28
Sep

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Do not allow a loan company to dicuss you into employing a new bank loan to repay the balance of your respective prior financial debt. You will definitely get caught paying the fees on not only the initial personal loan, but the 2nd at the same time. They could rapidly discuss you into carrying this out time and time again before you spend them over five times whatever you possessed initially lent within service fees.

Many individuals have no other choice but to utilize payday loans whenever they require money swiftly. These financial loans can be quite a huge support when funds are essential speedy, so utilizing them may not be bad. Do your homework and find the most cost effective firm to acquire funds from prior to signing any documentation.

With a payday advance, count on a somewhat high charge to acquire quickness and efficiency. You will get your cash faster than you would coming from a financial institution, although the fees could add up. Repay the loan immediately and avoid moving it more than to the next examine.

Usually do not get yourself a personal loan for any over you really can afford to pay back on your after that pay out period. This is a good concept to help you spend the loan way back in total. You do not want to spend in installments for the reason that interest is really higher it could make you are obligated to pay considerably more than you loaned.

Know the law. Imagine you take out a pay day loan to get paid back with through your following pay period of time. Should you not pay the bank loan again promptly, the financial institution may use how the check out you utilized as guarantee whether or not you have the money in your account or perhaps not. Beyond your bounced check service fees, there are says where the loan company can claim 3 times the volume of your original verify.

Count on the cash advance firm to call you. Each company has to authenticate the info they get from every prospect, and therefore signifies that they have to make contact with you. They must talk to you face-to-face well before they agree the borrowed funds. As a result, don’t provide them with a amount that you simply in no way use, or implement when you’re at the office. The more time it will take for them to speak to you, the more you have to wait for dollars.

If you are obtaining a payday advance, there is a handful of different things that may determine how much you will get. The lending business will primarily evaluate your cash flow and career reputation. The amount of money that you get will even be determined by which financial institution you plan to make use of.

In case you are contemplating that you might have to standard with a payday advance, reconsider. The money companies accumulate a lot of data from you about things such as your boss, plus your deal with. They will harass you constantly before you obtain the financial loan paid back. It is advisable to acquire from family, sell points, or do other things it will require to simply pay the loan away, and move on.

Unless you have ample funds on your own examine to repay the borrowed funds, a payday advance organization will encourage you to roll the quantity around. This only is useful for the cash advance firm. You can expect to turn out trapping on your own and not having the capacity to repay the money.

For anybody hunting to take out a payday advance, they should really look at searching for personal personal loans initially. In case you have good credit rating as well as a reliable background along with your bank, you just might obtain a personalized loan in a much lower interest rate, with a good deal much more time to cover it back again.

The simplest way to take care of pay day loans is not to have to take them. Do your very best to save a little bit cash every week, so that you have a one thing to tumble back on in an emergency. Whenever you can save the amount of money to have an crisis, you can expect to eradicate the need for utilizing a pay day loan service.

Exactly like anything else being a client, you need to do your homework and research prices to get the best possibilities in pay day loans. Be sure to know all the specifics all around the financial loan, so you are becoming the ideal costs, conditions and also other situations for the specific financial situation.

8
Aug

Protect Your Hard Earned Money With One Of These Wonderful Payday Loan Tips

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Let’s be realistic, when monetary struggle happens, you will need a fast solution. The pressure from monthly bills turning up with no approach to shell out them is excruciating. When you have been contemplating a pay day loan, and when it is right for you, please read on for some beneficial assistance about them.

Since you are finishing your application for payday cash loans, you happen to be delivering your own personal details over the web to an not known location. Being familiar with this could allow you to guard your details, just like your interpersonal stability number. Shop around about the loan provider you are interested in just before, you deliver anything at all online.

Should you be interested in acquiring a payday advance, you ought to right away start to put aside money so that you will have the ability to spend that loan back again once it can be thanks. Payday cash loans are merely right up until your next salary therefore you don’t have that lots of time to budget your hard earned dollars.

If you feel you will be receiving treatment illegally, or unfairly by your payday advance supplier, be sure that you file a problem with the express firm. Unless you data file a complaint, the borrowed funds supplier will probably be able to carry on working in an prohibited way. They may even resort to physical violence, to obtain their funds back of your stuff.

Should you be looking for a payday advance on the internet, make sure that you get in touch with and talk to an agent prior to going into any information and facts to the site. Many con artists pretend to be cash advance agencies to get your hard earned dollars, so you want to ensure that you can achieve an authentic particular person.

Be certain you are aware how more service fees you get, when you choose to “roll-over” the loan. It may seem you might be providing oneself much more time to pay for the loan back, but you are also taking on more costs on your own profile. Check with what costs are involved, inside a rollover before you do a single.

In case you have removed a cash advance, speak with your payroll department at the office. See if they can advance you all of your up coming paychecks so that you can pay downward your loan quicker. Even when they can only do a part of it, that will continue to cut down your monthly interest significantly.

If you have a pay day loan removed, find one thing from the encounter to criticize about and then contact and commence a rant. Customer care operators are usually made it possible for a computerized lower price, charge waiver or perk handy out, like a free or cheaper extension. Do it once to obtain a greater deal, but don’t get it done 2 times otherwise chance getting rid of bridges.

If you are planning to get a payday advance, you ought to be certain that there is certainly not an alternative choice. A cash advance comes along with really high interest rates and may can even make your financial predicament initially. Only use a payday loan when you have not one other decision, and it will surely assist as an alternative to harm you economically.

Ensure your pay day loan arrangement is in English. Some rogue cash advance organizations publish their bank loan deals inside a international language, so that you can trick clients into agreeing to undesirable terminology. As a result, it is important that you check that you are aware of all the written text presented in your payday advance agreement prior to signing it.

