Uber Partners With Car Finance Companies

Uber Partners With Car Finance Companies

Do you know of someone who needs a job, but even if he had a job, he doesn’t have a car to get to work? He can’t get a job because he doesn’t have a car, and he can’t get a car because he doesn’t have a job. This appears to be an impossible situation, but one company has come up with a possible solution.

There is a Solution:

I am not saying this is a perfect solution for everyone in the above situation, but it has the potential to help many. Uber, the leader in safe, inexpensive, and convenient personal transportation, has developed a lease program called Xchange Leasing. The purpose of the leasing program is to get more Uber drivers on the road. The person mentioned above can get a job driving for Uber and lease a car from them to drive. Of course, they will be subject to a background check and must have a good driving record. With Uber the driver sets his own hours, so with a vehicle at his disposal, the above person is free to find an additional job and drive for Uber in his free hours.

Advantages for Consumer:

  1. Drivers with no credit history or derogatory credit history may qualify.
  2. Payments are taken from your weekly earnings.
  3. The car may be used for personal driving as well as driving for Uber.

Disadvantages for Consumer:

  1. Interest rates are going to be high because of the increased risk of making loans to consumers with unstable credit. The rate may be comparable with those offered by online car title loans.
  2. If you are unable to drive for Uber because of illness or other reasons, you are still responsible for the payments.

How The Lease Works:

  • Drivers put down a $250 deposit.
  • The driver makes weekly payments to Uber for 36 months.
  • Payments are automatically deducted from the drivers’ Uber pay.
  • The lease covers unlimited mileage and routine maintenance.
  • At the maturity of the lease, Uber keeps the initial deposit, and the driver is released from the lease.
  • If the driver chooses to purchase the car, he must pay the balance due.
  • After the first 30 days, the driver can choose to return the car at any time with two weeks notice, payment of all weekly charges while they had the car and forfeiture of the initial $250 deposit.
  • Returning the vehicle prior to maturity of the lease will not impact the credit score.

For some people, this could be the perfect answer to their employment/vehicle problem. For others, it may not be. To read some real-life experiences with this program, go to Bloomberg.com.

If a person has a decent credit score, he will surely be able to get a better lease from a traditional vehicle lease company. This is not intended for that person, but if a person is stuck in a no job/no vehicle situation, this could be a win-win for them.

Wall Street seems secure enough about the Xchange Leasing program that in a deal headed by Goldman Sachs, they have secured a $1 billion loan to underwrite the program. Wall Street backs Xchange.

Bank of America’s Blockchain Trial


The block chain is the underlying technology behind Bitcoin and is being recognized by the major banking and finance industries out there. Bank of America is the latest of the large banks to go ahead and begin experimenting with using the block chain to foster financial trade transactions. The idea behind this is to see if the technology is feasible for use in real world applications such as distributed ledger technology. Currently this would be seen as a leap forward for the financial industry because they would be going away from transactions based on the manual input from paper trades.

Jason Tiede who heads the innovation for global transactions at Bank of America had a lot to say on the matter. He said that at the company they are focusing on working on a block chain for trading in the financial sector. He said it is an interesting idea to take the trade finance from paper based manually submitted transactions and put them into a digital distributed ledger. He disclosed that they are testing it with a bank they did not name and it should be out on the real space being tested by late spring of 2016.

Bank of America’s Push

The news came after there was a request of multiple crypto-currency patents in the past year made by the financial institution. The first patent that Bank of America filed for was one dealing with wire transfers that involved crypto-currency. This was released back in September 2015 but was originally filled with 10 other applications originally filed back in June of 2014.

At the same time Bank Of America is not yet finished and is in the process of making up 20 more patents that should have been submitted in January of 2016.  Bank of America is also part of a coalition of 42 of some of the largest banks spread throughout the world working on developing block chain to add to the current day process of banking.

This could be seen as a great step in putting out an experimental technology and new way of doing things and getting it not only recognized by the establishment already, but giving it much needed weight and confidence to be utilized and used. After all without the public opinion this would not be at the place it is today.  Bank of America is following the lead of some banks that got on the block chain bandwagon before itself but it is significant for them as a company because of their vast size and large market capitalization in the financial sector.

Bank of America’s incursion into the industry for developing block chain technology comes off the heels of other smaller banks who have done the same thing. There was a bank in London, Standard Chartered that began to do this a while back, as well as one in Singapore called DBS. The two of these banks are releasing it out into the public eventually and have already tested the technology between each other as a proof of concept.


