BP Gets a Break on Gulf Spill Payments, Plus 5 More Things You'll Want to Know Today
Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.
• BP got a rare piece of good news from a court Wednesday: A judge ruled that -- for now -- it doesn't have to pay out compensation to "victims" of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill who can't show they actually had losses or injuries linked to the disaster. Yes, you read that right: Up until now, according to BP, some people were getting money for "fictitious or wholly non-existent losses."
• The news out of the Washington shutdown: Obama says he won't be blackmailed. No discussions of GOP demands will be heard while the government stays closed. "Negotiations now would lead to more demands, he said. "I have bent over backwards to deal with the Republican party." His direct message to Wall Street. Be afraid. Be very afraid. "When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to default on U.S. obligations, then we are in trouble," Obama said on CNBC.
• And why is Congress fighting, anyway? State governments are already doing a fine job cutting the legs out from under Obamacare. The New York Times informs us that, thanks to 26 GOP-controlled state governments rejecting the Medicare expansion, two-thirds of single moms and poor African Americans will still lack health coverage after the ACA is in full effect, as will more than half of low-wage workers who are now uninsured. In essence, by refusing to cooperate, theses states will create a gap class: people who make too much to get Medicaid, but too little qualify for Obamacare subsidies.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%• The 21st century has featured a "lost decade" for young adults on the employment front: Those who have recently entered the job market are less likely to be employed and earn less than the young people of two decades ago, reveals a new study from Georgetown University. The employment rate for young adults fell from 84 percent in 2000 to 72 percent in 2012.
• Because we're not farmers, we've been totally unaware that, a few years back, a couple of ex-Google engineers created a whole new kind of crop insurance. Unlike traditional federal insurance, which only guarantees a farmer will break even, the Climate Corp offers policies that let farmers literally hedge the weather, and cover their lost profits automatically if Mother Nature doesn't provide. It's a clever business model for all concerned, which is probably why agri-giant Monsanto (MON) just inked a deal to buy Climate Corp. for $930 million.
• And finally, Lego is building a gigantic manufacturing and distribution center in China -- a new foothold in the rapidly growing Chinese market. But there's a big problem for the maker of little bricks: China is already the center of the fake-Lego universe. Clones and ripoffs of its products are rampant there. (And you thought it was only designer handbags and Hollywood films getting pirated.)