China"s markets for obscure commodities point to a sluggish economy and a weak rebound
Evidence is building across diverse corners of Chinese markets that the economy isn't rebounding as fast as expected. A woman shops at a supermarket in Beijing, China, October 15, 2015.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon China's economy isn't bouncing back as expected, and it's showing up in diverse corners of its markets. Commodities like glass, styrene, and corn starch show the rebound remains sluggish, per Bloomberg data. Trucked LNG prices have dropped to their lowest level in nearly two years as demand falters. China's economic rebound isn't panning out as well as expected, and weak demand is showing up across obscure corners of its commodities market, according to Bloomberg data. For example, glass futures on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange have declined almost 20% in the past month. China accounts for over half of the world's plate glass production, which has declined over recent months amid low margins, oversupply, and a faltering property market.Styrene, a material used for the plastics in home appliances, has also suffered from a weak housing market and retail sales of appliances. China has offered the world's fastest growing styrene market over the last decade.And pulp has seen prices decline. The packaging commodity, for which China is the biggest producer and consumer, saw futures plunge in February after a sharp recovery in production that domestic demand couldn't match.Meanwhile, prices on trucked liquefied natural gas — which covers the last few miles of consumer delivery for the key fuel — have tumbled to their lowest mark in nearly two years. Demand has weakened to such an extent that top importers for seaborne LNG have started to offer to resell shipments overseas, Bloomberg reported.And corn starch, too, has faced headwinds. China produces almost 50 million tons of the commodity per year. Since it's used in baby food, falling demographic numbers have weighed on corn starch demand and prices. High expectations for a robust post-COVID rebound have largely failed to materialize, and financial markets have been raising red flags in the stock, currency and metals markets.Yet, analysts have cautioned that Wall Street shouldn't be too near-sighted about the world's second-largest economy.The growing pessimism on China, according to Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, stems from Wall Street's tendency to prioritize immediate metrics over long-term outcomes."I feel sorry for these people in some ways, because every time the Chinese release some data, they have to say something about it," Lardy told Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
I moved from the US to Sweden after struggling with burnout. Now I have 6 weeks of paid vacation per year and rarely work overtime.
Sweden's work-life balance inspired Tess Meyer's move. She makes $45,000, but feels rich because rent, healthcare, and transportation are so cheap. Tess Meyer makes approximately $45,000 per year as a consultant in Sweden and pays a 33% income tax.Courtesy of Tess Meyer Tess Meyer, a 30-year-old consultant from California, moved to Sweden after struggling with burnout. Now she rarely works overtime, gets six weeks of paid vacation a year, and got a free master's. But it took her two years to secure a full-time job and her salary is lower than it was in the US. This story is part of a series called Millennial World, which seeks to examine the state of the generation around the globe. This as-told-to essay is based on an interview with Tess Meyer, a 30-year-old consultant from California and author of the blog Sweden and Me. She has chosen to omit the name of her employer due to the company's media policy. The following has been edited for length and clarity.I'm originally from Burbank, California, and moved to Sweden four and a half years ago. My partner and I currently live in Malmö, a city on the southernmost tip of the country 30 minutes away from Copenhagen, Denmark.Before this, I was living in the US working 50 hours a week and feeling burned out. When I was 23 years old, I left my corporate job at a company I'd been with for four years and moved back in with my parents.That's when I started researching happiness. If you type in "happy" into Google, Scandinavian countries are consistently ranked as the happiest countries in the world. So in 2016, I decided to come out to the Nordic region and spent two weeks traveling around to Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki to figure out if I could see myself living there someday.I connected to the way of life and the values of Swedish society — specifically, the focus on sustainability and not letting stress rule your life. The work-life balance here is incredible. It's not about working late to get that gold star. In Sweden, if you work late, your boss might flag that your workload is too high, or that you're not capable enough to do your work within work hours. As a Swedish resident, I was able to get a free master's degreeMy partner, who is also American, works in the video-game industry. Back in the US, he worked for PlayStation. They don't have an office in Sweden, but a lot of other video-game studios do, so he was able to get a job offer pretty quickly. His company sponsored both of our residencies and work visas, so we had the ability to live and work in Sweden full time. Once we moved here, we went to the immigration and tax agencies and filled out all the paperwork. It took around three months to get everything settled.I started looking for work, but ended up going back to school. I applied twice for a one-year master's program at the local university. The first time, I applied as an American resident and got accepted. It would have been about $13,000, which isn't that bad by American standards.But then I applied again a year later as a Swedish resident with a Swedish social-security number. The same program accepted me again — except this time, it would be completely free.It took me two years to find a full-time job The unemployment rate in Sweden is 7.5%, according to April 2023 data.Jacek Kadaj/Getty ImagesAfter graduation, it was difficult to find a job — it took me two years. I have both a bachelor's and a master's degree from the US and a second master's degree from Sweden. I'm also a native English speaker, which is attractive to a lot of companies here. It's incredibly tough to get into the Swedish job network. It's about who you know, and culture fit is really important to the companies here. I eventually was able to get a job at a major consulting firm, where I've been for two and a half years now. I met the team at a university career fair, where they invited me to lunch and an informal interview, and then I formally applied. So it was very much about who I knew and my relationship with them before I even submitted an application. But before that, I had probably put out about 100 applications and networked as much as I could. I know a lot of other very intelligent expats who also have master's degrees and can present themselves well who have a hard time in the Swedish job market. It's definitely dependent on the type of work you want to do. If you're coming here with a tech background or as a developer, you're going to find a job instantly.Personally, I was looking for work within human resources, but I didn't know Swedish labor laws or the Swedish language, so that eliminated a lot of jobs that I could go for. Also, a lot of companies here are good with their recruitment pipelines with the university students. They occasionally hire students two years in advance.My salary is lower than it was in the US, but the cost of living is more affordable My salary here as an American can feel very low, but I feel wealthy in Sweden. You don't need to make a lot of money to live a good life. Back in the US, I was making $60,000 a year before taxes and that was almost eight years ago. Here, my annual salary is around $45,000 a year before taxes.Compared to my friends in Sweden, that's a competitive salary. The country has a very short salary scale. It's all about income equality, so you don't see these huge ranges that you might see in the US. The cost of living in Sweden, especially where I live, is very affordable. I have a two-bedroom apartment that's slightly over 800 square feet and we pay around $1,000 a month. We don't need a car because there's great public transportation and you can bike everywhere. Healthcare in Sweden is basically free — outpatient-visit costs are capped at $125 a year and prescription-drugs costs are capped at $246 a year. Eating and drinking out can be a little expensive because there's a value-added tax. When I eat out here, I'll pay similar prices to what I did in LA, but of course, my salary isn't as high.I rarely work overtime and employee well-being is prioritized Meyer goes