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A young crypto billionaire's political agenda goes well beyond pandemic preparedness

Business / Business News /

In May, an eccentric 30-year-old cryptocurrency billionaire named Sam Bankman-Fried made a startling proclamation. In a podcast interview, Bankman-Fried said he would spend as much as $1 billion of his estimated $12.8-billion fortune on American politics by the 2024 election, joining the ranks of megadonors such as George Soros and the Koch ...Read more

Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Insurance rates climb from fires, COVID, inflation, worker shortage

Business / Business News /

Inflation, a labor shortage, effects from the lingering COVID pandemic and increasingly devastating fires are boosting the cost of insurance for homes, cars and businesses.

“Everything,” said Sunnyvale, California, insurance agent Steve Nelson, “has gone up.”

The pandemic and high costs of living, especially in the Bay Area, have ...Read more

Hyundai/Hyundai/TNS

Auto review: A retro futurist groove distinguishes Hyundai's fun 2022 Ioniq 5 EV

Business / Business News /

It was 1974 when the econobox reached American shores in the form of the Volkswagen Golf, sold then as the Volkswagen Rabbit. It ushered in any number of competitors with a similar Bauhaus-like design efficiency that flew in the face of Detroit’s fixation on baroque brougham designs. Americans did embrace efficient, sensibly sized hatchbacks ...Read more

GM/GM/TNS

Henry Payne: 'High and wide' GMC Canyon gets remake, rugged AT4X model

Business / Business News /

The GMC Canyon is hitting the trail in fresh duds for 2023.

General Motors' premium midsize truck gains a longer wheelbase, new engine and more rugged attitude with an all-new, AT4X off-road trim. The upgrades mirror those found on its twin Chevy Colorado pickup (with which the Canyon shares a ladder-frame platform), but the Canyon steps up the...Read more

Nissan/Nissan/TNS

Auto review: A Nissan Z worthy of the letter

Business / Business News /

One of the first sports cars I rode shotgun in as a kid was the 1970 Datsun 240Z. On a race track. Red. Fat tires. Manual shifter. Inline 6-cylinder engine. Bubble headlights. Two-door fastback. Hood that went on forever. Ooooh, I loved that car. No generation of Z has measured up since.

Until now.

The redesigned seventh-generation Z sitting ...Read more

Smiley N. Pool/Dallas Morning News/TNS

The Week Ahead: Can housing cool off without hurting confidence?

Business / Business News /

Few industries are as sensitive to interest rate changes as housing. As borrowing costs rise, purchasing power declines. That creates a drag on accelerating home prices, which can stimulate more owners to put their homes up for sale in hopes of cashing in before prices fall.

Supply increases as demand drops — threatening a wicked cycle for ...Read more

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe/TNS

Michael Hiltzik: Shame, suicide attempts, 'financial death' -- the devastating toll of a crypto firm's failure

Business / Business News /

In September last year, Alex Mashinsky was riding high.

Appearing on a panel sponsored by Johns Hopkins University to talk about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Mashinsky, the chief executive of the crypto banking firm Celsius, exuded confidence about the future of crypto and disdain for traditional banks and traditional currencies.

"The ...Read more

Amazon, Oracle shrug off lawmaker fears of abortion data sales

Business / Business News /

Amazon.com Inc., Oracle Corp. and other data providers pressed by a group of U.S. lawmakers about how they sell mobile phone location data offered assurances that the information couldn’t be used to track individuals seeking abortion services.

U.S. Representative Lori Trahan, one of the House members questioning the companies, said she wasn�...Read more

ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/Getty Images North America/TNS

Putin's war hurls his economy back four years in one quarter

Business / Business News /

President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine set Russia’s economy back four years in the first full quarter after the attack, putting it on track for one of the longest downturns on record even if less sharply than initially feared.

In a bleak tally of the war for Russia, an economy that was picking up speed at the start of 2022 swung ...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Rivian now has nearly 200,000 orders for its EV trucks and delivery vans. It's produced 8,000

Business / Business News /

Startup electric truck manufacturer Rivian continues to see robust demand for its inaugural products, with nearly 200,000 orders in hand, and a long way to go to fill them.

