US to be world’s largest oil producer by 2020
A shale oil boom will help the US to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. The Wall Street Journal reports that this will transform not just energy supplies but US politics. The surge in US oil production to a projected 11.1 million barrels a day by 2020 will give Obama a chance to make peace with the Republicans by putting aside green energy investments and promoting jobs through oil production. The IEA is joining other forecasters, such as OPEC, in predicting the sharp rise in US oil production. The increase in US oil production will not quickly change the price at the pump because oil prices are set by a global market. Additionally, US oil is more costly to extract and many refineries will need to re-tool their plants.
Apple retail stores most productive in US
According to new research that shows the most productive stores are those that sell expensive products to occasional customers, Apple is identified as the top store. Apple’s stores recorded $6,050 per square foot of sales as of the end of June. CNBC indicates that it was well ahead of other stores in its peer group. Tiffany’s came in second with sales of $3,017 per square foot. More than half of Apple’s 72,800 employees are in its retail stores. Average revenue per store increased last year by 19 percent to $51.5 million.
Head of Microsoft’s Windows Unit resigns
Microsoft Corp reported that the head of its flagship Windows division, Steven Sinofsky, will be leaving the company immediately. Reuters indicates that Sinofsky was very involved in the rollout of the new Windows 8 operating system, known as Surface. While sales of Surface have been modest, the company has not provided a reason for Sinofsky’s sudden departure.
German investor confidence down
The Associated Press reports that German Investor confidence has slipped due to expectations that its economy will cool in the next six months. Economists had expected an increase. Disappointing economic indicators such as poor industrial orders are plaguing the German economy. Figures due on Thursday are anticipated to show that the German economy grew slightly in the third quarter. European and Asian markets are down on Tuesday. The Dow was unchanged on Monday, hovering at 12,815.
Goldman Sachs cuts back on the number of partners
Goldman Sachs will make the smallest number of executives into partners this year than it has in a decade. According to the Wall Street Journal, Goldman will announce this week that 70 employees will be promoted to partner. This is one third smaller than the 110 employees named partner in 2010. The new partners will increase the firm’s total to about 450 partners. The strategy is to keep the number of partners small as the company experiences a prolonged slump in trading and investment banking. Partners make a base salary of $900,000 per year and partnership profits in the form of bonuses mostly paid in Goldman stock.
Large European Banks Hoarding Cash
Europe’s biggest banks are placing more money at central banks which reflects lingering fears aver their financial system despite recent improvements. The Wall Street Journal indicates that a dozen of Europe’s largest banks reported holding $1.43 trillion of cash on deposit at various central banks as of September 30th. Since the end of 2010, the banks have boosted the amounts they are stockpiling by 84 percent. This makes their balance sheets safer but it also means they are not making loans to businesses in order to boost the European economy. The trend appears to be leveling off and recently some banks have withdrawn some of the cash reserves.
More women drivers than men in US
A study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute indicates that more women have drivers licenses in the US than men. USA Today reports that in 2010, 105.7 million women had licenses compared to 104.3 men. Men under the age of 44 have more licenses than women, but women are able to hang onto their licenses later in life. The number of young people, especially young men, seeking licenses is dropping. While experts are not certain about the reason for young people seeking fewer licenses, theories range from increased internet usage to economic reasons to a cultural change in which one’s car no longer identifies the person.
10 Most Expensive Zip Codes in the US
USA Today listed the ten most expensive zip codes by home price in the US based upon a report supplied by 24/7 Wall Street. The median list prices for the ten most expensive zip codes in September ranged from $2.8 million to $6.7 million. At least 25 percent of the households in these communities earned more than $200,000 per year. These luxury areas are not recovering from the real estate dip as quickly as others. Each zip code does have a smaller number of homes available than in the past. Additionally, international buyers are purchasing homes in these areas. What are the ten most expensive zip codes? 1. Alpine, NJ, 2. Ross, CA, 3. New York, NY, 4. Woody Creek, CO, 5. Atherton, CA, 6. Beverly Hills, CA, 7. Rancho Santa Fe, CA, 8. Santa Barbara, CA, 9. Greenwich, Conn, 10. Bel Air, CA.
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.