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Monthly Archives: May 2016


Oil’s Recovery Not Enough For Some

The price of oil has recovered somehow from its recent lows of under $30 a barrel. Now, crude is trading at around $50. Still, it’s way down from its high of nearly $150 a few years ago. And the U.S. and Canadian based shale oil producers are suffering since their production costs are high.

Many of these companies have already cut down on production and laid off staff. Yet, there’s going to be more struggle as MarketWatch reports. Over long-term, oil is bound to rise as it is a scarce commodity, but in the shorter term, it may fall again. One of the reasons for its recent ascent is due to Canadian wildfires and Nigerian unrest, which are not necessarily what affects demand and supply fundamentals for long.

MarketWatch doesn’t expect investors to make substantial gains on oil as now it is likely to trade in a narrow range. On the other hand, traders who bet on very short-term swings can make profits as most of their bets are leveraged. This way, a 1% gain in price may translate into as much as 10%, or more, in gains.

While many oil trades are made with the futures contracts, or leveraged spot transactions, some traders choose leveraged oil Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) to make both long and short bets on oil.

While MarketWatch thinks the fun is over in this market for some time, no one can predict with certainty where the oil price is heading. For most of us, the consumers, the lower it is, the better.

George Gascon, Uncontrolled and Unfiltered

SFGate recently published an article on San Francisco’s District Attorney: George Gascon. The article discusses sworn accusations of homophobia and racism toward Gascon. In addition, further accusations have been made of Gascon loudly vocalizing racially disparaging comments resulting in disruption of the peace as well as offending an African-American family that was simply out for dinner.
Gary Delagnes, the former president of the Police Officers Association submitted his declaration containing these accusations following the events in question, also claiming that, prior to the newly declared accusations, George Gascon committed these acts while heavily intoxicated under the influence of alcohol, becoming loud, obnoxious and rampant to such a degree that an African-American man confronted Gascon, requesting that he “restrain” himself due to the fact that his behavior was highly offensive toward his family.
The article discusses the circumstances regarding and surrounding the sworn declaration by Delagnes objectively, presenting factual depth and insight of the ordeal. In my opinion, accusations of such intensity, when compared to past questionability ring resoundingly true.
Public officials holding such prestigious and pivotal offices such as Gascon as District Attorney of San Francisco should be held to a standard of public objectivity and acceptance. Racism and drunken rampancy are the subject matter of slapstick comedy, not the professional outward image of individuals within vital political roles in society.
George Gascon’s track record calls for an immediate and unquestionable removal from office. While Gascon may not be necessarily breaking the law, he is clearly establishing himself as a hatemongering corrupt official, the likes of which are not tolerated to any extent by the citizens of the United States.
Reading of Gascon’s antics and overall shortcomings offends me on a personal level and I cannot stand to see such corrupt individuals in political power to any extent.
The article clearly highlights that witnesses and “insiders” who are potentially aware of the nature of Gascon’s actions and personality pitfalls testify half-positively with Delagnes; however, they all decline to speak or swear declarations at any length until and unless that are specifically selected and ordered by law to testify regarding said events. Corruption runs rampant in today’s political world and the behavior of George Gascon is simply a prime example of such corruption.


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How Laidlaw and Company Can Help with Investment Needs

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While you can easily invest on your own, this may come out with a result that is less than desirable. Also, you want to know that those investments are managed by a professional who is going to be able to help you out. Once you choose the right company like Laidlaw & Company, they will work with you to getting you the investment options needed and allow you to finally find what is right for your financial needs. This is great for both professionals who own companies as well as individuals who just need a little bit of help with all of their investments.

Learn more about Laidlaw and Company here:



Sanders Isn’t Done Running the Race

Bernie Sanders has no intention of backing out of the race to get to the Democratic nomination. It’s not every day that you have a chance at running the country, so he shouldn’t feel pressured to drop out of the race. However, some already believe that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be the two on the ballot in November. Sanders probably can’t mathematically win the nomination, but he wants to make sure his voice is heard. He wants to make the country see that Clinton wouldn’t be the right choice as a leader. Republicans are struggling with Trump as a representative, and Clinton just doesn’t seem to know what she wants in terms of leading the country. At least Sanders has a few ideas in place as to how to get the economy back on track and how to make sure the citizens of the country are cared for if he were to be President.

Recent FEC Filings Reveal The Cruz Campaign Did Not Lack Money

Filings made with the Federal Election Commission on May 20, 2016, indicated financial data that may interest political scientists and campaign historians. Although Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz withdrew from the primary race early in May, his campaign possessed adequate funding at the time for him to have remained on the stump. During the primaries, the Cruz campaign raised a comprehensive total of $141,868,484 and spent $112,064,426. The available cash on hand would likely have allowed Senator Cruz to continue in the race if he had decided to pursue that option.

Senator Cruz also fared comparatively well in the fundraising process. Of all the Republican candidates who eventually dropped out of the race, he raised more money than anyone else except for candidate Jeb Bush. Filings made with the FEC on Friday reportedly disclosed that his campaign raised $10.9 million in the month of April alone, a period in which the campaign spent $10.3 million.

On Friday, several super PACs that had supported various candidates in the Republican and Democratic primaries also filed financial disclosures. The Trusted Leadership PAC, which had backed Senator Cruz in his efforts to obtain the Republican nomination, ended the month of April with $1.1 million in available cash on hand, after raising and spending nearly $3.7 million during the month. The financial data filed with the FEC suggests that the presidential primary races during 2015 and 2016 have already resulted in the expenditures by candidates of significant sums of money.

