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What Bitcoin solves… The essence of mobile payment systems is to make the life of individuals comfortable. Mobile payments are supposed to offer clients a convenient method of paying for goods and services while on the go. Since mobile payment […] The post Bitcoin Can Allow Global Mobile Payment for Unbanked and Banked People Alike appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Europe’s Changing Landscape Dan Steinbock, Paris        In France, President Hollande’s utter failure to foster broad consensus for structural reforms has paved the way for a contested election. While public debate focuses on Emmanuel Macron as the savior of France, […] The post Return of Sovereign France appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Technology is a wonderful thing. From modern medicine to the Internet to virtual reality, technological advancements during the past century have truly been a wonder to behold. After all, without a computer, smartphone or tablet and the Internet, you wouldn’t […] The post The Artificial Intelligence Revolution appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Just a month or so into Trump's administration, one of the central promises of his campaign -- the killing off of the Affordable Care Act -- is in trouble. Trump's inability to hold coalitions together, or really do much of anything beyond generate TV ratings, is already showing. But just as it was last year when the punditocracy told him he'd made himself unelectable, Trump's ace in the hole may be that he doesn't care. His history is that when the playing field doesn't work for him, he moves it. The Framers may have designed the government to withstand bouts of popular madness, but there
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By Dan Steinbock There is a deep chasm between America’s historical rebuff of G20 efforts, which seek to re-ignite trade, and markets, which remain at record heights. This rift is untenable. Historically, Baden-Baden’s spas are famous for their healing waters, […] The post G20 Dilemma: Falling Trade, Soaring Market, Looming Contraction appeared first on ValueWalk.

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The final game of the World Baseball Classic is tonight, down the road at Dodger Stadium. The United States made the finals for the first time, and it's playing against a team that’s close to home: Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican government bought ads to promote tourism during the game. The island could use a boost and a distraction from its major financial woes. For Puerto Ricans on the island and here on the mainland, a championship baseball game offers some rare positive news. Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

California’s had one of the wettest winters on record — more than twice as much rain and snow as in an average year. That's especially wild since we're six years into a historic drought. But California doesn't have enough dams, reservoirs or other storage. So instead of using it, all that precipitation just joins the Pacific Ocean. Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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In a financial filing on Tuesday, Sears said "substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern." The announcement hit the company's shares hard. Sears reported a loss of more than $2 billion in 2016. What does this disclosure mean for the retailer and is there any hope of a turnaround?  Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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Saad Albidhawi – whom everyone calls Al – has been fixing cars in his shop in Erie, Pennsylvania since 1998. Back then, he was in his 30s, a new Iraqi refugee living with his two brothers. He said to open his garage, he needed three very basic things: “The money and the language and the help from other people.”  Albidhawi said the money came from his previous job as a truck driver; the language came from his one-on-one classes; and the help took many forms, including recommendations from the electrician next door, who sent Albidhawi his first customers. Now, two decades later, he’s married with three children and he’s the one offering the help. “The guy, Erie Auto, on the right-hand side by 16th street, he used to work here. The guy on 12th street used to work here,” he said, rattling off a list of former employees. “The guy on 26th street used to work here.” More than 10 auto shops in Erie are owned by Iraqis, and many of them worked closely with Albidhawi.   He taught them to fix cars. But that wasn't all. He also helped them learn how to start a business, where to buy equipment and which permits and licenses they would need to apply for. And because it can be hard for immigrants to establish credit and borrow money, many Iraqi immigrants lean on each other for that too. “No interest, no fees, no nothing,” Albidhawi said. “Just when you finish, you don’t need stuff like a year or a year and a half, bring it over.” Haydar Al Kofi is the co-owner of Anwar Fresh Meat Market in Erie, Pennsylvania. Caitlin Esch/Marketplace One of the guys Albidhawi helped is a 38-year-old Iraqi mechanic Wael Alassedy. As he rummaged through papers, he said  business can be pretty up and down. He said on slow days, “You can’t find anything to do just to get your day to pass by, and some days, no, you can’t even itch your head because of how busy you are.” Alassedy arrived to San Diego as a refugee in 1996. Eventually, he moved to Erie, before moving back to San Diego, then back to Erie. He said he likes it here, because it's small and quiet. “Although sometimes I miss San Diego – the big freeways, the nice weather,” he said. “Other than that, I’m okay.” Like a lot of manufacturing towns with struggling economies, Erie has watched its population decline over the years. At the same time, it’s embraced immigrants and refugees, which make up about 20 percent of residents, including about 3,000 Iraqis, according to the International Institute of Erie, a refugee resettlement agency. Erie City went for Hillary Clinton in the election. The surrounding county, however, voted for President Donald Trump. Alassedy said he hates the administration’s push to keep refugees and immigrants out. “They’ve been through so much and being banned from coming to the U.S. and get the help they need, that’s terrible,” he said. But Alassedy would prefer not to talk about politics. He'd rather direct attention to his friend’s new butcher shop, not far away. Wael Alassedy arrived to San Diego as an Iraqi refugee in 1996. For the last seven years, he’s been running an auto repair shop in Erie, Pennsylvania. Reema Khrais/Marketplace The store is an interesting mix. Arabic blares from the TV, which shares the wall with reminders of Erie's hunting culture: two mounted deer heads. In the back, co-owner Haydar Al Kofi shaved pieces of meat for shawarma sandwiches off a large spit.  He also left San Diego for Erie. “Everything is easy right here. If you want to rent a home, just $500, $600. It’s cheap, very cheap,” Al Kofi said. Earlier this year, Al Kofi was even able to expand his store to add things like jewelry, rugs and glassware. And Saad Albidhawi, who used to do construction work in Iraq, built the addition. He gave Al Kofi a pretty solid deal – a 75 percent discount. “Somebody is going to want to open that store, it doesn’t matter who,”  Albidhawi said. “So, I’d rather to see somebody I know be there, so I can lean on him if I need something. That’s how it works – I help you, you help me.” And the Iraqi network keeps getting stronger.

