Market Daily

Market Daily

Corporate America quiet as gun violence spikes

Corporate AmericaA mass shooting at a high school in Florida shook the United States in 2018.

The tragedy spurred corporate America to tighten gun-control measures.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example, has discontinued the sale of semi-automatic, assault-style guns in its stores.

Citigroup imposed limits on corporate clients’ ability to purchase firearms.

In 2022, major shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio caused Walmart to suspend sales of handgun ammo.

Yet, corporate America’s gun-control policies have altered.

With the recent Nashville tragedy, most corporations remained mute on firearms, as has much of corporate America.

A change in policies

Several well-known corporations have revised their gun-related policy in recent years.

Every attempt to reduce gun violence was frequently met with vehement opposition from Republican politicians opposed to gun regulations and companies taking a statement.

Businesses, according to gun safety activists, are accountable for protecting their employees and consumers from gun violence.

They have encouraged stores to remove weapons off their stories and instead assist in gun-violence-affected neighborhoods.

Additionally, campaigners are urging corporations to stop making political contributions to legislators with NRA links.

Bank transactions with gun or ammo makers have been halted, according to advocates.

Various businesses, particularly weapons manufacturers, have stated financial motives for opposing gun control legislation.

Some firms, on the other hand, do not think it is their job or function to weigh in on the gun issue.

Others are choosing to remain silent, fearing political repercussions and the fury of gun rights advocates.

Guns are the top issue, according to Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University history and public affairs professor and CNN political commentator.

“In a polarized era, most companies still prefer to avoid these sorts of questions,” he said.

Even though CEOs agree with the need for gun regulation, Zelizer stated that they do not want to be involved in a matter that may result in a customer reaction.


Companies have been singled out for their efforts in gun control legislation.

Republican leaders, for example, put pressure on banks and financial organizations that tried to terminate links with the guns business.

Texas approved legislation in 2021 requiring banks to underwrite the state’s municipal bond market while confirming that they would not turn away weapons clients.

Furthermore, in 2022, more than 50 House Republicans developed legislation to combat ‘boardroom gun regulation,’ prohibiting corporations that receive government support from turning away weapons businesses.

Due to political pressure from Republicans, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover suspended plans to create a new merchant category code for US gun merchants in March.

The goal of the legislation was to identify prospective mass shooters and gun smugglers.

Yet, two dozen Republican attorneys general advised the firms not to forward with the plans.

Adopting the sales code for gun stores, according to authorities, would violate gun owners’ constitutional rights while also potentially breaking consumer protection and antitrust laws.

Additionally, state lawmakers introduced laws prohibiting businesses from implementing the new code.

Read also: Banks across Europe fearful of crisis, stocks drop

Corporate responsibility

Companies and consultants are debating whether corporate America should be more proactive in terms of gun safety measures.

Paul Argenti, a corporate communication professor at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Management, devised a framework for firms becoming involved in “hot button” problems.

He suggested that companies ask the following questions:

  • Is the issue tied to their corporate strategy?
  • Do they have the potential to make a difference on it?
  • Is there potential backlash to taking a position?

“Companies, unless they are connected, should not be speaking out,” he said.

“Companies are not social entities.”

But, in recent years, corporate America has pushed to redefine the purpose of a business beyond servicing shareholders.

The Business Roundtable is a non-profit that represents CEOs and tries to influence policy making.

The group stated in 2019 that businesses should benefit all stakeholders, including:

  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Suppliers
  • Communities
  • Shareholders

The comment contradicted Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman’s economic theories, which said that corporations that increase profits and serve shareholders benefit society.

According to Guns Down America executive director Igor Volsky, the ideology would require companies to take the lead in reducing gun violence.

“Whether you’re a business that works directly with gun manufacturers, sells guns or are a grocery store, gun violence comes to your front door,” said Volsky.

“As a business, you have a responsibility to keep your customers, employees, and communities safe.”

Volsky went on to say that it was in corporate America’s economic interest to assist reduce gun violence because of the commercial risks associated with shootings and the cost of gun violence on communities.

Businesses such as Dave & Buster’s, Del Taco, and Walmart have warned investors that gun violence might harm their bottom lines.

“I’m not arguing they need to solve the social issue of gun violence,” Volsky noted.

“I am arguing they have a business incentive to solve for the cost of gun violence.”

Image source: ABC News

Cannabis Seeds Don’t Get Much Better Than This!

Premium Cultivars has become one of the most popular seed banks to buy marijuana seeds online, with years of expertise. Their feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds are now among the finest on the market. Also, this firm has invested a great deal in giving you an easy shopping experience with a simple-yet-effective website. Customers enjoy the brand because everything Premium Cultivars sells is a high-end, rigorously tested, and rechecked product. If you choose a strain that you genuinely appreciate from this firm, you can be certain that you’ll get consistent results when you buy their seeds—even over time.

Common aspects that help Premium Cultivars provide excellent cannabis seeds

Premium Cultivars draws inspiration from renowned breeders and collaborates with their own American breeders to create versions of the greatest strains using distinct genetics. Nevertheless, they aren’t satisfied with this; they are always developing new genetics and crafting new strains to propel the cannabis landscape ahead by empowering home growers. They provide growers across the United States with top-tier Premium Cultivars seeds that can’t be purchased anywhere else online.

