The Mortgage Professor: What are “qualified mortgages”, and what purpose do they serve?

Business / Business News /

In 2013, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act introduced the qualified mortgage concept, which was designed to eliminate the market abuses that had led to the financial crisis a few years earlier. Like most crisis-induced legislation, Dodd/Frank is replete with flaws, and the qualified mortgage concept (henceforth QM) is...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can condo board bar me from using attic?

Business / Business News /

Q: I live in a two-story condo on the second floor. I have access through a trap door in the ceiling of my unit to the attic. I placed a small deck of plywood and use the space in the attic to store holiday decorations. The fire marshal said it was OK to use the area for noncombustible items. Our board members now say we cannot store anything ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Businesses really, really don't like this privacy bill, which is why you should

Business / Business News /

It's my experience that the more fuss businesses kick up about consumer-related legislation, the more likely it is such a bill is needed and would be an effective deterrent to bad practices.

That seems to be the case with a bill scheduled to be heard this week in the California Senate, SB 1121, which would make it potentially very costly for ...Read more

Swapping fryers for fitting rooms: Chicago looks to regulate mobile boutiques

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- After years of contentious efforts to regulate food trucks, Chicago is tackling a new kind of mobile business: trucks that swap fryers for fitting rooms and hawk merchandise, not meals.

The city in 2016 gave about a half-dozen mobile boutiques -- selling apparel, shoes and artwork -- permission to hit the streets for a two-year trial...Read more

Farmers nervously await outcome of trade talks

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Perhaps no group of U.S. farmers has more to lose from a trade war with China than soybean growers.

This planting season, the farmers have been watching the headlines as carefully as the weather, hoping that China won't act on its threat to impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. imports and thus restrict access to the largest soybean ...Read more

Bird's scooters have flooded the streets of major cities. But can the start-up control misbehaving riders?

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Scooter rental start-up Bird wants customers to know its electric gadgets are not toys. It has produced educational videos and in-app notices to remind people to ride safely. It has given away helmets to anyone who wants one. And before a customer can even unlock a scooter, he or she has to agree to follow the rules of the road....Read more

Trump suggests 'big news' for US autoworkers involves NAFTA

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday afternoon that his "big news" for U.S. autoworkers could have to do with plans to rewrite -- or withdraw from -- the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Wednesday morning, Trump posted a cryptic message on Twitter, saying there would be "big news coming soon for our great American ...Read more

Amazon, Starbucks pledge $25,000 each to campaign for referendum on Seattle head tax

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Amazon and Starbucks are among companies that have promised to cut large checks to a campaign collecting signatures for a referendum on Seattle's head tax.

Both Seattle-based global giants have pledged $25,000 to the "No Tax on Jobs" effort, according to a report filed Wednesday with the city's elections commission.

The report ...Read more

Trump suggests 'big news' for U.S. autoworkers involves NAFTA

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday afternoon that his "big news" for U.S. autoworkers could have to do with plans to rewrite -- or withdraw from -- the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Wednesday morning, Trump posted a cryptic message on Twitter, saying there would be "big news coming soon for our great American ...Read more

Snap Inc. launches accelerator program to invest in media start-ups

Business / Business News /

Snap Inc. will dole out $150,000 investments to various media start-ups this fall as part of an accelerator program it announced Wednesday called Yellow.

For the first cohort of the program, which starts in September and goes for three months, the company is seeking start-ups that "have a vision for what mobile storytelling can be."

In ...Read more

IRS takes aim at California, other states trying to help residents avoid new tax-deduction limit

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service is preparing to block attempts by California and other states to help their residents avoid a new limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes included in the Republican tax overhaul.

The IRS and the Treasury Department said Wednesday they would issue proposed regulations "in the near future" ...Read more

Trump risks $3.45 billion tariff bill from jilted trade partners

Business / Business News /

GENEVA -- President Donald Trump's maximalist approach in recasting his nation's trade relations may soon hit U.S. farmers and manufacturers, as America's trade partners prepare $3.45 billion of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

In just the past week, the European Union threatened levies on $1.6 billion of U.S. goods in response to U.S. ...Read more

Bee death increase may be tied to climate change, survey says

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Beekeepers in the U.S. reported an increase in honeybee deaths over the last year, possibly the result of erratic weather patterns brought on by a changing climate, according to the scientist leading an annual survey on the insects.

U.S. beekeepers said 40 percent of their hives, also called colonies, died unexpectedly during the ...Read more

Starbucks is discontinuing a popular blend — and customers are steamed

Business / Business News /

Starbucks has confirmed a rumor that has been spreading faster than offers on its app.

The chain is discontinuing its Breakfast Blend coffee. Baristas at South Florida Starbucks outlets and nationwide have been quietly telling customers for a month that Breakfast Blend was soon to be discontinued.

A representative from the corporate office in ...Read more

Thousands of Las Vegas culinary workers vote to authorize a strike

Business / Business News /

LAS VEGAS -- A labor union representing thousands of culinary workers in Las Vegas has voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike next month if casinos don't agree to a proposed five-year contract.

The vote among the 25,000-member Culinary Union was 99 percent in favor of allowing a strike the day after the current contract expires on May 31, ...Read more

Homelessness 'a solvable problem'? Marc Benioff says yes at Salesforce Tower's grand opening

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff, a billionaire who started his cloud-based business-software company in a San Francisco apartment nearly 20 years ago, used Tuesday's grand opening of the new 1,070-foot-tall Salesforce Tower as a clarion call for the city to recommit itself to ending family homelessness on San Francisco's...Read more

Southern California suppliers learn to adjust to slowdown in satellite orders

Business / Business News /

SpaceX on Tuesday blasted six small commercial satellites to low-Earth orbit. It was the company's 10th launch this year -- but the payload itself may be a sign of what's to come.

Like many companies, Iridium Communications Inc. has been developing a constellation of satellites. Those smaller satellites are set to gradually replace the giants ...Read more

Tesla Model 3 zooms to the head of its class

Business / Business News /

Just who is buying the much ballyhooed Tesla Model 3 sedan?

According the California New Car Dealers Association, 3,723 people in the state during the first quarter of the year, that's who.

The CNCDA, which released its latest data on new car registrations late Tuesday, said those Model 3 numbers were enough to put the car on top of the "Near ...Read more

Netflix and don't chill: Obama deal sparks conservative boycott

Business / Business News /

Now showing on a social media screen near you, a conservative backlash against Netflix over the production deal with the Obamas it announced this week.

That's right, #BoycottNetflix is trending because conservatives hate the Silicon Valley company's tie-up with the former president and first lady, Barack and Michelle Obama. Monday, Netflix ...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: Snoozing on the mommy job

Business / Business News /

Earlier this year, I brought home something both completely life-changing and terrifying. Sure, I could be talking about Makena, my now 3-month old baby girl. But really I'm referring to Snoo, the smart bassinet that my husband and I purchased after a month or so of sleep deprivation.

The invention of Dr. Harvey Karp, the pediatrician and ...Read more