Why I choose non-monogamy

I invented the Twitter hashtag 

Like most of my generation, I grew up spoon fed monogamist fairy tales that pushed “happily ever after” endings as though achieving one was preordained.

It was like, once you found “the one” and stepped on to the relationship escalator, all the answers became clear — so long as you kept your eyes on the prize and didn’t stray (wait, what was the prize again?). You could spend your whole life living out this fantasy, blissfully ignorant that any other way might be possible, let alone desirable.

Nice enough, right?

But as a child of divorce and an aspiring designer-entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, I was suspicious of marriage. Out here, we’re data-positive and solution-oriented and if your product (i.e. marriage) is failing for 50% of your customers, then you need to fix it or offer something better. So when I discovered polyamory and non-monogamy as I headed to Burning Man in 2013, I realized I’d stumbled onto another way.

Related: I have a fiancé, a girlfriend and two boyfriends

Let’s get our terms straight. Polyamory means “many loves.” It often applies to one or more people who are romantically involved with (wait for it) one or more partners. Non-monogamy, meanwhile, applies to everything that isn’t monogamy — including polyamory — but you can be non-monogamous and not polyamorous. I

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Ford promises bounce back year

Ford goes to Silicon Valley 

Ford Motor reported a sharp drop in profits at the end of last year but predicted better times are ahead in 2015.

Its operating income tumbled 20% in the final quarter of 2014 and 30% for the full year, although that result was better than expected.

The nation’s No. 2 automaker had been expecting to report a tough 2014, as it struggled with the cost of rolling out new models, including an aluminum version of its best selling F-150 pickup at the end of the year.

But the company raised its guidance for auto profits in 2015, saying it now expects to improve on the $3.6 million in cash flow that its auto operations generated last year. That outlook and the smaller than expected drop in operating profits lifted shares of Ford (F) in early trading.

Ford suffered a decline in U.S. sales in 2014, one of the few automakers to do so in what was the best year for U.S. car sales since 2006. Limited availability of the F-150 was a major reason factor in the decline.

Ford’s global sales also declined by $4 billion during the year. But under CEO Mark Fields, who took the wheel in July, the company said it expects to get sales back on track, as well as benefit from

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Oil giant Shell cuts spending by $15 billion

Texas tycoon: Oil prices will go lower 

More bad news for oil industry workers and suppliers: Royal Dutch Shell has joined the ranks of energy companies who are slashing their spending.

Shell said it was scaling back its planned capital investment by $15 billion over the next three years.

Oil is now trading around $45 per barrel, down from over $100 per barrel this summer.

Shares in Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) fell by about 5% in London after the company said fourth quarter net profit fell 57% versus the same period last year.

“Shell has options to further reduce spending, but we are not over-reacting to current low oil prices,” the company said in a statement.

David Madden, a market analyst at IG in London, described the cuts as “enormous.” The move “signals cautious times ahead,” he added.

oil royal dutch shell
Royal Dutch Shell’s head office is in the Netherlands.

A string of other energy companies have already announced plans to cut investments and jobs due to the slump in oil prices.

BHP Billiton (BBL) announced this month it was cutting its U.S. onshore rig operations by about 40% this year. Schlumberger (SLB) recently announced plans to lay off 9,000 workers.

French energy giant Total (Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_latest/~3/GoZyx8xA2aA/index.html

Greece: Putin’s new ally in Europe?

russia greece


After just days in office, Greece’s new government has begun wrestling with Europe, while inching closer to a more volatile power: Russia.

The countries have a long history of economic, cultural and religious ties. Both are now proving to be a big headache for the European Union.

Greece’s government, led by left-wing party Syriza, has started to unpick reforms that were crucial to securing €240 billion ($272 billion) in European and IMF funds keeping the country afloat. Relations between Russia and the EU are the worst they’ve been since the Cold War due to the Ukraine crisis.

Congratulating Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on his victory, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was confident the two countries would “work together effectively to resolve current European and global problems.”

Greece seems receptive to closer links. Tsipras reportedly met with the Russian ambassador hours after taking office, and with Russian officials last May.

Related: Europe to Russia: We won’t blink over Ukraine

Syriza and its right-wing coalition partner have been supportive of Putin and deeper cooperation is likely, said Dimitris Papadimitriou, professor of politics at the University of Manchester.

The two countries have established trade ties. Almost 13% of Greek imports came from Russia in 2013, according to the IMF. Greece’s share of Russian imports is much less significant. Still, the countries have agreed to make 2016 the “Year of

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The growing poverty problem in America’s schools

low income students map


The majority of children in America’s public schools now are low-income. And that has major implications for the future of the nation’s workforce.

The share of schoolkids who qualify for free or reduced lunches crossed the 50% threshold in 2013, according to a recent Southern Education Foundation report. That compares to fewer than 32% back in 1989.

