Look out unemployment, here comes Spring…
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Weather, that fickle pernicious economic backstabber couldn’t stand in the way of the 192,000 jobs that were added last month, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, experts were expecting that number to be a bit higher. They’re still satisfied, though, since unemployment stayed at a stubborn 6.7% – but to be fair, experts weren’t expecting that figure to budge from its perch anyway. If that doesn’t make you giddy, then how about the fact that there were actually more jobs added in January and February than previously reported. I know you can’t stand all this excitement but wait…there’s more! The private sector has replaced/regained/re…whatever all the jobs it lost since December 2007 – which was the beginning of the ugly, terrible, horrible period we abhorrently call The Great Recession.
GrubHub is taking a big bite out of Wall Street today…
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The latest IPO to grab Wall Street’s conditional love is GrubHub, the Chicago based online service that gets a commission from a restaurant every time YOU order from their website. The company which also owns Seamless.com and Menupages raised a hefty $192 million and the stock flew over 40% today. It’s currently serving over 28,000 eating establishments from San Francisco to London with sooooooo very many more businesses to go. Nothing like an established and profitable business to get the stock market to look your way.
High frequency trading: Insider or Outsider?
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In the ongoing high-speed trader saga, following Michael Lewis’s book, “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” where he accuses some traders of rigging the stock market, US Attorney General Eric Holder joined in the fun: “I can confirm that we at the United States Justice Department are investigating this practice to determine whether it violates insider trading laws.” High-frequency/high speed traders use computer algorithms to execute transactions in milliseconds anticipating trades before they happen. Charles Schwab, the famed founder of the discount trading firm, called high-frequency trading a “growing cancer.” So clearly he’s not feeling the love there. Dems have ideas for taxing the practice into oblivion. Republicans have plans not to pass those ideas. High-frequency traders have plans to continue what they are doing since they believe they provide liquidity to the market.
Do you even (Obama) care?
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In case you haven’t heard, though judging by the media bombardment I don’t know how that would even be possible, today is the very last day to sign up for open enrollment of Obamacare…whoops! I meant affordable health care on Healthcare.gov. It should be duly noted, however, that after passing the Affordable Care Act, I have yet to speak to anyone who finds their health care remotely affordable. If you’re just now getting around to it then good luck. You’re going to need it. Earlier today the site was down for almost four hours. Fraught with a variety of glitches, Healthcare.gov enrollees encountered a “virtual waiting room” while others were told to leave their email addresses and would get “invited back” to enroll. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Then there were lots more who couldn’t even log on to the site. Oh so many many jokes and so very little time. I would love to hear some of yours. If you think the tax penalty is way more affordable than the alleged affordable care – $95 per adult and $47.50 per child – just know that the penalty could also be 1% of your applicable income which can translate to a very unaffordable number for you.
The Stock Market’s what?!
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“Stock market’s rigged,” says author Michael Lewis, whose explosive new book “Flash Boys” accuses a group of Wall Street insiders of rigging the stock market. “Flash Boys” tells the story of how high-frequency traders make billions via computerized trading. But how is this trading different from all other trading? For instance, these flash traders, are able to manipulate the market by figuring out what you’re going to buy, drive the price up and then sell it to you. Kind of like fortune telling except the fortunes are real (and so is the telling, for that matter) and you’re not the one making the fortune. All this takes place in seconds – actually less. But is it legal? Yes, but only because it’s so complicated. If it weren’t so complicated, it probably wouldn’t be allowed. Go that? Neither did I.
Bring on the McBattle…
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It matters not how you feel about McDonald’s but rather how you feel about coffee since they are giving it away in April. It’s part of the first-ever National Free Coffee Event. It’s also probably part of the National Fast-Food Breakfast Wars (I made that one up) as McDonald’s and Taco Bell battle it out to feed you in the mornings. Taco Bell has a new breakfast menu that they’ve been heavily promoting and McD’s is a bit worried about it (not that they’ll ever admit that). So to take a big bite out of that south of the border momentum, McD’s is hoping to lure you with free coffee and then reel you in for breakfast. But you better hurry for your McD’s buzz as the promotion ends April 31.