Additionally, this firm uses its ties to reputable breeders operating behind the scenes in the cannabis market to collect breeder’s cuttings and seeds, which are then crossed in to breed new strains and provide the best cannabis seeds to the customer. Here are the main factors that assist Premium Cultivars in offering great cannabis genetics:


This brand is a consumer favorite, with many Premium Cultivars reviews praising the luscious buds their cannabis plants produced. Consumers rate Premium Cultivars’ performance as excellent, rating 4.0 out of 5. Customers can receive useful insight into the experiences of others by reading Premium Cultivars Trustpilot reviews. The public appreciates Premium Cultivars’ quick delivery and high seed quality, which set it apart from its competitors.

Amazing product selection

Premium Cultivars is a breeder’s delight since it is an excellent source for specialized strains such as beginner strains (easy to grow), purple seeds, hybrid strain seeds, climate-adapted strains, fast-growing cannabis seeds and feminized, autoflowering.

Cannabis Seeds

Superb cannabis genetics

This brand guarantee premium seeds and excellent production standards to provide you with the greatest genetics available for a stunning harvest yield. Premium Cultivars maintains and increases seed quality by breeding diverse strains to create unique kinds. As a result, the American seed bank offers some enticing exotic seed selections, with several strains to choose from. The company also stocks limited edition Premium Cultivars seeds of newly discovered strains, which can float your boat if you desire a new marijuana experience.

Great prices and good deals

Premium Cultivars acknowledges the significance of competitive pricing and regularly runs promotions and competitions to guarantee that consumers receive the greatest value possible. The seeds in each bag vary according to the brand. Bigger seed packets encourage bulk purchases at reduced pricing and vice versa. You can be confident that the brand offers both larger and smaller packs for those looking for the best seeds for their cannabis grow.

Another interesting offer is the BOGO deal which applies to their popular strains like Yellow Zushi. Premium Cultivars holds monthly competitions in which consumers may win a variety of free marijuana seeds by simply entering their email addresses. Consumers adore their freebies; participate each month to win 24 seeds of one of the top strains, whether it’s the powerful Moonbow strain or the delicious Rainbow Belts. Also, customers can use Premium Cultivars coupon code to get a 20% discount on their orders.

Furthermore, you’ll notice how Premium Cultivars organizes its seed choices. Seed buying is made easier by categorizing seeds according to blooming type, growth conditions, and Indica or Sativa varieties. The firm offers a mix pack for those who need help deciding which strain to choose. Premium Cultivars’ mix packets are divided into growth circumstances, bud color, and name. Therefore, you can experiment to determine which product works best for you. To ensure uncompromised quality, the firm inspects every cannabis seed for abnormalities and damage, ensuring excellent germination rates.

Cannabis Seeds

Fast shipping

Premium Cultivars is an excellent firm in general, especially if you live in the United States since its closeness allows for faster deliveries than some other seed banks. Also, Premium Cultivars provides consistently fast processing and delivery, which is critical to get a growing operation up and running quickly. The last thing anyone wants is their order delayed due to customs or government intervention.

As a result, buying from Premium Cultivars legit seed bank is preferable, which assures discreet shipment. Residents of the United States can enjoy standard free shipping on all orders over $100. Also, this firm offers guaranteed delivery at additional cost, including tracked package, signature, and second delivery on unsuccessful deliveries.

Amazing customer service

When it comes to customer service, Premium Cultivars comes out on top. This brand provides email assistance and quick support via the Premium Cultivars phone number during business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PDT. The website also includes several grow manuals and a blog with tips on germination, troubleshooting, harvesting, and other topics. This is a fantastic initiative to assist newbie growers in getting started.

Credit and debit card payment methods

This brand has one of the greatest payment choices from any seed bank. Premium Cultivars accepts simple payments whether you purchase ten or 100 seeds. While Premium Cultivars takes credit cards, which provide some security through your credit card provider, debit cards are also accepted. As you would anticipate from most online retailers, your card information is processed by a secure third-party payment processor. Additionally, to secure your data, this firm never sees or retains your payment details.

Premium Cultivars portrays itself as a cannabis connoisseur, and they’re justified, particularly with its unique strain collection, which can be a sport for experimental weed farmers willing to put in the additional work to breed their cannabis. Premium Cultivars sells the greatest genetics in the industry, and they take pride in giving this to their consumers. With their high-quality seeds and money-saving deals, this firm is the top pick for people looking to buy weed seeds for sale online.

Banks across Europe fearful of crisis, stocks drop

Banks On Friday, the European financial crisis took a new turn, with bank stocks plunging.

Investors had a role, acting on their lingering anxieties about previous bank crises spreading into the broader business.


The European Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index tracks 42 of Europe’s and the United Kingdom’s top banks.

It ended 3.8% lower.

Despite this, the index has dropped roughly 18% from its peak in late February.

Similarly, the London-based FTSE 100 index lost 1.3%.

Deutsche Bank (DB) shares were slammed hard, plunging 14.5% before rebounding to close 8.5% down.

UBS and Credit Suisse shares declined 3.6% and 5.2%, respectively.

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank’s cost of insuring against a potential debt default has climbed in recent days.

The bank’s five-year credit default swap (CDS) hit 203 basis points on Thursday, according to S&P Market Intelligence data, the highest level since early 2019.

On Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz declared that there was no need to be alarmed about Deutsche Bank.

“It’s a very profitable bank,” said Scholz.

In Brussels, EU leaders issued a joint statement complimenting the European banking industry for its robustness, as well as its adequate capital and liquidity levels.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, backed up the claim, saying:

“The rising price of insuring CDS senior debt is weighing on Deutsche Bank, as well as other European banks, on concerns over the impact of rising rates on the wider economy and banks’ balance sheets.”