Students eligible for subsidized school lunches come from families who are in poverty or just above it. A child living with a single parent would qualify if the family’s income was less than $28,000. A family of four would receive free or reduced lunches if their income was less than $42,600.

There are three main reasons behind the increase, said Steve Suitts, the report’s author.

  • Though the economy is recovering, it’s not producing enough good-paying jobs to lift families into better financial situations.
  • The growth in immigration is bringing more low-income children into the school system.
  • Higher-income families are having fewer kids.

About 90% of America’s children go to public school. Test scores clearly show that low-income students are far less proficient in math and reading than their better-off peers.

low income students math

The gap hasn’t really budged in a decade, Suitts said.

low income students reading

The divide is also clear in international educational measures.

American children who

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5 ways to play Facebook earnings

Investor qualms about spending and growth drove the stock below $75 per share in extended trading. Najarian believes that the company’s success and its spending go hand-in-hand. He pointed to the platform’s mobile users, which increased 34 percent year-over-year.

Read MoreFacebook earnings glow on mobile ads, video views

Though the stock has floated nearly 40 percent higher in the last year, it still has room to climb, he said. Najarian added that he bought Facebook options on Wednesday.

Trader Steve Grasso owns Facebook stock already, and the earnings report reinforced his confidence in the stock. Its growth in video makes it more appealing relative to Twitter, which Grasso also owns.

“I’m staying long Facebook,” he said.

Read MoreCan mobile help Facebook keep up growth?

While he will watch how Facebook monetizes properties like WhatsApp, trader Tim Seymour also likes Facebook stock at its current level. Trader Karen Finerman expressed less enthusiasm about Facebook as a long play, but said she “wouldn’t short it.”

Disclosures:

Steve Grasso

Steve Grasso is long AAPL, BA, CLVS, EVGN, FB, GDX, GOOGL, IMMR, KBH, KDUS, MHY, MJNA, NVIV, PFE, POT, SO, T, TMUS, TWTR and YHOO. His firm is long AXP, USO, AMZN, FCX, NE, NEM, OXY, RIG and VALE. His kids are long EFG, EFA, EWJ, IJR and SPY.

Pete Najarian

Pete Najarian is Long AAPL, BABA, BAC, BHP puts, CSX, DB, EBAY,

Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102377751

The next shot in currency war will be fired by…

The moves follow surprise policy changes from Denmark, India Canada and Switzerland earlier this month. That includes the European Central Bank. Despite a great deal of anticipation, Mario Draghi managed to surprise and impress financial markets with the ECB’s trillion-euro bond purchase program.

Read MoreSingapore surprises with easing, clubbing currency

“The trend of central bank surprises continues, adding volatility to markets and highlighting a more uncertain global policy stance but one that is partially centered on (foreign exchange) ahead,” Camilla Sutton, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank, wrote in a note this week. “An environment of increased volatility and uncertainty is typically U.S. dollar positive.”

The U.S. dollar has been the beneficiary of those moves and easy policies. In 2015 alone, the dollar has strengthened nearly 7 percent against the euro, more than 7 percent against the Canadian dollar and 6 percent against the New Zealand dollar.

Over the past 12 months, the moves are in the double digits, with the dollar strengthening more than 20 percent against Sweden’s and Norway’s currencies, more than 17 percent against the euro and 13 percent against the yen.

So far, the Federal Reserve has not interfered and, in contrast to other central banks, it is not making moves or talking down its currency.

In its policy statement Wednesday, the Fed added “international developments” to the list of factors it’s monitoring in deciding when to raise interest rates. After the Fed statement,

Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102379625

Early movers: MCD, F, DOW, BABA, COH & more

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

FordThe automaker beat estimates by 3 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 26 cents per share, though revenue was slightly below estimates as Ford was impacted by a changeover in F-Series truck production. Ford also said it would not lose as much money in Europe this year as it did last year.

Dow Chemical—The company earned 85 cents per share for its latest quarter, 16 cents above estimates, though revenue was very slightly below expectations. Dow noted that it had volume expansion in most segments, even in the face of volatile commodity prices.

AlibabaThe e-commerce company beat estimates by 6 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 81 cents per share, but revenue was below estimates, disappointing investors.

BlackstoneThe alternative asset manager saw results beat Street estimates on both the top and bottom line, despite declines in returns from its real estate business.

Stanley Black DeckerThe tool manufacturer earned an adjusted $1.56 per share for its latest quarter, 4 cents above estimates, with revenue also registering a beat. It was helped by cost-cutting and sales growth in emerging markets.

Time Warner CableThe cable company did gain subscribers during its latest quarter, but its adjusted earnings of $2.03 per share came in 5 cents short of consensus, and

Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102379429