into the office one to three times a week. "I love work from home," she told Insider.Courtesy of Tess MeyerIn the office, it's quiet around 4:30 p.m. every single day. I never get meeting invites after three o'clock on Fridays because people are getting their weekends started. It's very normal to take a long lunch or to leave to go to an appointment, get your hair cut, or to go to an exercise class. Well-being is prioritized. Also, if you ever need to show up late or miss work or leave early because of your kids, it's never questioned. No one blinks an eye — you're expected to be an involved parent. I very rarely need to work overtime. I work in consulting, which is typically one of the most demanding industries when it comes to work-life balance. I have friends who work at the same firm in the US who have much more demanding schedules. There's just a real sense of trust that everyone will do the work that the company assigns them. And if you need to do that early in the morning or late at night because you have a family commitment, that's great, that's on you. It's not a micromanaging and performative culture where you have to sit at your desk even though you're not doing anything. If I'm done with my work and it's 3:30 p.m., then I'm going to leave, and nobody worries about it. I get six weeks of paid vacation every year and I use it all Sweden's Annual Leave Act gives workers the legal right to take at least four weeks of consecutive paid vacation between the months of June and August.Courtesy of Tess MeyerIn Sweden, after you work for a company for a full year, you are legally guaranteed 25 days of paid vacation and you can take up to four consecutive weeks of paid time off during the summer. In fact, you actually get paid a slightly higher salary during your vacation days.My company gives us six weeks of paid vacation per year, and I take all of it. I personally haven't taken four weeks in a row because as an American, I'm like, what would I do for four weeks without work? So I take two or three weeks here and there while spreading out long weekends throughout the year. Also, if you don't take the full 25 days, you can roll over up to five days to the next year. I spend the majority of my vacation visiting family and traveling around Europe. I have a work phone and a personal phone, so unless there's something happening at the office that I had been actively involved in, I won't even bring my work phone with me. For nine out of 10 trips, my work phone stays at my apartment, turned off. Because I made such drastic changes in my life and moved across the world to improve my work-life balance, I'm very protective over it. I've actually had multiple Swedish colleagues tell me that they aspire to be more like me when it comes to setting boundaries. My motivation is just so high because I gave up being near my family, higher salaries, the friendliness of Americans, and the amazing nature in the US to move here.I'm not sure if we will eventually move back to the USAfter our five-year mark, we will apply for Swedish citizenship and still retain my US citizenship.The way I think about it is that my career is just one pillar of my life. My relationship with my partner, my friends, my family, my wellness and personal development — all of those things also need time and attention. I felt like working in the US, you could only focus on your career and one or two other pillars — that was the most I had space for. Now I really feel that I have the space to manage more of those pillars, which feels good. I'm not sure if we will eventually move back to the US. We really miss being close to family. It's hard having a 12-hour flight and a nine-hour time difference between us. We love living in Europe, and we are different people after having lived here for almost five years. It doesn't help to see the political climate in the US and the shootings. It's horrific watching the news. If we're planning to have a family in the future, the paid parental leave in Sweden is 480 days. That's over a year and a half. Just to give that up would feel like a huge sacrifice.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Nvidia achieves $1 trillion market cap for the first time as AI-fueled stock surge continues
Nvidia joins Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Saudi Aramco in the elite 13-figure market cap club. Nvidia president and CEO Jensen Huang holds a graphics card NVIDIA 4060Ti and a laptop at a keynote presentation at Computex, or the Taipei International Information Technology Show, on May 29, 2023.Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Nvidia achieved a market cap above $1 trillion for the first time on Tuesday. The chipmaker's stock has soared 178% this year on demand for its AI tools. Nvidia's latest leg up was driven by a series of new AI products and partnerships announced over the weekend. Nvidia on Tuesday joined the elite club of companies valued at $1 trillion or more.Shares saw a new leg higher after the company announced new products centered around artificial intelligence over the weekend. The prospects that the company will be a leader in the AI race have pushed the stock 178% higher so far in 2023.Nvidia rose as much as 4.5% to $406.88 on Tuesday morning, giving it a market cap of $1.005 trillion. The stock's outstanding year-to-date performance has been a main contributor to the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100's 31% gain.Investors and analysts see Nvidia as best positioned to provide GPUs to run chatbots such as OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard. Nvidia was on the verge of becoming the first chipmaker valued at $1 trillion. Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Saudia Arabia's oil company Saudi Aramco are the few other companies in that valuation stratosphere. Nvidia's stock rise on Tuesday came after the company introduced new AI-related products, including its Grace Hopper superchips and DGX GH200 AI Supercomputer. The company is also working on partnerships including building a platform with advertising heavyweight WPP for computer-generated ads. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at the Computex conference in Taipei on Monday said anyone can be a programmer with new AI tools. "The programming barrier is incredibly low," Huang said. "Everyone is a programmer now — you just have to say something to the computer."Shares of Nvidia soared last week after the company's first-quarter earnings and second-quarter guidance trounced analyst expectations.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Drone attacks that shook Moscow showed Russians they can no longer trust Putin to protect them, expert says
Blasts hit residential buildings in Moscow for the first time Tuesday, offering a watershed moment for Russians who thought the war a distant threat. Men are seen on the roof of a damaged multi-storey apartment block following a reported drone attack in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2023REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov Drones hit residential buildings in Moscow for the first time in its war with Ukraine. It was a stark and jarring moment even though the damage itself on Tuesday was minimal. An expert said it "brought the war to the streets" for Russians and may shake their faith in Putin. A salvo of drones that hit Moscow on Tuesday morning broke the sense of peace that had lasted in the city despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its ongoing war.Russia's defense ministry said eight drones were launched against the the capital city on Tuesday morning, and three of them hit residential buildings. Some Russian reports said there were even more drones.The damage itself was superficial, with officials reporting no serious injuries. But the psychological effect of the capital coming under attack for the first time may be significant, and unwelcome for President Vladimir Putin.Dr. Stephen Hall, a Russia expert at the University of Bath, told Insider that Tuesday "certainly has brought the war to the streets in Moscow like nothing else."He noted that Moscow's streets have enjoyed peace since the end of World War II, "so to be attacked by drone is particularly frightening."He said that ordinary people in Moscow have mostly been able to ignore the war, but the events of Tuesday were a stark reminder.Moscow's mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said on Telegram that two people had light injuries and that the buildings were damaged. The strike was nothing compared with the regular bombardment of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.Russia said its air defenses blunted the strike, claiming some drones were shot down and other missed their mark.It wasn't clear who sent the drones or what specifically they were targeting.Ukraine denied sending the drones in response to an accusation from Russia. Officials in Kyiv usually say