Read also: Girl Scouts learn about demand and supply the hard way

Interest rate hike

The European Central Bank followed through on its pledge to hike interest rates by half a percentage point last week.

Their decision was based on their opinion that inflation posed a greater economic threat than the present global financial crisis.

After data showing an unexpected increase in inflation in February, the Bank of England raised its main interest rate by a quarter percentage point on Thursday.

Market anxieties, according to Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at investing platform Hargreaves Lansdown.

“Worries about contagion are again rearing up even though more deposits appear to have been flowing into the German lender since the banking scare erupted,” she said.

“It is thought to have capital reserves well in excess of regulatory requirements.”

Analysts believe Deutsche Bank’s announcement on Friday that it will repay one of its bonds five years ahead of schedule rocked markets.

Investors often see such a move as proof that the company is financially stable and capable of repaying creditors on schedule.

US crisis effect

While investors were optimistic, the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the United States, as well as Credit Suisse’s emergency takeover, shook their confidence.

Investors may have seen the announcement as an indication of Deutsche Bank’s anxiety about the state of the banking industry.

Some investors believe banks are overcompensating, according to Capital Economics deputy chief markets economist Jonas Goltermann.

He also stated that the bank’s actions looked to have backfired.

According to a source familiar with the issue, Deutsche Bank’s decision to repay the bond earlier than expected was pre-planned rather than a reaction to recent market events.

According to the standards imposed in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the bond would have lost its eligibility as a sort of regulatory capital later.

The bank, according to the source, replaced the bond in February by issuing a similar kind of bond.

Similarly, Commerzbank (CRZBF) in Germany and Société Générale in France had considerable losses, closing with losses of 5.5% and 5.9%, respectively.

Swiss banks remain wary

UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, paid 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.25 billion) for its Swiss rival in an emergency takeover engineered by the Swiss government last week.

The move helped to calm markets after the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank earlier this month.

Nonetheless, investors remained on edge on Friday.

UBS and Credit Suisse failed following a Bloomberg report that the US Department of Justice was investigating their employees’ connections to help Russian oligarchs dodge Western sanctions.

Prior to UBS’s takeover of Credit Suisse, the DOJ sent subpoenas to the personnel, according to the report.

Meanwhile, employees of major US banks are being examined.

According to CMC Markets’ Hewson, the DOJ probe into UBS contributed to the widespread price weakening across European banks.

Image source: The Economist

Severance deals won’t be as strongly enforced by NLRB

Severance Parting ways with an employee, whether by mutual accord or not, is never painless.

Severance money is frequently given to sacked workers regardless of how the decision was reached.

It is a critical strategy for reducing the consequences of an involuntary termination.

When an employee signs a release for severance, it is also utilized to avert future claims.

The National Labor Relations Board recently announced a judgment prohibiting companies from compelling dismissed employees to sign contracts.

According to the ruling, they must sign non-disparagement and secrecy agreements in exchange for the severance benefits.

The news

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a rule to employers last week, noting that corporations may no longer prohibit laid-off employees from conveying information in two methods that violate employees’ rights.

Companies are not permitted to include a confidentiality clause requiring the laid-off employee to divulge the specifics of their severance agreement.

They also cannot add non-discrimination clauses that prevent them from publicizing their employment terms and conditions.

“A severance agreement is unlawful if it preludes an employee from assisting coworkers with workplace issues concerning their employer, and from communicating with others, including a union, and the Board, about his employment,” the board wrote.

Who does the change apply to?

Although the transition is significant, it does not influence all businesses in all industries.

Because the NLRB has power over them, the new laws apply to the vast majority of American private-sector businesses.

As a result, private-sector employers must follow the most recent rule.

It will also apply to employees of both union and non-union businesses.

Blank Rome LLP’s Andrew Herman responded to the judgment, saying:

“This board is signaling and reminding employers that the NLRB applies to employers regardless of whether workers are unionized.”

The exemption

While employers in the private sector in the United States must follow the NLRB’s decision, there are a few exceptions.

Federal, state, and municipal governments are not covered, nor are the following:

  • Public schools
  • Libraries
  • Parks
  • Railways
  • Airlines

Because the NLRB is in charge of implementing the National Labor Relations Act, some sorts of employees are unlikely to be affected.

Read also: Job cuts and hiring creates headache for US market

Those excluded from the Act include:

  • Supervisors and managers who are authorized to hire, fire, set pay, and discipline employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Agricultural workers
  • Domestic workers
  • People employed by a parent or spouse

Influence on past legislations

Andrew Herman emphasized that the ruling does not state whether it is retroactive, and thus the outcome is impossible to pinpoint accurately.

The NLRB verdict is retroactive, according to Michael Healey of Wagner, Falconer & Judd Ltd.

Yet, it is only pardoned if it causes an injustice or is unjust to the employer.

He believes it is unlikely to be retroactive since firms made severance agreements in past years in response to an NLRB judgment announced in 2020 that was overturned by the present verdict.

Some attorneys think that if an employee sues for an alleged labor breach involving a severance agreement signed or enforced within the preceding six months, the labor board will consider making it retroactive.

Generally, bringing such infractions to the board’s notice has a six-month deadline, equivalent to a statute of limitations.

The new severance agreement condition

The NLRB’s new rule raises an essential question: is it illegal for employers to encourage employees to keep silent about the firm in exchange for severance pay?

Despite the rule’s appearance, employers can add the requirement in specific circumstances.

