Monthly Archives: October 2017

Business Insider is hiring a paid graphic design intern

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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Business Insider is looking for a Graphic Design Intern to join the newsroom’s Graphics team immediately.

Projects would range from basic Photoshop requests to more creative assignments such as maps, charts and infographics – like these.

As an intern here, you’ll gain valuable experience collaborating with journalists and designers in a fast-paced and fun work environment.

Other perks at BI include free snacks, ping pong, and never having to fetch coffee.

Qualifications

The ideal intern will be a super creative team player with amazing attention to detail. Other desired skills include:

    Expert knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Mac proficiency. Experience with illustration, data visualization, typography, GIFs, layout design, photo editing, and infographics. Social media savvy — you know what our audience wants to see and share. You’re a confident designer comfortable pitching and defending your work.

To see the type of graphics work we do, check out our Twitter account and our Instagram.

Please note: This internship requires that you work in our Manhattan office, preferably full-time at 40 hours a week.

Apply here with a résumé and cover letter if this sounds like your dream job, and specify why you’re interested in working on our graphics team.

Best Buy won’t let customers buy the iPhone X outright in response to complaints that it charged a $100 fee

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REUTERS/Rick Wilking

    Best Buy stopped selling un-activated iPhone Xs after customer complaints last week. It will only sell the phones via carrier installment plans for the time being.

Hell hath no fury like that of an angry consumer with a Twitter handle.

Best Buy learned that the hard way last week after consumers complained on social media about the retailer’s decision to charge a $100 premium on the new iPhone X when purchased without a wireless contract.

The electronics retailer heard the outcry and on Tuesday announced a big change: Best Buy will no longer let customers buy an iPhone X by paying for it up front.

The only way to buy an iPhone X at Best Buy now is to pay for it on a monthly installment plan through one of the carrier deals offered at its stores. Anyone interested in paying $999 to purchase an unlocked iPhone X outright will have to shop somewhere else – an outcome that Best Buy apparently considers preferable to simply scrapping its $100 premium fee.

“Although there was clearly demand for the un-activated iPhone X, selling it that way cost more money, causing some confusion with our customers and noise in the media,” a Best Buy spokeswoman told Bloomberg.

The “noise” the company refers to was pretty ruthless.

Best Buy’s initial reasoning for charging $1,099 and $1,249 instead of following Apple’s $999 and $1,149 pricing model was that the additional fee allowed it to give its customers more flexibility.

It explained that when it sells a phone already activated on an installment plan with a carrier, it gets a fee from that network, but an un-activated phone without a carrier plan attached generates no fees. Thus the need for it to make up for the lost fees with a higher price.

Best Buy was the only major retailer that didn’t stick to Apple’s official prices for unactivated phones. In a statement on its website, the company wrote that it may try to sell un-activated phones again in the future but “with better execution.”

Business Insider emailed Best Buy and was referred to the company’s statement on its website.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams just bought a $6.7 million Beverly Hills mansion — here’s what it’s like inside

Serena Williams now calls 90210 home.

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Serena Williams now calls 90210 home.
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Getty Images/Brad Barket

Serena Williams has a new baby and a new ZIP code.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles winner recently purchased a $6.7 million home in Beverly Hills – the city most famous for its 90210 ZIP code – about a month after giving birth to her first child with fiancé Alexis Ohanian.

The 6,000-square-foot Spanish-style residence sits on a quarter-acre lot in a gated community, once home to high-profile residents like Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears.

Scroll through for a tour of Williams’ new digs.


Williams purchased the home in October. Around the same time, she listed her other Los Angeles residence in Bel-Air, which she’s owned for a decade, for $12 million.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

The newly constructed home is a three-story contemporary with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

The entire space is light and airy, with minimalist decor.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

A double-wide island with a polished marble countertop is at the center of the large kitchen. Doors in the kitchen open out onto a veranda.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

Just off the kitchen is a dining room with a table for eight. There are brushed oak wood floors throughout the house.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

The master bedroom is spacious and continues the minimalist theme.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

The master bathroom has his and hers sinks separated by a vanity. Several windows offer unparalleled views.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

A lower-level bonus room has ample space for entertaining.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

Behind the large wet bar is a glass-front wine cellar.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

The grassy backyard includes a built-in grilling station and swimming pool, but there’s no room for a tennis court.

