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Facebook (FB) has become a place where people get their news. According to Chartbeat, Facebook is the No. 1 referral source for publishers, ahead of Google Search (GOOGL), Twitter (TWTR) and Google News.
There’s just one glaring problem: the site hosts fake news, too.
Maybe you’ve noticed some of these spammy articles peppering your Facebook feed. In case you haven’t, here’s an example:A page called “Flex News” posted a piece called “Clay Matthews Suspended For 2016 Season?” Tagged as “ESPN Football” and written “by GoPro,” (GPRO) the article appears like any other legitimate piece of content...until you click it. The post lived on Facebook for a full week before the article was taken down Friday afternoon.
A Facebook spokesperson told Yahoo Finance via email that it “usually only takes a couple of hours” to pull a fraudulent post down after it’s flagged either internally or by a Facebook user.
The onus, however, is on readers to flag any and all suspicious posts. “Anyone on Facebook can report an account for our team to investigate by clicking on the "…." button on the cover photos of the Page or Profile,” the spokesperson said.
Still, the existence of these articles on sites like Facebook risks damaging the trust brands have developed with their users.How the brands feel about thisNot only did the post live solely on Facebook, but it also embroiled three prominent brands that have massive followings and credibility — ESPN (DIS), GoPro, and of course, the Packers.
Hopefully it goes without saying, but all of the information in the post is false or misleading. Clay Matthews was not suspended; no other reputable organization has reported as much. And as far as we know, there’s no evidence to suggest that quarterback Aaron Rodgers ever called his teammate a “complete disgrace.”The Green Bay Packers did not respond to a request for comment.
You would imagine that the brands being referenced would want an article like this to be torn down right away. But after reaching out to the companies, there’s one major takeaway: it’s not a big deal to them.I wouldn’t say this is a big concern,” GoPro’s SVP of Corporate Communications Jeff Brown told Yahoo Finance. “It’s a growing concern. I know this happens — we have contacted Youtube, Facebook and Instagram to take things down in the past. Facebook’s great and they take things down right away. They’re really responsive.”It’s probably a gargantuan task, even for Facebook, to vet and fact-check all of the newsy content published to the site. Regardless, it’s not unreasonable to expect them to be at least somewhat accountable.
“I have no idea who is responsible and I’m not overly concerned about it,” Brown said. “Most people recognize that it’s a scam and are suspicious about these articles.”Meanwhile, ESPN’s director of communications Kevin Ota told Yahoo Finance that sports fans are “smart enough to know what’s fake from real ESPN content.” He noted that when he's flagged about these scam posts, he forwards the issues to the company’s legal department.Indeed, it appears that the vast majority of the 933 commenters were aware that the post was a scam and expressed their outrage, disgust and disdain for the content. One comment captures the overall sentiment of people who happened to get this sponsored post: “BS story for a BS ad.”Neither ESPN nor GoPro would disclose just how frequently they ask Facebook to take down scam posts, but both say they reached out regarding this post.
My team says that this is a routine occurrence — that most of this stuff is recognized and eliminated automatically by Facebook, but they’re really great about moving fast on the ones we direct them to,” says Brown.
“It happens quite a bit because of our scale, wide-reaching presence and amount of content we have on various platforms,” Ota says. “But it’s not an actual concern. It’s a nuisance that we have to deal with. It’s not that we don’t take this stuff seriously. But Facebook is a good, responsive partner.”It’s a complicated problem affecting more than FacebookAs digital media platforms have become increasingly interconnected, Facebook is not the only news site that has found itself hosting unapproved content. Many news sites, including the Yahoo media properties, host content that are fed in by partners.The Facebook spokesperson says its engineering system is powered by “statistical analysis and multivariable algebra.” The company uses a combination of automated and manual systems to block accounts.“Anti-spam systems run millions of times per second to catch and remove bad content and affiliated accounts,” the spokesperson said. “We also fight these spammers aggressively in court and have obtained nearly $2B in legal judgments. Your News Feed should be a place to see things from the people and organizations you care about, not spam, and we're committed to that.”