Herman noted that companies might still persuade existing workers not to expose trade secrets or confidential information in order to safeguard company interests.

Employers might nevertheless request that workers relinquish their ability to make future claims or lawsuits against them.

Impact on future severance decision

Employers are not required by law to provide a severance agreement, which affects future severance decisions.

Yet, in order to retain goodwill with employees and the surrounding community, most firms continue to issue severance compensation, which may have a financial impact on the company’s workforce.

Employees offer severance pay to prevent being sued, suffering negative word-of-mouth assessments, discouraging new employees from applying, or having their secrets revealed.

Jon Hyman, a management-side lawyer who also leads the employment and labor practice at Wickens Herzer Panza, summarized his severance payout as follows:

“I’m doing it because I want to get something from the employee in return. I’m buying finality [in having to deal with that employee].”

He did, however, point out that the lack of the clause reduces an employer’s protection.

Employers, according to Hyman, can decide to pay a lower price for it.

“There’s a real risk to employees that the case will have a negative impact on the size of severance packages going forward,” Hyman elaborated.

Image source: The Crone Law Firm

Tax credit rules for next year not entirely clear

Image source: PC Mag

Tax credit: Several electric vehicle models from General Motors and Tesla could qualify for tax incentives in 2023, which is just a few days away.

Some EVs weren’t qualified for tax credits worth $7,500 this year.

Although the change is positive, the eligibility can only be valid for a limited time.

The August Inflation Reduction Act’s restrictions are to blame for the continued eligibility.

This Monday, the Treasury Department announced that the Act’s limitations on newly generated tax credits would not take effect right away.

As a result, during the first few months of 2023, the rules will be temporarily more lenient and permit higher tax credits on more EVs.

The rules

The restrictions on the new tax credits have been delayed until at least March 2023, according to the US Treasury Department.

The new restrictions apply to both the manufacturing location of the battery and the places where its minerals were obtained.

It also announced proposed regulations that would carry out the requirements.

The law specifies that the tax credit reductions will begin as soon as the “proposed guidance” is issued.

Vehicles can be eligible for larger tax credits after three months have passed.

For instance, General Motors said that its electric vehicles will only be eligible for a $3,750 tax incentive if the full restrictions are in place.

For two to three years, the company’s automobiles won’t be qualified for the $7,500 tax credit.

Read also: Electric vehicles enjoy successful year


Despite the buying possibilities they would present in early 2023, the restrictions have the drawback of making the regulations unclear.

Chris Harto, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, stated that he prefers more transparency over less.

“It seems like things just seem to get more confusing each time they say something,” said Harto.

To encourage manufacturers to produce their electric vehicles (and their parts) in the US or other countries with which they have trade relations, tax laws have been implemented in place.

Additionally, they ensure that wealthy Americans who purchase luxury vehicles do not receive tax credits.

Customers will surely profit from the most recent announcement because it temporarily boosts the amount of accessible tax credit money.


One of the many ambiguous parts of the Act is the tilted tax credit for early 2023.

According to updated EV tax credit standards, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV are now qualified for tax credits for the next year.

They were previously ineligible despite the fact that they were built in North America.

The 200,000 electric vehicle sales cap for any firm under the previous tax credit limitations was exceeded by General Motors and Tesla.

The cap will be raised under the new regulations, which are a part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Despite the adjustment, not all customers (or electric vehicles) will be qualified for credits.

For instance, in addition to the demand for North American output, there will be pricing restrictions.

The maximum sticker price for a car is $55,000, while the maximum price for an SUV is $80,000.

As a result, a majority of Tesla cars (including the Model X SUV, Model S sedan, and Model 3) won’t qualify for tax credits at their present prices.

Since it is produced in the US, the Mercedes EQS SUV now eligible for tax benefits would stop by 2023.

“It shuffles the deck as to who’s eligible, and then the deck will get shuffled again when this guidance comes out [in March],” said Chris Harto.

“And it makes a giant mess for consumers, and automakers, and dealers.”

Read also: Robots were influential to restaurants, but how far is the progress?


Buyers cannot flip because of the restrictions on tax credits.

This implies that the final user must be the one who buys the vehicle.

Individuals are not qualified for the tax credit if they purchase a car with the purpose of reselling it later.

Additionally, the buyer’s income is subject to limitations.

The highest “modified adjusted gross income” for purchasers is $150,000 for individuals, $300,000 for married couples filing jointly, or $225,000 for the head of household.

High-end electric vehicle buyers won’t be able to get tax credits because of the restrictions.

The best thing buyers can do, in the opinion of Andrew Koblenz, vice president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, is find out if the vehicle they are considering purchasing is eligible for the tax credit.

Because some models are made in multiple factories, similar-looking SUVs purchased from the same dealer might not be eligible for the same level of credit.

“It’s a great time to be shopping,” said Koblenz.

“It’s great that there will be more vehicles eligible now, but you’ve still got to make sure the one you’re interested in is eligible.”

“You need to ask your dealer and your manufacturer that question, and you’ve got to make sure that you qualify too.”


Tax credit confusion could create a rush for electric vehicles in early 2023

Trees: environmental and economic benefits of planting trees

Image source: Tree Clicks

Trees: A community seems livelier when there are trees everywhere, but trees can also be valuable in other ways.

Here are a few justifications for why you should plant a tree at your house.

Climate system

No matter where you live, certain trees can help with heating or cooling.

It is also known that trees produce oxygen.

