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News Analysis for the Investor on October 14, 2013

 US receives a warning from IMF and World Bank and Netflix may be on your TV!

| BY Catherine McBreen


World Bank and IMF warn US regarding debt ceiling

The New York Times is reporting that leaders at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meeting on Sunday insisted that the US must raise its debt ceiling and reopen its government or risk “massive disruption the world over”.  Saudi Arabia and China also expressed their worries about what was happening in Washington, DC.  The meeting had originally been scheduled to discuss the international recovery.  On Friday, markets ended on an optimistic note as the House Republicans sought a compromise.  The Senate, however, stalled the negotiations. 


Americans plan to work longer

Forty seven percent of working adults plan to retire later than previously thought and will retire at age 66, three years later than originally planned.  The Associated Press poll also indicates that 82 percent of working Americans over 50 say it is somewhat likely they will work for pay in retirement.  Men, racial minorities, parents of minor children, those earning less than $50,000 a year and those without health insurance were more likely to put off their retirement plans. 


Twitter receives good deal from investment banks

Twitter will allegedly pay only 3.25 percent of the money it raises to the investment banks, the lowest percentage paid on a US-listed IPO in more than a year.  Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reports, the company is receiving a $1 billion credit line from its bankers that it can use to help finance its growth.  The reason given for the generosity from the banks is the prestige of working on the deal.  When banks work on hot IPOs, they get bragging rights and position themselves for future transactions.  Facebook paid an underwriting fee of 1.1 percent last year, however, Pandora and LinkedIn each paid 7 percent in 2011.


Chinese developer makes $5 billion investment in Brooklyn

Greenland Group, a Chinese state-owned developer, will take a majority stake in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards, in a deal that is expected to be the biggest Chinese investment in US property.  The Financial Times reports that Greenland will own 70 percent of a joint venture to develop the large commercial and residential project.  It will occupy 22 acres and house 15 towers.  It will be one of New York’s biggest urban renewal projects in decades.  Greenland now has projects in nine cities across 6 countries.  It has also made a $1 billion investment for a planned development in Los Angeles.


Netflix on your cable TV?

Netflix is in talks with several US pay-television providers, including Comcast and Suddenlink Communications, to make its online video service available as an app on the set-top boxes.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix recently announced a similar deal with a UK cable operator.  The service would allow customers to stream Netflix on their TV sets without requiring an internet-connected TV or switching to a different TV input.  The current issuE holding back the deal is that Netflix is insisting that the cable operators also take on its special technology to improve the delivery of its streaming video.  The cable providers have declined the deal because they do not want to start a precedent that would require them to provide special treatment for other online services.  They believe that their broadband services would be able to handle the Netflix traffic.


Small increases expected for Social Security

For the second year in a row, Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect a historically small increase in benefits in January.  According to USA Today preliminary figures suggest a benefit increase of roughly 1.5 percent, which would be among the smallest increases since the automatic increases were adopted in 1975.  The small increase can be blamed upon the fact that consumer prices have not increased much in the past year.  The exact size of the cost-of-living adjustment has been delayed due to the government shutdown.  The average monthly payment for Social Security in 2013 is $1,162.  A 1.5 percent increase would be approximately $17.  Currently 58 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children receive Social Security benefits.

About the Author

Catherine McBreen

Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner.  McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner.  Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors.  She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.

McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law.  She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.

Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.  She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth.  Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.

McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)

Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.