Oil market woes look like deja vu all over again

After a furious spring rally, the oil market has been flirting with bear market territory recently. Some might say it looks eerily similar to last year, when crude shot up in the spring before free-falling. For oil, will it be déjà vu all over again? Continue reading “Oil market woes look like deja vu all over again”

U.S. unprepared for new security threat posed by quantum computers, and other Tech updates

The security threat posed by quantum computers. A turning point for the computer chip industry. Free advice on ransomware attacks. Tech stocks continue to please Wall Street. Africa set to add a quarter-billion web users. The U.K.’s tech sector takes a hit. Continue reading “U.S. unprepared for new security threat posed by quantum computers, and other Tech updates”

What do the government’s changing fuel economy rules mean for you?

Federal regulators jolted the auto industry with two surprising pieces of news this month. First, Uncle Sam says that the fines automakers incur for falling short of government fuel economy rules are doubling, a painful blow for the industry. And second, the government doesn’t believe the car industry will hit the lofty fuel economy goal that regulators targeted for the year 2025. It all sounds a bit contradictory. But on closer inspection, the feds’ actions start to make sense. Continue reading “What do the government’s changing fuel economy rules mean for you?”

Big Price Hikes for Medicare Premiums in 2017?

Some Medicare beneficiaries could see rate increases of 22% next year.

Retirees, brace yourselves: Some participants may see double-digit premium hikes for Medicare Part B in 2017.

Congress figures to step in before the bills are due, as it did last year. But if it doesn’t, premiums for about 30% of beneficiaries could jump 22%, from $121.80 per month to $149 a month in January 2017, if the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security is low, as expected. The COLA for next year is likely to be quite small: 0.2% to 0.8%. The actual rates for Part B (which covers the costs of doctor visits and outpatient care) will be announced in October and take effect January 1.

Continue reading “Big Price Hikes for Medicare Premiums in 2017?”