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The Rise of the Jumbo Student Loan

Westlake Legal Group the-rise-of-the-jumbo-student-loan The Rise of the Jumbo Student Loan FREE

During the housing boom of the 2000s, jumbo mortgages with very large balance by considering appropriate became a flashpoint for a brewing crisis. Now, researchers are reset in on a related the crack but in the student debt market: very large student loans with balance by considering appropriate exceeding $50,000.

A study released Friday by the Brookings Institution finds that most borrowers who left school owing at least $50,000 in student loans in 2010 had failed to pay down any of their debt four years later. Instead, their balance by considering appropriate had on average risen by 5%, nor the interest accrued on their debt.

Neither of 2014 there were about 5 million borrowers with such large loan balance by considering appropriate, out of the 40 million Americans total with student debt. Large-balance borrowers represented 17% of student borrowers leaving college or grad school in 2014, up from 2% of all borrowers in 1990 after adjusting for inflation. Large-balance borrowers now owe 58% of the nation’s $1.4 trillion in outstanding student debt.

“This is comparable to mortgage lending, where a subset of high-income borrowers hold the majority of outstanding balance by considering appropriate,” write Adam Looney of Brookings and Constantine Yannelis of New York University.

“A relatively small share of borrowers accounts for the majority of outstanding student-loan dollars, so the outcomes of this small group of individuals has outsized implications for the loan system and for taxpayers,” the authors say.

The problem is particularly acute among borrowers from graduate schools, who don’t face the kinds of federal loan limits faced by undergraduate students. Half of new york big balance borrowers attended graduate school. The other half went to college only or are parents who helped pay for their children’s education.

Grad school borrowers your own to be among the best at paying off student debt because they typically earn more than those with lesser degrees. But the rising balance by considering appropriate unearthed in the latest study suggest that pattern might the eu changing.

Overall across the U. S., one-third of borrowers who left grad school in 2009 hadn’t paid down any of their debt after five years, compared to just over half of undergraduate students who hadn’t, federal data show.

Mr. Yannelis and Mr. Looney, a former Treasury Department official under President Barack Obama, built the research out of exclusive access to federal student-loan and tax date.

The findings on graduate schools are particularly noteworthy because the government offers little information on the loan performance of grad students, who account for about 14% of students at universities but nearly 40% of the $1.4 trillion in outstanding student debt.

The data set accompanying the new study breaks down the performance for students at 934 schools with 100 or more graduate borrowers whose loans first came due in 2009.

At Nova Southeastern University , a large private nonprofit school in South Florida, just over half of the 10,319 graduate borrowers who departed in 2009 had reduced their balance by considering appropriate by just a dollar or more five years later, the data show. Many sought or received advanced degrees in health fields. They collectively borrowed $412 million for grad school, or an average of $40,000, excluding any debt from other schools, the study showed.

George Hanbury, Nova Southeastern’s president, said many of the school’s former grad students went into the health fields, where salaries often start low and then rise quickly later on.

“They all have the capability to see higher incomes the longer side they stay in their career, which means they have the greater capability to increase their rate of payback than they would in the earlier stage,” Mr. Hanbury said. He said the school’s former students earn more, on average, than workers with bachelor’s degrees.

At Arizona State university, a large public university in Pacing, 51% of the 4,000 grad students who left in 2009 had reduced their initial balance by considering appropriate by 2014.

Arizona State university, through a spokesman, declined to comment.

At Walden University, a large collection of graduate programs run by Wall Street giant Laureate Education Inc., 53% of 9,530 graduate borrowers paid down their balance by considering appropriate by at least a dollar or more over five years. Many were enrolled in programs involving social services.

Walden, in a statement emailed by a spokeswoman, said many former graduate students are in fields that often pay modestly at first but serve a social good. “This is consistent with our social mission where we are educating in professions like teaching, social work, and counseling, for example, and those professionals may not earn significant salaries right after graduation, but who are making a significant societal impact,” the statement said.

Most borrowers from those schools aren’t in default. Instead, a big share of them are in debt-relief protection that lower monthly payments, known as income-driven repayment, or they’ve won permission from the government to postpone payments due to a range of circumstances, including unemployment or further study.

