Britney Spears’ Lawyer Recordsdata Request For New Conservator Of Her Cash : NPR

Britney Spears’ recently hired attorney Mathew Rosengart spoke to reporters outside the Los Angeles County Courthouse on July 19. Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption hide

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Britney Spears’ recently hired attorney Mathew Rosengart spoke to reporters outside the Los Angeles County Courthouse on July 19.

Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images

Britney Spears’ recently appointed attorney Mathew Rosengart promised when he came aboard July 14th that he would act quickly to set a new course for the pop icon and her conservatory. On Monday, he filed a petition in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Spears asking for Jason Rubin to be appointed as the new curator of their estate. If approved, Rubin would replace Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, who has been overseeing their monetary and financial decisions since 2008. Rosengart has also filed a request for Jamie Spears to be removed.

According to Rubin’s website, he’s a CPA who specializes in forensic accounting has “managed complex trust portfolios” and “also has experience working on elder abuse litigation” – all of which could prove important in unraveling the Spears case.

Who is Mathew Rosengart, Britney Spears' new attorney?

Monday’s filing contains a motion to Rubin to revoke all other powers of attorney for Spears, including the authority to make health care decisions on their behalf, and “the authority and authority to provide opportunities relating to professional obligations and activities.” including, but not limited to, performing, recording, videos, tours, television shows, and other similar activities so long as they are approved by the person’s conservator, the medical team of the conserved. “

The filing also includes a list of the singer’s financial assets, including over $ 2.7 million in cash and about $ 56.3 million in investment accounts and real estate. A hearing on this petition is scheduled for December 13th.

In related news, judge presiding over Spears’ case, Brenda Penny, on Monday ordered the singer’s current curator, Jodi Montgomery, to remain in that position until October 8. Judge Penny also approved the resignation of Bessemer Trust, a financial institution company that previously expected to act as the co-restorer of the Spears estate, however asked to resign earlier this month.

How Citibank By accident Paid Revlon’s $900 Million Mortgage : Planet Cash : NPR

picture Alliance / Marcus Brandt / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

April 6th, 2021, Schleswig-Holstein, Amt Rantzau: A blackbird has caught an earthworm.  Photo: Marcus Brandt / dpa (Photo: Marcus Brandt / picture alliance via Getty Images)

picture Alliance / Marcus Brandt / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Last year Citibank accidentally sent $ 900 million to lenders for makeup company Revlon. In finance, wrong payments happen all the time, and it’s understandable, so to speak, that they have to be sent back. And everyone thought that was going to happen – except that the lenders wouldn’t. And then a surprising court ruling said lenders could keep it. What began as a nasty lender-borrower battle and escalated into the most incredible Wall Street gossip tells us a lot about who is currently in power in finance.

What happens in this episode when one of the largest banks in the world accidentally sends $ 900 million to exactly the wrong group of people – and tries to get it back.

Music: “Mentally, “”Playful Palmas, “”Bleep core,” and “Blip blip beep. ”

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The Untamed Rise Of Hospital Monopolies : Planet Cash : NPR

Hospitals are getting bigger and more expensive

Last month, Michigan’s two largest hospital systems, Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health, announced that they were planning to become one. The $ 12.9 billion megamerger would create a healthcare industry complex with 22 hospitals, 305 outpatient facilities, and an insurance company. It would employ 64,000 people, making it Michigan’s largest employer. Local newspapers had expected the merger to “sail through” government approval. But now they are not so sure.

This is because President Biden recently signed an executive order stating that his government is serious about promoting competition and specifically identified hospitals as an area where increasing monopoly is a problem. The order, says the White House, “Emphasizes that hospital fusions can be harmful to patients and encourages the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to review and revise their merger guidelines to ensure that such fusions do not harm patients.”

Hospitals are a really important part of the American economy. Not just in terms of health and wellbeing, but also in terms of dollars and cents. Most of America’s healthcare spending goes to hospitals. And the hospital sector is one of the largest sectors in the entire American economy, accounting for about 6 percent of American GDP. Hospitals do a lot of good. You save lives. They create good jobs. But with their increasing monopoly, Zack Cooper, an economist at the Yale School of Public Health, fears they will become like a “Dracula” who “sucks some of the vibrancy in many cities across the country.”

