Living conditions still tough for millions of Americans post-Sandy
Some 1.4 million businesses in the Northeast remain without power a week after Sandy hit the East coast. Reuters reports that New York City’s 15,070 schools reopened on Monday but 20 lacked power and 16 were closed because they are being used as shelters. The New York subway is running at about 80 percent. People waited for more than an hour on the platforms yesterday in order to board a train. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 are in need of shelter. The rate at which power is being restored has slowed down as power companies work on the trickier outages. New York is bracing for another storm later this week.
Election most expensive in American history
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, about $2.5 billion has been spent on the presidential election. The Financial Times reports that when the congressional battles are included the tally rises to $6 billion. That is double the amount spent in 2000 and 7 percent more than 2008. It is much more than is spent in other nations. The amount spent averages to $18 per man, woman and child in the US. This compares to 50 pence per head in the United Kingdom or $8C in Canada. When taken in context, however, Americans spent $8 billion on Halloween and spend $7 billion annually on potato chips.
Suzuki to stop selling cars in the US
Suzuki has announced it will stop selling cars in the US after 3 decades because its compact cars are not profitable due to low sales. According to the Wall Street Journal, Suzuki is the largest car maker in India. Instead, it will focus on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine equipment in the US. Stringent state and federal regulations were blamed for the low profitability in the US.
Kodak retirees lose health, welfare benefits
Eastman Kodak won approval on Monday to quit providing health and welfare benefits to 56,000 retirees and dependents, according to USAToday. The ruling saves Kodak about $10 million a month as it proceeds through bankruptcy. Until 1995 Kodak offered a Survivor Income Benefit that guaranteed 30 percent of a retirees pension annuity would be paid to a person’s spouse. The Survivor Income Benefit and retiree related healthcare expenses represented $510 million and $440 million of liability on the Kodak balance sheet.
Wall Street bonuses lower than pre-Recession but not bad
Wall Street bonuses are no longer plummeting but they are not as attractive as prior to the recession. CNBC reports that there is greater alignment between performance and pay than in the past. Senior managers are projected to earn 5 percent more or less than in 2011. Bonuses in the fixed income sectors of firms are anticipated to be the highest.
Apple sold 3 million iPads since Friday
Apple sold more than 3 million iPads since Friday, according to CNBC. Sales were double the amount of the iPads sold when the newest model of the full sized model was announced in March. While Apple does not break out the mini-iPad sales from others, it is estimated that 2.3 million of those sold were mini-iPads. Experts indicate that while sales are good, Apple still needs to sell 20 million iPads this quarter to beat estimates.
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.