She said it’s important to keep in mind that humans review the reports, so just because you flag something doesn’t mean the post will be pulled down. “This is an intentional safeguard to prevent people from abusing the reporting tool,” she said.All of this reflects the ongoing challenges in this rapidly evolving digital media landscape. There is only so much proactive mining that can be done to prevent 100% of all fraudulent content from making it online. Indeed, media organizations already have their hands full making sure their own staff aren’t falsifying, misreporting, or plagiarizing news.
Who’s benefiting from this?
Upon clicking the now-defunct link — and we’d warn against clicking these questionable links — people were redirected to a variety of different sites ranging from an ESPN-like site that goes to http://today-this.tv/eshy/alc/?voluumdata+BASE64dmlkLi4wm and a Vimeo-like page with the URL http://qiushibeike.com/. Both pages look identical to the sites they are pretending to be. And despite the Facebook post being pulled down, both links are still live
UK TO VOTE ON EU MEMBERSHIP
New chip cards have been distributed to millions of Americans with the aim of making transactions safer. But to say the rollout has been spotty is an understatement.
The deadline for retailers to switch to chip-enabled payment cards was last October. This was when U.S. credit card companies, including Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), announced new liability rules that would shift the burden of responsibility for fraudulent transactions to businesses if they didn’t update their technology.
The chip cards, which use what’s known as EMV technology, have unique transaction codes that make them more secure.
But even as the deadline has passed, merchants have delayed EMV migration. Many retailers have cited avoidance of long lines that develop from the slow process. And other retailers claim they have installed the card readers but are waiting for the credit card industry to do their part.The extent of the problem is prevalent in the latest earnings report by Verifone (PAY), top dog in the EMV chip market. The company, which provides technology for electronic payment transactions, reported a significant second quarter earnings shortfall earlier this week. The stock fell 25% on Wednesday on the miss, along with the announcement it would cut about 5% of the workforce.
CEO Paul Galant called out delays in US EMV certifications as the key driver behind the earningsshortfall.
“The EMV bottleneck in the U.S. driven by integration and certification complexity and testing delays is beginning to take a far more pronounced toll on the speed of sales and deployment of EMV-ready devices,” he said. “It is also delaying the implementation of higher margin attached services such as our point Payment as a Service offering as well as encryption, tokenization and estate management.”
Galant added that Verifone has also had to dedicate more resources than anticipated to support its US clients with EMV implementations.“U.S. merchants in particular are suffering from EMV delays and chargeback fees and are seeking our help to get them through this bottleneck,” he said. “We expect this resource intensity and slow down to work its way through.”There has been a high level of focus on fixing the EMV issue, but delays persist.“Given the apparent escalated level of fraudulent activity and the growing chargeback fee pressure faced by merchants, the entire U.S. payment industry is working hard to fix this bottleneck and to simplify and expedite the EMV certification processes going forward,” Galant said.
