Airline Price Collusion Alleged

Airline Price Collusion Alledged

The Department of Justice announced this week that it would investigate allegations of collusion among the top US airlines to keep their fares high, according to a report on the online news site Buzz feed (http://www.buzzfeed.com/mariahsummers/how-can-you-prove-airlines-conspired-to-keep-ticket-prices-h#.ba1mJa2e0O). While the airlines are enjoying greatly reduced fuel expenses (the largest single expense item for the companies) and increased numbers of passengers, ticket prices have remained high. Almost every airline is reporting record profits and air travelers have less competition than in previous years.

The problem the DOJ has is in providing convincing proof that airlines entered into agreements that individually would not have been in their best interest. The interest of the Justice Department was piqued during a recent industry trade group meeting in Miami where airline executive spoke of “being more disciplined” in their pricing strategy and adding capacity to popular routes. To many this was a thinly veil code speak for limiting seats and fatter profit margins.

Speaking at a trade meeting while raising red flags, is not enough to meet the burden of proof according to Mikal Watts. An actual meeting of industry executives (the classic “smoke-filled room”), where an agreement was reached would have to be proven to show that the airlines did collude on pricing and routes.

The trouble for airlines does not end with any anti-trust violations. If the DOJ does succeed in proving any collusive activity whether in pricing or by maintaining route capacity, then the airlines could see a raft of class action and individual lawsuits seeking compensation for their activies.

Austic Children and Guinea Pigs: Great Socializing Equalizer

This is a fascinating study that has just come out regarding autistic children and the role guinea pigs can play for them in reducing social anxiety and boosting social interaction at school.

According to Well.Blogs.NYTimes.com, the research has been published in Developmental Psychobiology, and the results are pretty amazing.

As we can see, guinea pigs are adorable, soft and friendly, and as an autistic child would be able to feel, these little critters show pure love and do not judge.

The study focused on 15 different classrooms after exposing the students to guinea pigs. The researchers found the critters made tiny therapists by increasing the social activity of the autistic children with their peers and teachers.

The research also uncovered that the autistic pupils were much more talkative and cheerful in the presence of guinea pigs than around toys. The children were also comfortable to look at faces, make physical contact, and interact with others in the classroom. Adam Sender thinks all of this research is going to pay off.

This is incredible stuff conducted by a doctoral candidate at University of Queensland, Australia. Maggie O’Haire stated that guinea pigs are calming to autistic pupils who often feel overwhelmed in the classroom. She wrote this in her study:

“If you have an animal with you, people actually perceive you as friendlier, happier, and less threatening,” O’Haire said. “Having an animal there may have changed the children’s perceptions of their peers in a more positive light.”

Grecian Banks to Stay Closed This Week

The beginning of the week brought a panic inducing bit of news to the Grecian citizens. The European Central Bank announced that it will no long fund the banks in Greece. In fear that they would soon run out of money, many have been standing in long lines at ATMs to get withdraw their money. In response to this, banks will be closed through the rest of the week while the government puts capital controls in place to manage it’s dwindling funds.

Jim Dondero agrees that it would seem that a second bailout is essential for the survival of the Greek economy but there has yet been any such deal made. The government is due to pay $1.7 billion International Monetary Fund on Tuesday. If this is not repaid, the fear is that they will no longer use the euro.

While capital controls are in place, citizens will be limited to 60 euros (approximately $66). Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of Greece, says that bank accounts, as well as pension funds, are still secure. Visitors and people with credit cards issued from foreign banks will be exempt from the restrictions.

Houses Of The Living Dead: Zombie Foreclosures Decrease In Chicago

One of the most startling things that can happen when researching real estate news is to stumble upon the word ‘zombie’ in the context. It turns out that ‘zombie foreclosures’ are a thing, being a vacant home that is still in the foreclosure process. Chicago, one of the cities hit worst in the 2008-2012 subprime mortgage economic crisis, has had such a problem with these zombies in their system that they’ve been studying ways to get rid of them according to FreedomPop.

As they clear the abandoned properties out of their system, the numbers are decreasing, but major cities including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and Boston still have a growing problem. The real estate business is a complex bureaucracy, and when the system churns for years over a property that’s boarded up and that nobody will ever care about again, lots of effort is spent without any profit happening. This is something of a second wave affecting the real estate industry.

