds to boost markets. Shilling calls it the “grand disconnect.”
“If the economy isn’t growing,” says Shilling, “you’ve got to think about something and it’s about all the largess the central banks have been providing—all this money they’ve been pumping out.”
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance5 days ago
Next week marks the end of Q3 and the beginning of the last quarter of the year, Yahoo Finance’s Rebecca Stropoli, Michael Santoli, Jeff Macke and Lauren Lyster joined together to let you know what the headlines will be and how to play the new quarter.
Employment numbers will be released at 8:30am on Friday, October 3 rd . While August’s headline payrolls number was particularly weak, says Yahoo Finance editor Rebecca Stropoli, August numbers tend to be revised upwards-- something to look out for in the report.
Another number to consider? 207,000. That’s the 3-month moving average of payrolls growth. According to Stropoli, if we get a number below that we’ll be looking at back-to-back “disappointing reports, and probably a lot of headlines on the myth of the jobs recovery.”
Still, economists are predicting that September numbers will show improvement.
The end of Q3
“This is going to be the last week that companies have to say that they missed,” says Jeff Macke. He’s looking at retailers in particular, they don’t report in October but they’ll have to get expectations set for the holiday season this month.
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance5 days ago
In 2004, Peter Thiel co-founded Palantir Technologies, a data analysis company that has an estimated value of $9 billion, and works mostly with the government on counter-terrorism, information monitoring and cyber-security. The company is rumored to be behind the capture of Osama bin Laden and has a list of clients that include the U.S. Defense Department, CIA, FBI, U.S. Army, Marines and Air Force. So when Thiel calls the NSA “Keystone Cops,” a reference to the incompetent policemen from old silent films, it’s worth noting.
Is freedom really free?
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance7 days ago
Martine Rothblatt, a 59 year old entrepreneur and space lawyer, is the highest paid female executive in America. She made $38 million last year as the CEO of United Therapeutics (UTHR); a $6 billion biotech firm she founded to find a treatment for pulmonary hypertension after her daughter was diagnosed with the disease.
Rothblatt's compensation is based largely on stock performance. Last year, her company received FDA approval for a medicine they had been working on for 10 years. The stock more than doubled and Rothblatt's compensation rose by a multiple of four. “I think this [pay structure] is in the best interest of the shareholders,” she says. “There’s a mantra about corporate governance about pay-for-performance so I said ‘okay I’ll take the risk that 100% of my bonus compensation will be based upon stock market performance.’”
Last year, just $992,678 of Rothblatt's total compensation was from her base salary. She earned another $36,097,326 in option awards and $1,102,907 in non-equity incentive plan compensation. In 2012, Rothblatt made $8 million in total compensation.
The Gender Pay Gap
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance9 days ago
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced Monday night he would begin cracking down on American companies that avoid taxes by moving their headquarters overseas. Lew will stop these so-called “tax inversions” by making it more difficult for smaller foreign companies to take over larger U.S. companies, and by making “hopscotch” loans—where U.S. companies get around paying taxes on dividends by distributing earnings as a loan to a foreign company—taxable.
Tax inversions have been of great interest lately with some high-profile foreign mergers: Burger King agreedto be acquired by Canada's Tim Hortons (THI) and U.S. pharmaceutical company AbbVie (ABBV) was recently acquired by UK company Shire (SHPG).
Stockpiles of cash abroad
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance9 days ago
When economists and analysts discuss the state of U.S. economic growth, they often use the 2008 financial crisis as the benchmark of what would be a return to "normal." James Galbraith, economist and author of, “The End of Normal,” uses a different standard.
While Galbraith agrees that the years since the crisis have seen slower growth, low employment and a struggling housing market, he believes easy growth actually ended in the 1970s, and the U.S. economy has seen uneven growth and rising inequality since.
There is, however, a way to get back to “normal,” says Galbraith. In his book he lays out what he believes to be the four factors that are impeding the economy. Amongst them are the rising costs of resources, overuse of military power, the digital revolution (and the job loss associated with automation) and the lack of regulation in the financial sector.
Given all of these factors, says Galbraith, we shouldn’t be wondering why the economy isn’t recovering quickly, but should instead be asking why things haven’t gotten worse.
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance12 days ago
It’s Alibaba’s world and we’re all just living in it this week, but there’s plenty more to look forward to next week. Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke, Aaron Pressman, Michael Santoli and Aaron Task break down everything you need to know before your morning grind on Monday.
“The dollar’s been ripping higher for a few reasons,” says Yahoo Finance senior columnist Michael Santoli. “We can see a path at least next year when the Fed raises rates and the U.S. domestic economy is looking better, especially when compared to everybody else.” The euro and Japanese yen are crashing, he points out.
The U.S. dollar index is nearing 4-year highs, which means companies will start to point to it as a headwind. Oracle already has. “I don’t think it's crippling for earnings,” says Santoli, “but it’s something that hasn’t been a factor in the past few years.”
Can BlackBerry come back?
BlackBerry’s newest smartphone, the Passport, will be out next week. The phone will be released on September 24th, and it will have a keyboard, large screen and a reported 15-hour battery life. “This could be make or break,” for BlackBerry says Yahoo Finance tech reporter Aaron Pressman.
- Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance13 days ago
The polls are open in Scotland, and voters are casting their ballots in the referendum on Scottish Independence from the United Kingdom. The 4.2 million registered voters will face a simple question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?” They will be able to answer with 'yes' or 'no.' Voting is open from 7am to 10pm, and the results will be revealed Friday morning, around 1am Eastern Time.
Current polls are showing that ‘no’ votes have a slight lead, but with a large number of undecided voters the race is far too close to call. A victory for Scotland's independence would mark the largest change to the United Kingdom since Scotland first joined in 1707. If Scotland votes ‘no’ to independence, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has promised greater Scottish autonomy.
There are of course, economic consequences to voting ‘yes.’ Currency poses to be a big problem for the Scots, who planned to stay on the pound sterling before David Cameron and other British leaders made it clear they won’t be able to keep the currency.