Payday loans are an effective way to have cash in a rush. There are plenty of firms that provide this specific service, as well as the expenses related to most of these financial loans change. Appearance to get the best package in the bank loan to enable you to pay it off rapidly and without having significant recurring personal debt.

Have a pay day loan only if you need to cover certain bills quickly this would mainly consist of bills or health care bills. Tend not to get into the habit of consuming payday loans. The high interest rates could actually cripple your money around the long-term, and you should figure out how to stay with a spending budget rather than borrowing cash.

Anytime trying to get a payday loan, make sure that all the details you supply is accurate. Quite often, things like your work historical past, and house might be approved. Ensure that your information is right. You are able to stay away from receiving decreased for your payday advance, allowing you powerless.

Have you solved the information that you simply were mistaken for? You have to have learned adequate to eradicate anything that you had been confused about in relation to payday loans. Keep in mind though, there is a lot to find out in terms of online payday loans. Therefore, analysis about almost every other concerns you may well be unclear about and find out what more one can learn. Everything ties in together so what you figured out right now is applicable generally.

7
Jul

Great Tips With Regards To Online Payday Loans

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If you’re in the restricted monetary area, you’re most likely transforming over each rock and roll to search for funds. You’ve seen all cash advance commercials. Is it the best choice for your situations? These kinds of loans will get you again on your ft ., but you should know what you are engaging in. Continue reading to understand excellent payday advance advice.
Always understand that the amount of money that you just obtain from a cash advance is going to be paid back specifically away from your income. You have to arrange for this. If you do not, as soon as the conclusion of your respective pay out period of time will come close to, you will recognize that you do not have adequate funds to spend your other expenses.
Understand what APR means before agreeing to a payday loan. APR, or once-a-year portion rate, is the level of curiosity how the organization fees in the loan when you are paying out it back again. Though payday cash loans are fast and hassle-free, examine their APRs together with the APR incurred with a lender or your charge card business. Most likely, the paycheck loan’s APR will be much higher. Question exactly what the pay day loan’s rate of interest is initial, prior to you making a decision to obtain anything.
Do not just mind for your very first cash advance company you happen to see together your day-to-day commute. While you might know exactly where they may be located, be sure you look at your nearby listings on where to get reduced rates. It can save you a ton of money by searching for some things if you have free time.
You will find different factors that perform into how much you can borrow coming from a cash advance. The amount of your regular paycheck will determine the actual size of the payday advance for which you meet the requirements. The financial institution is going to do the math and crunch the phone numbers about how much you can use according to your revenue. You need to know this when contemplating implementing with a pay day financial institution.
Verify your credit report prior to look for a cash advance. Consumers with a healthful credit score are able to find more favorable interest levels and terms of pay back. If your credit track record is within very poor design, you will definitely spend rates of interest which are increased, and you may not qualify for a prolonged financial loan expression.
Prior to finalizing your cash advance, study every one of the small print in the arrangement. Payday cash loans may have a lots of lawful vocabulary secret in them, and in some cases that authorized terminology is used to cover up hidden rates, high-priced late service fees as well as other things that can kill your budget. Before you sign, be clever and know specifically what you are actually signing.
Something you will want to assess when working with a cash advance providing clients are what rules they may have in position to assist out if you have further troubles and cannot spend the money for loan back as agreed upon. Occasionally, an extension is vital, as it is advisable to locate a financial institution who grants them.
Since creditors make it so easy to obtain a pay day loan, a lot of people utilize them when they are not inside a situation or unexpected emergency condition. This will result in individuals to become secure paying the high rates of interest and once a crisis occurs, these are within a unpleasant place as they are previously overextended.
Search for distinct bank loan plans that may are better for your personalized situation. Because pay day loans are becoming more popular, loan companies are indicating to offer a a bit more mobility inside their bank loan applications. Some firms supply 30-working day repayments instead of one to two several weeks, and you could qualify for a staggered repayment schedule that could make the financial loan easier to pay back.
You should create a great transaction record with all the pay day loan provider you will be working together with. This really is crucial if you’re in trouble monetarily down the road simply because you have to be in a position to obtain the quantity you’re planning to will need. Using the same loan provider for online payday loans allows you to get greater personal loans when you have a great history with all the organization.
As mentioned prior to, when you are in the middle of a financial situation that you require money promptly, then a pay day loan might be a workable choice for you. Just make sure you remember the tips in the report, and you’ll have a very good cash advance quickly.

27
Jun

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Do you experience feeling nervous about spending your bills this week? Perhaps you have tried every little thing? Perhaps you have attempted a pay day loan? A pay day loan can provide the funds you should spend charges at the moment, and you will pay the financial loan back in increments. Nonetheless, there are certain things you need to know. Keep reading for guidelines to help you with the method.

If you think the need to think about online payday loans, take into account the fact that the fees and interest are generally fairly high. Occasionally when a certain business probably have rates as high as 150% – 200Percent for extended intervals. By means of loopholes in usury regulations, these companies steer clear of restrictions for higher interest rates.

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Make an attempt to operate straight with payday advance internet sites whilst looking for lending options online. There are several sites available that can take your information and attempt to go with you using a lender, but this is often a little high-risk because you are supplying delicate information about oneself.

A huge loan company are able to offer much better phrases than a small one particular. The fees on indirect personal loans result in your current repayment to the firm to get significantly higher.

Make sure you will have the appropriate details related to online payday loans. Proof of work is important, as being a loan provider will most likely call for a shell out stub. Make sure you allow them to have the appropriate telephone number also. You could delay your loan if you give imprecise or fake information and facts.

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The very best payday loan organizations hold the technological innovation required to provide a fast respond to on your app. Working with a business which includes updated handling will give you much more possibilities than one that has not up to date their methods in several years.

