Who are the longest-serving CEOs in the US?

IPO market expected to be a buyer’s, not a seller’s, market

Chairman of Renaissance Capital Kathleen Smith says IPOs will perform well once there’s reduced volatility in the market and when IPO returns lead to issuance.

When it comes to longest-serving CEOs in the S&P 500, billionaire Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway reigns supreme with 50 years under his belt.

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Buffett secured the top spot after Les Wexner, the former CEO of Victoria's Secret owner L Brands, stepped down after nearly six decades in February.

WARREN BUFFETT: GET TO KNOW THE BILLIONAIRE 'ORACLE OF OMAHA'

Plenty of companies struggle with CEO turnover, but these businessmen have managed to hold onto their positions for decades.

Here are the longest-serving CEOs in the S&P 500, according to Statista:

In a Monday, May 8, 2017 file photo, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett gestures during an interview by Liz Claman of the Fox Business Network in Omaha, Neb. Buffett is auctioning off a private lunch in the hopes of raising millions o

1. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway

Known as the "Oracle of Omaha" for his successful investing, Warren Buffett became CEO of Berkshire Hathaway in 1970. He transformed it from a textile manufacturer to a multinational conglomerate holding company behind many recognizable businesses, including GEICO, Fruit of the Loom and Dairy Queen.

Buffett has a net worth of $73.2 billion according to Forbes.

10 MILITARY VETERANS WHO BECAME CEOS OF FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES

2. Alan B. Miller, Universal Health Services

Alan B. Miller founded United Health Services, one of the biggest hospital and health care services companies in the United States, in 1979. He's been CEO for 41 years.

Miller, 82, is among the declining number of CEOs with military experience. He served in the Army.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UHS UNIVERSAL HEALTH SERVICES 104.62 -0.83 -0.79%

3. James Herbert, First Republic Bank

James Herbert founded San Francisco-based First Republic Bank in 1985, and he's held the position of CEO for 35 years. First Republic Bank went public in 1986.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FRC FIRST REPUBLIC 108.99 +0.82 +0.76%

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4. Tie: Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Leonard Schleifer, Regeneron

Both Richard Fain and Leonard Schleifer have led their respective corporations for about 31 years. Fain took over Royal Caribbean Cruises in 1988.

Dr. Len Schleifer is CEO of Regeneron. Credit Regeneron

Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, a neurologist, co-founded Regeneron in 1988, and the 67-year-old has been CEO ever since.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
RCL ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES 55.32 +3.45 +6.65%
REGN REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC. 602.84 -9.97 -1.63%

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How to choose the best student loan refinancing offer

Refinancing your student debt could save you cash. Here’s how to go about it right. (iStock)

Refinancing your student loans can come with a number of benefits—especially if you have a high balance (say, $10,000 or more). It can lower your monthly payment, reduce your interest rate and maybe even help you pay off your loan faster.

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If you really want to save cash in the process, you’ll need to keep an eye on interest rates to time your refinance right. You will also need to shop around with various private lenders, as rates and terms can range widely from one company to the next.

Here’s what you need to know as you start the process.

How much can you save by refinancing your student loans?

Refinancing can save you significantly if you’re able to snag a lower interest rate than what’s currently on your loans. To understand just how much refinancing can save you, you’ll need a student loan refinancing calculator and a good idea of what rates you can qualify for. Fortunately, rate-shopping marketplaces like Credible make the process a little easier by allowing you to compare offers from multiple lenders at once.

THIS IS WHY STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING RATES ARE GOING DOWN

Remember that the higher your credit score, the better rates you’ll receive.

Let’s look at a real-life scenario:

  • Let’s say you have a $30,000 loan balance with an interest rate of 7 percent. You have 108 payments left on the loan, and you’re paying $375 per month.
  • If you’re able to qualify for a 5 percent interest rate instead, refinancing would lower your monthly payment by $30 and save you $3,204 over the course of the loan.

If you refinance into a longer-term loan, it could lower your monthly payment even more (though your lifetime savings would be less due to the added interest you would pay). Find out your rate now by inserting some simple information into Credible's free online tool.

10 OF THE BEST STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE COMPANIES

Pros and cons of student loan refinancing

Saving money is just one of the benefits you could enjoy by refinancing your student loans. When timed right, refinancing can also offer:

  • Lower payments
  • A faster payoff time (if you choose a shorter-term loan)
  • More cash in your pockets
  • Less paid in interest over time
  • A shorter track to debt-free living

“Another benefit of refinancing student loans is simplifying your financial life,” said Brian Walsh, a certified financial planner with SoFi. “I regularly see individuals with more than a dozen student loans with several providers. Multiple payments can add unnecessary complexity to your personal finances.”

