The net worth of Americans increased 2 percent but the unemployment rate remains steady. Bank of America to receive billions in fines. The Chinese Air Force is beefing up its capabilities according to a Pentagon report and Hertz is restating its financial results. A Singing Nun has won a singing reality show in Italy.
Unemployment rate remains at 6.3 percent
US employers added 217,000 jobs in May, down from 282,000 in April, according to the Labor Department. The Associated Press indicates that the unemployment rate remains at 6.3 percent. While the unemployment rate has gone down and returned almost to pre-Recession levels, the population has increased by 7 percent. Economists at the liberal Economic Policy Institute estimate that 7 million more jobs need to be created to keep up with population growth. Average wage growth is still below the levels that would be required for a healthy economy. Wages have grown roughly 2 percent a year since the recession ended. The long-run average annual growth rate is 3.5 percent.
BofA to pay $12 billion to settle probes
Bank of America Corp. is in talks to settle at last $12 billion in probes by the Justice Department and a number of states due to the bank’s alleged mishandling of shoddy mortgages. According to the Wall Street Journal, the amount could raise the government’s tab for the banks’ pre-crisis conduct to more than $18 billion. At least $5 billion is expected to go toward consumer relief, consisting of help for homeowners in reducing principal amounts, reducing monthly payments and paying for blight removal in struggling neighborhoods.
Net worth of Americans increases 2 percent
A report from the Federal Reserve released on Thursday indicates that the net worth of US households and nonprofit organizations rose roughly 2 percent, or about $1.5 trillion between January and March, to a total of $81.8 trillion. Some of the increase comes from the increase in home prices as well as the increase in the stock market. The Wall Street Journal reports that Americans are gaining more equity in their home. Their 401(k) balances are also increasing.
Chinese air force modernized
According to the Financial Times, China is modernizing its air force on an unprecedented scale and is rapidly closing the gap with western air forces. The information is based on a report released from the Pentagon. China’s headline defense budget of $119.5 billion was understated by about 20 percent with the real figure for spending on the military closer to $145 billion. The improvement in the Chinese air force is apparent not only it its aircraft but also in its use of jamming communications and reconnaissance at sea.
Hertz to restate financial results
Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings said it would restate financial results for the past three years to correct accounting errors from 2011. CNBC reports that its audit committee had concluded that the financial statements for 2011 should no longer be relied upon. The stock fell by 9 percent in early trading.
Singing Nun wins Italian TV talent show
Sister Cristina Scuccia, a singing Sicilian nun, has become a worldwide singing sensation. She has won the second edition of the TV talent competition “The Voice of Italy” after singing a rousing edition of “What a Feeling”, the Oscar-winning song from the 1983 film “Flashdance”. Upon winning, the Sister said the “Our Father”. The New York Times indicates that 51 million people have viewed one of her videos since it was posted in March. Her victory came with more than 60 percent of the votes cast. Sister Cristina indicates that she will do as her order directs regarding making a record. The earnings would allegedly be earmarked for an orphanage in Brazil.
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.