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Current medical evidence suggests that nicotine, if ingested on its own rather than smoked, is no more harmful to health than caffeine. Burning is what produces the majority of the carcinogens in traditional cigarettes, increasing the risk of cancer in smokers. And […] The post Wise Up, FDA: Vaping Is Much Healthier appeared first on ValueWalk.

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With everyone focused on market movements after the Fed meeting, a serious crisis is brewing that is truly terrifying. The post A Crisis Is Brewing That Is Truly Terrifying appeared first on King World News.

Read more: http://kingworldnews.com/a-crisis-is-brewing-that-is-really-terrifying/

With everyone focused on market movements after the Fed meeting, a serious crisis is brewing that is really terrifying. The post A Crisis Is Brewing That Is Really Terrifying appeared first on King World News.

Read more: http://kingworldnews.com/a-crisis-is-brewing-that-is-really-terrifying/

This story is from our special series that explores NAFTA’s role in our economy from the perspective of workers, business owners and trade negotiators. What exactly is NAFTA? And what happens if it changes?  Join us to discuss how one of the most hotly contested issues in our society shapes the way we live. What did the North American Free Trade Agreement do? Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who both used NAFTA as a favorite target during their presidential campaigns, will tell you it was a “disaster” for the U.S. economy, that it cost the United States hundreds of thousands of jobs.  The reality is not nearly as dramatic or tidy a story. One thing that NAFTA is probably not is the big deal many people make it out to be.  “For the U.S., NAFTA mattered, but it wasn’t this transformational thing," said Gordon Hanson, acting dean at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at University of California, San Diego. "It has an outsize importance in the U.S. debate about trade policy relative to its actual economic impact.” He points out that when Mexico entered NAFTA, its economy was the size of Ohio’s. “So freeing trade with Ohio is a thing that economists would argue is good on net for the United States, but it’s not transformational,” Hanson said. Economists estimate that since the trade agreement went into effect in 1994, it has raised U.S. gross domestic product by one half, possibly one whole percentage point.    That’s it.    We talk so much about NAFTA, argue many economists, because it’s become a symbol of things much greater than itself – namely, globalization. “NAFTA’s got blamed for stuff that it in no way could have been at fault for,” Hanson said. A good example of this is fabric and clothes. As part of NAFTA, the U.S. made a deal with Mexico. It said, "Listen, we will drop barriers on Mexican clothes if you use American fabric to make them." So that way, Mexico would get jobs making clothing, and America would get jobs making fabric.  The result? “Fabric production in the United States rose substantially after NAFTA,” said Noel Maurer, associate professor of international affairs and business at George Washington University. “But jobs continued to decline because automation was wiping out jobs.” So those jobs went to robots. Not really NAFTA’s fault.  On the Mexican side, Mexico was ready to start stitching up a storm. “But instead, a lot of the expected benefits from NAFTA for Mexico went away because China suddenly entered the world market,” Maurer said. China took those stitching jobs. Again, nothing to do with NAFTA.  Monumental things have happened to the U.S., Mexican and global economies since NAFTA went into effect. Mexico had a peso crisis, making Mexican exports cheaper. There have been two recessions and growth surges — manufacturing in the U.S. grew by 250,000 jobs after NAFTA, simply because the economy was booming. Trying to figure out NAFTA’s role among all that noise, especially when it comes to job creation and job loss, is pretty hard. “People fight about that all the time,” Maurer said. Putting the number of jobs gained versus number of jobs lost versus wages in new jobs versus old jobs all into some kind of ledger “is really, really hard. I don’t know of any that are really credible,” he said. Most economists who have studied the issue argue that NAFTA’s effect on the net number of jobs was minimal. If you assume the worst about NAFTA, and assume (incorrectly, most economists would say) that the entirety of the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico is caused by NAFTA and that this trade deficit represents goods that should be made in the United States by American workers, “with that kind of calculation, you’d get something on the order of 150,000 jobs in U.S. manufacturing” lost due to the trade agreement, according to Robert Lawrence, professor of government at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Lawrence emphasizes that this calculation is based on flawed assumptions, but points out that 150,000 jobs is a rounding error in an economy that gains or loses that amount of jobs in a month.  So what, then, can we say NAFTA actually did?  “NAFTA helped the U.S. auto industry survive,” said Hanson of UC San Diego. “The U.S. auto industry designed a very efficient production network that spanned the U.S., Mexico and Canada.” Cars and car parts are no longer just made in the U.S., they are made across multiple borders, extremely efficiently, “allowing the U.S. to compete more effectively with the rapidly growing and improving auto industries in Europe and Asia,” Hanson said. The U.S. aerospace benefited in the same way, he said. Other industries didn’t do so great when they were exposed to competition from Mexico. Apparel, rug making, brick making, furniture making, “these are industries we don’t generally think about when we think of the U.S. as an advanced industrial economy, but they provided a lot of jobs,” said GWU’s Maurer. This comparison of industries that won and lost helps make sense out of the confusion over job loss due to NAFTA. The trade agreement caused both job loss and job gain. “I think we can say with a lot of assurance that we have a different mix of employment because of NAFTA,” said Josh Bivens, director of research at the Economic Policy Institute. We lost low skilled jobs for non-college educated Americans in rugs or furniture making or brick making. We gained design and business services jobs in autos and aerospace. “That change in the mix of employment has been generally not good for non-college labor in the United States,” Bivens said. Then again, neither has automation, the move to a services-based economy, the decline of labor unions and globalization generally. “NAFTA is just this very visible political symbol that people take as the stand-in for all the pressures globalization put on American workers,” said Bivens, who remains critical of NAFTA and policymakers for failing to protect the workers who lost out as a result of the trade agreement and economic changes that came after it. Hanson goes further in describing NAFTA as a whipping boy for globalization. “You know, who’s the cause of job loss for workers who have suffered as a result of that? We find the boogeyman, and the boogeyman has been NAFTA.” So what did NAFTA do? It created jobs, cut jobs and gave people a name for their frustrations — deserved or not.