WHY YOU'LL LIKELY SAVE MONEY IF YOU REFINANCE STUDENT LOANS NOW

There are some downsides to refinancing, though. If you have federal loans, it can mean losing valuable benefits like income-based repayment plans, public service loan forgiveness and more. It could ding your credit score, too.

“Student loans tend to be some of the oldest debt individuals have, so refinancing could lower your average age of credit and introduce a new inquiry for the underwriting of the new loan,” Walsh said.

Is it the right time to refinance your student loans?

Refinancing your student debt isn’t always the right move. If you need a lower monthly payment or you know interest rates have dropped significantly, then it might be a smart time to refinance. But there are also factors to consider, too.

“I think the right time to refinance private student loans is any time you can adjust your repayment strategy to align with your goals,” Walsh said. “Most people only look at the interest rate, which is important, but it is also important to understand the goal of your student loan repayment strategy.”

Make sure you take into account the current economy, too. As a result of the CARES Act, federal student loan borrowers do not have to make payments until October 1, 2020. Refinancing any federal student loans now would disqualify you from these benefits.

“If you choose to refinance in the current climate, you give up your federal protections,” said David Green, chief product officer at student loan lender Earnest. “If you think you may end up in income-driven repayment at any point in the future, refinancing will not make sense for you. Refinancing a federal student loan with a private lender means you will no longer have access to benefits of your federal loans, including the temporary 0% interest rate on federally held loans, suspension of payments or any other relief measures implemented for federal loans to address the COVID-19 crisis.”

How to choose the best student loan refinance offer

The first step to choosing the right refinancing option is to understand your goal. If you’re aiming to lower your long-term costs, then the interest rates you’re offered is where you’ll want to focus. If you’re looking to pay off the loan as fast as possible, you’ll want the offer with the shortest loan term possible.

“At a high level, I see three common goals: reduce current payments, keep the payment the same while paying less interest and paying off debt as quickly as possible,” Walsh said. “Refinancing a private student loan right now could help accomplish all three of those goals, so I encourage borrowers to explore how refinancing would impact their payments and rates. Knowledge is power. Once you understand your options, you can decide if refinancing your private student loans aligns with your goals.”

Look at a number of lenders and don’t settle for the first one you contact. “It sounds simple but many individuals skip this step,” Walsh said. “Last weekend, I bought a new TV and spent hours comparing prices for different models on multiple sites. Refinancing your student loans has a much larger impact on your finances than purchasing a TV.”

Make sure you consider a good mix of lenders, too, including banks and credit unions. Tools like Credible can help streamline this process and make comparison-shopping easier.

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T REDUCE STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS

You should also take into account:

  • The type of loans you have. In order to refinance your loans, you’ll need to use a private lender. If you have federal student loans, that could mean losing key benefits. Make sure you won’t need to use these benefits later on.
  • Your eligibility for each refinancing option. What are the lender’s credit score and debt-to-income ratio requirements? What other standards will you be held to? “Generally, in order to get approved for refinancing, you’ll need to have your student loans in good standing, at least one month of normal expenses saved, proof of income, and little to no credit card debt,” Green said.
  • Type of interest rate. Are they fixed- or variable-rate options? Keep in mind that variable interest rate loans may have increased rates (and payments) later on down the line. Be sure the terms line up with your long-term goals.
  • Repayment terms. How many months does the loan last for? How long will you be paying interest and how long until you’re debt-free?

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The Covid surcharge: Companies confront the unforgiving economics of coronavirus

Economy amid coronavirus needs to ‘get going’: EY Global CEO

EY Global chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio discusses stimulus for businesses of all sizes and getting employees back to work.

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Companies from major retailers and package carriers to local restaurants and hair salons are awakening to a new economic reality in the age of the new coronavirus: Being open for business is almost as hard as being closed.

Facing higher costs to keep workers and customers safe and an indefinite period of suppressed demand, businesses are navigating an ever-narrower path to profitability. To make the math work, some businesses are cutting services and jobs. Others are raising prices, including imposing coronavirus-related fees aimed at getting customers to share some of the expenses.

For large companies, the price — and perils — of operating in a pandemic are already coming into focus.

DOES BUSINESS INSURANCE COVER CORONAVIRUS-RELATED LOSSES?

Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. this week said they absorbed more than $2 billion combined in added expenses for wages, bonuses and other benefits for workers during the early months of the pandemic. McDonald's Corp. laid out conditions for franchisees to reopen their dining rooms that include cleaning bathrooms every half-hour and digital kiosks after every order. Ford Motor Co. this week opened its American assembly plants for the first time in two months, and promptly had to idle factories in Michigan and Illinois after employees tested positive for Covid-19.

Customers shop at a Walmart store on May 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The stakes can be higher for small businesses, which tend to operate on thinner profit margins and smaller cash reserves. As they begin to reopen after weeks of being shut down, they are confronting a cost-revenue ratio that is increasingly out of whack.