attacks on Russia are nothing to do with them, even when experts say they probably were responsible.Hall said that a pronounced backlash in Moscow was unlikely — predicting that people will "probably just keep their heads down" as they mostly have through the war so far.But, he said, "there will be an increased perception that the war is not going well and the Russian government is unable to protect its capital city — which is a shocking state of affairs if you think about it — and that the war has come back to Moscow."Russia's recent strikes on Kyiv were far heavier than the damage in Moscow. Ukrainian authorities said there were three attacks on Kyiv across Monday and Tuesday that killed at least one person.People shelter inside a subway station during an air raid alert, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 29, 2023.REUTERS/Alina SmutkoBut, Hall said, the Moscow blasts were likely to have the greater effect because of the contrast to life before.Other recent attacks on Russian soil — which Ukraine has also said were not its responsibility — have been closer to Ukrainian territory."But Moscow is completely different. Moscow is the capital of Russia, which perceives itself as a great country, rightly or wrongly." He also noted that Moscow is hundreds of miles from any fighting on the ground."So for the Ukrainians — if it is the Ukrainians, we still don't know, but let's hypothetically say it is the Ukrainians — for the Ukrainians to target it is a huge achievement and it brings the war that much closer."Hall also said that the effect on residents is likely the same regardless of who is behind the attack."They'll go about their everyday lives, but certainly there will be this fear that their government can't protect them, that the capital is no longer as safe as it was, and they can't live with their heads in the sand anymore."He also said that Russian state media has been relatively "silent" about the incident: "This also highlights that I think the regime is a little bit scared."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Prepare for more stock-market jitters after the debt-ceiling deal, Morgan Stanley warns
The S&P 500 plunged 12% in three weeks when the US government narrowly avoided defaulting on its debt repayments in 2011. US President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.Drew Angerer/Getty Images The debt-ceiling deal could drive up stock-market uncertainty, according to Morgan Stanley. Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy agreed to suspend the US borrowing limit Saturday evening. The S&P 500 plunged 12% in three weeks when the government narrowly avoided a default in 2011. Investors should brace themselves for a rise in uncertainty in the aftermath of the 11th-hour debt-ceiling compromise, according to Morgan Stanley.The bank said Sunday that while news of a tentative deal to suspend the borrowing limit "should bring a sigh of relief", it could inject more volatility into markets."It is important to think about the risks that follow once the debt ceiling impasse is resolved," Morgan Stanley's head of quantitative research Vishwanath Tirupattur said in a note to clients."The relative calm that pervades markets seems puzzling to us," he added, referring to stock, bond, and credit market "fear gauges" indicating much lower volatility levels than during March's regional banking crisis.President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Saturday evening that they had agreed on a deal to suspend the debt ceiling through to January 2025 while restricting spending in the 2024 and 2025 budgets.If that passes through Congress, it'll prevent a potentially catastrophic default – with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warning last week that the government could otherwise run out of money as early as June 5.The last time the US got so close to its so-called "X-date" was in 2011, when the benchmark S&P 500 stock-market index plunged 12% in the three weeks after lawmakers voted to raise the debt ceiling.Morgan Stanley isn't expecting that level of market chaos again – but Tirupattur flagged several looming issues that could rattle stock prices even after the potential crisis in Washington has been resolved.In 2011, the ratings agency S&P slashed the US's sovereign debt rating once a deal to raise the debt ceiling had been voted through – and Fitch Ratings similarly put the US's triple-A rating on downgrade watch last week.Ratings downgrades weigh on the creditworthiness of an issuer of debt – in this case, the US – and could drive up future borrowing costs.That, in turn, could weigh on stock prices because, as borrowing becomes more expensive, government spending levels are likely to fall.Morgan Stanley's Tirupattur said the Treasury would also likely issue a flurry of bills in a bid to raise more cash once a debt-ceiling deal has been voted through Congress. Investors snapping up these short-term bonds could "drain liquidity in the system" for stocks and other assets, Tirupattur wrote.Read more: Wall Street is bracing for stock market chaos as the debt-ceiling face-off drags onRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Steve Cohen"s Point72 fund has likely scored a $100 million gain on Nvidia stock in 2 months as the AI craze persists
Steve Cohen's Point72 bought nearly 1 million shares of Nvidia last quarter, worth roughly $400 million today thanks to the chipmaker's surging stock. Steve Cohen.Steve Marcus/Reuters Steve Cohen's hedge fund has likely made a $100 million gain on Nvidia after investing last quarter. If intact, Point72's stake in the microchip maker is worth roughly $400 million today. Cohen recently urged investors to shrug off their fears and ride the "big wave" of AI. Steve Cohen's hedge fund has likely scored a $100 million gain on Nvidia in just two months, thanks to the chipmaker's stock surging on the back of the artificial-intelligence boom.The billionaire investor's Point72 Asset Management amassed 981,000 Nvidia shares from scratch in the first quarter — a stake worth $272 million at the end of March. Assuming Cohen and his team haven't touched the position, it was worth $382 million as of Monday's close, thanks to Nvidia stock skyrocketing in recent weeks.Nvidia ranked among Point72's top 10 holdings on March 31, excluding options. Point72's largest positions included a $523 million stake in Meta Platforms, and more than $400 million worth of stock in both Broadcom and Amazon.Cohen, the owner of the New York Mets, urged investors during a recent conference not to worry so much about a recession that they miss the boat on AI, sources told Bloomberg. He described the burgeoning technology as a "big wave," and predicted it would create new jobs as well as eliminate existing ones.The Point72 founder and CEO isn't the only high-profile investor to pile into Nvidia this year. Stanley Druckenmiller's Duquesne Family Office raised its stake in the semiconductor giant by 36% to nearly 800 million shares last quarter, securing a stake worth $308 million as of Monday's close, assuming it hasn't altered the position.Nvidia's stock price has soared by more than 160% this year, boosting its market capitalization to nearly $1 trillion. It's now significantly more valuable than Elon Musk's Tesla, Mark Zuckerberg's Meta, or Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.Investors are betting big on Nvidia because they expect its microchips to play a critical role in enabling AI, which powers everything from OpenAI's ChatGPT language tool to Tesla's self-driving tech.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
US stocks trade mixed after debt ceiling deal and ongoing AI frenzy