The stock received multiple analyst downgrades after its quarter, including from Barclays, Pacific Crest, and JP Morgan
The biggest American banks will likely have to bulk up their balance sheets further to protect against possible financial shocks. Federal Reserve Officials said thursday. The new requirements could crimp profitability and dividend payouts at those firms, while increasing pressure on them to shrink. Fed governors Daniel Tarullo and Jerome Powell in separate public comments, said the central bank would probably decide to require eight of the largest banks to maintain more equity to pass the central bank's stress tests, exams designed after the financial crisis to measure the ability of banks to weather a severe downturn. I have not reached any conclusion that a particular bank needs to be broken up or anything like that Mr Powell said at a banking conference. The point is to raise capital requirements to the point at which it becomes a question that banks have to ask themselves. The change is likely to be proposed formally later this year and is not expected to take effect before 2018
North Korean hackers stole wing designs for a US jet fighter and photos of parts of spy planes from a South Korean company according to authorities in Seoul, the latest in a series of cyerattacks allegedly done by Pyongyang. More than 40,000 documents related to the defense industry were stolen in attacks on two companies that began in 2014 and were discovered earlier this year Among the documents allegedly stolen were wing designs for an F-15 jet fighter and photos of parts of unmanned syp planes. A South Korean military official said the leak was not of sensitive information such as engines or electronic systems The leak will likely have a negligible impact on national security
CHINA / US HOLDS TALKS ON CYBER SECURITY
Bad news for farmers and gardeners: US bee populations continue to slide, puzzling scientists who have tracked the long term decline from the 1940s when bee colonies totaled 5 million. Many causes are suspected, more use of pesticides, loss of habitat etc.but the bottom line is there is little hope of a rebound any time soon. Fewer bees means less productive fields and farms. Calif offers a ray of hope because its drought is easing, good for beekeepers in the nations's biggest agricultural state, where many crops depend on swarms of bees for pollination. Mean while researchers continue to study ways to mitigate the diseases and parasites that afflict honeybees. The efforts to curb certain pesticides are growing
The New York Yankees are dumping Ticketmaster for StubHub as its ticket resale partner, in a six-and-a-half-year, $100 million deal that begins on July 15. “Many more fans will now have access to tickets,” says a StubHub spokesperson. But make no mistake: This move has very little to do with catering to customers.
In 2012, when Major League Baseball named eBay-owned (EBAY) secondary market site StubHub as its official resale partner, only the Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels (not the Dodgers, as said in the video above) opted out and stuck with Ticketmaster (LYV). The Yankees’ official resale partner was Ticketmaster, on a site called Yankees Ticket Exchange. StubHub now replaces that site.
Under the old deal, the Yankees set a “floor,” or minimum price rule at which sellers could sell their tickets. The floor varied each game based on a number of factors. In other words, the Yankees held all the keys to the pricing kingdom.
Under the new StubHub deal, there is still a floor, and no ceiling. The new floor, which the team and StubHub are not referring to as a floor but as “Minimum Advertised List Pricing by Section,” is 50% of the season ticket-holder price. That is: If you, a season ticket-holder, are looking to sell a ticket that cost you $50, you cannot sell it for less than $25. StubHub’s own floor for all other events is a mere $6. But StubHub says if the Yankees floor had been in place already this season, it would only affect about 100 of the 51,000 Yankees tickets StubHub currently has to offer for the season. “Nobody’s pricing below that anyway at this point,” says a StubHub spokesperson. “No one wants to, and that’s not what the market is dictating.”
That’s not entirely true. The market isn’t dictating those minimums; the Yankees are. Last season, the Yankees saw a 6.5% drop in attendance, according to Baseball Reference, in a year when overall attendance at MLB games was up. It was the sixth-largest attendance drop of all 30 teams. The Yankees had an average game attendance of 39,430. This season, attendance is down again, to an average of 38,313. (Yankee Stadium has a capacity of about 54,000.) The team has a .500 record and is in second-to-last place in its division. The Yankees still have the most expensive season tickets in the league.
So the team is bad and the stadium is never full, but the Yankees still don’t want anyone getting into a game cheaply.
Another major headache of going to Yankee Stadium will not be alleviated either. This season, the Yankees and Ticketmaster banned print-at-home tickets. It meant that if you bought a ticket from someone else, you could not print the ticket out or even pull up the PDF on your phone in an email attachment; neither was acceptable. You had to have the Ticketmaster app on your phone and pull up the Ticketmaster QR code to get in.
The Yankees said publicly that the reason for banning printed tickets was to prevent fraud, reasoning that resale sites like StubHub are more prone to fraudulent tickets. (The team honored an average of five fraudulent tickets per game last season from StubHub.) But the ban was also a strategic move to cut out StubHub, which didn’t have the ability to send fans a mobile ticket, since Ticketmaster was the official partner. As a result of the StubHub switch, StubHub can now close down an office it had near the stadium that existed solely for StubHub buyers to pick up an official ticket, from a seller who had to drop it off there in person.
