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One in Four Americans With College Degrees Shouldn’t Have Bothered

September 5, 2014 Roughly 25% of those with bachelor’s degrees in the US derive no economic benefit from their diplomas. That’s the takeaway from analysts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The same analysts have argued in the past that the benefits of a college degree, on average, still outweigh the ...

Maybe Less Productive Employees Just Need a Little Siesta Time

July 21, 2014 In an effort to boost productivity during the summer months, the city of Seoul is encouraging government workers (paywall) to take a siesta of up to an hour. This might be a good model for the country, which appears to be the most sleep-deprived of the world’s developed economies. The ...

Bitcoin Is No Longer the Worst Investment in the World

June 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Great news for the bitcoin faithful. The crypto-currency, which crashed after reaching highs of over $1,100 late last year, is no longer the absolute worst thing you could have bought this year. Now it’s merely the third worst. Bitcoin is down 15.2% against the US dollar since the end of ...

Target’s Traffic Still Hasn’t Recovered From the Giant Data Breach

May 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Shoppers still haven’t forgiven Target for its giant data breach. Customer transactions continued to decline relatively sharply during Target’s fiscal first quarter. (The company reported those results today, and they weren’t great. Profit fell 16%.) During the three months that ended May 3, customer transactions fell 2.3% compared to the ...

Shoppers Decided to Avoid Target After Its Giant Data Breach

February 27, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow US big-box retailer Target posted earnings that actually weren’t as bad as Wall Street feared. Still, profits fell 46% and sales slipped 5.3%. Perhaps most striking was the 5.5% decline in customer transactions during Target’s fiscal fourth quarter compared with the previous quarter. That shows how traffic at Target tanked ...

Countries Without Paid Maternity Leave: Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and the U.S.

January 16, 2014 The world’s sole superpower requires the same level of paid maternity benefits as fellow economic powerhouses Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua New Guinea. That is to say, zilch. Here’s a map of how different countries around the world fund legally required paid maternity benefits. It’s compiled by the United Nation’s International ...

Prospect of War in Syria Rattles Emerging Markets

August 28, 2013 Who’s scaring the markets more: Ben or Bashar? The prospect of coordinated military strikes against Syria by the US, UK and France—after Syria’s apparent use of chemical weapons against its own citizens—is adding momentum to the rush out of emerging-market nations, as investors scramble to the traditional safe-haven assets: gold, ...

Analysis: If Washington Wants to Derail the US Economy, This Is the Way to Do It

August 27, 2013 It looks like we’re going to do this again. Economists estimate the US will reach the debt ceiling of $16.7 trillion at some point in late October or early November. (Update: Treasury secretary Jack Lew now says it will be in mid-October.) But before that, a new budget or an ...

The U.S. Is Cutting its Deficit Faster Than it Ever Has Before

August 12, 2013 The latest US budget statement is due at 2 p.m. ET on August 12, and is expected to show that the US deficit continued to decline in July, falling to a consensus -$90.5 billion. That’s still in the red, to be sure. But it’s worth noting just how sharply US ...

Moody’s Says the US Government Is Now a Super Safe Bet

July 19, 2013 Turns out, if you raise taxes and cut spending, deficits decline. That’s precisely what the US has done over the couple years. It raised both payroll taxes and taxes on high earners at the beginning of the year as part of fiscal cliff negotiations. And it cut spending—messily—with the sequester. ...