The debt ceiling deal would raise the debt ceiling until January 2025 and includes various spending cuts and deficit reduction measures. Reuters / Brendan McDermidUS stocks were mixed on Tuesday after a debt ceiling deal was reached in Congress before the upcoming deadline.The deal still needs to be voted on in the House and Senate chambers of Congress.Investors continue to bid up artificial intelligence stocks like Nvidia, which reached a $1 trillion valuation.US stocks traded mixed on Tuesday after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden reached a debt ceiling deal over the weekend.The deal would raise the debt ceiling until January 2025 and includes various spending cuts and deficit reduction measures, including keeping non-defense discretionary spending roughly flat in 2024, with only a 1% increase in 2025. Part of the deal includes new work requirements for recipients of food stamps, and some IRS funding will be clawed back under the agreement. The deal will allow the US to avoid the fast-approaching "X-date," in which the Treasury runs out of money to pay its bills. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen estimates that day could come on June 5.The deal still has to be voted on and passed in the House and Senate chambers of Congress before going to Biden for his signature.Meanwhile, artificial intelligence stocks continued to jump on Tuesday, with shares of Nvidia up 4%, reaching a $1 trillion valuation for the first time ever.Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET opening bell on Tuesday:S&P 500: 4,226.19, up 0.49%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,077.56, down 0.05% (15.78 points)Nasdaq Composite: 13,118.34, up 1.10%Here's what else is happening this morning:Nvidia stock surged 4% after the company unveiled new artificial intelligence products over the weekend, including the DGX Gh200 AI Supercomputer.Microsoft's market capitalization could surge by $300 billion thanks to the rise of AI and its exposure to ChatGPT, according to Wedbush.Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel doesn't see the mania around AI stocks as a bubble — and said it's impossible to predict where these mega-cap tech stocks will peak. Steve Cohen's Point72 fund likely scored a swift $100 million gain on its Nvidia stock over the past two months.Elon Musk is once again ringing the alarm on the US real estate sector. "Commercial real estate is melting down fast. Home values next," the Tesla and SpaceX chief tweeted on Monday. In commodities, bonds and crypto:West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 2.77% to $70.66 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, dropped 2.92% to $74.82.Gold rose 1.59% to $1,975.30 per ounce.The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell 7 basis points to 3.74%.Bitcoin rose 0.78% to $27,962, while ether jumped 1.10% to $1,913. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
AI poses "extinction" risk comparable to nuclear war, CEOs of OpenAI, DeepMind, and Anthropic say
OpenAI's Altman, DeepMind's Hassabis, and Anthropic's Amodei have all supported a statement that compares the risks of AI with nuclear war. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, at a conference in Idaho.Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images The CEOs of three top AI companies have signed a warning about the risks of artificial intelligence. The Center for AI Safety's statement compares the risks posed by AI with nuclear war and pandemics. AI experts including Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio have also supported the statement. The CEOs of three leading AI companies have signed a statement issued by the Center for AI Safety (CAIS) warning of the "extinction" risk posed by artificial intelligence.Per CAIS, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, and Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei have all signed the public statement, which compared the risks posed by AI with nuclear war and pandemics.The CAIS statement reads: "Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war."AI experts including Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio are among the statement's signatories, along with executives at Microsoft and Google.CAIS told Insider it had verified signatories and used additional measures for high-profile names to ensure they had actually signed.Representatives for Altman and Amodei did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside normal working hours.DeepMind told Insider in a statement: "Artificial intelligence will have a transformative impact on society and it's essential that we recognize the potential opportunities, risks and downsides enabled by it."It added that it was committed to developing AI responsibly, as guided by its AI Principles. It also highlighted its work with policymakers and others to harness the benefits of "technological breakthroughs" while mitigating risks.Warnings about the potential risks of advanced AI have been coming thick and fast in recent months. Experts and industry leaders have been voicing dramatic concerns about the technology following the viral popularity of OpenAI's ChatGPT and the subsequent release of competing AI-powered products.The general public is also wary of the tech world's new obsession. A recent poll of more than 4,000 US adults conducted by Reuters found that 61% of Americans believe AI could threaten civilization.AI fears have been partially spurred on by an arms race between Big Tech companies. Google, Meta, and Microsoft have been pouring investment into AI development and have rushed to launch new AI-powered products.Governments around the world have taken note of the acceleration and are looking to try and regulate the tech. In Europe, lawmakers are pushing ahead with an "AI Act," which would ban use cases for AI deemed to pose an unacceptable risk.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Aspiring Navy SEALs take performance drugs to get through training — the military is aware, but doesn"t drug test, report shows.
Some Navy SEAL recruits use performance drugs like testosterone and Viagra to get through the infamously difficult training, a new report shows. Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) students participate in Log physical training during Hell Week in Coronado, California, June 22, 2003.Handout/Getty A new Navy report highlights safety issues with elite SEAL training like drug use and recruit deaths. The notoriously challenging program has become more intense in recent years, per the New York Times. Last year, one recruit died after coughing up blood during an infamous training period called Hell Week. Would-be Navy SEALs have been known to use performance-enhancing drugs like testosterone to make it through the infamously difficult, sometimes deadly training course for the elite teams, and leadership hasn't set up a system to stop them, according to the New York Times. A new report released by the Department of the Navy raises concerns about the elite military course after a high-profile death in the program last year, the Times' Dave Phillips reported.Among the issues listed in the report is that Navy leadership was aware of the substance use, but did not test recruits to prevent it, and failed to provide medical supervision to curb the "increased intensity" of training that left some SEAL candidates hospitalized or dead. A total of 11 SEAL candidates have died during training over the years, according to Navy reportThe training to become a Navy SEAL includes 24-week program known as Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL or BUD/S. Recruits are required to complete grueling tests of physical and mental fortitude such as "Hell Week" a six-day period of more than 200 miles of running, nearly constant exposure to freezing cold, damp environments, and severe sleep deprivation. The new Navy report, released May 25, is the result of recent scrutiny of the infamously grueling training program for candidates hoping to join the ranks of the elite special operators known as SEALs.In February 2022, one such candidate, Seaman Kyle Mullen, died during the program's most notorious period of physical and mental challenge known as "Hell Week." Mullen suffered from pneumonia and wa scoughing up blood for days, but an officer told his fellow recruits not to call 911 because it could interfere with training, the Times reported. Through the program's 70-year history, 10 other candidates have died and many have been seriously injured, according to the Times. Navy SEAL candidates reportedly use PEDs like testosterone, growth hormone, and Viagra to get through trainingAfter Mullen's death, a subsequent Navy investigation found performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in his car, including testosterone and human growth hormone. Several other SEAL candidates were removed from the program for drug use following the investigation.The Times also previously reported that Mullen and other SEAL candidate used Viagra, against medical advice, to offset health issues from training like fluid build up in the lungs from cold water swimming. The report detailed that substance use has been a pervasive problem among SEAL recruits for more than a decade, and while the Navy is aware of the problem, leadership has never implemented a system of testing to detect or enforce drug violations, according to the Times. Some Navy leaders blamed recruits' lack of "mental toughness" In addition to the safety concerns, graduate rates for the already-exclusive SEAL program have plummeted in recent years, dropping from 30% to less than 10% in some classes, the Times reported. In response to concerns about the low graduation rate, and potentially dangerous surge in dropouts, a commander in charge at the time suggested that new recruits were too soft to complete the program. The commander, Capt. Bradley Geary "believed the primary reason for attrition issue was the current generation had less mental toughness," according to the report. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Russia has lost two-thirds of its tanks since it invaded Ukraine as its military struggles with obsolete Soviet-era weapons, analyst says