While the zombies are being killed off using the accountant’s equivalent of silver bullets and wooden stakes, there are still 7000 left to be cleared out. As Nolo.com notes, zombie houses can drag down the property values in their neighborhood. Which could lead to more nearby houses getting affected and – wait for it – the zombie plague would thus spread. Will the night of the living dead houses ever end?

The Chinese Nail House

China has found different ways to keep the economy rolling. One such way is to continually build and expand its infrastructure. By employing individuals to construct large highway systems and essentially erect cities with over a million in population seemingly overnight, the country is always looking for ways to keep people employed and to build upon its growing economy as many like Claudio Loureiro Heads have noticed. Now, most economists are going to say that this sort of growth is simply not sustainable and it is going to crash at some point, but the nation is large, so it does have plenty of infrastructure to continue to build. However, not everyone is going along with these builds.

The growth and push towards “progress” is not always seen as a favorable option. There are some individuals and home owners who do not want to move out of their house, no matter its location. In the Chinese Henan province where construction on a large roadway system is taking shape, a three story hours and its owner have refused to move out, even though the government is attempting to compensate the owner. The home owner is holding out for more money and, due to its placement, it is not possible to complete the highway. There are other individual houses like this spread throughout China as owners simply do not want to leave their house, many of which have been in the family for generations before.

Direct Sales Expert Bernardo Chua

The world of international business can be tough to break into. Those who want to be successful here must have many varied skills. They must be able to understand the needs of customers and employees around the world as well as the needs of their suppliers and any other business they propose to work with. A skilled entrepreneur will also be able to tap into existing networks and help both suppliers and potential customers get exactly what they want. Many are also able to work with area employees and help them use their own understanding of the local area marketplace to provide important insights into regional markets.

One such entrepreneur is Bernardo Chua. Chua is of Chinese heritage but he was born in the island nation of the Philippines. Growing up here helped him gain insights into the important Asian marketplace. The Philippines have long been a crossroad of cultures as well as one of the places where Asians and Europeans have freely engaged in international trade. Today, the Pacific Rim is one of the foremost centers of commerce in the entire world. People come to this region to engage in international commerce from all parts of Asia as well as countries in Oceania, Africa, Europe and both North and South America.

Bernardo “Bernie” Chua has been able to work in this region to help provide them with access to desirable goods. He has focused his primary attention on development in the area of direct sales. At present, he has put his efforts into helping people around the world purchase his Organo Gold coffee. The ganoderma lucidum herb can be made into a coffee that offers many varied health benefits as well as helping people to relax. Those who drink it often report feelings of improved well being and a sense of being better able to concentrate on all kinds of tasks.

The Organo Gold company that Bernardo founded has grown quickly as a result of his efforts and the hard work of his direct sales force. He has been able to demonstrate to them how to successfully market the product to others who are looking to look and feel better with the help of such products. As a result of his efforts, Organo Gold has expanded very quickly. At present, the company is the fifty-fifth largest direct selling company in the entire world, helping both him and his employees happy. To learn more about Bernie Chua, follow him on twitter or like him on facebook!

 

Dr. Rod Rohrich Has The Confidence Of His Peers

A vote of confidence means a lot when it comes from peers who are in the same proverbial boat, facing the same issues each day. Dr. Rod Rohrich has been named one of the best plastic surgeons in the United States by Castle Connolly’s Top Doctor program. The purpose of the program is making it easier for the public to locate the very best doctors in a variety of fields. Castle Connolly asks for input from professionals in healthcare all across the country, allowing them to nominate the best of the best in their specialty. Once the nominations are completed, a group of reviewers, headed by a physician, delve deeply into the background of the candidates. They review board certification, education, accomplishments and appointments, as well as disciplinary and malpractice incidents before making selections. Only those candidates with exemplary records remain in the running.

Dr Rod Rohrich was one of the top students in his graduating class from Baylor College of Medicine and finished fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital, Oxford University and Harvard. He serves as a professor and is the chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and for the Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium. As editor-in-chief of the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, he stays on top of all new procedures.

