At the Illinois State Fair, farmers celebrate ag but bemoan a 'nightmare' of a year

Business / Business News /

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Cooper Garlisch, age 2 1/2, was not about to lose the Cutest Little Farmer contest. Climbing atop his red toy tractor, he scooted himself across a stage at the Illinois State Fair with gusto, drawing cheers from an audience that seemed to appreciate the showmanship.

His dad, Scott Garlisch, watched with amusement, soaking ...Read more

High cost of housing cuts into food, utilities study says

Business / Business News /

More than a third of Americans have been forced to cut spending on essential items like food and utilities to afford housing, according to a Freddie Mac study.

About 42% of renters and 33% of homeowners have had to reduce the money spent on essentials to cover the cost of housing during the prior two years, the report said. Overall, 62% of ...Read more

UPS invests in autonomous trucking company

Business / Business News /

ATLANTA -- UPS announced its venture capital arm UPS Ventures is investing in autonomous driving company TuSimple and testing self-driving tractor trailers.

The tests of self-driving trucks started in May 2019 on a route between Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona with a driver and engineer in the vehicle, according to UPS.

The company said it wants...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Payday lenders faced tough new rules protecting consumers. Then Trump took office

Business / Business News /

Something very important, affecting millions of consumers, won't happen Monday.

That's when new protections from abusive payday and car-title lenders were set to take effect, requiring the firms to make sure borrowers can pay back their obligations in a reasonable amount of time and don't become mired in debt.

However, the Trump administration...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: California shows all states how to protect patients from Trump's attacks on Obamacare

Business / Business News /

Covered California, the state's Affordable Care Act exchange, announced some good news a few weeks ago.

On July 19, the exchange said average premiums on its health plans would rise an average of 0.8% for 2020, the lowest annual increase in its history. In some regions, rates would increase even less or fall; customers who shop around when ...Read more

If Elon Musk is your boss, get your resume ready

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- A recently departed Tesla executive was regaling a small group of Silicon Valley cocktail partygoers last autumn when he riddled them this:

"How is Elon Musk like the sun?"

Aware of the Tesla chief executive's star power and legendary ego, the drink-sippers nonetheless were stumped. They slowly shook their heads.

"The closer ...Read more

Under the Hood: Routine service on a Mercedes is expensive, but cheaper than the alternative

Business / Business News /

Q: With my eyes wide open, about 18 months ago I bought a like-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz E350 convertible with 32,000 miles. Because of the wonders of depreciation, this $68,000 beauty was mine for less than the cost of new econobox.

I knew service and parts would be expensive, but I was not prepared for the frequency of these services. Oil ...Read more

Motormouth: Lunging car may indicate failing brakes

Business / Business News /

Q: I have a 2008 Toyota Camry Solara convertible with a sporadic brake issue. Occasionally, the car will lunge forward when the brake is applied as though the accelerator is stuck. I have taken the car to two separate Toyota dealers who cannot diagnose the problem (they say the car performs normally for them).

-- G.W., Allentown, Pa.

A: When ...Read more

Johana Bhuiyan: Scooter startup snubs San Francisco's poorest neighborhood despite promising access

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Like 11 other dockless e-scooter companies, Scoot Networks was eager to obtain a coveted permit to do business in San Francisco.

In its application, the start-up promised it would "serve more of San Francisco than other operators who will focus on the busiest and most lucrative neighborhoods."

The San Francisco Municipal ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Fed to face challenges in the mountains

Business / Business News /

The center of power for the financial world shifts 2,000 miles west in the week ahead when global central bankers and other financiers gather for an annual conference in Wyoming.

The talk among the soaring Tetons will be about inverted yield curves, escalating tariffs and rising fears of recessions.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has ...Read more

Crosstrek Hybrid delivers sippiness, but there's more to life than mileage

Business / Business News /

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid: So you want a little all-wheel drive ...

Price: $38,470 as tested. One option package explained below.

Marketer's pitch: "Smartly powered for modern adventure."

Conventional wisdom: likes the "spacious interior for a hatchback of its size; optional safety features not typically found in the class; ...Read more

Hugo Martin: Beverly Hills loves tourists but not tour buses, killing a plan for new bus stops

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Beverly Hills has quietly killed a proposal to allow tour buses to load and unload tourists within its ritzy business district, a plan that had been pushed by the city's business and tourism leaders.

The proposal had been strongly opposed by small businesses near the proposed site of the bus stop on North Camden Avenue, many of ...Read more

Land values in these two states are growing faster than in California

Business / Business News /

Across the country, the price of land occupied by single-family homes ticked up from 2012 to 2017. But despite soaring housing costs in California, the Golden State didn't rise to the top of the list.

According to a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, both Nevada and Colorado actually outpaced ...Read more

China loses status as US's largest foreign creditor to Japan

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Japan surpassed China in June as the top holder of U.S. Treasuries as the trade war between the world's two largest economies intensified.

Japan increased its holdings of U.S. bonds, bills and notes by $21.9 billion to $1.12 trillion, the highest level in more than 2 1/2 years, according to data released by the Treasury Department...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Two billionaires explain why they shouldn't pay more taxes, unlike you poor saps

Business / Business News /

Statements by billionaires explaining why they already pay plenty in taxes and shouldn't have to pay any more have become so much a part of the political landscape that they deserve a "Jeopardy!" category all to themselves.

A new op-ed on this theme, penned for the Tuesday Wall Street Journal by Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus and New York...Read more

Organic grain complaint raises questions about major Argentine supplier

Business / Business News /

For years, American farmers' battle against fake organic grain imports has centered on Eastern Europe. Now, an organic farm in South America is being scrutinized.

A lengthy complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and obtained by the Star Tribune, alleges fraud at an organic grain company in Argentina that exports millions of ...Read more

Top 25: What corporate America is reading, July 2019

Business / Business News /

800-CEO-READ, a leading direct supplier of book-based resources compiles a monthly list of best-selling business books based on purchases by its corporate customers nationwide. Here are the best sellers for July 2019, plus descriptions of the Top 10.

1. "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World" by David Epstein, Riverhead Books

2...Read more

Council member wants to stop donors like Amazon from using PACs to influence Seattle elections

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- A Seattle City Council member may introduce legislation that would stop donors like Amazon from using political-action committees (PACs) to pour money into Seattle elections, and the proposal is backed by national reformers who hope to see such a law upheld by the United States Supreme Court.

They want to challenge the idea that the ...Read more

Amazon opens 4-star store at Seattle headquarters as online giant grows physical shopping presence

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- As Amazon looks for more ways to sell everything to everyone, its latest experiment with physical stores borrows some of the company's oldest online shopping inventions.

"If you like," reads a sign with an arrow pointing to a book of cocktail recipes, then "you'll love," says its companion, that points to an ice-cube tray and set of ...Read more

Purdue Pharma sought to divert online readers from critical L.A. Times series on opioid crisis, records show

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- As the nation's opioid crisis deepened over the last decade, drug makers and distributors worked to deflect attention from their own roles in creating widespread addiction, according to lawyers for hundreds of cities, counties, tribes and other entities suing key pharmaceutical industry players.

One drug distributor highlighted ...Read more


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