Cooper and colleague Martin Gaynor found the numbers on hospitals using the government’s preferred method of measuring market concentration and found that approx. 80% the American hospital markets are now “highly concentrated”. “The average hospital market in the US is well above what the FTC and DOJ would consider healthy levels of concentration,” says Cooper. Many of these markets, he says, are dominated by just one or two hospitals, which gives them the market power to withdraw extra money from communities for health procedures and emergencies.

In addition to decades of mergers and acquisitions with hospitals that are devouring other hospitals, hospitals are also increasingly buying up medical practices. Economists refer to this as “vertical integration”. Think of steel manufacturers who buy the railroad lines. As with mergers and acquisitions, Cooper said, many of these deals have not been properly scrutinized by federal regulators.

According to Cooper, the research clearly shows that increasing monopoly has increased prices for patients. Less competition means hospitals can charge higher prices and get away with it. You can pay lower wages and get away with it. And they can offer worse care and get away with it. “We want companies to compete and be incentivized to upgrade their quality to attract more consumers, and the more hospitals merge, the less harsh those incentives become,” says Cooper. “We have evidence that death rates are literal higher in markets where hospitals have less competition. “

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The bizarre thing about all of this is that many of these monopoly hospitals are technically considered “non-profit”. Apparently, there are “a lot of nonprofits in the healthcare industry,” jokes Cooper. He doesn’t take their “charitable” status very seriously. He sees it more like a game where nonprofit hospitals use the extra money they make to pay executives and buy shiny things, rather than making profits that are distributed to shareholders. Cooper says that nonprofit hospitals tend to “invest too much in technology. And the irony is that you get even more expensive things that are probably not necessary – and they suck more money into the health system. “

There are some quirky advantages to being a nonprofit organization for hospitals. You don’t have to pay taxes like for-profit companies do. And while the FTC can block anti-competitive mergers between nonprofit hospitals, current law prevents them from investigating nonprofit hospitals for anti-competitive behavior. “It’s kind of crazy,” says Cooper.

Cooper recently started a project called “1% Steps to Healthcare Reform”. The idea behind this is basically that the American healthcare system is such a daunting mess that we should focus on achievable, incremental steps to improve it. Dealing with hospital consolidation, he says, should be a top priority. And he recently co-wrote a policy brief that describes steps to deal with it.

For starters, Cooper says, America needs to top up its federal antitrust budget. They are inferior and understaffed, and they are struggling to keep up with the tidal wave of mergers and acquisitions that we have seen. Next, he says, we need to authorize federal antitrust authorities to take enforcement action against nonprofit hospitals. And he offers a number of technical legal ideas that he hopes will set the scales of antitrust law more in favor of American consumers.

As for the specific deal between Spectrum and Beaumont, Cooper was reluctant to make a final judgment on the merger without delving into the details. According to the Detroit Free Press, the two health systems have no geographic overlap between them, meaning that they are not direct competitors in the local markets. This can help your case. But, says Cooper, there is some pointers this suggests that even mergers like this, “cross-market mergers”, lead to higher prices for consumers.

We asked Spectrum Health for a comment. “We have a track record of previous integrations, including those with smaller, rural hospitals that focus on helping people stay healthy wherever they live,” they say. “We see the proposed integration with Beaumont Health no differently. We have integrated multiple hospitals and understand the need for quality care in local communities. Patients benefit from a comprehensive health system with many locations and levels of care that are connected as needed and available to meet their needs. “

We’ll have to wait and see if Biden’s arrangement will have any effect on the proposed merger. Cooper is thrilled that the White House is highlighting the problem of hospital monopoly. But so far it’s mostly just words on paper that “encourage” federal authorities to do something about it. We need action from Congress and more work in the FTC to really do something about this problem.

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The Indicator from Planet Cash : NPR

ROBYN BECK / AFP via Getty Images

(Photo by ROBYN BECK / AFP via Getty Images)

ROBYN BECK / AFP via Getty Images

Stacey went to Flatbush Avenue near her apartment in Brooklyn, New York, and there was a lot of activity. There are people walking down the street, some with masks, others without masks. She even had to fight for the table she was sitting at to record this show! Right now there are signs everywhere that the economy is returning.

So, as the Indicators of the Week, we wanted to examine various signs of the health of the economy. Stacey called two of her favorite economists, Ben Ho and Kate Waldock, and she talked to them about the signs they see – their own indicators of the week.

On Planet Money’s The Indicator, we hear from Kate about the number of store closures and retail resilience, and then Ben delves into the upside-down world of Dogecoin.