They perform the following, which significantly lower the electricity bill:

  • Effective wind blocks
  • Reduce sunlight hitting home and cooling equipment
  • Strategically letting light in during fall and winter.

Peter Moe, the director of the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, said:

“Planting trees can save homeowners money on utilities when they’re planted correctly.”

“Deciduous trees are a great fit for homeowners because they shade homes during the summer, but allow sunlight to reach the home after the leaves drop in the fall.”

“Evergreen trees planted on the northwest side of a home can block cold winter winds.”

Another study conducted this year and included in the Energy and Building magazine discusses the concept of tree-based energy efficiency.

The author claims that during heat waves, two strategically positioned trees can cut down on the need for cooling and heating by up to 18% and 40%, respectively.

Wildlife shelter

Trees attract a wide range of wildlife creatures in addition to enhancing the beauty of the surroundings.

Sarah Barnard, a Californian certified naturalist and interior designer, said:

“Increased wildlife can offer the joys of birdwatching, which can be a pleasurable daily experience,” said Barnard.

“Some trees can attract butterflies, like oak trees, which draw California sister, dusky wing, and hairstreak butterflies, among others.”

Growing trees allows animals to find safer places to raise their young and go on food hunts.

“Homeowners who want to support wildlife should try to plant a diverse mix of trees because many birds, animals, and insects have specific and preferred host plants,” said Moe.

“If you’re just getting started, oaks are good host plants as they provide food, shelter, and nesting spaces for more species of birds, animals, and insects than any other group of trees.”

Read also: TikTok popularity makes US ban challenging

Impact on flood damage

One of the biggest benefits of planting trees in your yard is their ability to prevent lawns from being washed away during strong storms.

The rate of water absorption by trees is extremely rapid.

Alan Duncan, the founder of Solar Panels Network USA, usually includes trees in his plans for improving residential energy efficiency.

“Trees can help regulate water flow by allowing rainwater to be absorbed into the ground instead of flowing away with runoff,” said Duncan.

“This helps to recharge our groundwater supplies, reduce flooding and soil erosion, and can even improve water quality.”

Planting a tree

It may appear easy to dig a hole and add a stick, but planting a tree is much more complex.

You must consider the tree you select and the planting location while you are planting.

Scott Berry, the president of Evergreen Hardscaping & Tree Care in Delaware, said:

“The best placement for a tree depends on the specimen and its growth rate and growing habits.”

“You wouldn’t want to plant a white oak five feet from your foundation wall,” he added.

“Plant larger trees further from the structure – at least 20 to 30 feet if possible – and smaller ornamental trees much closer to the home.”

It’s also important to think about where the roots and branches are located.

If utilities are installed above ground or underground in a certain yard area, for example, it is possible that the tree’s growth will impact the pipes and lines.

“When choosing a planting location, homeowners have to consider the mature size of the tree as well as below-ground and overhead utilities,” said Moe.

“You also want your trees to fit into your home landscape design and you’ll have to consider where shade is desired at specific times of the day.”

“For example, would you like a shady patio in the late afternoon or a sunny one?”

When trees are planted, they require room to grow.

Experts do not recommend topping, a traditional solution for improper planting that entails drastically chopping off the tree’s top.

“When maintaining trees after planting, one thing to keep in mind is to avoid topping them,” offered Sarah Barnard.

“It may irrevocably damage or harm trees, as the reduced leaf surface area makes it harder for the tree to produce food, creates more areas of direct sun exposure, and offers openings for diseases and infestations.”

Read also: Rent on the rise, but it’s moving at a steady pace

Tree selection

There are several things to consider while choosing a tree, such as:

  • How much space is there for growth
  • What problems to solve
  • Wildlife housing
  • Improving indoor climate efficiency
  • Where it can put down roots without causing a power outage

Although there are many trees that could be planted, only a select few of them stand out in the environment.

“Oak trees tend to be great for this, but they can grow quite large,” said Berry.

“Tulip poplars are also good selections, as well as certain species of maples.”

“There are a lot of options, but keep in mind they will all have their own special challenges when it comes to how and when they shed leaves and seeds.”


5 benefits of planting trees in your yard

Girl Scouts learn about demand and supply the hard way

Girl Scouts – Girl Scouts and cookie sales have been associated with both raising revenue and teaching girls about business for decades.

The Raspberry Rally Cookie, introduced in 2023, taught the Girl Scouts a harsh lesson about high demand meeting limited supply.

The cookie

The Raspberry Rally Cookie is one of the most popular cookies.

It’s a raspberry-flavored variation of the Thin Mint cookie that was made in limited quantities.

Yet, the popularity of the cookies surprised Girl Scout leaders, owing to the new online-only ordering procedure.

Owing to high demand, some cookies were also auctioned on eBay, with some selling for as much as $40 per box.


Due to cookie producers’ inability to produce for Rally Cookies, supply remained constant.

ABC Bakers, one of the Scouts’ makers, claimed that the limited-edition cookies required longer lead time.

Another producer, Little Brownie Bakers, blamed the weather for power outages at a Kentucky factory, which created additional inventory concerns and a lack of supplies.

As a result, the Raspberry Rally Cookies were rapidly sold out.

Shortage aftermath

Scouts and parents were forced to explain the situation as consumers rushed to get their hands on the cookies.

According to Scout parent Betsy Everett, informing clients that there will be no more Rallies was a difficult transaction.

“When people ask for the new cookie, we tell them the situation and then they don’t want to buy anything,” she said.