Russia's military equipment has been decimated during the Ukraine war, with as many as 2,000 tanks destroyed, damaged, captured or abandoned. A destroyed Russian tank stands by the road in front of an orthodox temple in the town of Sviatohirsk in Ukraine.Getty Images Russia has lost two-thirds of its tanks amid the stalled Ukraine invasion, a blog said. The figures confirm reports that Russia's armored vehicles have been decimated during the war. The country's military has had to take Soviet-era tanks out of storage to fight. The Russian military has lost at least two-thirds of its tanks since it began its war on Ukraine, according to analysts.Oryx, a Netherlands-based open source intelligence website, said that the Kremlin's total tank loss in Ukraine now stands at around 2,000. The website, which publishes a running tally of Russian military weapons and equipment losses based on pictures and other battlefield data, said 1,239 of the tanks had been destroyed, 106 damaged, 113 abandoned, and 544 captured.Jakub Janovsky, a military analyst who contributes to the website, told Insider that Russia had started the war with around 3,000 operational tanks.He said though that despite the high losses, Russia was "reactivating" tanks from the 4,000 it has in reserve to be deployed to the front line. Many of these tanks are from the Soviet-era. "This list only includes destroyed vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available," according to Oryx."Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed is significantly higher than recorded here."Janovsky said that a number of factors were behind the losses, including Russia's "reckless initial invasion plan," effective Ukrainian use of anti-tank weapons, and Ukrainian use of minefields and artillery."The ratio of equipment losses is still very favorable to Ukraine, but less so than it was in autumn last year," said Janovsky. During the May 9 Victory Day parade in Moscow, when Russia marked its victory in World War II, analysts noted that the scaled back event was an indication of the equipment losses Russia has suffered in Ukraine. While Russian President Vladimir Putin usually uses the parade to highlight Russia's military resurgence and show off the latest Russian tanks, this year the only tank taking part was a single Stalin-era tank. In face of the steep losses, Russia has sought to adapt its battlefield use of tanks, according to a recent report by the UK-based Royal United Services Institute.The losses have even forced Russia to pull old Soviet-era tanks out of storage and deploy them on the battlefield, Insider reported last year. Despite the equipment shortages suffered by the Russian military on the front line, Russia continues to showcase advanced military technology at global arms fairs, the UK's military intelligence said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Elon Musk visiting China is a sign Tesla is "playing nice" with Beijing and its stock will outperform this year, Wedbush says
Tesla is 'playing nice in the sandbox' with Beijing, which could help its stock a lot this year. Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk poses with Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicle owners onstage during a delivery event at its Shanghai factory in China January 7, 2020.REUTERS/Aly Song Elon Musk's trip to China shows Tesla is "playing nice" with Beijing amid US-China tensions, Wedbush said. Musk's private jet landed in Beijing on Tuesday, marking his first trip to China in 3 years, Reuters reported. Wedbush says these developments around Musk's China relationship could mean more upside for Tesla stock. Elon Musk visiting China is a sign that Tesla is aiming to get in the good graces with Beijing — and it could be another event that propels its stock to outperform this year, Wedbush said.Analysts pointed to Musk's trip to China amid rising US-China tensions, with the Tesla CEO's private jet landing in Beijing on Tuesday, Reuters originally reported.Musk's arrival marks his first visit to China in about 3 years, where he is expected meet with Chinese officials – possibly with Chinese premier Li Qiang, which sources told Reuters Musk has been trying to meet since March.Musk is also expected to visit to Tesla's Shanghai factory, which will be essential, Wedbush added, as the plant is a major producer of vehicle units and is one of the company's "key advantages" as it faces competition from rivals like Nio and BYD."While the geopolitical tensions between the US and China are increasing, Tesla … finds itself in a tight wire act to balance its success and production within China which remains a vital market in both the supply and demand front," Wedbush said in a note on Tuesday. "Playing nice in the sandbox in Beijing is something the Street is laser focused on to make sure there are no disruptions to Tesla's expansions and tentacles within China."Analysts predicted that Tesla stock would outperform this year, rising 11% from current levels to notch $215 a share by the end of 2023.That comes amid Tesla's fight to stay competitive in the EV market under the current macro conditions. Already, the company has slashed prices on its models six times over the past year, and has also floated building another battery factory in Shanghai, which could potentially boost production while lowering costs.It makes business in China an important factor for Tesla's success -- something it and other tech firms could be concerned about as tensions between the US and China potentially reach a breaking point. Chinese officials have expressed fury over US politicians' show of support for Taiwan and Congress's heated grilling of TikTok's CEO. Lawmakers are reportedly considering limit US investment in Chinese firms, with China suggesting that it could retaliate if its firms continue to face harsh treatment by the US.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Russia and Saudi Arabia are at odds after a flood of Russian oil supply pushed the commodity"s price below a key break-even level needed to fund Saudi projects
Economic advisors have privately warned Saudi senior policy makers that the kingdom needs higher oil prices to fund a slew of megaprojects. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announces a zero-carbon city called "The Line" to be built at Neom in northwestern Saudi Arabia, January 10, 2021.Saudi Royal CourtSaudi Arabia is growing annoyed with Russia as Moscow continues to pump cheap crude oil into the market.The increased supply of oil from Russia is helping push oil prices below levels Saudi Arabia needs to fund its megaprojects.Saudi Arabia's massive budget needs oil prices to be above $81 per barrel, according to The Wall Street Journal.Russia's pumping of cheap oil into the market is helping put downward pressure on prices for the commodity, and Saudi Arabia isn't happy as oil prices stay below a key break-even level, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.The report found that Saudi Arabia's efforts to curtail production and push oil prices higher earlier this year have been undermined by Moscow's flood of cheap oil supply, and that the oil-rich nation has expressed its anger at Russia for not following through on its pledge to throttle production, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter."Saudi officials have complained to senior Russian officials and asked them to respect the agreed cuts," the report said.Members of OPEC+ said in early April that they would reduce oil output to help prop up oil prices. But recent data suggests Russia isn't following through on its side of the deal as it seeks to generate revenue to help fund its struggling economy and war effort.Oil prices have been in a solid downtrend since they peaked in March 2022, right after Russia invaded Ukraine, which set off a slew of supply-chain related problems and helped push oil prices above $120 per barrel. WTI Crude oil fell 4% on Tuesday to just under $70 per barrel, while Brent Crude oil fell 4% to $74.07 per barrel. Saudi Arabia needs oil above a key break-even level of $81 per barrel to help fund its massive budget of so-called gigaprojects, which include a 110-mile long city in the desert called "The Line" and a resort in the Red Sea that's the size of Belgium. Economic advisors have privately warned Saudi senior policy makers that the kingdom needs higher oil prices for the next five years in order to keep funding billions of dollars of projects, according to the report. That's in part because the projects have failed to attract a lot of investment from abroad. Saudi Arabia will have another chance to convince Russia to implement oil production cuts at an upcoming OPEC+ meeting in early June.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Ted Cruz called Uganda"s anti-gay law "horrific." Last year, he voted against protecting same sex marriages.