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Why Hovering Shares May Be Unhealthy Information For The Financial system : Planet Cash : NPR

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Apple stock numbers will be displayed on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the Opening Bell on August 13, 2019 in New York City.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

While there have been some ups and downs, the stock market has hit historic highs in recent years. For many, that’s good news: it’s a sign that the economy and their retirement accounts are doing really well. For Jan Eeckhout, however, the booming stock market is a sign that something is deeply wrong with the economy.

Sure, says the economist, he has a retirement account with stocks and he personally benefits from the ongoing bonanza on the stock markets. The rocket ride on the stock market, however, is being driven by the skyrocketing profits of increasingly powerful companies. Their increasingly ridiculous profits, he says, are eating up the incomes of the great mass of workers and damaging the economy as a whole. This term is the central thesis of his forthcoming book, The Profit Paradox: How Thriving Businesses Threaten the Future of Work.

There is a powerful force lurking behind Corporate America’s rising earnings and stock prices. Eeckhout argues that violence is one of the main reasons the typical American worker’s wages have fallen; why the share of employed persons has decreased significantly; why the share of employees in national income has decreased; and why startup growth has slowed over the past few decades. That force, he says, is the amazing growth in market power since 1980.

The amazing rise in market power

Market power – also known as monopoly power – is the ability of companies to generate high profits by valuing their products and services more than it costs to actually manufacture and provide them. It costs Apple less than $ 500 to make a high-end iPhone, but it charges consumers more than double that amount. Apple’s ability to do this is a sign that the company has great market power.

Investors love market power. Warren Buffett, for example, famous advises that people invest in companies that will benefit a lot. Companies with market power are money-makers, protected by machine guns and bazookas, and keep potential competitors at bay.

Market power often comes from real innovation, efficient business models, and creating things that consumers like. but it also has costs for society. These costs are outlined in classical monopoly theory. Without competition, companies can raise their prices to maximize profits. As the prices of products rise, many consumers cannot afford them, and so the monopoly company reduces what it produces and sells. And that means they need less manpower.

If this were just one company, it wouldn’t be such a big deal to the wider economy. But Eeckhout documents a staggering increase in market power in all industries since 1980. We’re not just talking about the usual suspects; Amazon, Google, Facebook and so on. We talk about everything from cat food manufacturers to Seller of caskets. More than half of all dry cat food in the United States is sold by one company. Almost 90 percent of mayonnaise in the US is sold by two companies. Airlines, social media, pacemakers, pharmaceuticals, energy, cars, home improvement – there are so many industries that are increasingly dominated by just a few companies.

The International Monetary Fund rang alarm bells in 2019 about the problem of growing market power (read) our newsletter about that). They examined nearly a million companies, focusing on one measure of market power: markups, which is the ratio of the price of products a company sells to the cost of production. The IMF found that premiums in advanced countries increased 8 percent between 2000 and 2015.

in the his own studyEeckhout and his colleagues, published in a top peer-reviewed journal, note that publicly traded companies’ premiums have tripled since 1980 and that dominant companies are much more profitable than they used to be. In 1980, the average profit rate of a listed company was only one to two percent of sales. Now they have profit percentages between seven and eight percent of sales. It’s a mind-boggling increase.

Eeckhout says he has nothing against profits per se. However, the excessive profits of so many companies come at the expense of the livelihood of ordinary workers. In the world of ubiquitous market power, workers don’t just have to pay higher prices for goods and services. They, says Eeckhout, also find it more difficult to get well-paid jobs. This is because higher prices for things mean lower demand for those things, which also means lower demand for workers who make or provide those things.

“Market power is so widespread today, from technology to textiles, that it lowers production and labor demand,” he writes. “Instead of creating jobs, market power means that profitability lowers wages and destroys work. That is the profit paradox.”

Why has market power increased?

Eeckhout blames two big factors for the rise in market power. The first is the government’s lax enforcement of competition. This includes the ability for companies to partner with and devour their competitors, as well as an overly generous patent system that grants lengthy monopoly rights on the sale of all types of devices and pills. Most of the lobbying in Washington is largely about protecting and expanding market power.

However, according to Eeckhout, the main story is about rapid technological change that is creating markets where all winners are represented and making it difficult for Davids to challenge the goalkeepers. Over the past four decades we have made tremendous advances in technology in computing, transportation, and communications. This has fueled the rise of global supply chains, big box retailers, search algorithms, and “network effects” platforms that add more value to companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook the more people use them. Smaller businesses are now struggling to amass the brand’s resources, expertise, and reputation to overcome the formidable barriers to entry it takes to compete with the big ones.