“It’s disappointing for the girls.”

Several parents are dissatisfied not just with the shortages, but also with Girl Scouts USA’s “piecemeal information.”

Their tolerance is wearing thin as a result of the pandemic’s disturbances.

“Right now, we are focused on ensuring all Girl Scouts have a successful Cookie Season,” said Girl Scouts USA.

They also stated that they were focusing on optimizing operations in real-time in order to collect learnings that may better their future approach.

In the current situation, the lessons had to be learned the hard way.

Read also: SEC criticized by crypto executives for lack of clarity

What happened?

According to Terry Esper, logistics associate professor at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, it was difficult to forecast the demand for the cookies.

He remarked that the Girl Scouts purchased them in a novel manner.

In comparison to other cookies that were only available for online delivery, the Raspberry Rally was an exclusive offer.

The system allowed customers to order their own boxes.

Girl Scouts, on the other hand, encouraged them to invite scouts to submit orders.

They have been sluggish to migrate sales online, but when the Rallies were created, the sales channels assisted them in learning more about e-commerce.

The Rally Cookies are not intended for sale at booths.

“Whenever you introduce a new way of buying a product, or a new channel to get access… that opens new [consumer] behavior,” said Esper.

Notwithstanding the current issue, online ordering may have brought in more consumers.

Also, the Girl Scouts created a lot of buzz with the limited-time offer, which created a sense of urgency.

Seasonal plan

Customers demanded the cookie, so Scouts and parents attempted to boost supplies but discovered it was impossible.

ABC Bakers completed the season plan they announced to councils in 2022.

“We cannot produce more at this time, as we do not have unique materials and packaging,” the FAQ on the Girl Scouts Iowa site wrote.

“The lead times… are too long to produce in time for the remainder of this season.”

Little Brownie Bakers informed local chapters of its problems in March.

“We share the frustration that some Girl Scout troops feel this cookie season,” said a spokesperson.

“Global supply chain issues, compounded by local labor shortages and a weather-related power outage… continue to impact production.”

Communication problem

Scout parents who ordered the cookies were left to cope with the fallout and trouble of assisting scouts during the cookie-selling season, which runs from January to April.

Betsy Everett of Southeastern Michigan orders cookies for three troops.

While she was successful in obtaining a few cases of Raspberry Rallies, other families in her troop were not.

“Out of our 30 scouts [across the troops], about three of them managed to order some cookies before they were gone,” she said.

Everett also had a difficulty last year when some of her cookie orders went unfilled in 2022, which meant that cookies went missing from early cookie booths and eventually showed up weeks later.

Silver linings

Notwithstanding the criticism, some members of the Scouting world think there are some bright spots.

Deb Perry, a scout leader and co-leader of a Girl Scout troop west of Seattle, did not arrange Raspberry Rallies.

In various sections of the nation, the selling season starts early.

Perry was aware of the scarcity reports.

“We didn’t even push it, or encourage it with our troop,” she said.

“We just encourage them to sell what we have on hand.”

Perry saw the scenario as a learning opportunity for the scouts to learn how to adapt and accept adversity.

Scouts from Perry’s daughter’s group advised consumers seeking for the Rally to try the Adventureful biscuits, which were introduced last year.

“When things didn’t go as planned, or when people say no, the girls learn from that.”

Image source: Good Housekeeping

Warner Bros. Discovery had forgettable Q4

Warner Bros. DiscoveryMany major corporations have just released their fourth-quarter revenue results.

Some have improved, while others have remained stagnant, and some have suffered severe losses.

Warner Bros. Discovery was one of the corporations that reported a huge loss in the fourth quarter.

The news

On Thursday, Warner Bros. Discovery published a statement disclosing a massive loss in fourth-quarter sales of more than $11.1 billion, falling short of analysts’ expectations.

A sluggish advertising market can be blamed for some of the company’s decline.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s TV networks segment fell 6% to $5.5 billion, owing to a decline in ad income.

TNT, TBS, and Discovery are among the cable networks affected.

Refinitiv compared the company’s earnings report to analyst projections:

  • Posted revenue: $11.01 billion, expected revenue: $11.36 billion
  • Posted loss per share: 86 cents, expected loss per share: 21 cents

Moreover, Warner Bros. Discovery had a $2.1 billion quarterly loss.

The company’s stock dropped after hours as well.


Last summer, Warner Bros. Discovery cautioned about a deteriorating advertising market.

As a result, earnings at other media businesses, such as Paramount Global, have fallen.

According to Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Weidenfalls on the company’s results call on Thursday, basic advertising patterns dropped in the fourth quarter.

These concerns were exacerbated by the smaller audience.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav commented on the current economic situation, predicting an improvement in 2023.

“We are assuming things will get better in the second half,” said Zaslav.

The business has been analyzing restructuring expenses and impairment charges as a result of the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger in 2022.

They were also working hard to make their streaming firm lucrative.


Warner Bros. Discovery ended the fourth quarter with balance-sheet debt of $45.5 billion and cash on hand of $3.9 billion.

The company’s initial priority has been to reduce debt and slash expenditures.

According to corporate leaders on Thursday, the company intends to continue its efforts over the next two years to remove a significant percentage of its debt from its balance sheet.

The corporation repaid $1 billion in debt in the most recent quarter and $7 billion since the April purchase.

“With the major restructuring decisions behind us, this year we are focused on building and growing our businesses for the future,” said Zaslav. “And we’re off to a great start.”