And a comment Yankees COO Lonn Trost made on WFAN radio last February suggested other reasons than fraud for the printed ticket ban: “If you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money,” he said, “it’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket.” The new fan that buys the ticket cheaply, Trost continued, “may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.” Translation: We don’t want the type of people who can’t afford certain seats to ever end up sitting in those seats.
When the team announced the new StubHub deal, many fans on Twitter were hopeful that the print-at-home policy would now change. It will not. Only mobile tickets will be accepted, the team tells Yahoo Finance, making the Yankees the sole MLB team with mobile-only ticketing. Sellers can post hard-copy tickets for sale, but StubHub will convert them into mobile tickets after the sale. (At least fans won’t be forced to download the StubHub app; StubHub says fans can screenshot or download the ticket in a text message or email. But StubHub will never send tickets by PDF.) To date, 250,000 fans have used mobile tickets, and the Yankees now expect the switch to mobile-only will result in 600,000 mobile tickets used by the end of this season, which would be a league record. StubHub will also get to advertise inside the stadium.
The new system with StubHub does not apply to NYCFC, the Major League Soccer team that launched last year and plays its games in Yankee Stadium, StubHub confirmed. This year, the Yankee Stadium print-at-home ticketing ban began with the first NYCFC game of the season, and it was a complete disaster. Many fans had not known about the ban, and showed up with printed-at-home tickets; those fans were funneled to a single gate, and many ended up waiting for nearly an hour and missing much of the event. NYCFC did not respond to requests for comment.
Yankees president Randy Levine said in a statement that the new deal provides Yankees fans with “a first-class ticket experience.” And a StubHub spokesperson says the new system means, “there’s no need to ever deal with the guys in front of the stadium [scalpers] anymore. You could literally get on the line with no ticket and by the time you’re up front, you’ve bought a ticket.”
That scenario sounds nice, but only for the tech-savvy and those willing to cough up at least half what season ticket-holders pay. “People are getting used to mobile,” says a Yankees spokesperson. “They like it.” Too bad for anyone without a smartphone, and for anyone who might wish to catch a game cheaply
Big banks have to do a better job of describing how they would close down in case of a financial crisis, say financial regulators. So-called living wills, mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, are supposed to be the blueprint for how the largest banks, could be unwound without damaging the financial system. Such plans are meant to avoid the sort of panic that swept Wall Street during 2008. Regulators flunked seven of the eight largest banks required to offer such plans. Banks that do not get up to speed could face big changes this autumn, when updated living wills are due. The Dodd-Frank law gives regulators the power to require banks that come up short to raise capital or even spin off businesses if that is what is needed tp prevent their failure from bringing down other big firms. How aggressive regulators will be in using this new power is still an open question.
Uncle Sam wants to do ore to ease the financial burden of student loans, the second largest category of US consumer debt at a whopping $1.3 trillion. Most student loans are provided by the feds, More than 40% of student borrowers who use the main federal loan program are behind on payments or not paying at all. Regulators goal: Make sure borrowers understand their repayment options. Under new regs issued by multiple agencies , loan servicers must give personalized info on which repayment plan works best for borrowers and guarantee that loan payments are correctly applied to balances. The feds are also working with the credit bureaus to change how student loan debt appears on borrowers' credit reports. In many cases, borrowers who use one of the govenment's options for delaying or reducing payments are seeing their credit scores suffer when technically they are not behind on the loan.
Marketers want to learn more about you through cross device tracking by which they connect and track every Internet enabled gadget that you use each day. The goal is to build personalized consumer profiles that will make ads and promotions more effective, boosting the bottom line. Among firms researching tracking tools: Adobe, Drawbridge, Flurry and Silverpush. Among firms Uncle Sam is eyeing such tracking warily, with possible regulation in the cards. Meanwhile the feds aim to put a stop to another new marketing tactic Secretly using your smartphone's microphone to record TV viewing. The Federal Trade Commission has issued cease and desist letters to app developers that are using phones to pick up sounds, inaudible to humans emitted by TV ads. The detailed personal tracking comes without the viewer's knowledge or consent.