In his capacity as a professor, Dr. Rod Rohrich is continuing to contribute to the future of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Each of his students will take some of his expertise and experience with them as they start their own practices and begin to see patients. That is even more impressive than the two times that he has received the most prestigious award in his field, the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation Distinguished Service Award. Preparing those students is taken very seriously by Dr. Rohrich.

Apartment Owner Will Not Rent to People Without Pets

There are many apartments available that won’t rent to people who have pets. Judith Gurth decided to only rent to people who have pets. According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, it isn’t illegal to choose to rent to a person regardless of whether he does or doesn’t have a pet. References, prompt payment, or how quiet you are as a tenant mean absolutely nothing to Gurth who owned the apartment complex for 40 years according to Beneful.

If a person wants to rent an apartment from Judith Gurth, they better have a pet. Dogs, 2 maxium, need to be vaccinated and quiet. Cats, 3 maximum, need to be neutered. Ms Gurth’s 12-unit apartment house in Southern, California ,comes with new wall-to-wall carpeting that’ll cost $100 a month extra rent until the carpeting is paid off, in a year’s time, and becomes the property of the renter.

Many of Judy Gurth’s tenants lived there for over ten years. Should any of her tenant’s pets die, Gurth is happy to escort tenants to an animal shelter to purchase a new pet. Ms. Gurth is a very helpful landlord. Mary Rickettshas moved into the North Hollywood apartment complex 25 years ago. Having trouble getting up the steps, Gurth asked the building manager to move Rickettshas into a ground floor patio apartment while Gurth and Rickettshas had lunch, a movie, and a dinner together.

Americans Believe That Wealth Distribution Is Unfair

A surprisingly strong number of Americans believe that the wealth distribution in the country is unfair and not working for them. When surveyed, some 63% of Americans said that they believed that the wealth distribution in the country is unfair according to Gallup.com.

This number has come as a bit of a surprise to some who have watched the unemployment numbers come down. They had some belief that as this number came down that perhaps there would be more who would embrace the idea that the wealth is being distributed fairly. However, this has not turned out to be the case. It seems that people are still not pleased with the way that they are being paid.

Those who feel this way may have a good point. Despite the fact that productivity and demands on the job have been on the rise, the pay has not increased. It has not kept pace or hardly increased at all. This is one good reason to see why some would believe that the people would start to feel as though they are not being treated fairly on the open market.

Despite some good economic news, the number of people who are homeless and in poverty is still on the rise. Skout thinks it is a strange situation in which the economy seems to be improving, but the people in it do not seem to be seeing the results of these improvements.

Anonymous Donor Pays Landslide Victim’s $360,00 Mortgage

If you read the news daily, you could be forgiven if you think the world seems to be a cold, hard place populated by terrible people. Yet, if you look more closely, there are many people who are kind, loving and giving, and who just want to make the world a better place. One such person is an anonymous donor who just paid off a $360,000 mortgage for a man he does not even know. A man whose house was destroyed and his wife killed in the Snohomish County’s Highway 530 landslide.

The story starts when Tim Ward and his wife Brandy were at home on March 22, 2014 — the day of the landslide. When it hit, the house collapsed and both Tim and Brandy were trapped in the remains of the house under tons of rubble. Tim survived, but with a broken pelvis. Brandy died instantly.

Paul Mathieson said that a year later, one thing Tim Ward has left is his dog Blue, who was also trapped in the wreckage and had to have a leg amputated. The only other thing of any value he still has? A mortgage for $360,00 for a house that no longer exists.

Tim, like any honest person, had been working with a special cases unit to try to come up with a solution to pay the $360,000 he owed, but it was not looking good.

Then a miracle happened. Tim Ward’s case was talked about during the one year anniversary of the landslide news coverage, and an anonymous donor saw it. He contacted JPMorgan Chase and told them he wanted to be the person to pay off Tim Ward’s mortgage. All $360,000 of it. He wanted to pay it, however, with the understanding he would remain anonymous, and that is what he did.

So the next time you watch the news and it all seems so hopeless, think about Tim Ward’s anonymous benefactor. Someone who was so kind he just wanted to help a fellow human being in trouble, yet with no expectation of any recognition or reward.