Financial News from The Wall Street Journal

  • Credit-Card Scammers Flock to Online Shopping The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 26, 2016 6:44 AM AEDT

    Just like legitimate shoppers, criminals are buying more goods and services online with credit cards. The rate of online card fraud is rising sharply as a growing number of purchases take place on the internet while brick-and-mortar merchants race to lock down vulnerabilities in the checkout line. More than 7.5% of online merchants’ revenue is eaten up by the cost of actual fraud and costs associated with fraud-prevention tools, according to a survey released Tuesday by Javelin Strategy & Research, a consulting firm that specializes in the payments industry.

  • Hunting for Soft Skills, Companies Scoop Up English Majors The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 26, 2016 1:01 AM AEDT

    Heads up, business majors: Employers are newly hot on the trail of hires with liberal arts and humanities degrees. Class of 2015 graduates from those disciplines are employed at higher rates than their cohorts in the class of 2014, and starting salaries rose significantly, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ annual first-destination survey of recent graduates in the workforce. Degree holders in area studies—majors like Latin American Studies and Gender Studies—logged the largest gains in full-time employment and pay, with average starting salaries rising 26% to $43,524 for the class of 2015, compared with the previous year’s graduates.

  • Russians Conduct Nuclear-Bomb Survival Drills as Cold War Heats Up The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 25, 2016 1:42 PM AEDT

    MOSCOW—Russian authorities have stepped up nuclear-war survival measures amid a showdown with Washington, dusting off Soviet-era civil-defense plans and upgrading bomb shelters in the biggest cities. At the Kremlin’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Cold War is back. Videos of emergency workers deployed in hazmat suits or checking the ventilation in bomb shelters were prominently aired on television when the four days of drills were held across the country.

  • My Former Republican Party The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 25, 2016 11:04 AM AEDT

    My father’s political heroes were Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Now it’s my turn to watch the Republican Party drift away. Whether the trend continues after the election remains to be seen, but already the GOP is largely unrecognizable to me.

  • The FBI’s Clinton Probe Gets Curiouser The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 25, 2016 10:43 AM AEDT

    Hillary Clinton may win the election in two weeks, but the manner of her victory will bedevil her in the White House. Specifically, evidence keeps turning up suggesting that the FBI probe into her emails was influenced by political favoritism and double standards. The latest news is the Journal’s report Monday that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend of Hillary and Bill, steered money to the campaign of the wife of a top FBI official.

  • ACA Deadline Extended for Those Who Lost Their Health Plans The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 25, 2016 10:17 AM AEDT

    WASHINGTON—Hundreds of thousands of consumers whose health insurance plans are being discontinued for 2017 will get some flexibility when signing up for a new plan during the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment, a sign of continued turmoil in the exchange markets. In addition, the Obama administration on Monday acknowledged that monthly premiums on the exchange’s benchmark silver plans will rise on average 25% before subsidies are factored in. Consumers in many areas will also have fewer plans to pick from.

  • Passengers to Airlines: Enough With the Wacky Safety Videos The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 25, 2016 1:48 AM AEDT

    Airlines have turned the sonorous three-minute safety briefing into big-budget extravaganzas. Air France flaunts French flair in a video that claims the seat belt “will elegantly highlight your waistline.” A Delta Air Lines flight attendant dubbed “Deltalina” became a media sensation for wagging her finger for no smoking. Virgin America’s video made its debut in 2013 and has 11.9 million YouTube views and a favorable New Yorker magazine theatrical review.

  • The Biggest Money Mistakes We Make—Decade by Decade The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Oct 24, 2016 3:50 PM AEDT

    Meanwhile, these days more people are waiting until their 30s to take big plunges like marriage and children. In their 40s, people often fail to pay down a mortgage quickly enough, leaving them covering the costs into retirement. Finally, in our retirement years, we often don’t make an uncomfortable but necessary move—giving family members the power to make big financial decisions for us—even though research shows most of us need that help a lot sooner than we realize.