Moms and dads on Instagram are catching the eye of business owners. The photo heavy social media site, which has 400 million users, most of them young, is seeing more and more parents spending alot of time on the mobile app. Mothers make up 25% of adult female users, typically using the app six times per day. Half of all dad users follow businesses such as carmakers or local sports teams. Look for more companies to sign up for Instagram because of the new users. An account helps promote products or brands with unique photos and catchy videos. Businesses can also buy ads aimed at specific customers new moms for instance
The next message you get from a company might come with a smiley face. Marketers are embracing emojis cartoon characters or symbols to replace words in emails and apps. Conveying thoughts with emojis is old hat to the younger set so they figure to easily take to commercial uses. Among firms creating branded emojis are Coca-Cola and Disney. Domino's Pizza fills orders based on emogi texts or tweets. But good luck figuring out if emojis are landing more sales. The symbols are difficult to track and measure, causing many small companies to wait and see. Services trying to help businesses with analytic tools include Emogi Snaps and Swyft.
International regulators want to limit banks' leeway in assessing the riskiness of their assets, a step that critics say could crimp lending, dent profits and worsen risk rather than reduce it. A committee of overseers in Basel Switzerland, since the end of last year has proposed five different rules that would require banks to use standardized calculations instead of their own when measuring possible losses on everything from loans to interest rates to fraud.
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is considering a series of rule revisions as part of their effort to finalize postcrisis capital rules. Regulators agreed to spend this year addressing weaknesses spotlighted by the financial crisis, including minimizing the variance in how banks weigh their own risk in three key areas: credit risk, market risk and operational risk. One proposal would stop banks from calculating their own exposure to other banks, large corporations, and stockholdings. Another imposes tougher capital requirements on swaps, bonds and othr securities that banks plan to trade. Capital requirements often depend on lenders' exposure to risk.
The 29 member Basel Committee includes representatives from the US, Germany, Netherlands, European Union and China. It does not set banking rules directly, but makes recommendatiosn for member countries tro implement. Yet Basel rules have significant influence over how member countries regulate their banks
SENATE APPROVES MINIMUM WAGE BILL
WHAT BREXIT MEANS TO THE US
FED TO PUSH BIG BANKS ON CAPITAL
YANKEES TURN TO STUBHUB
British public opinion is too close to call on whether the country should stay in the European Union, with many voters still undecided as interest groups and political leaders make their cases, according to an Opinium survey released on Saturday. The poll for the Observer newspaper showed 44 percent support Britain remaining in the 28-nation bloc, up from 43 percent a week ago. Some 42 percent of respondents backed leaving the European Union, also up 1 point from the previous poll released on June 4, as attitudes start to crystallize ahead of the June 23 referendum, but the differences aren’t statistically significant.
Earlier on Saturday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew added his voice to a chorus of leaders from within and outside the EU about the risks of pulling out of the European Union. “I see only negative economic outcomes” if the U.K. votes to exit, Lew said in an interview to be broadcast on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” A Brexit would also put geopolitical stability at risk, Lew said.While a focus on immigration has allowed the “Leave” campaign to gain momentum less than two weeks before a vote that’s divided the ruling Conservative Party, most polls, like the Opinium survey, are too close to call. In contrast, an ORB poll released on Friday showed the “Leave” camp up by 55 percent to 45 percent -- a reading that caused the pound to slump.
In Saturday’s poll, 13 percent of the 2,009 U.K. adults surveyed said they didn’t know if the U.K. should stay or go. When pressed, though, about 38 percent of the undecideds were leaning toward “Remain” and 25 percent toward “Leave” -- suggesting that late-deciders could tip the balance in favor of staying. The government on Friday said 1.5 million people applied to vote in the final seven days of registration after the deadline was extended by two days. That’s because the official website crashed shortly before the original limit of midnight on June 7, prompting “Remain” campaigners to raise concerns that the fault may thwarted signups among young people, who are more likely to vote to stay in the EU.U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron took his case to Britain’s youth on Friday in a liveBuzzfeed/Facebook event. Asked if he stays up at night thinking about the vote, he replied: “Of course -- I am very concerned.”
