• Mike V.

May Synopsis


Exercise Officially Makes You Happier Than Money, According to Yale and Oxford Research


The team also noticed that certain sports that involve socializing can have more of a positive effect on your mental health than others. In the study, published in The Lancet, scientists collected data about the physical behavior and mental mood of over 1.2 million Americans. Participants could choose from 75 types of physical activity — from lawn-mowing, childcare, and housework to weight lifting, cycling, and running. Participants were asked to answer the following question: "How many times have you felt mentally unwell in the past 30 days, for example, due to stress, depression, or emotional problems?" The participants were also asked about their income and physical activities. They were able to choose from 75 types of physical activity -- from lawn-mowing, childcare, and housework to weight lifting, cycling and running. Those who keep more active tend to be happier overall. The scientists found that, while those who exercised regularly tended to feel bad for around 35 days a year, non-active participants felt bad for 18 days more on average. In addition, the researchers found that physically active people feel just as good as those who don't do sports, but who earn around $25,000 more a year. Essentially, you'd have to earn quite a lot more for your earnings to give you the same happiness-boosting effect sport has. That doesn't mean, however, that the more sport you do, the happier you are.


American millennials


They have an average net worth of $8,000 and it's part of a bigger financial problem the generation is facing. Increasing living costs and staggering debt, including student loans, make it difficult for millennials to save money. A new Deloitte study, the net worth of Americans ages 18 to 35 has decreased by 34% since 1996, making them "dramatically financially worse off" than older generations. Millennials are less wealthy than previous generations were at their age at any point between 1989 and 2007. Millennials are spending 16% more on housing, 26% more on food costs, 21% more on healthcare costs, and 65% more on education. Student debt has increased by 160% since 2004. And college tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s. Consequently, millennials have taken on at least 300% more student debt than their parents. As of 2019, student-loan debt is at an all-time high of $1.5 trillion. The average student-loan debt per graduating student in 2018 who took out loans was a whopping $29,800.


WSJ: Morgan Stanley Fires Financial Advisor Linked To College Admissions Scandal


Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, but the latest financial services firm to get caught up in the sprawling college admissions scandal is Morgan Stanley. The firm has fired one of its financial advisors for not cooperating with an internal investigation into his relationship with admissions consultant Rick Singer, whom he introduced to a wealthy Chinese family that paid a staggering $6.5 million in 2017 to get their child into Stanford. Morgan Stanley advisor Michael Wu, based in Pasadena, introduced Singer to the unnamed Chinese family that paid the largest sum in the scandal. Chinese families and students actually have a good defense of their participation in the scheme. Given endemic levels of corruption in their home country, most said they simply assumed this was how things worked in the US, and that there was nothing wrong about the scheme.


US Student Loans


There are currently 44 million student loan borrowers who owe approximately $1.6 trillion in student debt. Student loan borrowers are feeling the pressure of insurmountable debts as borrowing costs rise. As a result of taking out debt, new evidence shows an undeniable impact on borrowers' mental health. Program to relieve student debt proves unforgiving. Student Loan Planner surveyed 829 people, which revealed data about debt load. 43% of respondents were suffering from burnout. 13% of borrowers said the interest was never-ending, is their highest concern. 12% of respondents said making the student loan payments contributed to anxiety, 12% reported low wage jobs made them feel powerless. Congress set up a way to erase student debt for people who hold public-sector jobs. More than 73k people have applied for debt forgiveness, 864 have had their loans erased.


Bank Of America Says Auto Industry Now Faces Supply & Demand Mismatch


They point out that inventory for light trucks and SUVs is climbing to "uncomfortably high levels" at a time when producers have been too optimistic about demand. Inventory is starting to become an issue across all U.S. automakers. On average, new vehicles sold in May spent 74 days on dealer lots, the highest level for the month of May since 2009. 29% of vehicles sold in May sat on lots for 90 days or longer, up from about 25% last year. Calling the problem a "classic story of demand/supply mismatch" producers continue to ramp up output at a time when demand has softened.



Bloomberg: Bayer Ordered To Pay $2 Billion In Roundup Damages


The first piece of bad news was that Bayer just lost the third trial in a row over claims its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. The jury found Roundup had been defectively designed, that the company failed to warn of the herbicide’s cancer risk and that the company acted negligently. The jurors agreed that Alva and Alberta Pilliod's use of Roundup over about 30 years for residential landscaping was a “substantial factor” in causing them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Monsanto Co., the maker of Roundup acquired by Bayer last June, is the named defendant in similar U.S. lawsuits filed by at least 13,400 plaintiffs.


EBay Tells World It Will Accept ‘Virtual Currency’


Cryptocurrency users were celebrating fresh rumors about a major adoption push this week after suggested eBay might accept Bitcoin and altcoins. At Consensus 2019 conference in New York, eBay, which has 180 million users, is actively pursuing crypto payments. One of the annual event’s major sponsors this year, it would appear the giant online marketplace is deliberately targeting attendees’ imagination. “Virtual Currency. It’s happening on eBay,” one placard reads, without giving any further information.


Amazon Opens Blockchain Building


Amazon has launched its Managed Blockchain service for wider use among enterprise clients. AT&T, Nestle, Accenture and others are already using the service. Amazon Managed Blockchain is said to allow clients to create and manage blockchain networks more easily and economically using open-source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric. The service is available for general production use, said chief Jeff Barr. “You can create your [blockchain] network in minutes. You can manage certificates, invite new members, and scale out peer node capacity in order to process transactions more quickly.”


Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Led by PayPal Alumni Just ‘Months Away’ Launch


Facebook’s much-hyped cryptocurrency project, dubbed Project Libra, may launch within a matter of months, Bloomberg report. The blockchain project, led by a team of PayPal alumni, is expected to launch a stablecoin for sending peer-to-peer payments to friends and family as well as integrating with major e-commerce players. Famed investor Mike Novogratz this week called Facebook’s looming service “stunningly important” to the crypto space. If executed correctly, he said, Facebook’s payment service will be a “big, big deal” and lend credibility.


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