What should we do about it?

The simple answer is that the government is liquidating companies. However, Eeckhout emphasizes that many companies are still dominant because, due to their technologically advanced and well-run business, they often offer greater efficiency and better products. Sure, you can dissolve Google, but its search algorithm, which is the main source of income, actually works better the more people use it. A liquidation of the company could put consumers in a worse position.

Some companies have to be wound up, says Eeckhout. Others just need to be better regulated, however. One idea: a “reverse patent” system where companies like Google only have a limited amount of time to keep the data they collect private. The data is then freely available to competitors.

Another idea: a new federal competition agency modeled on the Federal Reserve. The main job of the Fed is to prevent inflation, and according to Eeckhout, the cost of market power is much higher than the cost of inflation ever before. Like the Fed, this new agency would be well staffed and with expanded powers that it can exercise independently of Congress and the President. Their main task would be to regulate monopolies and limit market power.

Eeckhout admits that dealing seriously with this issue will not make stock traders happy. Limiting market power and increasing competition would reduce corporate profits. This, in turn, would mean that companies would have lower share prices. Returning to the levels of competition we saw in the early 1980s, he writes, “Be prepared for a Dow Jones below 10,000 instead of 30,000.”

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The Indicator from Planet Cash : NPR

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(KAREN BLEIER / AFP via Getty Images)

KAREN BLEIER / AFP via Getty Images

On the show is Dan Weissmann, the host of “An Arm and a Leg”, a podcast about the cost of health care. He shared some news about changes to Obamacare that have recently taken place. Remember how the Trump administration made a lot of noise four years ago for wanting to get rid of Obamacare? Ultimately, they couldn’t get the votes in Congress to actually do it. Well, it turns out that the Biden administration did the opposite: it actually got Congress to expand a lot of things in Obamacare, but without making a lot of ado about it.

The American Rescue Plan – the huge stimulus package passed in March 2021 – can save lots of people big bucks on health insurance. For example, over a million people could qualify for essentially free health insurance!

So what’s the catch? Why didn’t we hear about it on the news? In a way, the catch is that almost no one heard about it, and even the ones who probably didn’t notice were applied to them. Even when it comes to actually registering? In some cases, even the experts don’t know how to do it. On the indicator: Why it is so difficult to actually give millions of people a break in health insurance.

Check out Dan Weissmann’s show One arm and one leg!

You can enroll or change Your plan for the health insurance market (Obamacare) until August 15, 2021 due to the emergency (COVID-19).

When You Add Extra Police To A Metropolis, What Occurs? : Planet Cash : NPR

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Police cars

After George Floyd’s death opened a national policing debate, Morgan Williams and colleagues turned to the tools of business to try to provide evidence for the conversation. He recently published research that supports the case for police reform while reminding us why the police are important to public safety.

Williams is an economist at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He researches crime economics and incarceration policies with a particular focus on racial inequality. Williams grew up in the South Bronx and still lives and works not far from where he was born.

Whether you’re an activist yelling “Defund the Police” on the street or a conservative hoisting a “thin blue line” flag in front of your house, if you’re looking for someone to piss you off with a megaphone, Williams is not your type. In these hyperpolarized times, Williams excels at speaking the jargon of a wonk with the cool emotions of a data cruncher. “We want to be as scientifically objective as possible,” he says of the work of him and his colleagues.

Morgan C. Williams Jr. Valjean E. Guerra II / Morgan Williams hide caption

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Valjean E. Guerra II / Morgan Williams

Morgan C. Williams Jr.

Valjean E. Guerra II / Morgan Williams

Williams and colleagues Aaron Chalfin, Benjamin Hansen, and Emily Weisburst were motivated to answer questions such as: What is the measurable value of adding a new police officer to patrol a city? Are Additional Officers Preventing Murders? How many people are these officers arresting and for what? And how do larger police forces affect black communities?

They collected data from the FBI and other public data sources for 242 cities between 1981 and 2018. They received statistics on police operations, murder rates, reported crimes, arrests, and more. And they used tech-savvy statistical techniques to gauge the impact of expanding the police force on things like preventing murders and increasing arrests (read) their working paper for more depth and also spend a couple of hours reading about “instrumental variable” regression which is pretty darn awesome).