Also very concerned is the rest of the EU as it braces for the consequences of a so-called Brexit. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday said officials in the euro area are preparingin case Britain votes to leave the bloc. Plans for a post-Brexit Europe include the possibility of other countries following Britain’s lead, with planning being undertaken for all possible scenarios, Der Spiegel on Friday cited the minister as saying in an interview.With both sides accused by the other of misrepresenting facts, the campaign has become increasingly acrimonious. A debate Thursday saw former London Mayor Boris Johnson accused by Energy Secretary Amber Rudd of seeking only to promote his leadership ambitions, while Cameron has been attacked by Brexit proponents for failing to met his immigration pledges.
Financial markets have been whipsawed as investors grapple with the possibility of a British exit from the European Union. Sterling has fallen for two weeks in a row, to its lowest point since level since April, and trader expectations for market volatility jumped to a seven-year high.
U.K. groups from homebuilders to Cornish pasty-makers have weighed in on what a Brexit may mean to their businesses.Executives from 17 of Britain’s biggest property firms released a letter on Saturday saying the “considerable uncertainty” of a vote will harm investment, adding, “That is the last thing Britain’s developers and house builders need.” Disruptions to supply chains could also drive up the cost of building materials, they said.
Regional producers, meanwhile, wonder what would happen to the special protections from foreign rivals that they currently enjoy if Britain leaves the EU. “The EU has done a lot to protect Britain’s food heritage,” said Robin Skailes, whose family makes Stilton cheese at Cropwell Bishop Creamery in Nottingham. “We make fantastic food in this country, and we want to preserve it for the next generation.”Lew on CNN repeated President Barack Obama’s assertion that the U.K. would have to wait for the U.S. to strike a trade deal with the EU before getting one of its own, should voters opt out of the union. “That wouldn’t be good for the U.K.,” Lew said. And Germany’s Schaeuble said if the U.K. opted to leave it would no longer reap the benefits of the EU’s single market. Instead it would “have to follow the rules of a club which it just left,” he told Der Spiegel.
SEOUL SAYS N KOREA STOLE F-15 DESIGNS
FACEBOOK HOSTS FAKE NEWSARTICLES
OBAMA IS GUTTING MEDICARE
NEW CHIP CARD A DISASTER
Under the guise of “reform,” President Obama is dismantling Medicare — dooming seniors to needless pain and disability and shortening their lives.The stakes are high, because Medicare and the access it gives patients to medical innovations have transformed aging. Before Medicare, older folks languished in nursing homes or wheelchairs with crippling illnesses. Now, seniors dodge that fate, thanks to hip and knee replacements, cataract operations and heart procedures — all paid for by Medicare.The American Journal of Public Health reports that a man turning 65 can expect to live almost five years longer than he would have in 1970 — and almost all of it in good health. What a priceless gift.
A gift Obama is snatching away.
The president’s Medicare reforms make it harder for seniors to get joint replacements. His new payment rules shortchange doctors, discouraging them from accepting Medicare in the first place. New ER rules clobber seniors with bills for “observation care.” Under ObamaCare, hospitals get bonuses for spending less per senior, despite having higher death rates and infection rates.Expect the Medicare Trustees’ annual report, due out Wednesday, to ignore these problems.Obama’s latest assault is a 962-page regulation dictating how doctors treat patients. Precious minutes with your doctor are wasted completing mandatory reports for the federal government, and your ailment gets short shrift.Physicians are glued to computer screens, following prompts, seldom making eye contact with patients. Renowned New York cardiologist Jeffrey Borer’s fed up: “I need to interact with my patients.”“Doctors who want to provide individualized care” will have to “either opt out of Medicare or simply not comply,” explains Richard Amerling, past president of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons.