Prices of food and other items have risen. Employees need protective equipment at work. Rising unemployment, safety concerns and limits on the number of customers a business is allowed to serve are setting a cap on sales. Some have tried to raise prices to bridge the divide, but greeting consumers who have been staying at home with higher costs is a delicate proposition.

Billy Yuzar saw adding a surcharge to diners' tabs as a simple way to compensate for higher food prices at his West Plains, Mo., restaurant, Kiko Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge. It was more convenient than raising menu prices, Mr. Yuzar said, because he could update the fee in the business's point-of-sale computer in one step.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC COULD COST THE GLOBAL ECONOMY $82 TRILLION

Regular customers were supportive, he said, but when a photo of a Kiko receipt showing a Covid-19 surcharge surfaced on social media, people who had never been to his restaurant began calling to complain.

"The people from this community and my actual customers don't mind at all paying," Mr. Yuzar said. "The backlash that I got is just because of these tweets."

Mr. Yuzar has removed the surcharge and raised menu prices.

Other small businesses have stuck with the surcharge strategy.

CAN COMPANIES BE LIABLE FOR CORONAVIRUS WHEN EMPLOYEES RETURN TO WORK?

Herman Halici, the owner of Dan's Super Subs in Woodland Hills, Calif., said the price of meats such as pastrami, roast beef and corned beef has risen by up to 60%, and new procedures mean that employees must spend 25% more time on cleaning. In response, the shop has added a surcharge of 75 cents to $1 a sandwich. Most customers have been understanding, Mr. Halici said.

"Out of a hundred people, maybe two complain about it," Mr. Halici said. "Unlike before, everyone goes to the grocery store now, so they understand about the meat prices."

Some states have cracked down on price gouging during the pandemic, but Covid-19 surcharges don't appear to have drawn many official complaints. A spokesman for New York's attorney general said the office hasn't received any complaints about surcharges, while a spokesman for Missouri's attorney general said the office has gotten one out of 1,501 total price-gouging complaints.

A surcharge has helped Melissa Aviles grapple with higher costs and lower capacity at her salon, Studio M, in Amelia Court House, Va. After reopening, it can only host one customer at a time, so she can do just four hair-color appointments and one haircut a day, compared with eight to 10 appointments in normal times. Finding supplies such as Lysol also has been a challenge because of high demand.

Ms. Aviles said one customer questioned Studio M's new $3 sanitation surcharge but was understanding once she explained the rationale. "I'm fortunate that I live in a small town, and I'm close with my clients," Ms. Aviles said.

Costs are rising for health-care practices too, leading some to consider adding fees. Jeff Shapiro, a dentist with a practice in Manhattan's financial district, has always worn a surgical mask while he works but has switched to pricier N95 masks following industry recommendations. He now also dons a face shield and disposable gown for each appointment, and said his office may spend tens of thousands of dollars on improved air-filtration systems.

He estimated his costs have risen by $25 to $50 for a patient visit.

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"I think patients would be understanding, if not happy about it," Dr. Shapiro said regarding the possibility of a surcharge. "If you don't do this stuff, the ramifications can be far worse."

The pricing strategy also has landed at large package carriers, with United Parcel Service Inc., FedEx Corp. and DHL Express applying surcharges for some international shipping during the pandemic.

DHL Express said its costs have risen in part because cargo space it buys on commercial airliners has become scarce because of flight reductions. A spokeswoman said it has added an emergency-situation surcharge during the pandemic on some levels of international shipping service, with exemptions for packages that support health-care purposes.

UPS has been applying a fee it calls a "peak surcharge" on international shipments since April 12. The charges top out at $1.81 a pound on express shipments from China, where the novel coronavirus outbreak began late last year, to the U.S., which has the world's highest number of confirmed cases.

"The peak surcharges, which apply to international shipments, reflect the current dynamic market conditions and uncertainties caused by the coronavirus," a UPS spokesman said.

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The economic recovery hinges on a big unknown: human behavior

London (CNN Business)JDE Peet’s, the owner of Peet’s Coffee, is pressing ahead with plans to raise as much as $2.2 billion in what could be Europe’s biggest IPO this year, despite turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which bills itself as the world’s largest pure-play coffee and tea group, said Tuesday it plans to raise €700 million ($768 million) via an IPO in Amsterdam in the coming weeks. It plans to use part of the proceeds to repay outstanding debt.
Luckin Coffee fires CEO and COO after accounting scandal
JAB Holdings, the investment firm behind Peet’s, Panera and Pret A Manger, will retain its majority stake, the company said. JAB, which is controlled by Germany’s billionaire Reimann family, has more than $100 billion in assets. It also owns Krispy Kreme and Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP).