Read also: Nvidia is in favor of Microsoft-Activision deal

The streaming segment

Warner Bros. HBO Max and Discovery+ are the two primary streaming platforms operated by Discovery.

According to the firm, its worldwide direct-to-consumer streaming user base increased from 1.1 million to 96.1 million at the end of the quarter.

On Thursday, the firm announced a 6% rise in sales.

The rise is attributable to an increase in ad-supported tier subscriptions.

Despite this, streaming company losses have lessened.

Warner Bros. Discovery shed $217 million over that timespan, a $511 million increase year over year.


Warner Bros. Discovery plans to create a bundled streaming service in the spring of 2022 .

The business will hold an investor briefing on April 12.

Previous rumors stated that the unified platform will be dubbed Max.

While plans to mix Discovery+ and HBO Max content are in the works, Zaslav noted that the former will have its own streaming service, saying:

“We have profitable subscribers that are very happy with the offering of Discovery+, why would we shut that off?”

Warner Bros. Discovery announced earlier this month that the price of HBO Max’s ad-free membership had been increased from $1 to $15.99.

This is the platform’s first price increase since its introduction in May 2020.

In addition, the corporation stated that it intends to invest in fresh content and user experience.


Last summer, when the advertising market began to deteriorate, Warner Bros. Discovery revenue was impacted.

Last week, Paramount Global reported decreased quarterly profitability due to decreasing ad expenditure.

The company’s network TV section is heavily influenced by major sporting events.

Many networks broadcast college football and the FIFA World Cup during the fourth quarter.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s income has decreased due to reduced theatrical releases and fewer TV license agreements, and  studio business fell 23%.

The fourth quarter of 2022 saw the release of Black Adam.

Meanwhile, other movies were released during the same time period in 2021, including:

  • Dune
  • King Richard
  • The Many Saints of Newark
  • The Matrix Resurrection

David Zaslav has officially confirmed that Warner Bros. Discovery has signed a deal to make a few more “Lord of the Rings” films, which is one of the company’s most successful properties.

Image source: AdExchanger

Sam Bankman-Fried on $250 million bail, ordered to live with parents

Image source: Forbes

Sam Bankman-Fried: The founder of FTX could be released on a $250 million bond, according to a ruling made by a federal judge in New York on Thursday.

He is awaiting his trial on the charges of fraud and other offenses.

The news

Sam Bankman-Fried, his parents, attorney, and court security left the Manhattan US District Court around 2:00 p.m.

The prosecutors and his attorneys accepted the bail conditions for Bankman-personal Fried’s recognizance.

So, on January 3 in New York City, Judge Ronnie Abrams will preside over the 30-year-old’s subsequent hearing.

He will be charged there and enter a plea.


A recognizance bond is a written promise from the accused to appear in court upon a summons.

Sam Bankman-Fried won’t be required to complete all of the bail’s collateral requirements upon release.

The bond, guaranteed by the equity in his family’s home, was signed by his parents and two other parties with substantial assets.

The prosecution describes the $250 million package, which also includes an electronic monitoring bracelet, as the largest pretrial bond in history.

The Northern District of California and the Southern & Eastern Districts of New York must be avoided, and he must also agree to receive mental health therapy.

Read also: FTX collaborators charged, both plead guilty

In the court

Judge Gabriel Gorenstein stated that after being released to his parents’ California home, Bankman-Fried would require constant supervision.

The courtroom was attended by SBF’s parents, both Stanford law professors.

On either side of the FTX founder, two US marshals in blue suits and brown shoes stood.

He switched his ankle shackles for an ankle monitor while in the courtroom.

He only spoke when the judge asked Sam Bankman-Fried if he understood the repercussions of breaking the bail agreement.

“Yes, I do,” said SBF.

Bankman-Fried is also prohibited from opening new credit accounts valued at more than $1,000.

Federal regulators dub him a “brazen” fraud at his crypt empire while awaiting the trial.

SBF was at the heart of “a fraud of epic proportions,” according to Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roo in court.

Roos continued by saying that he had never fled, had voluntarily returned to the US, and had drastically reduced his financial assets.

Sam Bankman-Fried, who formerly ran a $32 billion crypto empire, once claimed to have only $100,000 in his bank account.

This was a dramatic decline for the man.


The following are the charges against Sam Bankman-Fried:

  • Perpetrating a multibillion-dollar fraud on his investors
  • Using customer funds to purchase properties
  • Funding political donations
  • Backstop trades at his hedge fund Alameda Research

SBF, FTX, and Alameda Research were all charged with further crimes by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission last week.

They claimed that FTX mingled customer funds and that Bankman-Fried violated the Commodities Exchange Act.

Allegedly having access to more than $8 billion in client funds was Alameda Research.

Since the company’s founding in 2019, Alameda has had access to and utilized FTX customer funds for its operations and activities, including:

  • Trading
  • Funding
  • Investment
  • Borrowing/lending

The SEC’s accusations that Sam Bankman-Fried operated his empire as a fraud from the start were supported by the CFTC as well.

FTX submitted bankruptcy protection in Delaware on November 11.

John Ray III, Sam Bankman-Fried’s replacement as CEO of FTX, asserted that he had never seen such a loss of corporate control.

SBF’s lieutenants

On Wednesday, Caroline Ellison, a former co-CEO of Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, a co-founder of FTX, both pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Gary Wang pleaded guilty to the following:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit commodities fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit securities fraud

Meanwhile, Caroline Ellison was guilty of:

  • Two counts of wire fraud
  • Two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit commodities fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit securities fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit money laundering

Their plea agreements were made public on Wednesday.

