Most Americans, regardless of age, have credit card debt that waxes and wanes depending on credit limits, finds a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. "The median person is always borrowing, although at the end of life she is not borrowing much," the study says. Credit card and other revolving debt was $936 billion in December.
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser says the emerging shift in technology and industry comes with two key challenges. "The information comes faster and is more accessible than ever before," he says. "There's a lot of data, and the challenge is how to prioritize information. ... The second aspect to managing: How do you manage your company using the data you collect?"
President Barack Obama's final budget proposal includes a new, $120 million competitive-grant program for schools. The "Stronger Together" program seeks to help integrate schools along socioeconomic lines.
Foodstirs, co-founded by actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame, sells baking kits through a subscription model. Gellar hopes to open retail stores and take the company public. Also, she says her fame didn't help in the early going. "When you go to investors and say 'Buffy has an idea for a business,' see how seriously you get taken," she says.
There was a decrease in the severity of metabolic syndrome, in spite of an increase in body mass index z score, among US teens from 1999 to 2012, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers looked at temporal trends for 5,117 participants ages 12 to 19 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found the decline in metabolic syndrome severity was attributed to decreasing triglyceride and increasing HDL levels.
Kohl's has replaced J.C. Penney as sponsor of the Academy Awards and the retailer will run five TV spots on the night of the ceremony and launch a social campaign this week using the hashtag #AllTheGoodStuff. The ads will tout Kohl's relaunched Sonoma brand and will feature a cheeky take on acceptance speeches.
Hackers attempted to take 464,000 e-File PINs, the Internal Revenue Service reports. The agency states that no personal data were disclosed and that even if any were, a PIN alone is not enough to file a fraudulent return. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, plans to discuss the matter with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Last year, identity thieves successfully stole personal information from the Agency's "Get Transcript" database.
Pfizer said it will establish a new division by integrating Allergan's ophthalmology and aesthetics products to its consumer health product line upon the completion of its $160 billion purchase of Allergan. The new global specialty and consumer brand division will operate under Pfizer's innovative products unit. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.
Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune, R-S.D., along with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is preparing to introduce a "Mobile Now" bill this week designed to ensure that wireless carriers have access to "hundreds of megahertz of spectrum" by 2020. The measure would enable the delivery of 5G-based services at speeds upward of one gigabit per second, Thune told a CTIA 5G conference.
The $2 billion Queensferry Crossing project in Scotland should finish up this year. Three 656-foot concrete towers for the bridge are complete. The project will use 23,000 miles of cable and massive amounts of concrete. It is one of the largest civil engineering projects in the UK.
ConocoPhillips has won approval from the Energy Department to export 40 billion cubic feet of natural gas from its terminal in Kenai, Alaska. The company can now export gas to any country with which the US has a free-trade agreement or does not prohibit trade. The permit allows exports for two years beginning Feb. 19.
The Federal Aviation Administration says that at least 325,000 drones have been registered, more than the 320,000 piloted aircraft tracked by the agency. "The sheer numbers concern me, as they increase the risk of a collision, and it is likely that the actual number of drones is much greater than the number registered," said Chesley Sullenberger, famous for landing a commercial jetliner on the Hudson River.
American Express Consumer Travel has announced the creation of a new membership platform for non-franchisee agencies called the Travel Associate Platform. Later this year, franchisees of the American Express Representative Network platform will be able to choose which platform best suits them. Representatives pay a higher fee and have more access to lead generation tools and marketing programs than associates.