If you go to the payday advance office, you will have to give proof of employment and your era. This info is necessary for virtually any payday loan.

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8
Apr

A Toy for Toddlers Doubles as Code Bootcamp

A Toy for Toddlers Doubles as Code Bootcamp

Cubetto, a wooden robot developed by Primo Toys, wheels around under its own power, along a course charted by the human behind the machine. It teaches children as young as 3 the basics of computer programming. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

It took a tentative step forward, turned to the left, took another step and then came to rest under a tree — at least, a drawing of one.

Cubetto does not actually walk, but the smiling wooden robot does wheel around under its own power, along a course charted by the human behind the machine.

With a $225 price tag, it is an expensive vehicle for play. Although a remote-controlled car may have been simpler, and cheaper, there was a purpose to the exercise: teaching children as young as 3 the basics of computer programming and developing technological and critical thinking skills.

It used to be that mass-market toys were the purview of the Mattels and Fisher-Prices of the world. But new financing avenues, like crowdfunding, have made it easier for entrepreneurs to get into the market.

Cubetto’s creator, Primo Toys, developed its first prototype for testing in 2013. The next year, the company took the prototype to the Emerge Education incubator, which helps entrepreneurs learn about the educational toys market. In 2015, Cubetto went to the Highway1 incubator, which focuses on hardware development and production, and last year the company raised $1.6 million in a Kickstarter campaign.

Filippo Yacob, the founder of Primo Toys, was hoping to market to toy buyers and retailers when he attended the Toy Industry Association’s New York Toy Fair in February. Mr. Yacob said he was inspired by classic building blocks to have children teach themselves coding fundamentals.

“This block-based programming language looks and feels like a toy but is in fact a procedural programming language,” he said.

He officially started his company on Nov. 20, 2013 — the same day his son was born.

“When I found out that I was going to be a dad, I started thinking about the things I wanted my son to learn,” he said. One of those things was coding, a skill set that Mr. Yacob says he believes is now as critical as reading or math.

“It is 21st-century literacy,” he said. “The idea behind Cubetto was to create a tool that would make that literacy accessible to this age group, 3 to 6.”

According to Adrienne Appell, the director for strategic communications at the Toy Industry Association, this segment — which did not even exist 20 years ago — has rapidly become a major part of the toy market.

A Cubetto kit includes the robot, a programming console and instruction tiles. It also comes with a play mat that represents the robot’s world and a book, which together allow players to follow a story line that the robot roams through. Multiple books and play mats are available, but young coders are free to design their own adventure rather than using a set story if they prefer.

Since the kits started shipping to consumers in November, reactions have been generally positive.

The Toy Insider, which reviews toys and makes purchasing recommendations to its readers, included Cubetto in its list of top STEM toys for children ages 3 to 5, although the publication has not yet formally reviewed it.

Filippo Yacob, the founder of Primo Toys, said he was inspired by classic building blocks to have children teach themselves coding fundamentals. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

“It’s a really tangible example of coding, which is sort of an abstract concept,” said Marissa DiBartolo, a senior editor at The Toy Insider. “Kids may not even realize that’s what they’re doing.”

The popular wisdom on computers and “screen time” has been mixed. Some parents are certainly hesitant to put their children in front of screens too early.

In Ms. DiBartolo’s view, technology is an important part of the modern world, and finding ways to introduce technological principles at a young age helps children begin to develop necessary skills.

Ms. DiBartolo’s publication also endorses other toys that are similar to Cubetto, including one from established brands like Fisher-Price’s Codeapillar and Learning Resources’ Code and Go Robot Mouse. Both Codeapillar and the Code and Go Robot Mouse are electronic. Codeapillar is controlled by stringing together directional pieces that chart a course for the robot to travel. Code and Go is programmed with cards and also comes with obstacles so players can build a course for their robot mouse to navigate.

Robot Turtles, from Think Fun, is a traditional board game, but Ms. DiBartolo said it still taught “if/then” — a fundamental command in coding — as players use cards to direct pieces across the board toward a prize in the center.

Other start-ups are also targeting different segments of the STEM market. For example, Magical Microbes produces science experimentation kits, including one called MudWatt that teaches users about biochemical properties by having them create a mud-based battery.

STEM toys, and the skills they promote, are also finding a place in the classroom. Mr. Yacob said one of his goals was to see a Cubetto kit in every early-learning environment worldwide.

Teachers see the benefits of learning to code beyond just allowing students to create new computer programs.

Amy Flannery, the director of curriculum and instruction for the Wilson School District in Reading, Pa., said that coding helped turn children into what she calls “problem finders,” rather than just problem solvers.

“What’s important about this for children is the logic. It’s the ‘learning to build’ mind-set” of finding problems that need to be solved, she said. Thinking this way, Ms. Flannery said, students can figure out and try a path to solve a problem, and if doesn’t work, they will still have learned something they can apply to their next attempt.

For example, learning through trial and error makes students better at logical thinking, Ms. Flannery said. “I call it puzzle brain,” she said. “You’re struggling to figure something out but you know you can do it in the end. Anything that gives them that puzzle brain is something that will make them a thinking student, and that’s what I want to come into my school, someone who will try and fail and try again.”

Mr. Yacob said that Cubetto was in line with those goals. It can also serve as an introduction to other topics through the accompanying storybooks.

As with many other inventors, his goal is to have Cubetto join a long line of technologies that contribute to the human experience.

“Technology allows us to do the things that make us human, so cooking, art, architecture, engineering,” Mr. Yacob said. “Technology allows us to affirm our humanity, and this is why I think it’s so important.”