    JAB hopes to raise up to an additional €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) via the listing, with the remainder coming from existing shareholders, which include Mondelez International (MDLZ), according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
    “We believe JDE Peet’s is well-positioned for growth and we look forward to attracting new shareholders who can participate in our exciting future,” JDE Peet’s chief executive Casey Keller said in a statement. “The coffee and tea categories have benefited in the past from attractive growth fundamentals and have proven to be resilient in times of economic downturn,” the company said.

    Almost 80% of JDE Peet’s business involves coffee consumed at home, including beans, instant, capsules and pods. The company, which also owns the Jacobs, Douwe Egberts and L’OR brands, sells coffee and tea in more than 140 countries and had revenue of €6.9 billion ($7.5 billion) in 2019.
    The listing marks a rare bright spot this year for the IPO market across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
    The EMEA region has registered 28 IPOs in the first three months of 2020, the weakest activity for a quarter in more than seven years, according to Dealogic. High levels of volatility and a sharp drop in regional indexes, including MSCI Europe, have “repelled investors from IPOs,” the deal analytics company said in an April research note.
    Chinese cloud company Kingsoft picks an uncertain time for its $510 million IPO
    JDE Peet’s is the largest IPO that’s been filed in the region this year, followed by the March flotation of Saudi pediatrician Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib’s eponymous health care company in Tadawul for $699 million.
    Coffee and tea sales globally have grown from €83 billion ($90.7 billion) in 2007 to €118 billion ($129 billion) in 2019, according to Euromonitor International, which sees demand for premium coffee across all channels.
    JAB, which has bought or combined around 15 coffee and tea brands in the past seven years, is clearly banking on continued strong consumer demand. Past deals include the acquisition of upmarket American roasters Intelligentsia and Stumptown Coffee Roasters, as well as the $10 billion takeover of Douwe Egberts.
    No one's going out for breakfast anymore. That's a problem

      It’s not the only consumer goods giant betting big on hot drinks. Rival Nestle (NSRGF), already one of the world’s biggest coffee companies, paid $7.2 billion in 2018 to distribute Starbucks (SBUX)‘ packaged coffees and teas around the world. That same year, Coca-Cola (CCEP) bought Costa Coffee for $5.1 billion to secure its spot in the market.
      JDE Peet’s said it intends to focus on increasing its household penetration in the United States, driving growth in emerging markets, expanding its retail coffee stores business in China and capturing attractive out-of-home opportunities.
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      How to qualify for the credit card you want

      Secured credit cards are one way people with lower credit scores can obtain cards. (iStock)

      Consumers with a bad credit history or a credit score lower than 580 can still qualify and get approved for credit cards they are seeking — whether it's cards with rewards programs (like travel rewards or cash back rewards), student credit cards, secured cards, one with a signup bonus or beyond.

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      People who were denied a credit card or loan because they have a low or bad credit score can continue building credit and reverse their situation over time. Consumers find themselves with a lower credit score when they do not pay their bills on time or went over the recommended credit utilization ratio because the amount of debt they had compared to their income was too high.

      Improving your credit score can take a while, but earning rewards, such as paying lower interest rates, are worth it. You can eventually have a good credit score where you can qualify and receive 0% APR balance transfer cards. To learn more about 0% APR credit cards — which enables you to avoid paying interest charges for up to 18 months in some cases, check out Credible's breakdown of vendors and what they have to offer.

      How to get approved for a credit card — 5 steps you need to take

      1. Shop around for credit cards or loans

      There are credit cards geared for people who have a low credit score because they are first-time credit card users (lenders require you to be at least 18 years old). Other credit card lenders market their card for people with lower or bad credit scores.

      WHAT REGULAR APR MEANS ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS AND LOANS

      You can start by doing researching different types of credit cards through Credible to compare lenders and save more money for your bank account.

      If you are trying to build your credit score, look for cards without annual fees and consider ones that offer higher percentages for cash back for daily purchases such as food and other necessities. Consider which cards rewards and perks fit your lifestyle best.

      2. Build up your credit score

      If you are just starting out, you can build your credit score by using your card on a regular basis, paying your bills on time (not piling up credit card debt) and paying more than the minimum required amount. Make sure you pay your other bills, such as student loans, on time because that will help lead to a better credit record. A secured credit card can also boost your credit score.

      FED'S EMERGENCY RATE CUTS AFFECT YOUR CREDIT CARD – HERE'S HOW

      3. Obtain a secured credit card

      A secured credit card can help boost your credit score over time. Secured cards aren't hard to find — most major credit card companies offer them, so you'll have plenty of options to pick from.

      Consumers are required to put cash on the card (essentially a security deposit) before being approved. The deposit is usually the same amount of your credit limit—your deposit will be $500 in order to get a $500 credit limit. It can take several months for your credit score to rise, but it shows the card issuer you are using the card responsibly.

