1) Boeing Aircraft Co. has reached a $2.5 billion dollar agreement to settle the criminal charge that it defrauded the U.S. government by concealing information about the troubled 737 MAX. This is the ill-fated jet airliner involved in two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. The airline manufacturer entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and in turn, the Justice Department will dismiss the charge against Boeing. This settlement caps a two-year criminal investigation into the two MAX crashes. This settlement will have no bearing on any pending civil litigation. In addition, Boeing will pay a $243.6 million criminal penalty. With the penalty and the fund for relatives, Boeing says it expects to pay an additional $743.6 million dollars for the fourth quarter of 2020.
2) The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is at an all-time high in 2021, one coin now worth $36,000. It has doubled its value in 30 days. Bitcoin is the first and biggest cryptocurrency, which started up in January 2009, and eleven years after its invention, the total value of all Bitcoins in the world is around $359 billion. The Bitcoins are long, unbreakable codes stored in clouds or computers. Bitcoins were invented at the height of the 2008-9 financial crisis. The idea is a type of money that didn’t depend on the traditional banking systems. Cryptocurrency is popular in countries with inflation.
3) Venture capital backed companies in the United States raised nearly $130 billion dollars last year, setting a record despite the COVID-19 pandemic, up 14% from 2019, while the number of deals is down 9% to 6,022. The so-called mega-rounds, which are deals that are $100 million dollars or higher, also hit a record amount and number, with $63 billion dollars raised in 318 deals. However, there is a big drop in the very early stage investment called the seed money stage. The trend of big investments doesn’t look like it will slow in 2021 as there is a lot of capital chasing investments. It’s expected that 2021 is going to be a banner year for many tech companies.
4) Stock market closings for – 8 JAN 21:
Dow 31,097.97 up by 56.84 Nasdaq 13,201.98 up by 134.50 S&P 500 3,824.68 up by 20.89
1) The $2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief bill has been passed and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the people should receive cash payments within three weeks. The IRS has been tasked with distributing the monies, but the agency is hobbled by obsolete technologies such as 1960’s era computers, limited staff and a small budget. So there are questions if the agency can get the job done in a timely manner, let alone in three weeks. Experts say its more like a matter of months rather than weeks for Americans to receive their check.
2) Almost 3.3 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits this last week, more than quadruple the previous record set in 1982. This is a result of the wide spread economic shutdown from the coronavirus pandemic. This rate of layoffs is expected to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into a recession with the collapse of revenues for a wide range of businesses. Economist predict the nation’s unemployment rate could approach 13% by May.
3) Gold has traditionally been a panic investment which people and nations buy to protect the value of their money. The worldwide panic over the coronavirus coupled with a flood of stimulus by central banks has ignited demand for gold to store wealth. But the gold market is running into difficulties in buying. Stored in high security vaults, government mandated shut downs have left access iffy. Also, refiners of gold have been forced to close because of the virus. Transporting gold is done via airlines, but the sharp drop in air service has also made transport of the metal difficult. All these factors have put a squeeze on gold futures.
4) Stock market closings for – 26 MAR 20:
Dow 22,552.17 up 1351.62 Nasdaq 7,797.54 up 413.24 S&P 500 2,630.07 up 154.51
1) Debt relief services for student loan burden is the newest wave of scams. With student debt soaring to nearly $1.5 trillion dollars and with defaults at a record high, over burdened students are looking for relief. Companies promise to help students through the maze of government programs to reduce or forgive loans, but they offer nothing that individuals can’t do on their own. One company’s fee is $1,195 for document preparation, then $40 per month for almost 20 years for a total of $10,555.
2) The consequences of switching to renewable energy is causing prices for electricity to soar, sometimes as much as 40,000%. With Texas in the grips of a massive heat wave, the price of electricity went from $15 to as much as $9,000 a magawatt-hour. The same problem is occurring worldwide in countries like Germany and England, with not only spikes in cost, but threats of power grid collapse.
3) The English ship Maxlimer is set to start a new revolution in robotics, by being the first crewless robot ship to cross the Atlantic. It’s a proof of concept ship, 36 foot long, created by SEA-KIT that some day may spawn crewless cargo and oil tanker ships plying their way across the earth’s oceans. The goal is to produce shipping that is cheaper and safer than manned ships are. The historic crossing of the Atlantic is scheduled for the first half of 2020.
4) Stock market closings for – 26 AUG 19:
Dow 25,898.83 up 269.93 Nasdaq 7,853.74 up 101.97 S&P 500 2,878.38 up 31.27