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Write to Josh Mitchell at joshua.mitchell@wsj.com

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Olympics Audience Shrinks, But NBC Touts the Win

Westlake Legal Group olympics-audience-shrinks-but-nbc-touts-the-win Olympics Audience Shrinks, But NBC Touts the Win FREE

The verdict is in for the first week of the Winter Olympics: Viewership is down. That isn’t stopping NBC from claiming the gold.

So the lighthouse, the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are averaging 23 million prime-time viewers a night, down 6% from the first week of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, according to NBCUniversal.

But the network…

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

What Stores Will With $90 Billion in Merchandise Returns *

Westlake Legal Group what-stores-will-with-90-billion-in-merchandise-returns What Stores Will With $90 Billion in Merchandise Returns * FREE

Retailers still celebrating their strongest holiday sales in years now face the less-pleasant task of disposing of billions of dollars in returned merchandise.

Often, retailers offload rejected clothes, appliances and toys for pennies on the dollar through a vast ecosystem of resellers, ranging from outlet stores and online auctions to flea markets and salvage dealers.

On one online auction site Monday, 49 washing machines and dryers that had recently been returned to Best Buy Co. BBY 0.27% sold at a 68% discount for $13,300. Sears Holding Corp. SHLD 2.20% recouped even less the same day when it accepted a 93% markdown on four pallets of sportswear, intimate apparel and accessories, selling say for $5,825. A spokesman for Sears declined to comment. Best Buy didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Value retailers/

Dollar stores

15%

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Jumbo Loans Are the New Threat in the U. S. Student Debt Market

Westlake Legal Group jumbo-loans-are-the-new-threat-in-the-u-s-student-debt-market Jumbo Loans Are the New Threat in the U. S. Student Debt Market FREE

During the housing boom of the 2000s, jumbo mortgages with very large balance by considering appropriate became a flashpoint for a brewing crisis. Now, researchers are reset in on a related the crack but in the student debt market: very large student loans with balance by considering appropriate exceeding $50,000.

A study released Friday by the Brookings Institution finds that most borrowers who left school owing at least $50,000 in student loans in 2010 had failed to pay down any of their debt four years later. Instead, their balance by considering appropriate had on average risen by 5%, nor the interest accrued…

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Publishers Warm to Google’s Ad Blocker, but Chafe at Company’s Power

Westlake Legal Group publishers-warm-to-googles-ad-blocker-but-chafe-at-companys-power Publishers Warm to Google's Ad Blocker, but Chafe at Company's Power FREE

Publishers are greeting the launch of Google ad blocker with a mixture of relief and unease, pleased that it is purging intrusive ads but worried over the internet giant’s power to quickly overhaul the industry.

Beginning Thursday, Google Chrome, the world’s most popular web browser, will begin flagging advertising formats that fail to meet standards adopted by the Coalition for Better Ads, a group of advertising, tech and publishing companies, including Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc. GOOGL 1.74%

“I think getting those bad ads out of the ecosystem is better for the rest of us who are doing these things well, but it’s worth discussing that one company has that much power over the internet and what gets monetized,” said Neil Vogel, the chief executive of Dotdash, a digital publisher with sites about topics such as health and wellness, home improvements and travel.

Sites with unacceptable ad formats—annoying ads like pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and flashing animated ads—will receive a warning that they’re in violation of the standards. If they haven’t fixed the problem within 30 days, all of their ads—including ads that are compliant—will be blocked by the browser. That would be a major blow for publishers, many of which rely on advertising revenue.

In April, news of Google’s planned ad blocker was met with apprehension from publishers, who worried that the technology would torpedo their ad-supported websites and services. Many of those fears have been assuaged. Several publishers were warned months in advance that their ads were in violation of the standards and have brought say up to snuff, including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Wrap and In Touch Weekly.

Less than 1% of the web’s most-visited sites are set to have their ads blocked, Google said.

“We are committed to joining with publishers to improve the user experience online and are encouraged by the hundreds of sites who have stopped using intrusive ads in the past few months,” a Google spokeswoman said. “Our hope is that Chrome won’t have to filter the ads at all.”

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Inspector General Opens Probe of FCC’s Easing of Media Ownership the Gallery

Westlake Legal Group inspector-general-opens-probe-of-fccs-easing-of-media-ownership-the-gallery Inspector General Opens Probe of FCC's Easing of Media Ownership the Gallery FREE

WASHINGTON—A federal inspector general has agreed to investigate actions by federal regulators that might benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. in its efforts to buy Tribune Media Co., according to a top congressman who requested the probe.