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Courtesy of Sam Real, Nest Seekers International

Trump responds to New York terror act, calling attacker ‘a very sick and deranged person”

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends a briefing on hurricane recovery efforts in Dallas, Texas

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends a briefing on hurricane recovery efforts in Dallas, Texas
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Thomson Reuters

    President Donald Trump reacted to what law enforcement sources suspect could be a terrorist attack in New York City. The attack left at least eight people dead.

President Donald Trump responded in a tweet on Tuesday to an attack that left at least eight people dead and 12 injured when a driver drove a truck through a bike lane in Manhattan.

“In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person,” Trump tweeted. “Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”

He continued: “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”

Several hours after publishing the initial tweet, the White House released a more formal statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today’s terrorist attack in New York City and their families,” the statement said.

“My Administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We offer our thanks to the first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage. I will continue to follow developments closely.”

The driver of a rented Home Depot pickup truck struck numerous individuals along the West Side Highway in Manhattan, before the drive exited the vehicle brandishing what law enforcement described as “imitation firearms.” The suspect was shot by police, and taken into custody.

In a press conference on Tuesday evening, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that at least eight people were dead, and decried the incident as a terrorist attack.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians,” De Blasio said at a press conference.

BI_Graphics_NYC attack_02

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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Alex Rodriguez said that this is the best advice his ‘mentor’ Warren Buffett ever gave him

Warren Buffett

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Warren Buffett
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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez told Vanity Fair that he struck up a friendship with Warren Buffett after the legendary investor helped underwrite his massive contract in 2000. Buffett said that Rodriguez has a “money mind” and would’ve been a successful businessman “if he had never seen a baseball.” Rodriguez said there were two big pieces of business advice and two big pieces of life advice Buffett gave him.

Alex Rodriguez, the former Major League Baseball All-star, said he owes a few debts to legendary investor Warren Buffett in a new Vanity Fair profile.

According to a new piece on Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, the former player and current baseball broadcaster not only owes Buffett a bit of a financial thank you, but also a thank you for some life advice.

Rodriguez and the man known as the “Oracle of Omaha” first met, according to Vanity Fair, when Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway underwrote disability insurance for a 10-year, $252 million contract between the Texas Rangers and Rodriguez.

The men struck up a friendship after Rodriguez sent the legendary investor a note thanking him for underwriting the deal. According to Vanity Fair, Buffett has been a “mentor” for Rodriguez and offered him both financial and personal advice.

Buffett told Vanity Fair’s Bethany McLean that Rodriguez has a “money mind” and knows how to handle business “instinctively.”

“A-Rod would have done very well in business if he had never seen a baseball,” Buffett said.

Rodriguez said that Buffett gave him a few pieces of advice that have stuck with him. On the business side, A-Rod said that Buffett taught him to never personally guarantee any debt and to never hold too much cash, but rather put “your money in great businesses.”

On the personal side, Rodriguez said that the investor’s advice was even more simple.

“Warren said, ‘Go ahead, but you won’t need it. Number one: Be the best baseball player you can be. Number two: Always be a gentleman. Be the best guy you can be’,” Rodriguez told Vanity Fair. “That was simple, but it was so genius.”

Read the full profile at Vanity Fair»

Trump says tax reform will be done by the end of the year — but the Senate isn’t so sure

Donald Trump.

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Donald Trump.
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

    President Donald Trump’s cabinet officials want a tax bill completed by the end of the year. Senate Republicans are cautiously optimistic it can get done. But a short several weeks left in the legislative calendar might force senators to work through weekends and potentially Thanksgiving.

WASHINGTON – Republicans are racing to pass a major tax reform bill by the end of President Donald Trump’s first year in office after failing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act three separate times, but getting a bill to the president’s desk by December is daunting task in the Senate.

House Republicans are slated to release their long-awaited bill on Wednesday, with the Senate Finance Committee to follow suit a week or perhaps two after. That leaves just six weeks left in the year to hash out the details of what type of bill would pass the reconciliation process’ 50-vote threshold.

“I’m still pretty confident,” said John Thune, who chairs the Senate Republican Conference. “I mean I think it’s a heavy lift and I wouldn’t for a minute suggest that there aren’t gonna be challenges in trying to reconcile with the House and Senate end up doing, but we’re on a path.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, who chairs the Finance Committee, told Business Insider he is optimistic a deal can be reached but that it “it’s always a very, very difficult process.”