The senator previously said that the Supreme Court was "clearly wrong" to legalize same-sex marriages and voted against federal protection for them. Ted Cruz.Alex Wong/Getty Images Ted Cruz was one of many politicians who condemned Uganda's new anti-gay bill, calling it "horrific." The new legislation means gay people in Uganda could be sentenced to death for their sexuality. But Cruz has previously objected to pro-LGBTQ bills, like the 2015 ruling to legalize gay marriages. Sen. Ted Cruz has joined the ranks of public figures condemning Uganda's new anti-gay legislation, calling it "horrific" and "wrong."The Texas Republican took to Twitter to condemn the law, which includes a death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," per Reuters. Cruz wrote: "This Uganda law is horrific & wrong. Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for 'aggravated homosexuality' is grotesque & an abomination."—Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 29, 2023He added: "ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse."The tweet has been viewed 9.1 million times as of press time. Cruz is one of many politicians who have condemned the new law.President Joe Biden called for the law's "immediate repeal" in a statement on Monday, saying that it was a "tragic violation of universal human rights." He also added that he would consider implementing "sanctions and restriction of entry into the United States against anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption."However, Cruz's criticism of Uganda's new law stands in contrast to his established stance on gay rights. Cruz previously said the US Supreme Court was "clearly wrong" about its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized same-sex marriages. "Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation's history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states," he said in a podcast in July. And in November, he voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, a move to provide federal protection for same-sex and interracial marriages. The law was eventually passed in the Senate without his support. At the time, Cruz said passing the bill would be an "attack on religious liberties," The Texas Tribune reported. Cruz's representatives did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment sent outside regular working hours. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Nvidia is "priced ahead of the curve" says Cathie Wood — as ARK Invest sold most of its stake in the company ahead of a bumper rally
Nvidia shares are up 167% this year, thanks to the generative AI boom. The rally sent Nvidia CEO's net worth soaring by almost $7 billion last week. Cathie Wood's ARK Invest sold nearly 1 million shares of Nvidia before their recent rally.Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood tweeted that Nvidia's shares are too expensive. Nvidia shares are up 167% this year due to the boom in generative AI. But ARK Invest sold nearly 1 million shares of Nvidia between early October and Friday — missing out on their massive rally. Cathie Wood — whose ARK Invest sold the bulk of its Nvidia stake ahead of the stock's massive rally last week — thinks the chipmaker's shares are too expensive."Since 2014, @ARKInvest has believed that Nvidia saw the AI future before most other chip companies, and now we believe it will continue to power the AI age," she tweeted on Monday.However, the stock is now "priced ahead of the curve," she added, stating that it reflected a market valuation of 25 times its estimated sales for the current fiscal year. —Cathie Wood (@CathieDWood) May 29, 2023 Wood's comments came after the chipmaker's shares surged nearly 25% on Friday following its blockbuster first-quarter results from the generative artificial intelligence boom.The stunning rally sent Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang's net worth soaring by almost $7 billion last week, per Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Given that the ARK Invest CEO has been anticipating the AI boom, her comments may seem unusual.ARK Invest sold nearly 1 million shares of Nvidia between early October and Friday — before their massive rally.Ballpark calculations by Insider suggest Ark Invest lost out on more than $200 million in potential profits when it sold down its Nvidia stake throughout the end of last year, Matthew Fox reported on Friday. But Wood sees opportunities elsewhere, adding Nvidia isn't the only AI play."Other companies with visionary leaders, strong global distribution and, perhaps most important, large high-quality pools of proprietary data should be big #AI winners," she added in her tweet thread.She pointed to electric vehicle maker Tesla — although there are "dozens" more AI winners, she added.Nvidia's share price extended gains to close 2.6% higher at $389.46 on Friday. The stock is up 167% this year so far. The US markets were closed Monday for a public holiday.ARK Invest did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment sent outside regular business hours.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Lindsey Graham is now a wanted man in Russia, and he said he will wear the arrest warrant like a "badge of honor"
Russia called for the arrest after President Zelenskyy released an edited video of Graham, which suggested that he celebrated Russian troops dying. Lindsey Graham on his visit to Kyiv.Ukrainian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Russia issued an arrest warrant for Lindsey Graham after an edited video of him was posted online. The edited clip suggests that Graham was celebrating Russian troops dying in the war. Graham said that he would wear the arrest like a "Badge of Honor." Sen. Lindsey Graham is now a wanted man in Russia after an edited video of him was released, where he appeared to celebrate the deaths of Russian soldiers.Graham said in a statement on Monday that he would "wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin's corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honor.""Here's an offer to my Russian 'friends' who want to arrest and try me for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals: I will submit to jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do. Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!" Graham said in the statement.He also later tweeted that he had found a "great lawyer" who would aid him if he were to be tried by Russia — though he doesn't think he stands a chance of getting a fair trial in the country. —Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 29, 2023 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office released an edited video from Graham's visit to Kyiv on Friday, where two clips of Graham were stitched together. In the first clip, the South Carolina Republican is heard saying: "The Russians are dying." Immediately after, in the second clip, he is heard saying that US military assistance to Ukraine has been "the best money we've ever spent."—Frontline Politics (@FrontlinePol) May 28, 2023 The sequence of statements in the edited video, which made it appear that Graham was jubilant about Russians dying, angered Russian officials. Russian news agency Tass reported that the Russian Interior Ministry had placed Graham on a wanted list. "Lindsey Olin Graham, an American citizen, born on July 9, 1955, is wanted under an article of the Russian Criminal Code," the ministry wrote, per Tass.However, it did not specify what crime Graham is wanted for. Angry Russians have also called for Graham's assassination, including Margarita Simonyan, the chief editor of Russian state broadcaster RT. She said on Sunday that Russia may need to call on the help of "sons or grandchildren" of Pavel Sudoplatov, a Soviet spy who was involved in the assassination of the Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky.Graham has historically expressed a strong opposition against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration. In March 2022, he called for a Julius Caesar-style assassination of Putin, tweeting: "Is there a Brutus in Russia?"Graham's representatives did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment sent outside regular business hours. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
I worked at Waffle House for $2.92 an hour. It was scary relying on luck or the generosity of customers to earn a decent pay — so I quit.
