Category: Finance

Meet the millionaires who want to be taxed to pay for the coronavirus

Dozens of millionaires from the U.S. and six other countries have a message for their governments: “Tax us. Tax us. Tax us.”

Calling themselves the Millionaires for Humanity, more than 80 wealthy individuals — including Walt Disney Co. heiress Abigail Disney, former BlackRock Inc. managing director Morris Pearl, and Danish-Iranian entrepreneur Djaffar Shalchi — are petitioning for higher taxes on the rich to help pay for the billions in new government programs made necessary by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today, we, the undersigned millionaires and billionaires, ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently,” according to the open letter. “We are not restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door. But we do have money, lots of it. Money that is desperately needed now.”

Their missive, which comes ahead of this weekend’s Group of 20 meeting, isn’t the first such appeal. Even before … Read More

It’s not easy being an aspiring lawyer taking the bar exams during a pandemic

In New York, future attorneys fret they are cramming for a two day exam that won’t take place. In Austin, Texas, law students discovered their test was cancelled only upon calling the exam venue. And in Arizona, 575 test takers are slated to file into the Phoenix Convention Center—even as COVID rages out of control throughout the state.

Welcome to the 2020 version of the bar exam, an ordeal that law school graduates have long confronted in order to join the legal profession, but which has taken on new levels of stress in the covid era.

The prospective lawyers are especially frustrated in light of what they perceive as a lack of transparency by the exam overseers or, in cases like Arizona, by a disregard for their safety. They have been sharing their frustrations in private social media forums, and sharing their experiences with @BarExamTracker—a Twitter account that has … Read More

Are we seeing a ‘reverse square root’ symbol economic recovery?

Remember when analysts and economists were saying we’d see a V-shaped recovery? They may be rethinking that thesis now.

There are early indicators that the recovery, which quickly gained traction as states started reopening, may be losing steam as cases continue spike across the country.

New cases of the coronavirus have skyrocketed in recent weeks, hitting a record of roughly 60,000 new cases on July 9. Big states like Texas, Florida, and California, are now battening down the hatches once more, by reimposing restrictions for bars, restaurants, beaches, and more. But cases of the virus are now on the rise in many states.

Moody’s Mark Zandi recently told Fortune there’s a “zero chance” of a V-shaped recovery now.

Instead, another shape may be, well, taking shape.

Deutsche Bank senior U.S. economist Brett Ryan was among those who predicted a “reverse square root symbol” shaped recovery … Read More

Elon Musk just surged past Warren Buffett on the list of the world’s richest people

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Elon Musk is now richer than Warren Buffett.

The fortune of Tesla Inc.’s founder rose $6.1 billion on Friday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after the carmaker’s stock surged 11%. Musk is now the world’s seventh-richest person, also ahead of tech titans Larry Ellison and Sergey Brin.

The 49-year-old owns about a fifth of Tesla’s outstanding stock, which comprises the bulk of his $70.5 billion fortune. His majority ownership of closely held Space-X accounts for about $15 billion.

Shares of the electric car-maker have risen 269% this year. The firm’s booming valuation helped Musk land a $595 million pay-day earlier this year, making him the highest-paid CEO in the U.S.

Musk is the latest tech entrepreneur to rise above Buffett in the rank’s of the world’s richest. Steve Ballmer, the … Read More

What the GOP has in mind for a second round of stimulus checks

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Hoping for another stimulus check in the mail from Uncle Sam? Depending on how much you make, you may be out of luck.

The Trump administration and Senate Republicans are reportedly considering a much slimmer follow-up stimulus package that would mean considerably fewer Americans receive direct payments, according to the Washington Post.

Nearly 160 million Americans received stimulus payments of up to $1,200 each under the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package signed into law in March. While individuals earning up to $99,000 annually were eligible for some form of payment the last time around—with those earning $75,000 or less eligible for the full $1,200 check—any new stimulus bill would likely greatly reduce the number of Americans receiving assistance.

According to the Post, Republican … Read More

Why Warren Buffett is falling on the world’s richest list

Warren Buffett’s $2.9 billion gift this week means he has now given away Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shares valued at more than $37 billion since 2006.

His philanthropy — along with Berkshire’s underwhelming stock performance recently — is finally starting to weigh on his net worth after years where his fortune defied his annual giveaways to rise ever higher. Buffett’s $68.6 billion is enough for eighth-place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his lowest position since the index started in 2012. He ranked in the top 5 as recently as June.

But in recent weeks the 89-year-old has been leapfrogged first by Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft Corp. chief executive officer, and this week by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The changes underline the extent to which technology fortunes now dominate the upper echelons of the world’s richest people.

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