Vanguard Considering Private Equity for the very wealthy: report

Business / Business News /

Vanguard is again considering jumping into the private equity realm, an alternative investment generally considered only for the very wealthy.

Vanguard has been in talks with HarbourVest Partners in Boston and Pantheon Ventures in London, plus at least one other firm, to give private market strategies to clients of its advisory services, ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Don't do your boss any favors buying gift cards — it's likely a scam

Business / Business News /

We've had the "one ring" phone scam, the fake IRS phone calls, the scam that tricks you into thinking that your Social Security number has been connected to some car in Texas that was involved with running drugs across the border.

And now we have the "Can you do me a favor?" scam.

Sure, you're thinking "Hey, I know quite a few folks who ask ...Read more

Student loans were canceled? Great, but you are still on the hook for taxes.

Business / Business News /

Good news: If you have private student loans from the now-defunct ITT Technical schools, your loans have been canceled.

Bad news: You may owe taxes, as the IRS views the loans as income.

Pennsylvania's attorney general last week announced a national settlement for more than $168 million in debt relief for 18,000 former students of ITT Tech. In...Read more

'Toy Story 4's' softer-than-expected opening delivers limited box office relief

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LOS ANGELES -- Dolls ruled the weekend as "Toy Story 4" and "Child's Play" revived the box office after a three-week-long slump, but overall numbers continue to lag behind last year.

Disney and Pixar's latest entry in the two-decade-spanning "Toy Story" franchise raked in $118 million, well below studio predictions of $140 million to $150 ...Read more

Report ties 50 infant deaths to inclined sleepers, but US watchdog has not issued recall

Business / Business News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The deaths of at least 50 infants have been linked to those comfy-looking inclined sleepers that have been marketed as great for babies' naptime and nighttime, according to Consumer Reports magazine.

Parents whose infants have died have taken to the internet to share how their losses occurred in an effort to keep it from ...Read more

FDA releases millions of records of incidents involving medical devices

Business / Business News /

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday published millions of previously undisclosed reports of problems and post-surgical complications involving medical devices, including reports on implantable cardiac defibrillators, pacemaker electrodes and dental implants.

The roughly 6 million reports released Friday cover a wide array of devices...Read more

Feds sue to block sale of Chicago printing firm, allege merger would raise prices on books, catalogs, magazines

Business / Business News /

The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit Thursday to block the proposed merger of Quad/Graphics and Chicago-based LSC Communications -- the two largest printers in the U.S. -- alleging it would raise the prices of books, catalogs and magazines.

Wisconsin-based Quad announced in October it would buy LSC in an all-stock deal valued at...Read more

Confirmed: Medicaid work rules are a health disaster for the poor and don't affect work

Business / Business News /

Ever since Arkansas implemented its first-in-the-nation work requirements for Medicaid in June 2018, the state has functioned as a laboratory for the concept of placing unnecessary obstacles in the way of low-income people seeking health coverage.

The experiment consistently has shown that the policy is catastrophic for the target population's ...Read more

California poised to have the highest gas tax in the country

Business / Business News /

On July 1, the excise tax on gasoline in California will go up 5.6 cents a gallon, enough to push the state's total taxes and fees past Pennsylvania to become the highest in the nation.

The 5.6-cent increase represents the second iteration of Senate Bill 1, commonly called the gas tax, that was passed by the Legislature in Sacramento in the ...Read more

California adds 19,400 jobs, a quarter of all U.S. employment growth in May

Business / Business News /

Year-over-year, the Golden State added jobs at a 1.6% rate, the same as the nation as a whole. California's unemployment rate was 4.2%, the same as a year earlier, but slightly above April's 4.3% rate. The U.S. unemployment rate held at 3.6% in May.

"California is still one of the top performing economies in the United States," said Christopher...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Enough is enough. Let's abolish overdraft fees

Business / Business News /

Bank fees have gotten way out of hand -- so much so that they now account for more than a third of revenue for an industry that once made its cash almost exclusively by lending money to customers.

And the worst of the worst are overdraft fees. They're little more than cash grabs, serving no purpose but to fatten bankers' already bulging pockets...Read more

Motormouth: Why you shouldn't top off your tank

Business / Business News /

Q: My 2005 Dodge V-6 Caravan (106,000 miles) suddenly refused gas with the pump constantly kicking off, as if full. Checking the internet, I found the problem was a carbon pollution canister above the gas tank. Replacement cost was around $800-$1,000. One mechanic told me to keep the tank at a quarter-full for a month. I did that, and the ...Read more

Why moviegoing isn't dead yet, despite rumors to the contrary

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- "Toy Story 4" opens this weekend. The owners of the nation's roughly 4,100 movie theater screens are hoping its arrival will mean big business. The previous "Toy Story" made a little over $1 billion in revenue. So. That kind of big.

Next week, Chicago native and Northwestern University graduate Patrick Corcoran will leave Studio City...Read more

Under the Hood: Troubleshooting slow cranking

Business / Business News /

Q: My van has begun to crank hard at times as if the battery is low. So far it hasn't required a jump start, but it's probably only a matter of time. I had the battery tested, and it's supposed to be OK. Can you suggest what can be checked next? I'd like to try some things before going to a shop.

-- Drake

A: Let's look at the most likely ...Read more

Walmart and Amazon want to see inside your house. Should you let them?

Business / Business News /

The war for the e-commerce shopper is fought on the battlefield of convenience. One-click ordering, same-day delivery, automatic toilet paper refills: There's no pain point so small someone won't pay to do away with it.

Although shopping online may be hassle-free, getting those orders delivered can be tricky. To solve that problem, ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Elon Musk's SpaceX clashes with the Pentagon, its key client

Business / Business News /

Last December, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, spent an hour closeted with then-Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

Among the topics on the table was SpaceX's failure to win an important contract from the Air Force the previous October. As the Defense Department's inspector general subsequently reported, Musk acknowledged that the loss...Read more

Can streaming and subscription models do for games what they've done for TV?

Business / Business News /

The struggle for Double Fine Presents to get the first "Psychonauts" released has become the stuff of modern game lore.

The game, a wacky exploration into various emotional mindsets, is now a cult classic with a sequel due in 2020. Yet the initial 2005 game was famously dropped by Microsoft, cut ostensibly because it was believed to be too ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Where the worrywarts are

Business / Business News /

Alfred E. Neuman is not known for his investment prowess. MAD Magazine's mascot may be a smart aleck, but his motto -- "What, me worry?" -- captures today's stock investment climate.

Elsewhere, however, there are plenty of worries reflected in the price action of markets beyond stocks, and they bear watching in the week ahead.

Gasoline prices ...Read more

Auto review: The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is a beastly pickup truck that's built to be battered

Business / Business News /

With its 2020 Jeep Gladiator, Fiat Chrysler has delivered what amounts to a four-door Jeep Wrangler with a pickup truck stuck on its hind end.

It's a sort of Jeep/truck hybrid, an off-road-ready puddle jumper that can carry a lot more cargo than the standard SUV.

The corporate thinking behind this mashup is clear: The Jeep division outsells ...Read more

His keyless car killed him while he slept. New legislation could save others

Business / Business News /

Pennsylvanian Russell Fish was "paranoid about everything," so much so, he even locked his bedroom door each night, his daughter said.

But no lock would keep his killer out the night of Feb. 15 this year.

With his wife out of town, Fish, 68, returned home from a Subway restaurant, parked his keyless Toyota Forerunner SUV in his attached garage...Read more