How much can a server earn at Waffle House? Amanda Claypool said I made more than I thought I would, but not enough to continue working there. Amanda Claypool said even though her wage at Waffle House was $2.92 an hour, she was told she'd never make less than $11.50 per hour.Courtesy of Amanda Claypool Amanda Claypool got a part-time job at Waffle House for $2.92 an hour. She planned to work at Waffle House long enough to pay off her $1,700 credit card debt. Claypool said she felt like she was depending on generosity and luck to earn enough money. Back in February, I took a part-time job at Waffle House to get a better understanding of the labor shortage. I wasn't sure how long I'd stay, but I set a goal to work long enough to pay off a $1,700 credit card balance. When I took the job at Waffle House I knew servers made less than minimum wage because they received tips. I was paid $2.92 per hour and I only worked once a week on Wednesdays.I didn't last long enough to pay off my credit card debt, and even though I liked the job and the people, I couldn't afford to keep working there. I worked at Waffle House for almost 3 monthsI actually liked working at Waffle House. My managers were friendly and the other servers worked hard. I enjoyed getting to know the regulars and I honestly didn't mind doing the dishes or mopping the floors. My weekly shift was a nice change of pace from sitting in front of a computer all day.After every shift, I kept a detailed log of my actual cash flow and I recorded how much Waffle House paid me in wages and how much I earned in tips. Over the course of 61 hours, and after paying my taxes and subtracting deductions, I made $869 overall.Ultimately, working at Waffle House just wasn't a good use of my timeI'm a full-time freelance writer and strategy consultant. I could have worked more days at Waffle House and maybe I would've earned more money if I had. But I couldn't continue selling my time at a job where my profitability came down to chance and generosity. I worked the first shift at Waffle House, which meant I served during breakfast and lunch time. Four servers typically work that shift and somehow I always ended up assigned to section D. I didn't mind working that section but it wasn't as lucrative as being assigned the three booths in section A.On slow days, the manager would send someone home early. One morning, I served five people and earned $24.75 in tips before I was sent home. But $12.75 of that money came from one generous customer. He's a regular so he would've tipped one of the other servers just as much. I just got lucky that he sat in my section that day. After this, I realized how much luck and generosity impacted my bottom line. To be fair, when I averaged out all of my earnings I made more than expected — but it still wasn't enough When I started at Waffle House I was verbally told I'd never make less than $11.50 per hour, but I made an average of $14.24 an hour overall. Either way, Waffle House is only legally required to make sure I earn $7.25 per hour. That $7.25 minimum wage hasn't changed since 2009. I made more than I thought I would, but not enough to continue using my time to serve there. I used the cash tips I earned from Waffle House — around $500 — to make a payment on my credit card. Had I stayed at Waffle House long enough to pay off the full balance, I probably would have had to work every Wednesday until November. That's not too bad for someone working once a week to pay off a debt — but I don't think I could live off that type of income full-time.My final paycheck at Waffle House was only $5.16 Serving might seem like an easy job but it isn't. The process requires more than just taking an order, communicating it to the cook, and serving it to a hungry customer. It's about creating an experience. Good servers connect with their tables in much the same way good doctors connect with their patients. Our society is very transactional, but it's hard to put a dollar value on experiences. My last Waffle House paycheck was $5.16. Earning a livable wage as a server shouldn't come down to the luck of who sits in your section and the generosity they're willing to bestow upon you. The wages offered by companies like Waffle House aren't the wages being set by the marketI thought the $2.92 minimum tipped wage was standard for servers — but it's not. After scrolling through the jobs section of Craigslist I discovered local restaurants in my city that offer a much higher base pay — plus tips. I realize now, the low wage at Waffle House is the byproduct of a low-dollar business model. For a meal to be inexpensive, the labor to prepare and serve that meal must also be inexpensive. Even if Waffle House wanted to offer higher wages, I'm not sure they'd be able to raise their menu prices to compensate for it.After my last shift, I crunched the numbers and realized the juice wasn't worth the squeeze. I'm better off using my time to look for new writing and consulting opportunities than working for tips at Waffle House. I texted the manager that hired me to let him know I was done and wouldn't be coming back. Money is an important part of work, but I'd argue time is even more important.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
8 things you shouldn"t cut back on during a recession
Four financial experts share which items are worth every penny and the mistakes you should avoid. CEOs of startups are taking a pay cut this year due to a slump in venture capital funding.nicoletaionescu/Getty Images Financial experts say there are eight things worth every penny that you shouldn't stop spending on. During a recession, don't skimp on mental healthcare, insurance coverage, and medical expenses. You should also prioritize building up your emergency fund and paying down debt. One of the biggest financial worries that's on the top of people's mind this year is the threat of a looming recession. According to a recent survey, there's a 61% chance that a recession will happen in 2023. As people are planning their budgets and setting up financial goals for the coming months, they might start looking into different areas of their life where they can limit spending and stockpile cash in case of an emergency.If you're starting to plan what items you should cut back on, take a look at what these financial experts say are worth every penny — even during a recession. 1. Internet and phone serviceAs you're sorting through your monthly fixed expenses, you might get tempted to call up your phone or internet provider and cancel or downgrade your plan to save money. However, certified financial planner Gabriel Lalonde told Insider doing that might end up costing you in the future."With the increased reliance on technology and the internet for communication and access to information, it is essential to have reliable internet and phone service," Lalonde said. "Plus, not having this can also limit your access to job opportunities and other resources."If you're struggling to afford your internet or phone service during a recession, Lalonde recommends calling your current provider and asking for discounts or looking for lower-cost options with other providers out there. 2. Medical expenses and healthcareIf you're trying to find ways to cut costs, you might decide to postpone or skip doctor visits or prescription medications in an effort to avoid any out-of-pocket costs or pay for your insurance monthly premium. Lalonde said investing in your health is always worthwhile, even during a recession, since skipping treatments or appointments could lead to the progression of an illness or injury, and make it more expensive or difficult to treat later on."Even with possible financial difficulties, you should still try to maintain your insurance coverage and look for ways to minimize costs, like asking for generic drugs or shopping around for better prices," Lalonde said. To prepare for a looming recession, Lalonde recommends making sure your coverage is up-to-date and researching if there are any government or community programs that can assist you with the cost of healthcare costs. 3. Mental healthcareCertified financial planner Stephanie Genkin adds that mental healthcare should also not be neglected during a recession. "There's a reason why a person sought out therapy," Genkin told Insider. "An economic downturn can magnify those reasons."If your current therapist doesn't accept insurance, Genkin recommends finding a different mental health professional who does so that if you need to cut spending, this isn't a cost that you have to worry about paying for.4. Certain types of insurance coverageAs you audit your expenses, you might notice you're paying for a handful of different types of insurances. Before you cut back on any, certified financial planner Marcus Miller suggests keeping the policies that cover rare and costly occurrences and not ones that cover low-dollar expenses.For example, Miller recommends keeping health insurance to cover unexpected medical bills or treatments, life insurance to ensure financial security for loved ones in the event of the policyholder's death, homeowners or renters insurance to cover personal property and liability from any injury or damages, and auto insurance so that you're covered in case of an accident. If you want to cut back on insurance costs, he does suggest that you can cut pet insurance, home warranty, travel insurance, and identity theft insurance, since the costs might not be worth the limited benefits you receive. 