A Federal Emergency Management Agency panel expects to propose that Congress enhance the national Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, particularly because many emergency alerts are handled at the state and local levels. Standardized messages and better training are crucial, with delayed wildfire alerts in California and a false warning about a ballistic missile in Hawaii among recent examples of human error, officials say.
The reinsurance sector is responding to overcapitalization by intermediating between the catastrophe-bond market and its investors and cautioning "reserve creep," John Dizard writes.
Crews on Thursday battled a wildfire south of Los Angeles as strong wind is expected today, and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in two counties as the wildfire has led to evacuation orders affecting more than 20,000 people. A man is charged with crimes including arson in connection with the fire and could spend life in prison if convicted.
The number of deaths in Puerto Rico during the last four months of 2017 was 1,427 higher than that of the same period in the previous four years, the US territory's government says in a draft report seeking recovery funding from Congress. The official death toll from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island in September, remains at 64, and the Puerto Rican government is awaiting the results of a George Washington University study before officially revising the number.
The Maple fire has burned more than 800 acres in western Washington state after nearly doubling in size between Wednesday and Thursday. The wildfire, which officials say is human-caused, is the biggest in the western part of the state and was 5% contained on Thursday.
A report from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School says 46.6% of retirees relied on Social Security for more than 90% of income in 2012, up from 43.7% in 1991. Another Wharton report says increased use means the Social Security trust fund will run out of money in 2032, two years earlier than the latest government forecast.
Proposals before Congress to reduce obstacles to annuity use within 401(k) accounts are unlikely to have a big impact on annuities, says Jamie Hopkins, a retirement professor at The American College of Financial Services. He suggests the government create an administered "annuity warehouse," which would let participants choose from annuities that meet certain standards.
President Donald Trump this week reimposed economic sanctions on Iran. While no specific threats have been made, the move may lead Iran to retaliate through cyberattacks, security experts say.
Cybersecurity researcher Jens "Atom" Steube found that Wi-Fi WPA/WPA2 passwords with Pairwise Master Key Identifiers enabled are easily susceptible to cracking. The developer of the Hashcat password cracking tool was investigating possible ways to attack the WPA3 security standard when he made the discovery.
Financial advisors should leverage technology, but human relationships are the key to success, writes consultant Angie Herbers. She suggests training staff to provide a high level of personal service and making sure a team member is always available to answer client questions.