Obama’s rules are “far too complex and burdensome to be workable for most physicians,” warns John Halamka, a Harvard medical professor.The new rules also make seeing Medicare patients a money loser. Annual fee increases for doctors are capped at a fraction of 1 percent — even though rents and other costs go up every year.
No wonder nine out of 10 solo practitioners admit they’ll avoid Medicare patients — right when 10,000 new baby boomers are joining each day.
Obama’s rules spell trouble for seniors with cancer. Doctors administering chemotherapy are getting a pay cut and being prodded to choose the cheapest drug, regardless of which medication is best for their patient. Dr. Debra Patt warned Congress this’ll hinder access to drugs like the immunotherapy that subdued former President Jimmy Carter’s cancer.
Another Obama rule penalizes hospitals for doing hip and knee replacements on patients likely to need rehab after surgery, causing hospitals to shun older patients with complex conditions. Grandma will have to settle for the painkiller as candidate Obama notoriously suggested.Obama claims his rules reward quality instead of quantity. Don’t believe it. Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake has one of the worst scores in New York on patient outcomes, indicating its patients get more infections and die sooner from heart problems and pneumonia than at other hospitals. Yet Adirondack got a Medicare bonus because it’s a low spender.Same is true of Massena Memorial Hospital in Massena, NY, and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Redwood City, Vacaville and Antioch, Calif. Sickening. During Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, the president accused Republicans of plotting to “end Medicare as we know it.” A pro-Obama ad depicted a Republican pushing Granny’s wheelchair off a cliff.Who’s really pushing Granny off the cliff? Obama himself, with Hillary’s helping hand.Clinton proposes opening Medicare to people in their 50s. That would force seniors to compete with younger patients for resources — like in Britain and Canada, where seniors are labeled “bed blockers,” and certain treatments are reserved for younger patients with more life ahead.
Chinese and American officials said Tuesday they're committed to bridging their differences on cybersecurity and moving to implement recent agreements, as they held talks amid complaints over China-based hacking operations that the U.S. says may have already cost U.S. companies tens of billions of dollars.Repeated meetings between the sides on cybersecurity indicate the seriousness with which the Obama administration regards the issue, the U.S. ambassador to China, Max Baucus, said at the start of the two-day talks in western Beijing.U.S. officials have been particularly eager to build on an agreement forged during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the White House in September that says neither government will support commercial cyber-theft. The deal was viewed by Washington as a diplomatic breakthrough, although U.S. officials have not conclusively determined that it has led to a decline in hacks against U.S. companies.We're here today to ensure implementation of agreements made by the two presidents, commitments that illustrate that we can work through areas of differences to reach areas of cooperation," Baucus said, referring to the agreement, which he called a "major advancement."
Cyber issues are "an important element in our bilateral relationship," the ambassador said. "Each step that we take enables us to have greater trust. We're prepared to work hard with you to narrow our differences."Chinese Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun said China wants to "bring the discussions from policies on paper to actual implementation."Both sides will continue to cooperate on cyber cases," Guo said. "I believe the leadership on both sides places emphasis on the issue and values participation. Xi Jinping has personally been involved."
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were scheduled to attend the meetings, but withdrew following the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.In a meeting with Suzanne Spaulding, an undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security, Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the Communist Party's Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, said China wants to make progress on talks in the final half year of the Obama administration."We hope that both sides can work to enrich our cooperation in the remaining six months and leave more of a political legacy for President Obama, and lay a strong foundation for our cooperation for the next administration," said Meng, who as China's de facto security chief has been closely involved in cybersecurity discussions.Although China denies sponsoring or permitting hacking attacks, a U.S. congressional advisory body said last year that China's increasing use of cyber espionage has already cost U.S. companies tens of billions of dollars in lost sales and expenses in repairing the damage from hacking. It said that in many cases, stolen trade secrets had been turned over to Chinese government-owned companies.