Sanders Tells Clinton to Slow Down With Nomination

Members of the campaign for Bernie Sanders have slammed Hillary Clinton for thinking that she is the nominee for the Democratic party in the running for President. Sanders is still in the race, and he intends on receiving several more delegates before the convention. His campaign members aren’t giving up until there is a definitive nomination. No one is sure why Clinton is already calling herself the nominee, but they are not pleased with her statements. Mathematically, Clinton is right at the nomination. However, Sanders could still pull off a win if he secures the majority of the next primaries. This is why they don’t want Clinton to begin telling the country that she is the nominee since Sanders isn’t completely out of the race. The past few states have disagreed with wanting Clinton as the nominee, and Sanders has made this clear in recent press conferences.

U. S. Presidential Campaigns Have Become Expensive

Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission indicate that the cost of maintaining national presidential campaigns in the United States has become fairly steep. For instance, since he commenced running for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has spent almost $207 million. His chief opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has expended slightly less, some $182 million. She began the month of May with a comfortable $30 million in cash available, compared with Senator Sanders’ $6 million.

During a rousing campaign trail speech that touched upon a wide array of public issues on Friday, May 21st in Santa Fe, Senator Senators alluded to campaign finance. He addressed about 2,500 supporters in a crowded gymnasium, where he decried the “corrupt campaign finance system“. The Sanders campaign during this primary season established national records for small donor contribution, raising 94% of its funds online from some 2.4 million contributors.

Now, with a limited period of time remaining until the conclusion of the Democratic primary season, the Sanders campaign trails the Clinton campaign in both available funding and delegates. Although Senator Sanders has raised millions of dollars in funding, he has also spent these campaign funds more liberally than some opponents. FEC filings reveal that the Sanders campaign has engaged in extensive advertising expenditures in California, for instance.

Mrs. Clinton presently requires only about 100 additional delegates to clinch the Democratic Party nomination. The upcoming primary races next Tuesday may prove critical for the hopes of both campaigns.

Overtime Eligibility Threshold Doubles

In a move to address worker’s wages the Obama administration released a new rule to go into effect on December 1 on the eligibility threshold for a salaried worker to earn overtime pay. Prior to this rule, any salaried worker making over $23,660 a year was not required to be paid time-and-a-half if they worked over 40 hours a week; the new threshold has been more than doubled in order to extend overtime pay to employees making up to $47,500 a year. There has been backlash over the Obama administration’s new rule from both Republicans and business groups who argue that the new threshold will inadvertently hurt the very employees it attempts to help. This is contradictory to the purpose of the new rule, which was created in order to extend overtime pay to over 4 million middle and lower income families. This new rule is anticipated by critics to harm small businesses the most, as the incurrence of higher labor costs could result in the demotion of employees from their salaried positions down to hourly paid positions where their schedules can be managed in order to avoid an increase in labor costs, in addition to the possibility of a decrease in wage rates, and a reduction in hiring new employees. While opponents of the new rule argue that it will result in the demotion of thousands of workers, advocacy groups consider it to be a roundabout way of increasing minimum wage for the middle class.

Millions of American Workers Lack Emergency Savings

Recently, the NORC Center For Public Affairs Research and the Associated Press released the results of a recent survey they had commissioned to investigate the financial condition of workers in the United States. The results painted a bleak picture of financial inequality, and sparked media speculation that the “Great Recession” has not completely ended.

In response to a question on the survey, fully three quarters of respondents with incomes below $50,000 annually divulged that they would struggle to raise $1,000 to meet unanticipated expenses. Surprisingly, the majority of households earning between $50,000 and $100,000 a year reported the same results, with 67& of respondents concerned about their ability to raise a thousand dollars on short notice. Among the one in five households in the nation earning over $100,000, some 38% of poll respondents expressed concern about their ability to raise $1,000 quickly.

Caroline Ratcliffe of the Urban Institute characterized the results of the survey as “alarming”. She noted that a strong correlation may exist between an inability to raise money on short notice and homelessness.

Meanwhile, a study issued by leading labor unions, the AFL-CIO, reported ongoing sharp inequality in earnings, with the chief executive officers of the nation’s largest 500 companies earning roughly 340 times the annual wages of a typical employee during the previous year. However, even CEO pay dropped to a lower level within the past year, according to the report. Production workers earned an average of $36,900 in 2015.

Trump’s Campaign Spending

Donald Trump knocked out his Republican rivals and now is the presumptive GOP candidate for the presidential office. So far, Trump has been spending his own money, and NJ.com reports that in May alone his campaign efforts cost him $10 million.

His former rival, Ted Cruz, had spent $80 million overall on his failed campaign. It shows that the dollars spent don’t exactly translate into votes.

Early in the primaries Trump wasn’t relying on donors but rather on his own money, some of which he has lent to his campaign.

But, Trump’s campaign is seeking to find sponsors at this point. So, it won’t be Trump’s money alone that will power his presidential bid. Hillary Clinton is expected to outspend Trump, though. And there are also super PAC which support Mrs. Clinton with negative, anti-Trump advertising.

Now, the Republican fundraiser Lewis Eisenberg was appointed to raise money for Trump’s campaign as well as for other Republicans.