8
Apr

Tesla Has Something Hotter Than Cars to Sell: Its Story

Tesla Has Something Hotter Than Cars to Sell: Its Story

Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and chief executive, entering Trump Tower for a meeting with President-elect Donald J. Trump in early January. Credit Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

As Tesla shares surged past $300 this week and the company’s market value surpassed Ford’s, even its founder, Elon Musk, acknowledged on Twitter that the company was “absurdly overvalued if based on the past.”

By “the past,” he presumably means old-fashioned valuation measures like price-to-earnings or price-to-sales ratios, the traditional benchmarks for evaluating stock prices. By those measures, Tesla — a company that lost $773 million last year — is indeed off the charts.

Tesla’s market value of nearly $49 billion is not only higher than that of Ford, which earned nearly $11 billion in profit last year, but is within easy striking distance of General Motors, which earned $9.4 billion.

“It’s nuts,” Bruce Greenwald, a professor at Columbia Business School and an expert in value investing, said of Tesla’s stock price. “Investors believe it’s going to dominate a market that no company has ever dominated before.”

But Tesla is not a stock, or a company, that is measured by the past, as Mr. Musk is well aware. He also wrote on Twitter that stock prices represent “risk-adjusted future cash flows” — and Tesla is about nothing if not a utopian future of safe, reliable, powerful, self-driving electric vehicles powered by solar-fed batteries that are easy on the environment.

In that regard, Tesla has ascended into a rarefied realm of so-called story stocks — companies that have so bewitched investors that their stock prices are impervious to any traditional valuation measures because their stories are simply too good not to be true.

And to the dismay of short-sellers, who believe they have ample rational reasons to bet against such stocks, their share prices can stay in the stratosphere for years, even decades.

These story stocks — the term was coined by James Montier, a value investor and a member of the asset allocation team at the investment management firm GMO — are relatively rare, but hardly new. Amazon’s stock surged for decades even without any meaningful profits. A more recent example is Snapchat’s parent, Snap, which is racking up large losses while its stock trades at an astronomical price-to-sales ratio of nearly 50, far higher than Tesla’s 7. (Ford’s, by comparison, is 0.3.)

Amazon and Snap both have stories that are compelling for many investors: Amazon has transformed retailing and is destined to dominate it. Snap is reinventing communication, at least for millennials and those even younger.

Early investors in Uber and Airbnb, though they remain private companies, have valued them at stratospheric multiples based largely on the notion that Uber will transform and dominate local transportation and Airbnb will revolutionize the hotel industry.

For story stocks, any development that lends credence to the story can cause a surge in already high valuations. This week Tesla reported quarterly sales that were modestly above expectations, and the stock surged 7 percent in a day. Tesla shares are up nearly 40 percent this year, even though many investors considered them overvalued in January.

A Tesla showroom in Brooklyn. The surge in the automaker’s stock far outpaces its actual sales. Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Ron Baron, the billionaire investor and founder of Baron Capital, disclosed last year that he owned about 1.6 million Tesla shares. He predicted on CNBC in February that Tesla shares would quadruple by 2020 and triple again by 2025. By then he expects Tesla to become the largest company in the world as measured by market capitalization.

For all the excitement and promise surrounding such companies, there are many cautionary tales.

“Stories are great before bed, but are disastrous as a stock-selection technique,” Mr. Montier wrote in his 2009 book “Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment.” If something is expensive based on traditional valuation metrics, he said, “you had better believe its story, as that is all you have.”

Various studies have shown that stocks with high price-to-sales ratios, on average, significantly underperform market averages. For every Tesla or Uber, there’s a Valeant Pharmaceuticals or Theranos — two story stocks that seduced an astounding array of prominent investors and supporters based on stories that did turn out to be too good to be true.

And while many investors’ memories tend to be short, the so-called dot-com bubble in the late 1990s spawned scores of story stocks, nearly all of them now worthless and forgotten.

Still, Mr. Montier acknowledged, “Stories are compelling.” They appeal to intuition rather than reason. “But perhaps investors would be well advised to follow Odysseus’s example of putting beeswax in his crew’s ears and tying himself to the mast in order to avoid the disastrous, but oh so desirable, call of the Siren song.”

Will Tesla be one of the rare exceptions and, as Mr. Baron has predicted, emerge as the world’s most valuable company?

The company has won over many skeptics with its near-flawless execution, so far, and the high quality of its vehicles and high levels of consumer satisfaction. It is no longer a start-up: It delivered 25,000 vehicles in the last quarter. It is on track to achieve economies of scale, and the company says the gross margin on each vehicle is above 20 percent, far higher than the industry average. That could drive enormous future profits.

But that’s not the Tesla story — or stories — investors are betting on.

Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley automotive analyst who is hardly a starry-eyed optimist about the industry, upgraded Tesla shares to overweight in January. He singles out the company’s new autonomous driving technology as a compelling safety feature that will significantly reduce occupant and pedestrian injuries and fatalities. This week he said he expected “vehicle safety to be the primary differentiator in Tesla’s upcoming product offensive,” referring to the eagerly anticipated introduction of Tesla’s new, lower-price Model 3, which will be equipped with the new technology.

That Tesla is an all-electric, environmentally friendly, nonfossil-fuel vehicle — the story that once excited investors — is barely mentioned anymore.

Even more futuristic is the idea that Tesla cars will be entirely self-driving, able to cruise streets nearly full time (except when they are being charged at Tesla’s high-speed battery-charging stations). In this vision, Tesla owners will share their vehicles with Tesla when not using them, and during that time they will ferry other passengers, serving as Tesla’s version of Uber. Thus Tesla will disrupt Uber’s nascent market dominance.

And Tesla is no longer seen just as a vehicle manufacturer. With its solar and battery technologies, it is in a position to dominate two other enormous industry segments. Tesla “is reinventing the electric grid,” as Mr. Baron said on CNBC. “That’s a bigger opportunity than cars.”