      HOW SECURED CARDS HELP BUILD YOUR CREDIT

      4. Use your credit cards on a regular basis

      Your credit score is based partly on using debt wisely. Lenders are looking to see if you have a pattern of paying your credit card debt down and paying your monthly bill on time. If you are hesitant to use your credit card often, use it sparingly for a small bill like your cable or cell phone bill or for inexpensive purchases such as buying gasoline or for the toll road. Pay your monthly credit card bill on time.

      5. Avoid closing your other credit cards 

      If you have credit cards that you have paid off or do not use anymore, do not close the accounts. Credit card issuers look at the total amount of money you can borrow. If one of your credit cards has a credit limit of $1,500, closing the account lowers the total amount you are able to borrow and will increase your credit utilization ratio or the amount of money you can borrow compared to what you have spent on your credit card already. If you have three credit cards all with credit limits of $1,500 each, closing one card will lower your overall credit limit by 33%. Unless you are paying a high annual fee, keep the card open until your credit score improves.

      Check your credit score on a regular basis to make sure no mistakes were made. You can check your credit score without penalties and many credit cards now provide your credit score for free also.

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      Ignore the viral WhatsApp hoax text saying UK lockdown 'will end in August'

      A NEW WhatsApp hoax message sweeping the UK falsely claims to reveal when the nation's lockdown measures will be lifted.

      The text, which purports to share leaked information from the government, alerts recipients of an alleged "five-stage" exist strategy ending in August.

      It's designed to resemble official government advice, and indicates that lockdown will be lifted on August 10.

      However, the text appears to be a mirror of Ireland's exit strategy, which was revealed earlier this week.

      According to the fake plans spread on WhatsApp, Brits will be allowed to "meet up to four friends from other households" from May 18.

      Some shops and outdoor sports facilities will also allegedly open this month.

      Libraries will apparently open their doors next month, followed in July bymuseums, galleries and some public spaces.

      The majority of the remaining lockdown restrictions will lift on August 10, the message claims.

      It reads: “This stage will see the lifting of almost all restrictions. However, ‘large social gatherings’ such as large weddings will continue to be restricted due to risk.”

      WhatsApp has more than 2billion users and is regularly used to spread hoaxes and scams.

      WhatsApp – a quick history

      Here's what you need to know…

      • WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former employees of Yahoo
      • It's one of the most popular messaging services in the world
      • Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like "what's up"
      • After a number of tweaks the app was released with a messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
      • It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users
      • Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3billion (£14.64bn)
      • The app is particularly popular because all messages are encrypted during transit, shutting out snoopers
      • As of January 2018, WhatsApp has over 2billion users globally

      Recipients are often encouraged to forward messages to their contacts in order to get the word out on whatever phoney premise the message contains.

      WhatsApp recently restricted the number of people users can forward a message to in a bid to halt the spread of misinformation.

      The firm said: "Even if a message is shared many times, this doesn’t make it true. Don't forward a message because the sender is urging you to do so."

      WhatsApp has previously urged its users to report repeat offenders.

      “If you see something that's fake, tell the person that sent it to you and ask them to verify information before they share it," the compamy said.

      "If a group or a contact is constantly sending fake news, report them."

      In other news, a bizarre WhatsApp hoax attempted to fool users last month with a message about a mysterious "dance of the pope".

      Your internet may be getting slower due to a recent surge in web traffic.

      And, Apple recently revealed how to clean your iPhone without breaking it.

      Have you spotted any WhatsApp scams? Let us know in the comments…

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      Save GPS and share the 5G 'Sweet Spot' for the sake of our economy and security: Ex-Defense Secretary Cohen

      Verizon CMO: 5G has tremendous capacity to change everything

      Verizon Chief Marketing Officer Diego Scotti discusses the motivation behind his company’s Super Bowl ad and bringing 5G technology to Miami for the big game.

      The U.S. military has long been preparing for enemies to jam signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, which provide geolocation and timing data to enable our forces to conduct complex battlefield operations and hit targets with precision, minimizing civilian casualties. But an ill-considered recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the potential to do as much damage to our military capabilities as any adversary could do.

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      On April 20, the FCC approved an application from Ligado Networks to repurpose spectrum that is intolerably close to spectrum used for GPS and tactical satellite communications essential to our combat troops, especially our special operations forces.

      CORONAVIRUS 'DEBT BOMB': REPUBLICANS CONCERNED ABOUT MILITARY FUNDING

      The FCC ignored appeals by Pentagon leadership and a dozen civilian agencies concerned about the impacts of the FCC’s action to the economy, public safety and national security.

      Spectrum is a finite resource, so Congress appointed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and FCC to assign spectrum to, respectively, federal government and other users.