That body, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, is typically very critical of Beijing, and said the U.S. response to the threat has been "inadequate." It said China has also infiltrated a wide swath of U.S. government computer networks.Among the most serious breaches in which China is suspected was one last year against the Office of Personnel Management. Hackers gained access to the personal information of more than 22 million U.S. federal employees, retirees, contractors and others.China describes itself as a victim of hacking and says it is combating cybercrimes.Along with cybersecurity, the two days of talks are also expected to deal with global supply chain security, combating transnational crime, illegal immigration, counterterrorism and maritime law enforcement
REGULATORS MULL CURBING BANKS
US - Saudi Arabia relations will turn frostier next month after the release of portions of a long classified Senate report describing Saudi Arabia's role in the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. President Obama and his predecessor, George W Bush, both opted to keep the sensitive document under lock and key With pressure mounting from Congress to make it public, Obama has little choice. He will keep the most explosive material secret , claiming executive previlage. Any hint of Saudi knowledge of the hijacking plot promises to inflame public opinion in the US. Expect plenty of tough talk from the Saudi, but they will not actually do much Treats to dump their holding of US Treasury bonds in retaliation are just bluster as the Saudis are counting on Washington to approve more arms sales to Riyad
While the US economy and the companies in the US stock market have limited exposure to the UK, they're all nevertheless affected by what's unfolding.The first thing most economists are flagging right now is tighter financial conditions. Simply put, tighter financial conditions means that it is harder and more expensive for businesses and consumers to get money. That in turn leads to less borrowing, less investing, and ultimately less economic activity.
And these tighter financial conditions are appearing in the US."The sharp fall in stock prices in most economies and the widening of credit spreads represent a tightening of financial conditions," Wells Fargo's Jay Bryson said. "If financial conditions remain tight in coming weeks, economic activity in many economies could decelerate from already lackluster rates of growth."On Friday, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) plunged 75 points or 3.6%. The Dow (^DJI) fell 610 points or 3.4%.
Expect the Fed to keep monetary policy loose for longer
This comes at a time when the Federal Reserve has been planning to actively tighten financial conditionsthrough tighter monetary policy. Why would they want to do this? Because the economy has made great strides in the past seven years since the end of the financial crisis, which means the economy is actually at risk of overheating.
But with these new developments out of the UK — combined with other recent signs of slowdown — economists agree that tighter monetary policy — which the Fed has been rolling out with interest rate hikes — is likely to be put off for now.“The Fed will likely delay the hiking cycle,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Ethan Harris said. “We expect the next hike to be in December versus our prior forecast of September. Given the high degree of uncertainty, we will be nimble to adjust forecasts as needed depending on financial conditions.”Harris isn't the only economist who believes that rate hikes will be put off until the end of the year. His peers at Nomura, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and UBS all see the Fed waiting until December until the next rate hike comes. ING's Rob Carnell thinks the next rate hike won't come until 2017.
The good news
Historically, these types of shocks rarely have long-lasting affects. Event-driven sell-offs in the financial markets are usually followed by huge rallies.It's a similar story for economic growth, especially for regional shocks. Renaissance Macro's Neil Dutta considered other major regional shocks from recent history."Examples include the European Exchange Rate Mechanism crisis in the early 1990s, the Tequila crisis of the mid-1990s, and the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s," Dutta observed. "We saw regional recessions that did not bleed to the rest of the world."
Dutta believes that the US economy could experience "a possible GDP hit of anywhere from 0.2 to 0.6ppt to US GDP over the next year" following this Brexit vote. But he also sees growth to improve thanks to, among other things, loose monetary policy
New Jersey's Senate voted on Thursday to send legislation raising the state's minimum wage to $15 over the next five years to Gov Christie. The Democrat led body voted 21-18 to advance the measure which raises the minimum from the current $8.38 to $10.10 on Jan 1. It would raise the wage by $1.25 a year or $1 plus and adjustment for inflation, which ever is greater the following four years.