5. Food and groceries If you're someone who spends a lot of their budget on food, certified financial planner Jay Nelson said rather than cutting back in this area, become more strategic about the food you're buying.He says you can cut back on eating out or grabbing fast food, but when it comes to grocery shopping, he recommends stocking up on the basics and staples of what you need for meals at home, especially when discounts or deals are available on those items.Other tips he recommends for saving money on groceries, without limiting how much you're buying, is grabbing store-brand items over name brands, purchasing what you know you'll eat that week, and getting frozen items that won't spoil or expire. 6. TransportationIf you're noticing that you're spending a lot of money trying to get around your city, for work or errands, Nelson said this might not be something you can realistically cut completely out of your budget during a recession. Whether you have recurring expenses related to your vehicle, auto insurance, gas, or you use ride sharing services or public transportation, Nelson recommends finding ways to plan ahead so that you can still use that mode of transportation without overspending.He recommends doing a few things, like being mindful of where you're going and how often you can make multiple stops in one trip, and also filling up your car with the lowest-priced gas in your neighborhood. Also, if it's an option, Nelson said to find ways to carpool to work with a coworker to reduce expenses when needed.7. Emergency Fund While a recession might make it tempting to want to switch around your financial planning and pause contributions to your retirement account, Nelson says that if it's not fully funded with up to six months worth of expenses, it's important to prioritize this savings account."Cut other expenses, like clothing and coffee, and put that money into an emergency fund so you have the freedom to pay for life's unexpected events, rather than taking on debt," he said. 8. Debt payments Another financial mistake that Nelson often sees in a recession are clients who stop making payments on outstanding debt that they have. He said that this isn't a cost to cut back on during an economic downturn because you might end up getting hit with more interest and penalties, making those payments heftier in the future.If you're prioritizing what to cut back on, Nelson recommends cutting spending elsewhere to ensure debts are being paid off first.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Microsoft"s valuation could surge $300 billion with ChatGPT and AI set to transform its business, Wedbush says
"ChatGPT will be the next leg of the growth stool" for the tech giant, Dan Ives said in a research note. Microsoft shares could rally another 13% thanks to ChatGPT and AI, according to Wedbush's Dan Ives.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Microsoft's market capitalization could jump $300 billion thanks to the rise of AI, according to Wedbush. "ChatGPT will be the next leg of the growth stool" for the tech giant, Dan Ives said in a research note. Ives’ bullish outlook comes after chipmaker Nvidia posted stunning gains last week on the evidence that AI had boosted its sales. Microsoft shares' 2023 rally will continue thanks to the Redmond-based tech giant's efforts to integrate ChatGPT and artificial intelligence into its business model, according to Wedbush."ChatGPT will be the next leg of the growth stool for Microsoft," Ives said Monday in a research note seen by Insider."Redmond is just starting to hit its next gear of growth with ChatGPT and AI also adding a new layer of growth to the Microsoft story over the coming years," he added.Ives upped his price target for the tech stock from $340 to $375 a share – up 13% from its current $333 level, equivalent to adding $300 billion worth of market capitalization.His bullish note comes the week after Nvidia saw its valuation surge by nearly $200 billion after it issued a second-quarter sales forecast that crushed Wall Street's expectations thanks to the rise of AI fueling demand for its chips.Ives expects Microsoft to enjoy similar gains as it integrates the intelligent language tool into its Azure cloud business, Bing search engine, and Office 365 suite of products."We believe Nvidia's 'jaw-dropping guidance' heard around the world is a direct AI barometer for Redmond as our recent checks confirm the monetization opportunity for Microsoft is happening much sooner than the Street had anticipated in the field," he wrote."Over the last few weeks in our numerous conversations with Microsoft customers, partners, and field checks it has become clear to us that the monetization opportunities around deploying AI and ChatGPT in the cloud is a transformational opportunity across the industry, with Redmond in the driver's seat," Ives added.Microsoft shares are already up 39% in 2023, benefiting from both the ChatGPT craze and traders' expectation that the Federal Reserve will soon pause its interest-rate hiking campaign.Read more: Big Tech stocks' massive gains this year have made them even more dominant. That could be bad news for investors.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
How shredded Zuck celebrated Memorial Day
The Memorial Day workout involves running two miles, doing 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats. Mark Zuckerberg.Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC Mark Zuckerberg's telling us how to get as shredded as he is, and it sounds like hell. Zuckerberg said he did the "Murph challenge" on Memorial Day. It involves running two miles, doing 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats. We already knew that Mark Zuckerberg is shredded. Now we have some more insight into his shredded lifestyle.On Monday, Zuck posted a glimpse of his Memorial Day workout on — of course — Facebook."I try to do the Murph challenge with the girls every Memorial Day as a tradition to honor those who defended us," Zuckerberg wrote. The Murph challenge, which is also a benchmark CrossFit workout, was named after Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005."One of Lt Murphy's favorite workouts was running a mile, then doing 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and then running another mile -- all while wearing a 20lb weighted pack," Zuckerberg wrote. "This year I got it done in 39:58. The girls did a quarter-Murph (unweighted) in 15 mins!" The Meta CEO posted a mirror selfie of himself glistening with sweat, still wearing his weighted pack. Also included in the post was a snapshot of his daughters, Maxima and August, getting in on the push-ups.In a reply on the comments section of his post, Zuckerberg admitted that the last mile run of the challenge can be "pretty brutal," especially "when your legs are torched from the squats and your heart rate is pegged." "There are a few different ways people do this. The most hardcore is called Rx and those people do the 100 pull ups, then 200 push ups, and then the 300 squats sequentially," Zuckerberg wrote in a comment on his post on Monday. "I did a partitioned Murph with a bunch of sets with smaller reps of each alternating. Still challenging, but my Rx time would be a lot slower."Zuckerberg has been candid about his fitness journey, and just this month showed up at a jiu-jitsu match looking tan and ripped.You go, Murph challenge Zuck. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Elon Musk warns house prices are set to plunge – and says commercial real estate is in meltdown
"Commercial real estate is melting down fast. Home values next," the Tesla and SpaceX chief tweeted on Monday. Elon Musk.Tesla on YouTube Brace for the intense pressure on commercial real estate to spread to house prices, Elon Musk says. "Commercial real estate is melting down fast. Home values next," the tech billionaire tweeted. Investors are worried about real estate in a period of higher interest rates and tighter lending. Elon Musk is once again ringing the alarm on the US real estate sector. "Commercial real estate is melting down fast. Home values next," the Tesla and SpaceX chief tweeted on Monday. The tech billionaire made the comment in response to a tweet by Craft Ventures founder David Sacks, who pointed out a big chunk of commercial real estate debt is due to mature soon. Musk has previously warned that cracks could appear in property markets following turmoil in the banking sector. For example, the clean-energy pioneer said commercial real estate is "by far the most serious looming issue," and cautioned regional banks could experience a wave of defaults due to their huge exposure to the sector. The debt-fueled industry has kept investors on edge in recent months, given it faces a raft of headwinds. These include higher interest rates, tighter credit conditions, and work-from-home trends. JPMorgan has estimated that about of the $450 billion in commercial real estate loans due to expire this year could default. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management said commercial property prices could tumble 40% from their peak in light of the sector's troubles. The US housing market is also dealing with similar problems, which likely explains Musk's view that prices are set to topple. Per Morgan Stanley, home sales have bottomed as higher borrowing costs cripple demand, with experts warning of a potential 15% to 20% plunge in prices.In response to historic inflation, the Federal Reserve has hiked rates from virtually zero to upwards of 5% since last spring. While the pace of price increases has slowed, the painful combination of higher borrowing costs and steeper prices threatens to weigh on demand and economic growth.Moreover, lenders are pulling back in preparation for further bank runs after a wave of deposit withdrawals toppled Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March. Those forces are putting downward pressure on asset prices, fanning fears that the prices of houses and commercial spaces could suffer.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»