  • A Little-Known Retirement Tactic for Government Employees The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Oct 24, 2016 2:10 PM AEDT

    Long-term federal employees can position themselves for a more secure retirement by employing a little-known feature of their benefits known as a voluntary contribution plan, or VCP. Most individuals who have been employed by the federal government since before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, which grants enrollees a pension, along with a VCP. Employees can put up to 10% of their lifetime earnings on an after-tax basis into a VCP account, where tax on earnings is deferred.

  • What Happens When There’s a Mistake in Your 401(k) The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Oct 24, 2016 1:10 PM AEDT

    Are you keeping a close eye on your 401(k) and other retirement plans? You should, because employers and plan managers make mistakes—and that can lead to big headaches and out-of-pocket costs for you. Just ask Benjamin Levy, a retired information-technology professional whose former employer erroneously deposited in his 401(k) a portion of a bonus that he received after he retired.

  • The Biggest Mistake People Make Nearing Retirement The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Oct 24, 2016 1:09 PM AEDT

    Simply put, the majority of preretirees are focused solely on their financial health. Far too few are giving any thought to their physical health. To be specific: Only 42% of Americans ages 65 to 74—and only 28% of those 75 and older—meet government recommendations for aerobic activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics.

  • You Made a Mistake on Your Tax Return. Should You Amend It? The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Oct 24, 2016 1:08 PM AEDT

    Broadway’s brightest star, Alexander Hamilton, summarized the problem neatly. “In common life, to retract an error even in the beginning is no easy task,” Mr. Hamilton once wrote, according to Ron Chernow’s biography of the nation’s first Treasury secretary. While Mr. Hamilton wasn’t writing about income-tax bloopers, his words undoubtedly will resonate with millions of modern-day taxpayers.

  • The Fatal Mistake That Doomed Samsung’s Galaxy Note The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Oct 24, 2016 5:56 AM AEDT

    After reports of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones catching fire spread in early September, Samsung Electronics Co. executives debated how to respond. A laboratory report said scans of some faulty devices showed a protrusion in Note 7 batteries supplied by Samsung SDI Co., a company affiliate, while phones with batteries from another supplier didn’t. Two weeks after Samsung began handing out millions of new phones, with batteries from the other supplier, the company was forced to all but acknowledge that its initial diagnosis was incorrect, following a spate of new incidents, some involving supposedly safe replacement devices.

  • Iceland’s No. 1 Dating Rule: Make Sure You’re Not Cousins The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Oct 24, 2016 4:06 AM AEDT

    Geir Konráð Theodórsson thought he had chemistry with a young woman he was conversing with via the popular dating app Tinder. The conversations were going well, so they decided to move it to Facebook. Facebook revealed some mutual friends between the pair: her mother, her grandmother and the sister of her grandmother.

  • The $108 Billion Man Who Beat the Market The Wall Street Journal - Sat, Oct 22, 2016 4:11 PM AEDT

    Since he took over on Sept. 17, 1990, Contrafund has averaged a 12.7% return annually, according to Morningstar Inc., outperforming the S&P 500 index by 2.9 percentage points a year. In that way, Mr. Danoff stands out—the rare big-company fund manager to best the indexes. “For the average active manager, the index has been tough to beat in the last five or six years as central bankers have moved interest rates to extraordinarily low levels,” Mr. Danoff says.

  • New York Tries to Kill Airbnb The Wall Street Journal - Sat, Oct 22, 2016 10:15 AM AEDT

    Now New York has moved to crush the home-sharing service Airbnb in the city’s five boroughs. Governor Andrew Cuomo late Friday signed legislation that would impose a fine of up to $7,500 on anyone who advertises a short-term rental apartment on a home-sharing site. The typical New York host earns more than $5,000 a year, and that’s a nice fillip in a city with a high cost of living.

  • The Truth About Egypt’s Revolution The Wall Street Journal - Sat, Oct 22, 2016 7:57 AM AEDT

    The usual account of Egypt’s revolution goes like this: In February 2011, Hosni Mubarak resigned after 18 days of protests led by the tweeting revolutionaries of Tahrir Square, ending his nearly 30-year presidency. Then the Muslim Brotherhood hijacked the revolution, prevailing in parliamentary elections and installing one of its own as president. A year after the Brotherhood’s win, Egyptians again hit the streets, this time demonstrating against the Brotherhood.