Even if all that comes to pass, it may not be enough to justify Tesla’s valuation unless it can sustain a competitive advantage over time, as Mr. Greenwald, the value investing expert, put it. Tesla is spending heavily on research and development, and perhaps its technology will be difficult or impossible for others to replicate. The established automakers have had years to catch up to or overtake Tesla’s Model S, with a conspicuous lack of success.

But for committed value investors, the writing is on the wall: “Is Tesla going to dominate its industry? That’s the key question,” Mr. Greenwald said. “When it comes to the global auto industry, no one ever has, and in all likelihood, no one ever will.”

8
Apr

China Tech Investment Flying Under the Radar, Pentagon Warns

China Tech Investment Flying Under the Radar, Pentagon Warns

The sensor technology of Velodyne, on display at the International CES trade show in Las Vegas in 2013, is used in some driverless vehicles. The company benefited early on from a Pentagon grant. Credit Joe Klamar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HONG KONG — China is investing in Silicon Valley start-ups with military applications at such a rapid rate that the United States government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America’s most promising technologies, a Pentagon report says.

There are few restrictions on investing in American start-ups that focus on artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and robotics, the report contends, and China has taken advantage. Beijing, the report says, is encouraging its companies to invest for the purpose of pushing the country ahead in its strategic competition with the United States.

In some instances, Chinese companies have made under-the-radar investments intended to dodge the oversight of a government agency, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as Cfius.

Such concerns show that China is looming in America’s rearview mirror after a decades-long campaign by Beijing to close the technological gap between the two countries. Although the race is often cast in an economic light, the Pentagon report underlines the national security threat.

In recent years, China has combined domestic subsidies with aggressive investment overseas to build its own technological know-how. A government plan, “Made in China 2025,” that proposes lavishing state funds on 10 important industries has raised concerns from American and European business groups. Meanwhile, the global semiconductor industry has been shaken by Beijing-backed investment aimed at acquiring new microchip knowledge.

President Trump has said he would resist Chinese trade tactics that put American companies at a disadvantage, though it is unclear whether the topic has come up in meetings with President Xi Jinping of China that began on Thursday and continue Friday.

The report found that increasingly sophisticated commercial technology had blurred the lines between what was available to military consumers and civilian ones. Often start-ups and leading internet companies like Facebook and Google are working on products as sophisticated as anything the military has at its disposal.

“For example, V.R. for gaming is at a similar level of sophistication as the V.R. used in simulators for our armed forces,” the report said, referring to virtual reality. “Facial recognition and image detection for social networking and online shopping has real application in tracking terrorists or other threats to national security,” the report continued, which added that much of the autonomous vehicle and drone technology of today was developed using grants from the Pentagon.

In some cases, companies aided by those grants have since raised money from Chinese investors. Velodyne, for example, started developing light sensors for driverless cars after participating in a competition set up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a unit of the Pentagon, in 2005. Since then, those sensors have been used on the United States Navy’s unmanned surface vehicles.

Last summer, the company received a $150 million joint investment from Ford and the Chinese internet giant Baidu. Baidu declined to comment on the investment.

A Velodyne spokeswoman said the round represented its first outside investment.

“The company obtained all necessary government clearances relating to the investment as part of the funding process,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email. “Notably, the investments were designed to make advanced LiDAR sensors more accessible to the broader industry, resulting in the development of safer, less expensive autonomous vehicles.”

Ashton B. Carter, the former secretary of defense, commissioned the report as an urgent review of what senior Pentagon officials have considered China’s alarming penetration of Silicon Valley, particularly in deals that finance nascent technology that has military applications.

The report found that American private industry was mostly unaware of Beijing’s efforts — many of the deals involve relatively small amounts of money — and that Washington did not have a strong understanding of the scale of the issue.

“The U.S. government does not have a holistic view of how fast this technology transfer is occurring, the level of Chinese investment in U.S. technology, or what technologies we should be protecting,” the report said.

Michael A. Brown, the former chief executive of Symantec, led the study, called “How Chinese Investments in Emerging Technology Enable a Strategic Competitor to Access the Crown Jewels of U.S. Innovation.” The New York Times reviewed a copy of the unclassified report.

Mr. Carter declined to comment on the final document issued to cabinet officials last month.

The report does not offer examples of American companies that have accepted Chinese investment and then found that their sensitive technologies were transferred to China.

But it does take exception to tactics that it says Chinese funds have used to skirt government oversight. For example, it singles out Canyon Bridge, a venture capital firm that it says was formed to buy Lattice Semiconductor, an American microchip company. The firm has Chinese capital and American management expertise. The purpose of creating Canyon Bridge was to obscure the source of capital to “enhance the possibility” that the transaction would be approved by Cfius, the report said.

Peter Kuo, a partner at Canyon Bridge, said that the there was never any intention to obscure the source of the fund’s capital, as shown by meetings it had with Cfius before the deal was signed.

Chinese investors plowed about $30 billion into early-stage technology through more than 1,000 funding deals between 2010 and 2016. During that time, participation from China rose to about 10 percent of total venture deals, with investment in crucial industries like artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality accelerating in 2016, according to the report.

Among the investors identified in the report are well-known private firms and funds like Alibaba and Baidu. It also points to government-sponsored investors like Westlake Ventures, a fund in Redwood City, Calif., that is owned by the Hangzhou government, and ZGC Capital, an investor owned by 17 state-owned enterprises with an office in Santa Clara, Calif.

The rising trend in venture capital investments has occurred alongside state-directed industrial espionage and online theft, which the American government has been unable to slow, the report says. In the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Silicon Valley field office, only 10 people are dedicated to counterespionage, and F.B.I. officials said in interviews for the report that it “has very limited resources relative to the threat.”