“It took three years the first time,” Hatch said. “But I think we can do it in three months.”

A Trump administration official was less optimistic, telling Business Insider that the Senate might not be able to accomplish an overhaul of the tax code as quickly the House. However, the administration feels a greater sense of cooperation and optimism compared to the health care debacle that stumped Congress for much of the year.

An inability to deliver a tax reform package would do more than just leave Trump without a signature legislative achievement in first year; it could have more serious financial implications.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a failure to reform the tax code could have a drastic effect on the stock market.

“To the extent we get the tax deal done, the stock market will go up higher,” Mnuchin said on a Politico podcast earlier this month. “But there’s no question in my mind that if we don’t get it done you’re going to see a reversal of a significant amount of these gains.”

The short window to close a deal and get a bill signed by Trump will likely cause Republicans to work longer hours, through weekends and potentially the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the number two Republican in the Senate, told Business Insider they are prepared to work weekends to deliver a tax bill by December.

“We’re prepared to do that if we need to,” Cornyn said. “But it starts with the House of course and they’ll start next week and we’ll start about a week after that.”

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said the Senate is “very likely to work through some weekends,” taking a more definitive tone than others on the Finance Committee.

Thune noted that Democrats’ efforts to stall the confirmations of Trump administration nominees is the primary culprit for the Senate’s slow pace.

“I think if we need to we will,” Thune said of working more hours to push a tax plan through the Senate. “In some cases this is entirely up to Democrats.”

“The Democrats can run the clock on all of them if they want to but they can’t stop them and so it’s really a question of whether or not they wanna cooperate or not and I hope that they do because these are well-qualified nominees that are in the mainstream and in many cases are nominees that Democrats will support,” Thune added.

Ticket brokers are placing 6-figure bets on the Astros in Game 6 to hedge against losing Game 7 profits

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Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Ticket brokers stand to make a fortune should the World Series go a full seven games. To hedge against potential lost earnings, many brokers are heading to Las Vegas to bet heavily on the Astros so that they win either way.

In the hours leading up to Game 6 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, Las Vegas sportsbooks are getting some big bets from an unlikely source: ticket brokers.

According to a report from ESPN’s Darren Rovell and David Purdum, several sportsbooks have taken six-figure bets from ticket brokers on the Astros in the leadup to Tuesday night’s game, as brokers look to hedge against the possibility of lost profits they’d incur should the series end before a dramatic Game 7.

As the ESPN story notes, brokers own roughly 15,000 tickets for each World Series game at Dodgers Stadium, and should the series go a full seven games, they stand to turn a huge profit selling tickets for an average price of $2,000 each. But if the Astros end the series before a Game 7 takes place, the profits from those ticket sales are erased just as quickly as the Dodgers hope for a World Series title.

As a contingency plans, ticket brokers are heading to Vegas and betting big on the Astros to win in Game 6. If their bets win, they secure a bit of profit that would’ve otherwise been nonexistent, and if the bet loses, they’ll make back what they bet and more selling tickets to Game 7.

Businesswise, it’s a perfect hedge.

“I’ve never seen so many brokers place bets here,” said John Avello, director of the race and sports book for the Wynn told ESPN. “And I know they’re brokers, because they are upfront with me and tell me their intention to hedge based on what they have in tickets.”

The first pitch of Game 6 is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:20 p.m. ET, with Justin Verlander on the mound for the Astros and Rich Hill expected to start for the Dodgers. The Astros currently stand as +120 moneyline underdogs, meaning a $100 bet would win $120, and a $100,000 bet would win $120,000.

But for the ticket brokers betting the Astros and simultaneously awaiting a potential Game 7, it’s a win either way.

Netanyahu reportedly asked Trump to let Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard immigrate to Israel

Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, exits following a hearing at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City, U.S., May 17, 2017.

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Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, exits following a hearing at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City, U.S., May 17, 2017.
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REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

    Jonathan Pollard is a convicted spy who served 30 years of a life term after spying on the US for Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked President Donald Trump to allow Pollard to immigrate to Israel. Israel may be trying to capitalize on goodwill projects that have recently gone into effect to benefit the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked President Donald Trump to allow Jonathan Pollard – a convicted spy – to immigrate to Israel, according to Channel 2 news.