Rivian announced during a second quarter earnings call Thursday it had more than 98,000 orders for its R1T pickup and R1S SUV as of June 30. Amazon, an early investor in ...Read more

Andrei Gabriel Stanescu/Dreamstime/TNS

J&J to halt talc baby powder implicated in cancer litigation

Business / Business News /

Johnson & Johnson announced today that it will transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio, and will globally discontinue talc-based powder in 2023.

“We continuously evaluate and optimize our portfolio to best position the business for long-term growth,” the company said in a statement. “This transition will help simplify...Read more

The short-term rental market took off during the pandemic's real estate boom, but at what cost?

Business / Business News /

Needing places to either work from temporarily or vacation as they escaped pandemic restrictions, COVID fleers made South Florida one of their top destinations.

And with them came an increased need for short-term housing, or vacation rentals.

“It appears mostly in the Sunbelt states, particularly in Florida, in South Carolina, where we have ...Read more

Qualcomm/TNS

Ex-Qualcomm research vice president and three others charged in $150 million fraud scheme

Business / Business News /

Federal prosecutors unveiled fraud and money-laundering charges this week against a former Qualcomm research engineer and three others for allegedly duping the San Diego company into paying $150 million to acquire technology that it putatively owned already.

A federal grand jury handed up the indictment in May, but it was unsealed on Monday. It...Read more

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Bally's files application with state for first Chicago casino

Business / Business News /

Bally’s filed its application with the Illinois Gaming Board on Wednesday, taking a major step in the process to build Chicago’s first casino and the flagship property for its fast-growing company.

The application was posted on the gaming board website Thursday morning.

The clock is now running for the publicly traded Rhode Island-based ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can I stop neighbor from pointing flood light at my house?

Business / Business News /

Q: My neighbor and I had a falling out, after which he set up a bright flood light that points directly into my home. I cannot keep the blinds open on an entire side of my house. He also harassed me in other ways, such as throwing junk over the fences and making loud noises at inappropriate times. What can I do? — Anonymous

A: I usually ...Read more

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Michael Hiltzik: Did California give Boeing a pass on a major pollution cleanup?

Business / Business News /

Back in 2007, the state of California reached an agreement with Boeing Co. requiring the company to clean up the polluted site of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, outside Simi Valley, to an exacting environmental standard.

The site, on 2,850 acres 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, had been used for six decades as a government-sponsored ...Read more

Olivier Douliery/Getty Images North America/TNS

US jobless claims rise again, near highest since November

Business / Business News /

Applications for U.S. unemployment insurance rose for a second week and held near the highest level since November, indicating continued moderation in the labor market.

Initial unemployment claims increased by 14,000 to 262,000 in the week ended Aug. 6, Labor Department data showed Thursday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Housing slowdown? Looming recession? Not for the ultra-rich buyers of LA's 8-figure condos

Business / Business News /

To unveil one of the grandest penthouses ever to be built in Los Angeles, its developers threw a little dinner party.

Two dozen of L.A.’s top real estate agents — the sunglasses-indoors kind who regularly appear on reality television — were tended to by a cadre of young women in identical cream outfits, hired for the evening to serve as �...Read more

Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS

California's Deaf community is leading push for affordable teacher housing

Business / Business News /

During the day, Mel Vezina supervises and mentors high school boys who live on campus at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont.

At night, he sleeps in his van.

One year ago, after working for more than a decade at the school, and living out of his van, Vezina saved enough money to buy a house in Sacramento with the help of a roommate. ...Read more

BOB FILA/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Don't mess with federal crop insurance, farmers say. Others aren't so sure

Business / Business News /

From field hearings in Morton buildings to sweet corn feeds at county fairs, farmers have been practicing a refrain this summer: Hands off the federal crop insurance program.

The mantra was loud, too, last week at Minnesota's Farmfest as negotiations on the once-every-five-years federal farm bill inch closer.

"If it isn't broken, don't fix it,...Read more