“The scale of the espionage continues to increase,” the authors say. “Despite the rise in convictions, there is no way to know how big this problem really is.”

Correction: April 7, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated how much money Chinese investors put into American early-stage technology between 2010 and 2016. It was $30 billion, not $620 billion.

8
Apr

Retail Payrolls Sustain a New Blow as Shopping Habits Shift

Retail Payrolls Sustain a New Blow as Shopping Habits Shift

A worker at Walmart, the single largest private employer in the United States. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Doors at many Macy’s, Sears and J. C. Penney stores may still be open, but some of the jobs they once supported are starting to vanish.

General merchandise stores shed 34,700 jobs in March, the government announced Friday, the single most disappointing figure in a generally disappointing jobs report.

After hitting a low point during the recession in December 2009, the retail sector has reliably been churning out more jobs. Though the Labor Department’s monthly employment summary provides only a snapshot of the labor market, this is the second month in a row that retail payrolls have registered substantial losses — a possible sign that larger structural changes are in the works.

“E-commerce and technology have absolutely changed the rules of the game and given massive amounts of power to the consumer,” said Simeon Siegel, a retail analyst at Nomura. “There is a self-help mentality now. People walk around with their phones in their hand to tell them the best model and the best price. You don’t need as many people walking around trying to convince you to buy a sweater.”

The vitality of the retail sector has been muscled out of the spotlight lately by a focus on better-paying manufacturing jobs, which President Trump sees as crucial to the revival of the middle class, particularly in the Midwest and the South. But retail outlets still employ millions of Americans and serve as an entry point into the labor force, especially for those with less education and fewer skills.

Remember that while General Motors was once the single largest employer, today Walmart is.

Workers in the 1970s at a General Motors plant in Detroit. The automaker was once the single largest private employer in the United States. Credit Dan Dmitruck/United Press International

Yet even Walmart is having to contend with a sea change in the way people shop. The company, for instance, has been closing smaller stores in rural areas, according to Barbara Denham, a senior economist at Reis, a real estate data and analytics firm.

Jack Kleinhenz, the chief economist at the National Retail Federation, does not discount the magnitude of the transformation that is occurring in retail, but cautioned that the monthly job figures are also highly subject to temporary vagaries. “One of the challenges we have at this time of the year is the quirkiness of seasonal forces,” he said.

An unexpectedly warm February and snowy March and the late arrival of Easter could have elbowed the numbers in an uncharacteristic way.

Diane Swonk, the chief executive of DS Economics in Chicago, agreed. The falloff in hiring “is not a reflection of a consumer than can’t spend, but rather of how they spend,” she said. “Retail is one of the largest employers in the country, and it’s going to go through a pretty massive secular restructuring. We shop differently now, and no one has the right model.”

Most shopping is still done in person rather than online, but shopping patterns are shifting. Ms. Swonk mentioned research that shows consumers like to buy online but return things to bricks-and-mortar stores.

“Clearly, it’s just not one or the other, not just bricks or clicks,” she said. But the marketplace is rapidly changing and retailers “are not sure what the endgame is.”

E-commerce may cause a drop in retail jobs, but a rise in warehouse, distribution and transportation jobs.

At the same time, consumers have not only been changing how they shop, but what they buy. Ms. Denham noted that while the entire retail sector ended up down nearly 30,000 jobs, the restaurant industry showed a gain of 20,000 in March on top of steady previous growth.

“There’s been a shift in consumer spending from things to experiences,” she said, “that’s why restaurants are doing so well.”

8
Apr

Hey Hey, My My: Aging Rock Fans Still Hold Their Lighters High

Hey Hey, My My: Aging Rock Fans Still Hold Their Lighters High

Joanne Warren, center, and Mark Hover, right, listening to Yonder Mountain String Band on Thursday night at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, Calif. Now that he is retired, Mr. Hover, 65, says he attends more than 100 concerts a year. Credit Carlos Gonzalez for The New York Times

Pete Townshend of the Who struck a nerve with rock ’n’ roll rebels in 1965 with the line “I hope I die before I get old.”

But something has happened in the five decades since he wrote “My Generation”: The boomer generation got older, yet continued to love rock ’n’ roll. Now, as many of those early fans enter retirement, they are still boarding buses and trudging through muddy fields to see their favorite bands.

“It used to be that when you retired, you went to Leisure World or the old retirement complex,” said Mark Hover, a 65-year-old who lives in Moreno Valley, Calif., and retired in 2004 after 30 years working for the United Parcel Service. Now, he said, other options are more appealing to him.

“What you’re supposed to do in your golden years is more of what you love,” he said. “What I’ve loved all my life is going to see live music.” He attends more than 100 shows a year, spending thousands of dollars traveling to concerts and multiday rock festivals like Bonnaroo, in Manchester, Tenn., which he plans to attend in June. He finds that he is far from the only “old guy” — his term — rocking out.

Concerts aimed at old guys are big business. According to the music industry tracking firm Pollstar, the six-day music extravaganza Desert Trip, featuring the Who and fellow rock veterans like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Neil Young, took in $160 million last year. Held in Indio, Calif., the festival catered to “an older, more affluent crowd,” Pollstar said. Mr. Hover was there, and paid $399 for his ticket.

Tickets to other concerts and festivals likely to draw audiences old enough to remember Woodstock — among them the just-announced Classic East and Classic West, with the headliners Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles, scheduled for New York and Los Angeles this summer — are also selling robustly.

Yonder Mountain String Band. Credit Carlos Gonzalez for The New York Times

Mr. Hover said he likes younger acts, such as the Raveonettes, too. The online ticketing service Eventbrite found in a 2015 study conducted by the Harris Poll that 44 percent of those ages 51 to 70 are attending more live shows now than they did in 2005. Of those concertgoers, 40 percent say they want to stay abreast of current tastes.