Pollard was released in November 2015 after serving 30 years of a life term in a US prison. During his time in prison, Israeli officials repeatedly sought to secure his release.

The former Navy intelligence officer pleaded guilty to spying for Israel from June 1984 until his arrest in November 1985.

Israel may be trying to capitalize on goodwill projects that have recently gone into effect to benefit the Palestinians.

Pollard’s parole terms, according to the Times of Israel, “require him to stay in his New York home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., to submit any computer he uses for inspection, and to wear a GPS monitoring device at all times.”

Netanyahu reportedly told the Trump administration that Pollard would continue to be subject to the same restrictions if he was allowed to immigrate to Israel.

Singer Josh Groban tweeted a firsthand account of the incident in New York City that left multiple people dead

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Getty images

    Police said that multiple people are dead after an incident in New York City on Tuesday afternoon. Singer Josh Groban said he was near the scene, and tweeted his firsthand account. Groban did not see anything, but said he “heard gunshots.”

One person is in custody following an incident that police said left multiple people dead and others injured in Manhattan, New York City, on Tuesday afternoon.

Singer Josh Groban said he was near the incident, walking his dog, and tweeted his firsthand account. Groban did not see anything, but he heard it, he said.

At least six people were killed after the driver of a Home Depot pickup truck reportedly struck numerous people near the West Side Highway in downtown Manhattan. Fox News reported that the driver of the vehicle drove into the bike lane in the wrong direction for more than 10 blocks, hitting cyclists and pedestrians.

Here are Groban’s tweets referencing the incident:

Some of the biggest trading firms in the world are getting in on the bitcoin business

Traders and clerks frantically signal trades in eurodollar futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after the Federal Reserve announced a hike in interest rates, June 30, 1999.

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Traders and clerks frantically signal trades in eurodollar futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after the Federal Reserve announced a hike in interest rates, June 30, 1999.
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REUTERS/Scott Olson

    Two of the largest exchange groups in the world are aiming to launch bitcoin derivatives in the fourth quarter. High frequency trading firms DRW and Virtu Financial are looking to provide liquidity in bitcoin futures. Quantlab, another HFT, is also looking at the market.

Two of the largest exchange groups in the world are aiming to launch bitcoin futures this year, and at least two big trading firms are looking to provide liquidity to the would-be market.

CME Group, the largest exchange group in the world, announced Tuesday it would aim to roll out bitcoin futures. And Cboe, its cross-town rival, also has bitcoin derivatives in the works. Futures are contracts that allow two parties to exchange an asset at a specified price at an agreed upon date in the future.

The launch of bitcoin futures by establishment exchanges is likely to open the door to wider participation in bitcoin trading. Most Wall Street trading firms are already plugged in to CME and Cboe, for example, and trade actively there.

“A broader set of proprietary trading firms may find the volatility of bitcoin appealing but also like the plug and play aspect of a CBOE product,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a note prior to news of the CME bitcoin futures.

Virtu, a publicly-traded high-frequency trader, has met the product development team at Cboe, and is set to be a liquidity provider, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

Bobby Cho, Head of OTC Trading at Cumberland, a bitcoin mining subsidiary of DRW, another trading firm, said in an email that the firm would be involved “anywhere there is significant volume and size in these markets.”

He said:

“This is an interesting development in the bitcoin space because it potentially accelerates the pace of involvement of more traditional financial firms. Many already have connections into exchanges like CME, and this is just another product they can plug into. On another front, this likely accelerates the opportunity for a bitcoin ETF to come to market. All of this new activity will open up the market to a different segment of investors who may have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for these types of offerings, allowing them to express their point of view. As the largest liquidity provider in cryptocurrencies, Cumberland will be involved anywhere there is significant volume and size in these markets.”

Bradley S. Jonas, chief business development officer at Quantlab, a Texas-based trading firm, told Business Insider that the firm is watching the CME and Cboe bitcoin efforts with interest, but that it’s unlikely to be a “day one mover.” Jonas said the firm speaks regularly with CME and that he is set to reach out to them on their strategy for bitcoin futures soon.

“When there’s a new product we watch,” Jonas said. “If it’s profitable then by all means we jump in.”