      Earlier this month, NTIA cautioned the FCC, recalling the FCC’s pledge not to approve Ligado unless, after consulting with NTIA, it concluded that concerns over harmful interference had been resolved. NTIA categorically stated that the FCC “cannot reasonably reach such a conclusion.”

      Ultimate authority and responsibility remain with Congress, which should suspend the FCC’s action to allow time for a thoughtful review to both protect national security and avoid U.S. spectrum policy launching into a technical cul-de-sac.

      WHAT IS 5G?

      The Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled a hearing on this matter for May 6, which is a responsible first step.

      The Pentagon bureaucracy has a reputation for resistance to ideas to transfer or share spectrum.  That posture has frustrated not only phone carriers and the FCC, but also me and other Secretaries of Defense who have wanted to leverage for national security the commercial sector’s investment in technology development that has been skyrocketing since the 1990s.

      A year ago, the Defense Innovation Board of technology sector experts urged the U.S. government to share with commercial users the spectrum that the Pentagon controls in the 3 and 4 GHz range, which is the spectrum preferred worldwide for 5G systems.

      The Board called the FCC and Pentagon’s effort to reserve that spectrum for military use “fundamentally flawed,” noting that U.S. military forces operating overseas will have to co-exist with civilian users of that spectrum and so should develop spectrum sharing mechanisms now.  Enabling U.S. phone carriers to use the same 5G spectrum as other countries also would help the U.S. technology industry to succeed in the market – and to support the U.S. military.

      FAMED ECONOMIST WRITES $100B CORONAVIRUS PLAN TO TEST ALL AMERICANS

      The FCC ignored this sound advice by approving Ligado’s pursuit of 5G service in spectrum that the rest of the world has not designated for 5G use.

      Even worse, The FCC overlooked the fact that the Pentagon, Transportation Department, and a dozen other federal agencies argue this same spectrum must be protected for warfighters, aviation and public safety, weather forecasting, financial systems, transportation systems, and other critical functions that depend on GPS and mobile satellite communications.  

      As it happens, DOD has been promoting an approach to help the U.S. achieve global 5G leadership. Under Secretary for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin, Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy, and senior career officials such as Dr. Lisa Porter and Ellen Purdy have pursued innovative efforts to enable military and civilian users to share spectrum in the 5G “sweet spot” of 3 and 4 GHz.

      The Pentagon is funding prototypes to see how the lower end of this sweet spot used by military radars can be shared with 5G commercial operators, using $200 million and special acquisition authorities Congress provided to avoid Pentagon red tape.  Another half-billion dollars is requested for next year.

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      Since September, the Navy’s band in the middle of this sweet spot has been available for civilian use. Apple, Google, Samsung and other major device makers have smartphones that can operate on this shared band and seamlessly switch to another band when the Navy needs it, just as smartphones have long toggled between 4G and 3G networks with users generally unaware.

      Two months ago, the FCC reallocated the upper end of this sweet spot (known as the “Satellite C Band”) to 5G mobile carriers who will bid for the spectrum at auction scheduled for later this year. The FCC transferred that spectrum from satellite communications operators with an incentive payment to the operators and auction revenues to the Treasury, benefiting U.S. taxpayers.

      These efforts to share the 5G sweet spot are the right approach to promoting US 5G leadership, not the FCC’s ill-considered action that leads down a 5G dead-end and threatens GPS and tactical satellite communications.

      Congress has supported this sweet spot approach and needs to act promptly to undo the FCC’s action to protect both our economic and national security.

      William Cohen is a former Secretary of Defense and United States Senator who is now Chairman/CEO of The Cohen Group.

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      What is the most popular smartphone in the world right now?

      Apple releases new iPhone SE at lower price

      The Cyber Guy Kurt Knutsson breaks down Apple’s new release of the smaller, faster iPhone SE, retailing at $399.

      The most popular smartphone in the world is the iPhone 7, according to device intelligence website DeviceAtlas.

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      Smartphone data from DeviceAtlas is based on the World Wide Web Conisortium, or W3C, according to the website. DeviceAtlas has not yet posted smartphone usage data for 2020.

      Most used smartphones in 2019

      While the iPhone 7 did not have the most sales in 2019 or 2020, it was the most used phone in countries around the world based on web traffic in the second quarter of 2020, DeviceAtlas reported in September.

      In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, a customer compares her iPhone 6, left, with an iPhone 7 at an Apple Store in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

      The website collected data from 36 major countries across the globe except for China.

      APPLE LAUNCHES CHEAPER IPHONE WITH SMALLER SCREEN, HOME BUTTON

      Other iPhone models including the iPhone 8, 6 and X were also popular. The next most popular smartphone brand across the board was Samsung, with the Samsung S8 and S9 models ranking high in many countries.

