This is what happens when the government targets you for zombie debt collection. You receive a letter from your state’s department of human services claiming that you were “overissued” $4,132 in food stamp and cash benefits in the 1980s. Enclosed is a copy of the original overpayment notice they say they sent you when you were still listening to Madonna and Bobby Brown. You don’t remember ever seeing it before. The letter informs you that, since you didn’t respond immediately three decades ago, your 90-day window to request a fair hearing and contest the overpayment has closed. You now have a debt, and it’s past due. The state threatens to refer this debt to the United States Department of Treasury, which has the power to withhold your federal tax return, your earned income tax credit, a portion of your military retirement pay – even your social security disability check. You are barely making ends meet, so the financial loss might mean doing … [Read more...] about Struggling Americans are haunted by zombie debt. Will you be next?
Debt fixed income markets
White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren said on Monday that if elected she would roughly quadruple federal funding for public schools and incentivize states to adopt funding approaches that more equitably fund lower-income schools. Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts who is now a front-runner for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination along with former Vice President Joe Biden, wrote in a post on the website Medium that her plan would result in the federal government investing an additional $450 billion in elementary and secondary schools over the next decade. 'Our current approach to school funding at the federal, state, and local level underfunds our schools and results in many students from low-income backgrounds receiving less funding,' Warren wrote. 'My plan makes a historic new federal investment in public schools - and pushes both the federal government and state governments to dedicate more resources to the schools and students that need them most.' In the … [Read more...] about Elizabeth Warren says she will quadruple federal cash for schools, cancel student meal debt and crack down on for-profit charter schools
At the UK headquarters of office space company WeWork, the skateboard half-pipe is empty, the arcade machines aren’t in use and the DJ turntables are motionless. It could be because it’s 11am on a grey weekday in London, or it could be because this fast-growing company has suddenly found itself in crisis mode. Having ejected controversial founder Adam Neumann from the chief executive’s seat, on Monday directors pulled the plug on a stock market listing. A chastening retrenchment looms that could mean 5,000 job cuts – a third of the company’s global workforce. The company’s $60m (£49m) Gulfstream private jet is up for sale. Less than two months ago, WeWork was seeking a price tag of $47bn from its now abandoned float. Bankers at Goldman Sachs reckoned it might have been worth much more, maybe $65bn. Now the firm, which has lost $3bn in the last two years, is reckoned to be worth $10bn. Tops. There is even mounting concern that it could run out of … [Read more...] about Why WeWork’s problems have London landlords fretting
On 22 June 2015, Xavier Justo, a 48-year-old retired Swiss banker, walked towards the front door of his brand new boutique hotel on Koh Samui, a tropical Thai island. He had spent the past three years building the luxurious white-stone complex of chalets and apartments overlooking the shimmering sea and was almost ready to open for business. All he needed was a licence. Justo had arrived in Thailand four years earlier, having fled the drab world of finance in London. In 2011, he and his girlfriend Laura toured the country on a motorbike and, two years later, they got married on a secluded beach. The couple eventually settled down in Koh Samui, a tourist hotspot, just an hour’s flight south of Bangkok. After trying out a couple of entrepreneurial ventures, Justo eventually decided that he would go into the hotel business. He bought a plot with an imposing house and began building: adding a gym, villas and a tennis court. That June afternoon, he was expecting a visit from the … [Read more...] about 1MDB: The inside story of the world’s biggest financial scandal
General Augusto Pinochet, who has died aged 91, was the most notorious of Latin America's 20th-century military rulers. Dictator of Chile between 1973 and 1990, after which he remained as army commander-in-chief, then senator-for-life, he bestrode the final decades of the Cold War in the region like no one else but Fidel Castro in Cuba. Then, in 1998, a Spanish judge ended his career as he could never have expected: under arrest in London and converted into a symbol of hope that heads of state who violate human rights may no longer escape a reckoning under international law. Pinochet sprang to the attention of the world, and of his own people, when he headed the coup that overthrew the leftwing government of Dr Salvador Allende in September 1973. Allende's election three years before at the head of a socialist-communist coalition had a significance far beyond Chile itself, being widely seen as the harbinger of similar projects in countries such as France and Italy, as well as the … [Read more...] about Augusto Pinochet