Posted in improvements

2 Americans win Nobel Prize in economics for improvements to auction theory

Two American economists won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday for improving the way auctions work and creating new auction formats that have benefited sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world.

Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, who are based at Stanford University in California, designed new auction formats for good and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, including radio frequencies, airport landing slots and fishing quotas.

Their work resulted in crucial practical applications that have spread globally and “are of great benefit to society,” said Peter Fredriksson, chair of the Nobel committee.

Wilson, 83, developed the theory for auctions of objects with a common value, which is “uncertain beforehand but, in the end, is the same for everyone.”



a screenshot of a computer screen: Americans Paul R. Milgrom, left, and Robert B. Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in economics for 'improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.'


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Americans Paul R. Milgrom, left, and Robert B. Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in economics for ‘improvements to auction theory and inventions

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Posted in home

Black Americans are paying more to own a home and falling further behind

Black Americans pay more than any other group to own a home, a disparity that contributes to roughly half of the $130,000 retirement savings gap between Blacks and Whites, according to new study from MIT.



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Black homeowners pay more in mortgage interest, mortgage insurance and property taxes than other homeowners, according to the paper by Edward Golding, executive director of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy and co-authors, Michelle Aronowitz and Jung Hyun Choi.

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Overall, the differences in mortgage interest payments amount to $743 a year, mortgage insurance premiums come to $550 a year and property taxes are about $390 per year. Together, this results in $67,320 in lost retirement savings for Black homeowners when invested over 30 years, according to the paper.

These inequities make it impossible for Black homeowners to build wealth through home ownership at the same rate as White

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Posted in home

Mortgage rates dip slightly as Americans rush to refinance their home loans

Mortgage rates are flirting with another record low — and that means the boom in refinancing has not yet finished.



a car parked in front of a house: Americans are rushing to refinance, but homeowners shouldn’t necessarily expect mortgage rates to continue hitting record lows.


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Americans are rushing to refinance, but homeowners shouldn’t necessarily expect mortgage rates to continue hitting record lows.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.87% for the week ending Oct. 8, down one basis point from the week prior, Freddie Mac (FMCC)reported Thursday. A few weeks ago, the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to an all-time low of 2.86%.

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The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose by a basis point to an average of 2.37%, while the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage dropped one basis point to 2.89% on average.

Mortgage rates usually roughly follow the direction of the 10-year Treasury note’s yield (BX:TMUBMUSD10Y) which trended upward this week. That’s not what happened this week, though.

“Typically, Treasury yields and mortgage rates have a close relationship, with

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Posted in home

DoorDash rolls out a new corporate meal perk program, as Americans working from home mourn the loss of free food and office snacks



a group of people performing on a counter: Americans' work lunch routines have been severely disrupted by the pandemic. Sweetgreen


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Americans’ work lunch routines have been severely disrupted by the pandemic. Sweetgreen

  • DoorDash launched DoorDash for Work — a program that allows organization to offer employees meal benefits and perks.
  • Zoom, Charles Schwab, and Hulu are among the more than 5,000 organizations that have already signed up. 
  • Working from home has killed office snacks and lunches with coworkers, with 90% of people saying they miss at least one food-related benefit of the office, according to a DoorDash survey. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Working from home has destroyed Americans’ routines, killing lunch breaks and eliminating office snacks. Now, DoorDash is attempting to provide a solution. 

On Wednesday, DoorDash announced the launch of DoorDash for Work — a program that allows organizations to offer employees meal benefits and perks through the delivery service. More than 5,000 organizations have already signed up, including Zoom, Charles

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Posted in home

Cheap, rapid, at-home tests could rival a vaccine in the fight against COVID-19. Why can’t Americans get them?

Even as advocates cite bureaucratic red tape blocking fast and cheap home coronavirus tests, the federal government’s regulatory agency overseeing testing says it will be flexible and encourage developers to seek approval.

Why widespread COVID-19 testing is crucial to fighting the coronavirus pandemic

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The Food and Drug Administration issued a document on July 29 calling for home tests to correctly identify the virus at least 90% of the time. But a high-ranking FDA official overseeing testing told USA TODAY the agency will consider tests with lower sensitivity. 

Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said the agency’s recommendations issued more than two months ago are “starting points.”  

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“Our door has been open, and we’re very flexible because we’re trying to do all we can,

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Posted in home

California’s burning; Americans are dying. I’m safe in Finland. Why would I ever go home?

“It’s too much,” my friend Beth told me, when we talked not long ago. “First corona and now the fires. Many of us were barely holding on before. We don’t know how to deal with this as well.”



a highway filled with lots of traffic: The Bobcat fire, as seen from the 105 Freeway and 605 Freeway interchange on Sept. 20, 2020, is one of the largest in Los Angeles County history. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


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The Bobcat fire, as seen from the 105 Freeway and 605 Freeway interchange on Sept. 20, 2020, is one of the largest in Los Angeles County history. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Beth lives in Northern California, where I have spent much of my adult life. Niko, my Finnish husband, and I, the trailing spouse, have been in Helsinki since early April. This separation from America is working a profound change in how I understand my native country, on how I see life in California.

In Finland, COVID-19 has been largely contained since May. The people trust their government politicians and believe in science.

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Posted in home repair

Americans stuck in lockdown are spending on home improvement

Lawnmowers priced at $3,000 are atypical bestsellers in recessions. But sales of the Ariens Ikon XD, featuring 20-inch tires, a V-twin Kawasaki engine and ergonomic plush seat, have surged in the U.S. during the pandemic.

While other industries grapple with a shaky economy, the home improvement business is booming. Home Depot and Lowe’s last week reported historically large rises in quarterly revenues as housebound Americans spend billions of dollars more than usual at the two go-to chains for DIY.

“Most of us are forced to spend more time at home than we ever have in our lifetimes,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chief executive, presenting a 34% jump in like-for-like sales. Customers had been “finding projects around the house” that they either “hadn’t had a chance to get to” or “just didn’t notice” before the lockdown.

Craig Menear, chairman and chief executive of Home Depot, said the pandemic had meant “the

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