The aftermath of another officer

Williams and colleagues find that adding a new cop to a city prevents murders between 0.06 and 0.1, which means the average city would have to hire between 10 and 17 new cops to save a life a year . They estimate that it costs taxpayers between $ 1.3 million and $ 2.2 million annually. The federal government imposes the value of a statistical life around $ 10 million ((Planet money did an entire episode about how that number was dialed). From that perspective, Williams says, investing in more cops to save lives is pretty good bang for the buck. When they add more police, they also reduce other serious crimes such as robbery, rape, and aggravated assault.

In addition, Williams and his co-authors note that in the average city, larger police forces result in black lives being saved roughly twice as quickly as white lives (based on their percentage of the population). Considering that African Americans are much more likely to live in dense, poverty-stricken areas with high homicide rates – resulting in more opportunities for police officers to potentially prevent victimization – this could help explain this finding.

We should note, however, that a broad, average statistic on a measure of policing outcomes does not say anything about other potential policing issues – like excessive use of violence, racial profiling, or other issues that are at the fore as story after story for Black people those killed, beaten or mistreated by the police are circulating in the media. But, Williams says, reducing homicide and other serious crimes is certainly beneficial for everyone.

While finding that serious crimes fall after the average city expands its police force, economists find that arrests for serious crimes fall too. The simultaneous reduction in both serious crime and arrests for serious crime suggests that it is not the arrests that are driving the reduction. Instead, it suggests only having more cops around to drive it. These findings are in line with other research that focusing police forces on “hotspot” crime areas appears to be an effective way of reducing crime.

For Williams, this growing evidence of the power of deterrence is very important to those who are concerned about our bloated criminal justice system, which continues to incarcerate blacks at an amazing rate. It shows that adding more police to a neighborhood could have the benefit of lowering the serious crime rate without the police having to necessarily lock up a group of people.

At the same time, Williams and co-authors note that adding more cops to a city means more people will be arrested for minor, low-level crimes with no victims, such as: B. Disorderly behavior, public drinking, drug possession, and loitering. Black people are disproportionately the target of these low-level arrests, saddling them with crippling court fees and forcing many children – sometimes unnecessarily – into criminal justice.

More police can make some cities worse

The economists also find disturbing evidence that cities with the largest black populations – like many in the South and Midwest – do not see the same policing benefits as the average cities in their study. Adding more police officers in these cities doesn’t seem to lower the homicide rate. Meanwhile, more police officers in these cities seem to be leading to even more arrests of blacks for low-level crimes. The authors believe it supports a narrative that “black communities are over- and under-police at the same time”. Economists have no solid explanation as to why larger police forces in these cities seem to produce worse results, and they plan to further explore these results in future research.

The big picture

The bottom line is that the picture that the economists’ data paints is complicated. On the one hand, black communities generally seem to benefit from larger police departments when it comes to reducing the murder rate and the rate of other serious crimes. However, their data also show that these results do not apply to cities with the largest black populations. And across the country they are finding significant racial disparities in low-level arrests, with many blacks being prosecuted for low-level crimes, resulting in damage to many lives without necessarily improving public safety.

“We get a lot of policing, but it may not always be the type of policing that keeps people safe,” said Williams of these results. And that suggests that we could reform the police force: use fewer workers to arrest people for minor crimes and more workers to tackle and solve serious crimes.

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Aaron Lee Tasjan’s New Album Touches On Well being, Being Alone, And Cash : World Cafe : NPR

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Curtis Wayne Millard / Courtesy of the artist

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Curtis Wayne Millard / Courtesy of the artist

  • “Up all night”
  • “Another lonely day”
  • “Don’t overthink it”
  • “Computer of Love”

Although Aaron Lee Tasjan‘s song “Up All Night” sounds like a lot of fun – if you listen carefully, the lyrics touch on many things that you may have been concerned about over the past year. Things like health, solitude, and money. And while some of his songs on his new album Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! It sounds like they’re inspired by the pandemic. Tasjan had these things in mind even before the lockdown.

One night when Tasjan was playing a show on stage, he said, “My stomach was so sore that I could barely get up and could hardly breathe at the end of the show. I ended up going to the emergency room.” ”

Luckily, Tasjan’s stomach is fine … and the album is a really good time, even though it is steeped in fear. During this session, Tasjan participates in a conversation and a performance of some of the songs from the record.