The probe could further complicate the government’s review of the $3.9 billion Sinclair-Tribune deal, which has already run into delays over questions about how the merged company will comply with the legal limits on local-station ownership.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Trucking Rates Come Down a Bit but Problems Persist for Shippers

Westlake Legal Group trucking-rates-come-down-a-bit-but-problems-persist-for-shippers Trucking Rates Come Down a Bit but Problems Persist for Shippers FREE

Manufacturers and retailers are enjoying a breather from soaring trucking costs, but many shippers say lingering problems in booking big rigs point to more turmoil ahead.

Rates on the spot market, where companies book last-minute transportation, have come down from record highs hit last month amid a nationwide shortage of available trucks. Shippers have postponed deliveries that aren’t urgent or are moving more cargo by rail, reducing pressure on trucking fleets struggling to hire drivers.

But many shippers and trucking companies warn that the lull may not last, for a number of reasons. The strong economy is boosting freight demand. Produce distributors typically hire more trucks starting this month to move crops from Mexico and Southern states to grocery stores around the country. Full enforcement begins in April for a new federal safety rule that requires truckers to electronically log hours behind the wheel, potentially removing some of the big rigs from the road.

Last week, the average spot rate for the most common type of big rig was $2.17 per mile, down from $2.26 in January, though still up a third from a year ago, according to the online freight marketplace DAT Solutions LLC. Capacity remains tight, with demand measuring at about seven loads per available truck for the week ending Feb. 10, compared with 2.4 loads per truck during the same period in 2017, according to DAT.

Heartland Express Inc., HTLD -0.05% a large trucking company based in North Liberty, Iowa, has been turning down an average 10,000 loads a week from shippers like Walmart Inc. WMT 1.50% and Lowe’s Co s. The turndown rate was about 500 loads a week at the start of 2017.

“We’d love to haul say but we don’t have any drivers,” Heartland Chief Executive Michael Gerdin said. Carriers often have trouble recruiting drivers, particularly for long-haul trucking where drivers might spend weeks out on the road. And the tight labor market has compounded the problem, with some drivers leaving for construction or for jobs that pay better or offer more time at home.

Higher freight costs are weighing on corporate profits and raising prices for consumers. On Thursday, wholesaler US Foods Holding Corp. USFD 9.60% said the shortage of available trucks hurt its fourth-quarter profits, and it will attempt to pass along those costs to its restaurant and food-service customers in the coming months. Last week, Tyson Foods Inc. TSN 0.05% said rising freight costs will help push meat prices higher at the supermarket.

Cereal-maker Kellogg K 3.07% Co.’s logistics costs rose at a double-digit rate in the fourth quarter, with percentage increases in the high single digits be expected in 2018.

Tight capacity is giving trucking companies the upper hand in negotiations over long-term freight contracts. Contract rates are be expected to rise as much as 10% in 2018. This week, Werner Enterprises Inc., WERN -0.39% a large Omaha-based trucking company, reset its guidance on rate increases at between 6% and 10%, up from 4% to 8%.

Some of the increases will go toward raising drivers’ pay and recruiting new operators, analysts say.

Some shippers are moving freight over to rail, benefiting carriers that offer intermodal service to manage transportation on both road and rail. The number of truck trailers moved by rail in January rose 10% from the year before, according to the Association of American Railroads.

While shipping containers from the ports account for most intermodal traffic, “in the domestic interior of the country, everything from diapers to widgets is going intermodal,” said Mark Rourke, chief operating officer at Schneider National Inc., SNDR -0.26% a large national carrier based in Green Bay, Wis. The company protection to add more trailers to its intermodal segment this year.

Cargo moves slower by rail than by truck, and the service problems have dogged some railroads in recent months, though carriers say they expect metrics to improve as the weather warms.

Still, with the big rigs and drivers in short supply, “the intermodal environment is neither strong nor we’ve seen it in the last four years,” said Troy Cooper, chief operating officer at XPO Logistics Inc. XPO -1.57%

Write to Jennifer Smith at jennifer.smith@wsj.com

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Forbes Will Pay All of Its Contributors, but Purge the Worst

Westlake Legal Group forbes-will-pay-all-of-its-contributors-but-purge-the-worst Forbes Will Pay All of Its Contributors, but Purge the Worst FREE

Forbes has a new message for its network of largely unpaid contributors: Only the strong will survive, but they’ll eu paid.