“My generation had this thing about, don’t trust anyone over 30,” said Sheldon Donig, 70, a retired developer from San Anselmo, Calif. “But age doesn’t seem to be an issue at the festivals I go to. Younger people don’t seem to be ageist.” He said he plans to take his R.V. in June to the Kate Wolf Music Festival in Laytonville, Calif., and in August to the Oregon Eclipse in Crook County, Ore.

For many retirees, concertgoing is a lifestyle, and not a new one. “It’s not like we were playing golf and all of a sudden quit and started seeing shows,” Mr. Donig said. “We’ve been doing this since we were in our 20s.” The difference now, he said, is that they can do more of it.

Bob McAdam, 74, a retired CVS pharmacist from Bourne, Mass., also dived deep into live music after retiring in 2014. He says he attends roughly 150 concerts or festivals a year, twice as many as when he was working. “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t play golf, and I don’t have a second home in Florida,” he said. “Music is my only hobby.”

Mr. McAdam has built a social network through his showgoing. “You get to know people, and you keep in touch with some of them,” he said. He has little time for peers of his who have given up on contemporary music.

“A lot of people not even my age, but a lot younger, have this idea that Led Zeppelin was the best thing you could listen to, and that there’s nothing worth listening to anymore,” Mr. McAdam said. “That’s just wrong. Also, hearing new music keeps you current.”

Allie Kral of Yonder Mountain String Band showing off her violin skills. Credit Carlos Gonzalez for The New York Times

Occasionally, it can exhaust you. “Festivals are thought of as a younger person’s game because it can be challenging to be out in the summer sun from morning till dusk two or three days in a row,” said Jeffrey Schneider, 54, a lawyer from Dix Hills, N.Y., who plans to retire in the next year or two to focus on concertgoing. “You need stamina. But as Warren Zevon said, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead.’”

Festival logistics can be especially hard on retirees with health issues, like Timothy Sanford-Wachtel, 68, a presiding Workers’ Compensation judge in Riverside, Calif., who has survived cancer. Mr. Sanford-Wachtel is planning his impending retirement around concerts and festivals. “Sometimes it’s tough to navigate my walker around 100,000 people,” he said. “But I always tell people I’m not going to quit until the Rolling Stones do.”

Dan Berkowitz, chief executive of CID Entertainment, a Philadelphia company that offers concert travel packages, said retirees tend to expect a smooth operation. “People who are a bit older have the reputation of being demanding,” he said, because they know they should not have to wait in line 45 minutes to get past security, and should not be stuck behind a billboard so they can’t see the stage. Because of retirees’ influence, he said, festival organizers, especially at shows like Desert Trip, which he described as “generally luxurious, as far as festivals go,” operate more carefully.

While clients in their 50s and older represent about 15 percent of his business, they account for about half the attendance at shows that cater to them, like Desert Trip and Fare Thee Well, a 2015 series of concerts by the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. One client in this age group, who has been going to Bonnaroo for eight years, regularly arranges for five or six buses to travel to the festival through CID. “He’s done well for himself, and when it comes time for him to have a bit of fun, he likes to bring his family and friends along,” Mr. Berkowitz said.

Millennials are often said to value experience over material things, but Mr. Berkowitz says he associates that sensibility with his most senior clients. “They know they’re not going to remember that one year they bought a new TV, or got a car with an upgraded moon roof,” he said. “They’re going to remember seeing their favorite artists with family or friends.”

Jill Seagraves, 61, of Upper Montclair, N.J., couldn’t agree more. “My parents used to like to watch golf on TV with drinks on a Sunday afternoon,” she said. “That’s nothing that ever interested me.” Instead, traveling to see festivals like Desert Trip has kept her occupied, and happy, since her children left home; she is a retired homemaker.

“There’s going to be a day where people like Neil Young don’t play anymore, and I want to be at their last tour,” she said. “I want to die with a wristband around my wrist.”

8
Apr

Panicked Borrowers, and the Education Department’s Unsettling Silence

Panicked Borrowers, and the Education Department’s Unsettling Silence

Jessica Schreiber, founder of the nonprofit start-up Fabscrap, at its warehouse. She is waiting to hear whether her venture will allow her to qualify for public service student loan forgiveness. Credit Jake Naughton for The New York Times

It was bad enough late last month when the Education Department, in a legal filing, informed the nation’s public servants that they shouldn’t trust its administrator’s word about whether their student loans qualify for its debt forgiveness program.

But the panic among borrowers that the newfound uncertainty unleashed helps illuminate an additional problem with the public service loan forgiveness program: Many people who believe that they qualify — and entered graduate school, borrowed piles of money and chose employers accordingly — may not realize that they are not making qualifying payments or that certain loans are not eligible for forgiveness.

The program, which began in 2007, was enacted with what was supposed to be a clear-cut proposition: People who worked for 10 years in public service jobs and made regular payments would have the remainder of their federal student loans forgiven. A wide variety of jobs were supposed to qualify, from nonprofit work to teaching in a public school or practicing medicine at a public hospital.

“This is one of the most complex programs ever concocted by Congress,” said Rohit Chopra, a former Education Department employee who also served as the student loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “So many people who are counting on getting some help are going to be flatly rejected on a technicality.”

People who are in the loan forgiveness program, who think they are or who are contemplating trying to enter it ought to use this scare as an opportunity to step back and double-check their assumptions.

At least four basic things need to happen for someone to get in the program and stay in: He or she must make payments in the right way, have the right kind of employer, be in the right loan category and have the right kind of payment plan.

What follows is a mere summary, and the pitfalls, tripwires and exceptions are legion. Mandatory additional reading includes the Education Department’s fact sheet, its list of 56 questions and answers, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s tool kits for employers and employees.