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Google Maps has added a new feature to make it easier for friends or family members to find each other. Location Sharing is a real-time feature that could come in handy, especially if you’re meeting someone in a large area […] The post Google Maps Adds Location Sharing appeared first on ValueWalk.

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For many years, we've written about the craziness of the so-called "border search exception" to the 4th Amendment, in which the US government has insisted that the 4th Amendment doesn't apply at the border, and thus it's allowed to search people at the border. The initial reasoning was -- more or less -- that at the border, you're not yet in the country, and thus the 4th Amendment doesn't apply yet. But that's expanded over time -- especially in the digital age. Perhaps, back when people just

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Scotland Yard confirmed to the media that the Westminster attacker was killed in the string of events earlier today, but what they haven’t confirmed yet is his name, although from all the commotion on Twitter, you would think they had. […] The post Who Was The Westminster Attacker? appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Value Traps

With the term “cheap” and “value” so often around, especially in a bear market, what are the characteristics of a value trap? If my wife had to define value, it would be buying a Chanel handbag on sale. From firsthand […] The post Value Traps appeared first on ValueWalk.

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On December 8, 1993, then-President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. It went into effect less than a month later.   At the time, the bill was lauded for its ability to create jobs in the U.S. — Clinton had said NAFTA would create 200,000 jobs within two years — increase cooperation between the three countries and lower prices in the U.S. Twenty-three years later, the trade agreement is blamed for crippling manufacturing and lowering salaries in the U.S.  How has the U.S. economy changed since NAFTA was established? Use your mouse or touchpad to draw how unemployment and trade have moved in the last 23 years. When you’ve finished drawing, we’ll compare your guess to the actual data: In January 1994, the U.S. unemployment rate was 6.6 percent. How has it moved since? In 1993, the U.S. exported more goods than it imported from Mexico and had a trade surplus of $1.6 billion. How has the trade balance moved since? Economists like to argue whether trade deficits are as bad as they look. One estimate says 682,900 jobs were moved to Mexico because of the trade deficit, but costs for goods are cheaper, which helps consumers, and, maybe more importantly, it’s now easier to find tequila. [link to Daisy’s story]. In 1994, the U.S. and Canada traded $242 billion worth of goods. How much is traded between the two countries now?

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For decades now the FCC has been an expert at imposing utterly meaningless merger conditions. Usually these conditions are proposed by the companies' themselves, knowing full well these "demands" are utterly hollow -- and FCC punishment for ignoring them will be virtually non-existent. The end result has been a rotating tap dance of merger conditions that sound good upon superficial press inspection, but wind up being little more than hot air. It's a symbiotic relationship where as the telecom

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Five authors discussed their new business books at a recent Authors@Wharton event. During a recent event organized by the Authors@Wharton speaker series, Wharton management professor Adam Grant hosted five new authors of recently released business books. Below is each author’s […] The post Five New Authors Share Insights On Personal Growth appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Market dislocations occur when financial markets, operating under stressful conditions, experience large widespread asset mispricing. Welcome to this week’s edition of “World Out Of Whack” where every Wednesday we take time out of our day to laugh, poke fun at and present to […] The post Your Attention Please! appeared first on ValueWalk.

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