Stocks inch higher: Volume remains on the low side as investors weigh market direction. Dow is up 25 points.
California jobless rate dips: See post below.
California debt higher than thought: So says a group of fiscal experts, who found that the so-called wall of debt is several times larger than the $28 billion that Gov. Brown had estimated. From the NYT:
The task force estimated that the burden of debt totaled at least $167 billion and as much as $335 billion. Its members warned that the off-the-books debts tended to grow over time, so that even if Mr. Brown should succeed in pushing through his tax increase, gaining an additional $50 billion over the next seven years, the wall of debt would still be there, casting its shadow over the state. "With inadequate information, our legislators and citizens are flying blind," said David Crane, a board member who issued the task force's special report on California's fiscal condition at a news conference in San Francisco on Thursday.
iPhone day: The predictable camping out in front of Apple stores around the world as the latest iteration of the popular smartphone is released. From CBS San Francisco:
Charlie Hufnagel, 24, from San Francisco's Mission District has been camping out since Monday morning on behalf of a man who paid him to do so. "It's surreal," said Hufnagel of his experience camping out in front of the Apple store in his one-man green tent. Hufnagel, standing in front of his picket sign that reads, "Ask me how long I've been here?" is being paid $1,500 by the man, whose name remained confidential, to camp out, he said.
Walmart drops Kindles: No reason given, but major retailers have been concerned about the incursions being made by Amazon. From the NYT:
"The Kindle Fire is the Trojan horse," said Andrew Rhomberg, the chief executive of Jellybooks, an e-book recommendation site. "It's a shopping platform that covers so many more categories than e-books. It affects Wal-Mart in a different way than the early Kindles and e-readers did."
High-speed rail on fast track: The White House will announce a speedup of the permit and review process for the Madera-to-Bakersfield segment of the controversial project. Construction is scheduled to begin early next year. (SF Chronicle)
Maxine Waters avoids ethics charges: The California Democratic is alleged to have steered a $12 million federal bailout to a bank where her husband owns stock, but House Ethics Committee members found no violation. From AP:
However, the committee said Waters' chief of staff, Mikael Moore, did take actions in Congress in an attempt to help the bank and violated House standards of conduct. Moore likely will receive a letter admonishing him for his conduct but will not face more severe punishment, such as a reprimand, by the full House.
Anthem drops Cedars-Sinai and UCLA for city workers: The health insurer has eliminated doctors affiliated with those hospitals from a health plan. Only a small percentage of employees are affected by the change. From the LAT:
"Purchasers are sending a signal that certain prices are just unaffordable," said David Lansky, chief executive of the Pacific Business Group on Health, which represents large companies such as Walt Disney Co. "We want great teaching and medical research institutions to survive. Whether that should happen by charging everyone in society a higher rate for routine services is more debatable."