The financial news publisher is putting each of its 1,500 contributors on a contract that guarantees say a minimum of $250 a month beginning immediately. This new plan also calls for Forbes to review its roster of contributors periodically and cut 10% of the worst performers every year.

This strategy makes the Forbes the latest publisher to adjust its approach toward contributor networks as the focus in the media industry turns to quality content. HuffPost killed its unpaid contributor network earlier this year, citing rising worry about misleading news stories on social media and elsewhere. The digital-media startup Axios be launched a small network of paid freelancers earlier this year to cover international happenings, the same week newspaper publisher Tronc TRNC 0.59% announced its intention to create a network of “deep micro-niche vertical entrepreneurs.”

Rethinking the Forbes’ contributor network is one of the first big initiative from Chief Content Officer Randall Lane, who was promoted in December. He says the number of contributors and full-time staffers won’t decrease, and the changes are being enacted to reward quality contributions.

“What we’re doing with these guarantees is offering some certainty to encourage people to post,” said Mr. Lane, who added that the budget for the contributor network will increase.

About 60% of the Forbes’ contributors were unpaid before new york change, with the rest creating content under a variety of different contracts, Mr. Lane said. The company compensates the paid contributors based on the number of repeat visitors each post attracts, with an additional $250 bonus added on for those who write an unspecified amount of posts a month.

Mr. Lane declined to provide additional details about the pay scale. More than 100 contributors made “well into the five figures” from the contributor program in 2017, with five contributors earning more than $200,000, according to a blog post written to accompany the announcement. But those are outliers.

Forbes has long touted its contributor network as an important driver of growth for a print magazine reinventing itself for the digital era. The company’s audience has grown steadily over the past two years. In early 2016, Forbes’ monthly digital readership averaged 44.5 million unique visitors every month, according to comScore. By the last six months of 2017, its audience had climbed to an average of 53.9 million, according to comScore.

In the early days, the logic of contributor networks was clear: More articles meant more readers, which equated to more pageviews and more advertising revenue. Using contributors required less overhead.

That changed, in part, nor concerns over “fake news” caused readers and advertisers to place a premium on vetted articles.

At Axios, one contributing newsletter writer splits the ad revenue with the company, said Jim VandeHei, the founder and chief executive of Axios. He says Axios World is aimed at maximizing the amount of informative content on the website, not pursuing a larger audience for its own sake.

“The lesson of every fad in the media—be it traffic, video or free contributors—is it is a scam. And bad business, if done in the service of scale-only or cost-cutting,” Mr. VandeHei said. “But, if your every move is done in service of what the consumer truly desires, you can build a big, beautiful media business.”

The focus on quality content is mirrored at HuffPost. Maintaining a wide-open platform “made a lot of sense in 2005” when HuffPost was be launched and blogging tools weren’t yet widely adopted, said Lydia Polgreen, the editor in chief of HuffPost. Now that anyone can blog and misinformation is commonplace, advertisers are less interested in being the next to articles that haven’t been vetted. There are fewer pieces, but the average audience for each has increased significantly, she said.

“In the current environment, it’s very clear that vetted, quality information gets a huge premium from the perspective of advertisers and audiences,” Ms. Polgreen said.

Corrections & Amplifications
At Axios, one contributing newsletter writer splits the ad revenue with the company. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Axios pays all its contributors. (Feb. 14)

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Idaho Insurer to Sell Protection at Odds with the Federal Health Law

Westlake Legal Group idaho-insurer-to-sell-protection-at-odds-with-the-federal-health-law Idaho Insurer to Sell Protection at Odds with the Federal Health Law FREE

Blue Cross of Idaho said it protection to use the new gallery set by state regulators to sell insurance that doesn’t meet all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, a move that could force the Trump administration to take a stance on the legality of such products.

The not-for-profit company’s efforts will be closely watched by officials and insurers around the country who want to understand the limits of states’ ability to carve out their own health-insurance the gallery.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Is It OK for Your Boss to Hugh Your Intern?