      Most sold smartphones in 2020

      In terms of the smartphones that were sold the most around the world in 2020, the iPhone 11 and XR models took the cake. Those models respectively made up 12 and 6 percent of smartphone sales in North America, according to reports by Counterpoint Research and Omdia, according to tech news website The Verge.

      APPLE SEES IPHONE SALES DROP 30% IN CHINA: REPORT

      An employee, right, shows a customer the features of the iPhone 11 during a launch event in London, Sept. 20, 2019. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

      Apple made the top five smartphones sold in the United States in 2020. In Europe, however, the Samsung Galaxy A50 was the most sold phone. Then the iPhone XR and iPhone 11. Samusung's A10 and A40 models came in the fourth and fifth places for smartphone sales in Europe.

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      The Samsung Galaxy A10 was the No. 1 sold smartphone model in  the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

      In China, Oppo models A5 and A9 came in first and second place. The Oppo A5s ranked first in the Asia-Pacific region.

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      Coronavirus and the left's radical 'degrowth' movement: Stephen Moore

      Economy will reopen hopefully next week: Stephen Moore

      FreedomWorks economist Stephen Moore explains why it’s important to get the economy reopened by May 1st.

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      It would be natural to believe that nearly everyone on the planet is horrified by the death and economic destruction wrought from the COVID-19 pandemic. But some appear to see the body bags and the shutdown of economic production as a weird kind of blessing in disguise.

      These are the proponents of a radical and increasingly chic movement on the left called "degrowth." This is the idea that economic growth and increased prosperity are the root CAUSE of massive ecological destruction and health pandemics.

      The agenda is to shut down industrial production and industries like fossil fuels, automobiles and airline travel that contribute to global warming. COVID-19 and the economy lockdown are seen as a kind of test run for the theory.

      For example, Professor Natasha Chassagne of the University of Tasmania and a disciple of this movement gushes that "we can draw many lessons and opportunities from the current health crisis when tackling planetary warming."

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      A former high-ranking climate adviser to the Obama administration, Jason Bordoff, writes in Foreign Policy magazine that "COVID-19 may deliver some short-term climate benefits by curbing energy use, or even longer-term benefits if economic stimulus is linked to climate goals," but he adds almost regretfully that the "benefits" from the pandemic in terms of less carbon emissions are likely to be "fleeting and negligible."

      Degrowth is defended by its proponents as "a political, economic and social movement based on ecological economics, anti-consumerism and anti-capitalism."

      CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS RESPONDING TO GILEAD DRUG REMDESIVIR: REPORT 

      The official degrowth website explains that COVID-19 is "an example of why degrowth is needed; it shows the unsustainability and fragility of our current way of life. Additionally, the response to covid-19 has shown that degrowth is possible, because society (and the state) has demonstrated an ability to dramatically change the modus operandi in response to a major crisis."

      The philosophy that increased prosperity is the problem and not the solution to our societal problems is not new. In the 1970s, many on the left embraced the "limits to growth" ideology of too many people, too little food and energy, and imminent ecological disaster.

      Those ideas were discredited over the ensuing 40 years as innovation and technology, plus a renewed appreciation of economic freedom, advanced rapid growth in living standards around the globe and massive surpluses of food and energy.

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      Of course, the origins of the limits to growth and, now, degrowth movements date back to the days of Thomas Robert Malthus, who famously and wrongly predicted that population growth would always outpace food and economic production.

      These rotten and dangerous ideas are back in vogue, and the New Yorker magazine recently highlighted the fad on college campuses and in faculty lounges. It's the latest of leftist extremism — a subversive movement to keep an eye on.

      What is scary is that some who subscribe to climate change hysteria, as well as the donors who provide the tens of billions of dollars of resources to climate issues, have come to agree that growth is the enemy and that we would all be better off if we were a little poorer.

      It is wrong on so many levels one hardly knows where to start. First, economic freedom and growth go hand in hand and have inarguably positive benefits to the poorest citizens of the world and to health and the environment. Nations that have degrowth are much more polluted and have much higher death rates than the United States.

      Environmental protection is the ultimate "superior good." The richer a society becomes, the more they spend on clean air, clean water and nature preservation.

      The degrowth fad — hopefully it is just that — also reveals the modern left movement for what it is at its core. It is anti-growth, anti-people, anti-free enterprise and anti-prosperity. This raises the question of how we could ever rely on the left to fix our economy, help the poor and make us all more prosperous if their goal is to shrink the economy, not grow it?

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      Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy."

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      Lack of savings worsens the pain of coronavirus downturn

      How to spend coronavirus stimulus check if you’re struggling financially

      Financial expert Chris Hogan says as Americans begin to receive their coronavirus relief checks, we should be in ‘conserve mode’ and avoid ‘any unnecessary spending.’

      Alicia Cook was down to $22 on Monday, a month after her hours as head banquet chef at a hotel in Nacogdoches, Texas, had dwindled to almost nothing.