Let’s take those four requirements in order:

THE RIGHT WAY TO PAY For starters, you need to make 120 payments in order to qualify. They need to be made on time and in full, and you must be working full time.

The count can get complicated for people in school, or just getting out, or in financial trouble, as well as for those with qualifying undergraduate loans who go back to school. Question 21 on the department’s list addresses some of these issues.

THE RIGHT KIND OF EMPLOYER This is what the lawsuit is about. All of the Education Department’s guidance on the topic suggests that people who work for the government or for a nonprofit with 501(c) 3 status should be eligible for forgiveness. Anyone who wants to be certain that an employer qualifies can (and should) file an employment certification form with a loan servicer. Do it every year, and every time you change jobs or servicers. Also check to make sure your payments are going correctly toward that goal of 120.

The lawsuit involved some employers with more esoteric nonprofit statuses, and the Education Department’s filing in response declared that approval of an employment certification form “does not reflect agency action on the borrower’s qualifications” for the public service loan forgiveness program. Additionally, the brief said that borrowers should not expect a truly final decision until after their 120 payments were made.

Cross your fingers, everybody! And cue the justifiable panic. Dr. Jordan Chanler-Berat, 33, an emergency room physician at a nonprofit hospital in New York City, fired off a letter to the Education Department demanding final word now about the fate of his more than $300,000 in student loans. While he had previously received letters saying that his employer qualified, he was primed to be wary. At one point, his human resources person mistakenly told him that his hospital might not qualify.

“I was going to throw up,” he said.

Jessica Schreiber, 28, the founder and sole paid employee of a nonprofit, has her own concerns. She left New York City’s Sanitation Department last year to start Fabscrap, which helps local businesses recycle their fabric. Before starting graduate school, she plotted her loans, payments and career choices according to the rules of the loan forgiveness program.

Dr. Jordan Chanler-Berat, 33, an emergency room physician in New York City. He grew worried about the status of his $330,000 in student loan debt after learning of the federal government’s legal filing in a case involving the public service loan forgiveness program.

Credit Jake Naughton for The New York Times

So when she heard the news about the lawsuit, she posted the following on Facebook: “THIS IS TERRIFYING.”

She has asked for her servicer’s blessing on the eligibility of her nonprofit, and has not heard back yet.

Since the legal filing, the Education Department has told reporters that it cannot comment on pending litigation. I didn’t ask about that. Instead, I simply asked if its servicer’s letters about whether an employer was eligible were something that borrowers should believe. Its three spokesmen did not answer by my deadline for this article.

Let’s call the Education Department’s refusal to clarify the matter exactly what it is: meanness. If the department has made mistakes with the litigants and misclassified their employers, it can fix them quickly and settle the suit without freaking out untold numbers of other borrowers.

THE RIGHT KIND OF LOAN The Education Department’s instructions, via another information page on its website, are pretty clear: You need to have what the agency refers to as a “direct” loan. As the site explains, if the word “direct” isn’t in the title of your loan, it probably doesn’t qualify. If you aren’t sure what kinds of loans you have or whether your statement from your servicer describes them correctly, you can log into the department’s website and look them up.

If you’re making payments on, say, a Federal Family Education Loan (F.F.E.L.) or a Perkins loan, those are not counted toward your 120 payments, even if you work for a qualifying employer (though the Perkins loan has its own cancellation program). You can fix this by consolidating your loans into a direct consolidation loan. Be careful, though: If you consolidate direct loans with nonqualifying loans, any forgiveness-qualifying payments you made on that old direct loan won’t count anymore. The count to 120 resets.

When Dr. Darius Amjadi, a 49-year-old pathologist and Iraq war veteran in Portland, Ore., began his work with a veterans’ hospital, he thought he had a shot at loan forgiveness from the Veterans Affairs Department’s own program. At the same time, his employer informed him that his loans would be eligible for public service loan forgiveness.

But the department’s forgiveness has not come through. And it turns out he had not been in the right kind of federal loan to qualify for forgiveness under the public service program, despite what his employer said. “If anyone had said, ‘Check your loans,’ it would have put me on notice,” Dr. Amjadi said. Now, he’s got a balance of $40,000 and has missed out on years of eligibility for forgiveness.

THE RIGHT KIND OF PAYMENTS This is the category that so worries Mr. Chopra, the former Education Department and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau student loan expert, who is now a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America. For starters, he points out that if you are not in some kind of income-driven repayment program (check the Education Department’s website for the names of all of the different ones), you’re not going to benefit from forgiveness and there’s a good chance that your payments don’t qualify.

A standard repayment term for student loans is 10 years, or 120 payments. Those payments may be technically eligible if you have the right employer, but if you’re making them in full (and not on an income-driven plan), you’ll have paid off the loan in 10 years and there won’t be any loan left to forgive.

Mr. Chopra worries about people working for eligible employers and making payments in something called graduated or extended repayment plans that are not income driven. If you think that sounds like you, call your servicer and ask, then ask again at a different time to be sure.

He points to data in an Education Department presentation from late last year that is available online showing that about half of the people enrolled in public service loan forgiveness have not made a single payment that qualifies toward their goal of 120. He suspects that many just don’t realize they’re in the wrong kinds of payment plans.

My inquiries to the Education Department about this matter yielded no replies.

To review, we’ve promised to help our public servants by forgiving their student loan payments after a decade. But the program is confusing, the government’s legal filings contradict its websites, and its representatives aren’t answering questions.

This is no way to treat the people who do some of the most important work in our country. But it’s also yet another reminder that as we build more complexity into our financial systems, we’re sending the message to those who must navigate them that they are on their own.

It’s a shameful message at any time, but it’s particularly galling when it’s firefighters, librarians and nurses on the receiving end.