  • Imagine a Sane Donald Trump The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Oct 21, 2016 10:07 AM AEDT

    Look, he’s a nut and you know he’s a nut. I go to battleground states and talk to anyone, everyone. They all know Donald Trump’s a nut. Some will vote for him anyway. Many are in madman-versus-criminal ...

  • Where Trump Fell Short The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Oct 21, 2016 9:46 AM AEDT

    Donald Trump had two jobs at Wednesday night’s debate. On Wednesday he finally changed that dynamic, with the help of Fox News moderator Chris Wallace, the only debate host to keep the focus on the issues and to pose challenging questions to both sides. On substance, Mrs. Clinton was exposed for what she is: a liberal in an ethical minefield.

  • eBay Makes Bid for Younger Shoppers With Revamped Image The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Oct 20, 2016 10:25 AM AEDT

    EBay Inc. wants people to think of it as a first stop for all online shopping, not as an auction house of stuff from grandma’s attic. EBay reported revenue grew 5.6% to $2.22 billion, beating analyst expectations for a third straight quarter of sales gains—signs that the company’s new e-commerce strategy is starting to pay off. EBay is trying to redefine itself to capture new, younger consumers who shop on their phones and don’t have time to scroll through thousands of listings.

  • Can This Woman Save Wells Fargo’s Consumer Banking Business? The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Oct 20, 2016 8:44 AM AEDT

    Mary Mack arguably has the hardest job in banking today. The head of retail banking at Wells Fargo & Co., Ms. Mack must change the sales culture at the scandal-scarred firm. In the wake of the bank’s settlement with regulators and its public drubbing, Wells Fargo scrapped sales goals for retail-bank employees.

  • Medicare Spent $359 Million on Unnecessary Chiropractic Care in 2013, Audit Finds The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 19, 2016 9:23 PM AEDT

    More than 80% of the money that Medicare paid to chiropractors in 2013 went for medically unnecessary procedures, a new federal audit found. The federal insurance program for senior citizens spent roughly $359 million on unnecessary chiropractic care that year for treatment of strains, sprains or joint conditions, a review by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General found. The OIG called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to tighten oversight of the payments, noting its analysis was one of several in recent years to find questionable Medicare spending on chiropractic care. “Unless CMS implements strong controls, it is likely to continue to make improper payments to chiropractors,” the OIG said.

  • The Three-Headed GOP After Trump The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 19, 2016 10:04 AM AEDT

    Barring an unprecedented comeback during the final three weeks of the campaign, Donald Trump’s insurgent bid for the presidency will fall short. It is not too early to wonder what the Republican Party will do in the wake of his defeat, its third consecutive quadrennial loss. No Republican will ever try harder than Mr. Trump has to make working-class white voters the centerpiece of a majority coalition.

  • Millennials vs. Mutant Capitalism The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 19, 2016 10:03 AM AEDT

    About 70 million millennials will be eligible to vote in this year’s presidential election, according to Pew Research Center. How my generation votes matters more than ever—which makes the results of an April Harvard Institute of Politics survey seem very troubling. College graduates view capitalism more favorably, but these still don’t appear to be encouraging numbers.

  • Social Security taxes to rise for higher-income Americans The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 19, 2016 6:39 AM AEDT

    Higher-income workers will pay more in payroll taxes next year to support Social Security, while retirees and other program beneficiaries see a scant increase in their monthly benefits. Nearly 66 million people, or roughly 1 in 5 Americans, receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments from the U.S. government. Based on subdued inflation over the past two years, their benefits will see a 0.3% cost-of-living increase for 2017 following no adjustment this year, the Social Security Administration said Tuesday.

  • Millennials Aren’t Fired Up by 2016 Presidential Campaign The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 19, 2016 5:53 AM AEDT

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—In a busy corridor in Nau Hall, University of Virginia sophomore Athena Post sat after class and lamented her 2016 presidential options. “That hasn’t necessarily led people to in turn support Clinton,” she said. “Some students don’t feel the need or motivation to vote, because neither candidate is appealing to them.” Hillary Clinton went on Funny or Die’s show “Between Two Ferns” to try to improve her image with Millennials.