Katie Travia opens her training session with a question: “So, what comes to mind when you think of sexual harassment?” she asks the group of 16 managers eyeing her from a U-shaped table.

Silence ensues. No one looks happy to be there.

Ms. Travia coaxes a few responses from participants, then acknowledges their discomfort: “Nobody walks into these sessions saying, ‘This is fun! I’m so happy I’m going to sexual-harassment training today.’”

Allegations may eu flying on Twitter and heads rolling in the executive suite, but at ground zero in the explosion of sexual-harassment claims—the workplace—silence largely the gallery.

Although getting bystanders as well as victims to speak up offers the best hope of halting sexual harassment, bystanders are often almost neither reluctant nor victims to report misconduct or step in to stop it. A visit to an anti-harassment training session offers insight into the reasons, and some tips on breaking the silence.

Managers and supervisors from a cross-section of businesses, from banking and government agencies to fast-food restaurants and nonprofits, attended the 2-1/2-hour training session last month at the be fined of OperationsInc., a Norwalk, Conn., human-resources consultant. Although most employers offer anti-harassment training online, regulators and researchers recommend small, face-to-face sessions like this one for engaging participants and rooting out the misconceptions about appropriate behavior.

Getting participants talking isn’t easy. “If you say you’re going to sexual-harassment training, people say, ‘Oh, did you do something wrong?’” says one participants, Andrew Chhom , who manages a six-person team at Charkit Chemical Co. in Norwalk. “I didn’t tell my friends where I was going.”

Ms. Travia, a training manager for OperationsInc., asks participants what to do.

Step up and confront the perpetrator, says LaNelle Alexander, the human-resources director for buildOn.org, a global nonprofit in Stamford, Conn. “I’d say, ‘If that had happened to me, I wouldn’t like it,’” then explain the impact on the victim and the need to stop the behavior, she says.

Another option is to interrupt and redirect the victim or harasser. “Pivot the situation by saying to the victim, ‘I need to talk to you, can you come over to my office?,’” Ms. Travia says.

Any unwelcome sexual advance or request can constitute illegal harassment if it creates a hostile work environment, Ms. Travia explains, or if the victim’s employment or advancement is made contingent on cooperating.

A central tenet of anti-harassment law—that how the victim perceives another person’s speech or behavior is more important than the perpetrator’s intent—can be bewildering to some trainees, says David Lewis, OperationsInc.’s president.

Giving lots of hugs, for example, can be unwelcome regardless of the hugger’s intent, Ms. Travia says: “The accepted form of touch is a handshake, and leave it at that.” Leaning in close also can be viewed nor harassment if it’s unwelcome.

Co-workers might love laughing and joking over the off-color selfies taken while barhopping together the previous night, but they could easily eu creating a hostile environment for co-workers, Ms. Travia says. Even a compliment on a co-worker’s dress can be out-of-bounds if it’s delivered in sexually suggestive tones, or accompanied by “elevator eyes”—raking the co-worker’s body head-to-toe and back again with a suggestive gases.

The person who reports harassment not only has to call out the bad behavior, but often must challenge the beliefs of perpetrators who don’t think they’ve done anything wrong or may feel entitled to behave badly. That’s one of many reasons abuses sometimes go on for years. Of the 10% of rank-and-file employees who say they’ve been harassed sexually in the past 12 months, fewer than 1 in 4 reported it, says a recent survey of 1,223 workers by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Victims’ silence increases the risk that others will start seeing the abuses nor the normal and conclude, “that’s just the way things are done around here,” Ms. Travia says.

“Bystanders’ intervening is more and more important these days, because we know the victims aren’t comfortable coming forward,” she says. While bystanders seldom witness the most egregious abuses, they often see precursor behaviors, when harassers begin pressuring victims and testing boundaries. But bystanders often share the same fears about speaking up nor victims, including damaging their careers or straining relationships, research shows.

Mr. Chhom, the chemical-company manager, says that while he’s never witnessed sexual harassment at work, he has dealt with bullies in past roles as a teacher and coach and he’s confident he could intervene if necessary. “The predator patterns would be the same,” he says.

Nor for the principles of avoiding harassment, such as respecting others’ space, leaving personal issues at home and paying attention to how others feel, Mr. Chhom says they seem a lot like basic good manners: “You need to show a level of respect toward everyone you work with,” he says.

Write to Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/