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      Her $10.25-an-hour wage had been enough to live on but not enough to save. A few hours of work over Easter will get her another $100.

      "It's five $20 bills to rub together and I got to give away four of them to the light bill," she said.

      INSIDE THE PUSH TO REDEPLOY WORKERS QUICKLY

      Ms. Cook, 41, is one of the many working Americans who had little or no money set aside before the coronavirus pandemic closed much of the U.S. economy and ended a record-stretch of low unemployment and solid economic growth.

      Roughly half of U.S. households have no emergency savings, according to a Federal Reserve survey released last year. Those that do may not have enough. Almost 60% said they couldn't tap into rainy-day funds, borrow from family and friends or sell something to cover three months of living expenses.

      This is particularly a problem for low-wage workers, including those who have borne the initial brunt of measures to stem the spread of infection, which closed stores, arenas, restaurants and hotels.

      As of December 2019 — before the shutdowns — households in the bottom 20% of incomes had seen their financial assets, such as money in the bank, stock and bond investments or retirement funds, fall by 34% since the end of the 2007-09 recession, according to Fed data adjusted for inflation. Those in the middle of the income distribution have seen just 4% growth.

      "This is the richest country, yes, but it's also a low-saving country," said Annamaria Lusardi, an economist at George Washington University. "That's where it's going to bite."

      COVID-19 HAS KILLED ROUGHLY 30 GROCERY WORKERS; THOUSANDS OTHERS EXPOSED: UNION

      During the record-stretch of low unemployment and solid economic growth before the coronavirus spread, it was easy to look past the savings shortage. But after at least 17 million people lost their jobs in recent weeks, many of those without much financial cushion will struggle to make ends meet, even with the expanded unemployment benefits and other forms of government assistance included in the $2 trillion legislative package enacted last month.

      Many are lining up at food pantries. And many will fall behind in their rent, loan payments and other bills, amplifying the economic damage.

      The first job losses hit workers whose tasks couldn't be performed from home, people like waiters and waitresses — who make on average $26,800 a year, according to the Labor Department — or retail employees, who make $27,600.

      Richard Carl Eiker, a maintenance man at a McDonald's in North Kansas City, said he had to tap into the retirement nest egg he had built up over the years after his hours were cut back last month.

      After 25 years in fast food, Mr. Eiker, 51, makes $12 an hour. A few years ago he started setting aside $50 a month for retirement. He used about $1,000 for a colonoscopy last year, leaving him with about $1,200.

      "Maybe another month or so of this I could see my savings wiped out," he said. "Something that took years to accumulate could be gone in a matter of weeks."

      Economists point to two main reasons for the savings shortage.

      First, incomes for all but the highest-income Americans have been stagnant or falling for decades. Median household income in 2018 was only about 3% higher than in 2000 after adjusting for inflation, according to the Census. For the poorest 20%, incomes had declined 2%.

      "They're barely paying the bills at the moment," said Greg Kaplan, an economist at the University of Chicago. "There's really not anything left to be able to save."

      PAYPAL, FINTECH COMPANIES SUPPLY CORONAVIRUS RELIEF CHECK CASH OUT OPTIONS

      The second reason has to do with the continuing effects of the debt households accumulated before the 2007-09 recession.

      A new paper by Atif Mian, of Princeton University, Ludwig Straub of Harvard University and Amir Sufi of The University of Chicago found that rising income inequality over the past few decades created the conditions that fed the rise in debt held by lower-income households in the early 2000s.

      As higher-earning families saw their incomes grow, they amassed more and more savings. Those savings helped keep interest rates low and spark a borrowing boom that inflated the housing bubble, the paper said.

      The debt of the poorest Americans more than doubled during the housing bubble of the 2000s, Fed data show. After the bubble burst, borrowers spent several years paying down those loans, which reduced their ability to save.

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      The longer the economy remains shut down, the harder it will be for people to get back on their feet, said Abigail Wozniak, a senior economist at the Minneapolis Fed.

      "People who had managed to claw back from the Great Recession and build up a bit of a cushion, they are probably burning through those reserves, " she said. "It's going to be difficult for those households to put that back."

      After losing her job in the 2007-09 recession, Tureka Dixon, 43, studied to become a certified glazier, learning how to sheath office buildings in glass. As recently as a few weeks ago she was earning enough to support herself and her two sons in Philadelphia while setting a little bit aside.

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      A divorce and an unexpected surgery last year cost her some of her savings, but she had a plan to rebuild. On March 20, she got laid off and by the middle of last week was down to $600, enough for groceries through the end of the month but not much more. The mortgage and other bills would have to wait.

      "I was on the road to get myself back on track," she said. "I had it all figured out but then this happened. And it's like a shock. It sets all your plans back."

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