Read also: The Federal Reserve impact on stock market; Thursday market updates


The US Attorney charged Sam Bankman-Fried with eight offenses, including money laundering and securities fraud.

He was transported by air from the Bahamas to New York on Wednesday night.

SBF’s bail is far higher than that of other federal white-collar defendants.

  • While waiting for his massive Ponzi scheme trial, Bernie Madoff posted a $10 million bail.
  • Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling posted a $5 million bond.
  • Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos founder, posted a $500,000 bond.


FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to be released on $250 million bail, will live with his parents

CFTC piles on new charges against Bankman-Fried, FTX and Alameda

FTX’s Gary Wang, Alameda’s Coraline Ellison plead guilty to federal charges, cooperating with prosecutors

My Plan Keeper™ Founder Carla Garcia Shares 3 Mistakes About Retirement Planning

Baby Boomers are defined as those who were born between 1946 and 1964. As such, these individuals are now at the retirement stage of their lives. However, instead of spending time doing what they want or simply hanging out to relax, most of them worry about their finances. As it stands, many of today’s retirees are facing a plethora of monetary predicaments due to poor fund management in the past. Determined to change this narrative is the remarkable Carla Garcia, founder and owner of the groundbreaking venture My Plan Keeper.

Carla has an impressive career that spans over two decades. As a corporate professional, she has worked with various organizations in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale market, including Merrill Lynch and Citi Personal Wealth Management. This time, however, the industry expert decided to make a transition, which she calls her Intentional Transition. Carla’s innovative approach to retirement challenges the traditional notion that one must wait until 59.5 years old or 65 to access funds or rely on an uncertain government benefit. In today’s rapidly evolving world, she has adopted a revolutionary approach by completing the  Certified Professional Retirement Coach Designation & Training program, which provides the most groundbreaking and time-tested proven methods for helping people make a successful transition from work-life to home life.

Leveraging her extensive experience, the discerning woman has witnessed countless missed opportunities by most financial advisors, ultimately detrimental to clients. Here are three mistakes she shared that have affected many retirees, including high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Yes, even the ones who focused and had all the “numbers” for happiness have failed, and here is how:

  1. Not replacing their work identity. The potential of reinventing oneself and its impact on retirees cannot be overstated. Often, retirees experience a profound sense of desolation and disconnection due to the loss of their work identity. However, replacing this identity can be an arduous yet fulfilling task. Carla, in her financial planning services, goes beyond the usual realm of advice and employs a process that helps individuals locate their current identity and plan for its replacement. Although this approach may seem unconventional, it serves as a cornerstone for a smooth and optimistic retirement transition, allowing retirees to redefine themselves and overcome boredom and depression.
  2. Seeking out only numbers. Most retirees are seeking where to move their money and if they have enough to retire. That is an old approach and Carla’s new program, Retirement Without Numbers, redefines retirement planning by taking a more holistic approach. It goes beyond just financial goals and encourages retirees to seek wisdom and guidance to create a purposeful and joyful life. With this program, retirees can explore passions, establish meaningful goals, and construct the lifestyle they desire without getting bogged down in confusing financial jargon or benchmarks. Retirement Without Numbers enables clients to create the retirement of their dreams – one filled with happiness, fulfillment, and peace of mind.
  3. Married to fundamentals. When an individual uses a financial advisor for their accumulation phase, they may need to adopt a different strategy when transitioning to deaccumulation. However, some financial advisors may not be keen on this approach as it may require restructuring the portfolio and eliminating risks that affect their assets under management. As a result, traditional investment firms may promote biased news about any other strategy that deviates from the fundamental investing approach. Furthermore, the fundamental strategy is investing pre-tax accounts like the 401k, whereas in reality, retirees are delaying a massive tax bill in the future, which has a significant impact on their future income. Carla’s strategy entails tax-free retirement funds that will set retirees up in ways that standard planning would not.

My Plan Keeper aims to prepare individuals for a retirement that provides clarity, peace of mind, and opportunities. As Carla says, “I strongly believe that my purpose in life is to make a positive impact on people who are open to change and growth. I am passionate about helping individuals create meaningful transitions in their lives, but I understand that change can be challenging and uncomfortable for some. That’s why I am dedicated to working with individuals who are willing to listen, learn, and take action toward creating the life they truly desire. If you’re ready to let go of limiting beliefs and embrace new possibilities, then I am here to support you every step of the way. However, if you’re content with staying stuck in old habits or ways of thinking, then my approach may not be the right fit for you. My mission is to empower those who are ready for positive change.”

The visionary’s keen observations and insightful realizations, coupled with their unparalleled expertise in finance, formed the bedrock of My Plan Keeper. The venture’s distinctive approach has propelled it to the forefront of a burgeoning global movement.

As Carla Garcia continues with her advocacy, she remains steadfast in her vision of equipping clients with the best tools and resources for the next phase of their lives. But most importantly, she intends to continue looking for brand-new ways and innovative ideas. She explained, “What worked in the past is not going to work moving forward. Planning has evolved, and our customers understand that and seek that. Our customers want to make wise decisions and will be the next mixed Gen and will know how to identify foolish decisions.” 

Her ability to facilitate a purposeful transition has made her a highly sought-after speaker for organizations seeking to inspire and prepare their employees. Join Retirement Without Numbers, the soon-to-be largest community of retirees on Facebook who seek wisdom and  find the inspiration and change you’re seeking for your retirement journey.