The following is a rundown of the day’s news drawn from other media sources with topics curated just for Money and Markets readers: personal security and freedom, immigration, and business and finance.
New High-Security Phone ‘Is NSA-Proof’
A Madrid-based communications firm said it has created the first fully secure and encrypted smartphone that lets users send and receive calls (and texts) without being vulnerable to hackers or snoopers.
‘How I Met Your Mother’ Creators Apologize for Racism in Recent Episode
Viewers immediately flocked to Twitter to voice their aversion to the use of “yellowface,” and even created the hashtag “#HowIMetYourRacism.” Co-creator Carter Bays responded Wednesday, apologizing for himself and fellow showrunner Craig Thomas.
Ex-Stratton Oakmont Broker Accused of Churning Client’s Account
An 81-year-old masonry business owner from Rhode Island opened an account with Brookville in 2010 after getting a cold call from a salesman. Over the next two years, the investor put $873,622 into the account and incurred $319,818 in commissions and hidden markups, the regulators said.
13,000 Teens Complete Hamas Training Camps to Emulate ‘Suicide Martyrs’
The Hamas prime minister added that female trainers are also on staff “to oversee the training of the young women to follow in the footsteps of the female suicide operatives. This generation is a sapling from God on earth. It will harvest the enemies of God and be the pride of all nations,” he said.
Lawmakers Threaten TSA with Private Screeners
“If you come to Orlando airport or Sanford airport, what is going on is almost criminal to American citizens, the way they are treated,” said Mica, head of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on government operations, which held a hearing on private screeners.
208 CEOs Endorse Call for Amnesty, Visas for ‘Lower-Skilled Workers’
Congress should fix the immigration system to create a larger pool of visas for higher-skilled workers, enact a new visa system for lower-skilled workers, offer a path forward for undocumented workers already living in the United States, and allocate resources to strengthen and secure our borders.
Marriott CEO: We Need Immigration Bill so We Can Staff Our Resorts
First, legislators passed a budget resolution that should avert another government shutdown, and now, The New York Times and other outlets are reporting that House leadership seems to be ready to tackle one of the most pressing problems on the domestic agenda.
The Crisis in Black and Brown Youth Unemployment
With wealth in African-American and Latino communities already the lowest on record, a loss of income on a generational scale would likely harden existing inequities and set back economic progress in the country for decades.
S&P 500 Enters Record Territory
A surprisingly weak December jobs report last Friday spread more doubt and, on Monday, the S&P 500 suffered its biggest one-day decline in months. But stocks bounced back Tuesday after a strong round of retail-sales data sparked a broad rally, erasing all early year declines.
Is The Euro Headed for an Aussie-Style Crash?
“They [Reserve Bank of Australia] were cutting rates, China was slowing, commodity prices went down but the Aussie stayed elevated. Then one day, boom it went down. The exact same thing is going to happen to the euro,” David Bloom, head of foreign exchange strategy at HSBC, told CNBC.
$50 Smartphones Will Disrupt Tech Ecosystem
Xiaomi is often called “the Apple of China,” and CEO Lei Jun says his company’s smartphones are the fastest in the world. They cost about one-third as much as the newest iPhone and that aggressive pricing has vaulted the company into the top 10 smartphone makers in China in just four years.
Wells Fargo to Begin Charging Customers for ‘International’ Deposits
Every time a customer deposits funds into their account, be it a paycheck or anything else, Wells Fargo imposes a de facto flat rate tax of $5. The bank says this new fee applies only to international deposits.
Asset Manager Warns of Coming Global Income Redistribution
U.S. lawmakers are debating whether to raise the federal minimum wage; an unsuccessful measure to cap CEO pay in Switzerland made headlines last year; and Pope Francis has gained popularity by sharply criticizing “trickle-down” economics.
Senate Democrats Press Obama on Priorities
Obama declared 2014 “a year of action” and said he would use his executive authority to advance his agenda. The president also addressed the need for passing immigration reform, strengthening education and embracing “jobs and growth measures,” according to a statement.
The Money and Markets Team