Posted in Business.

Shoppers are propping up the economy. What if they stop spending?


Core retail sales plummeted 1.7% in December, the most in nearly two decades.
Blame the December stock market chaos. Or the beginning of the government shutdown. Or even “glitches” in the data, as White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow did last week.
No matter the cause, the apparent abrupt shift in spending sent economists scrambling to mark down their forecasts for growth. Goldman Sachs trimmed its fourth-quarter GDP estimate to 1.9%. Bank of America slashed its forecast to 1.5%.

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Posted in Did You Know?

What country has the highest number of spoken languages in the world?


Papua New Guinea has the highest number of spoken languages in the world. There are 820 indigenous languages spoken in this country. The official language is Tok Pisin, or New Guinea Pidgin, and is the most widely spoken language after English, a legacy of the colonial period.

Posted in Did You Know?

Who invented the first alphabet?


The original alphabet was developed by a Semitic people living in or near Egypt.* They based it on the idea developed by the Egyptians, but used their own specific symbols. It was quickly adopted by their neighbors and relatives to the east and north, the Canaanites, the Hebrews, and the Phoenicians.

Posted in Business.

Robinhood Launches Banking Services


Fintech startup Robinhood Financial LLC today announced that customers can sign up for access to a Checking & Savings product, which will be available as part of their free-trades brokerage services. The company makes money primarily from interest on customer cash balances.
Upon logging in to the app, customers are now greeted with an invitation to apply for the banking capabilities. The accounts pay a 3% annual interest rate, which is certainly a loss leader at the present time, and there are no fees for the customer.
Robinhood says it can offer the high rate of interest due to splitting the revenue it receives from MasterCard whenever a debit card is used.

Posted in Business.

US investor & top partners of Baring Vostok equity fund detained in Moscow on fraud allegations


A Moscow district court has ordered the detention of the founder and senior partner of Baring Vostok private equity, as part of an ongoing inquiry into fraud allegations. Other employees were also taken into custody.
Michael Calvey, a US citizen, was detained in the Russian capital on Friday along with other Baring Vostok associates, Vagan Abgaryan, Philippe Delpal, and Ivan Zyuzin, the firm said in a statement. It said the arrests have nothing to do with the company’s activities but relate to a dispute around Russia’s Vostochny Bank.