  • How to Cold Call Your Future Mentor The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 19, 2016 4:50 AM AEDT

    College senior Ali Ethier was hoping Paul McDonald would open doors for her when she emailed him last year to ask for a meeting. Ms. Ethier learned on LinkedIn that Mr. McDonald was an alumnus and trustee of her school, St. Bonaventure University, in Allegany, N.Y., and a senior executive director at the staffing firm Robert Half International Inc., where he places professionals in her field.

  • Are Fund Managers Doomed? Making the Case for Passive Investing’s Triumph The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Oct 19, 2016 1:13 AM AEDT

    By almost any measure—performance, inflows and certainly bang for the buck—passive funds for years have trounced active managers. Passive investing amounts to tracking an index or formula as opposed to paying a human being to actively beat the market. The question of whether investors can continue to get more for less isn’t merely a case of grousing from beaten money managers.

  • The ‘Do Nothing’ Revolution The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 18, 2016 10:52 AM AEDT

    It requires in the stock picker a confidence that most others are dunces, and that riches await those with better information and sharper instincts. In short, the idea of the “active manager” is rapidly losing its intellectual legitimacy to the primacy of the “passive investor” who merely buys an index of shares. As The Wall Street Journal shows in its series this week, this change has deep effects on everything from the outcome of shareholder votes to how pension funds manage teachers’ retirement money to which investing firms have a future and which will struggle to hang on.

  • Where Clinton Will Take ObamaCare The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 18, 2016 10:14 AM AEDT

    In claiming earlier this year that the current U.S. health-care system “was HillaryCare before it was called ObamaCare,” Hillary Clinton was telling the truth—but not the whole truth. In 1993, while first lady, Mrs. Clinton led a task force to deliver universal health care to the voters who elected her husband. HillaryCare was a comprehensive plan for the government to take over the health-care system, with program details and cost-control measures precisely defined.

  • The Plot Against America The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 18, 2016 10:11 AM AEDT

    Joe McCarthy inveighed against Communists in control of the State Department. In a speech Thursday in West Palm Beach the GOP presidential nominee painted a picture of a “global power structure” centered around Hillary Clinton that aims to “plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty” while stepping on the necks of American workers with open borders and ruinous trade deals.

  • Trump’s ‘Rigged’ Election—and Bernie’s The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Oct 18, 2016 10:01 AM AEDT

    Donald Trump recently declared himself “unshackled,” and now we know what he meant: The businessman is in full Steve Bannon-Breitbart mode, invoking an international conspiracy to steal the election and maybe fluoridate the water. “The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD,” Mr. Trump posted on Twitter Sunday night. This is Mr. Trump’s response to the oppo-research hits about his personal misconduct and sexual ethics, though he tends to conflate his two “rigging” claims about electoral fraud and media bias.

  • Some Retailers and Malls Plan to Close on Thanksgiving to Save Black Friday The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Oct 14, 2016 12:48 PM AEDT

    It turns out that opening stores on Thanksgiving Day wasn’t just bad for family dinners. A growing number of retailers and shopping malls are reversing course, including mall operator CBL & Associates Properties Inc., the Mall of America, electronics chain Hhgregg Inc. and Office Depot Inc., all of which said they would close on Thanksgiving this year. Once the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday lost that ranking in recent years as shoppers turned to the web and store visits were increasingly spread across the weekend—and even the entire month of November.

  • On the Frontlines of Putin’s War The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Oct 14, 2016 10:25 AM AEDT

    In July 2015, I spent a day observing Rapid Trident, a military exercise organized by the U.S. Army in western Ukraine. In the exercise’s scenario, a certain unnamed hostile country was carving a path across Ukraine, bent on taking nearby Lviv.

  • The Chicago Cubs Are Baseball’s Best-Smelling Team The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Oct 14, 2016 3:14 AM AEDT

    In their quest to win their first World Series since 1908, the Chicago Cubs once brought in a Greek orthodox priest to spray their dugout with holy water. This year, Cubs relief pitcher Hector Rondon is appealing to a supernatural power with something more potent: Sexual Paris by Michel Germain. The Cubs have advanced to the National League Championship Series on the strength of many important traits, among them extraordinary depth, exquisite defense and superb starting pitching.