Reasons Why Oil Is Driving Stock Market

oil stock

The current situation relating to the price of oil is nothing but an outcome of certain changes brought about in the supply and demand chain cycle. Many factors have led to the influence of this change. The global economy, numerous political elements and the stock market are among the few that have brought about an influence. This has subsequently led to an environment wherein oil has ended up possessing a majority of the driving force in various fields. Here is a list of the top five reasons why oil is driving the stock market:




Lower oil prices and other such similar commodities such as copper are indications toward a gradual slowing of the global economy, as a whole. While, importers are enjoying a jolly time, especially given the reductions in the prices of oil, exporters such as China and Japan are in a difficult position.




The majority of oil export nations is hoping for higher levels of tax revenues from oil. For instance, Saudi Arabia had 635 billion dollars in foreign exchange reserves, while Russia monetary reserves consisted of 40 billion dollars. This is leading to their ultimate budget deficits in the coming months. Pressure on stock prices are just rising by the day.




Due to the given situation, a wave of selling has set into motion subjecting major indexes to experience a troublesome period of time. This naturally causes a pause in the market’s progress. Moreover, due to the plenty other worrisome developments weighing on the market; a scarcity of buyers is being felt throughout.




For those who are looking to save money at gas stations seem to be concentrating their conserved expenditure on things that don’t seem to profit the nation’s wealth.

“Household finances are growing healthier . . .but you want to see a pickup in spending, too,” said Tim Courtney, chief investment officer of Exencial Wealth Advisors.




The Federal Reserve has been signaling toward a rise in the rates to prevent inflation and bring the situation under control. This is expected to start anytime soon, perhaps even next month itself. Contrary to this, numerous investors have been worrying that the market might drop sharply and cause an overhaul. Furthermore, Fed officials have expressed their concern about China’s slowdowns that hold significant risks involved in the U.S. economy. This is also subsequently leading to the selling off of stocks.


“The market was saying, ‘Start lifting rates. Let’s get this over with. Now the market is concerned that Fed is worried the economy is slowing,” said Ernie Cecilia, chief investor officer of Bryn Mawe Trust.


As you can see; a lot truly depends on the changes that are caused in the prices of oil. Although, despite of the above given issues, the U.S. economy seems to be recovering fast and looks a lot healthier in the recent time. Unemployment rate has come down to 5.3 percent.

Forbes Releases 2015 Data on the World’s Most Valuable Brands


Surprising no one, technology dominates the top brands on the list. And guess who’s number one?

Here are the top four most valuable brands in the world right now:


  • Apple

The tech empire is still the reigning ruler, spanning the globe with its products. The brand stays relevant by focusing on more commercially-successful applications of pre-existing tech, making the features useful to the average consumer.


Apple has consistently released a new product approximately once a year since their rise in the tech markets through their Mac PC computers, laptops, early iPods, iPhones, and iPads. With wise investments and marketable products, Apple remains top banana.


The company’s brand value is estimated at $145.3 billion.


  1. Microsoft


Trailing behind Apple is another tech giant. But the gap between brand value is a staggering one, with Microsoft sitting at an estimated $69.3 billion next to Apple’s $145.3 billion. Microsoft also spends about $1 billion more in advertising and marketing costs than Apple, who relies more on hype, word of mouth and social media to take care of their marketing.


Microsoft has to work harder to stay relevant, and it reflects in the brand value gap. But Microsoft’s technology departments are far-reaching, with sectors devoted to multiple technological applications. Their diversity is one of the reasons that they frequently sit towards the the top of the most-valuable-brands list, and earned them the number two spot for 2015.


  1. Google


Google sits close behind Microsoft at the number three spot. Google is currently valued at $65.6 billion, a gap shy of $4 billion separating the two tech companies.


Google’s recent bids in the mobile tech sectors has made them a closer competitor to Microsoft and Apple, releasing new products that have been favorably received by critics and the public. Like Microsoft, Google devotes much of their manpower to the development of new technological innovations with a broad spectrum of innovations, recently beating Facebook tech researchers to an artificial intelligence milestone several decades in the making.


The tech company’s contributions and partnerships with other valuable corporations has worked in their favor, with other brands being supported by Google software and tech; avoiding the exclusivity of Apple and remaining one of the most valuable brands at the close of 2015.


  1. Coca-Cola


While soft drink sales have slightly declined in recent years following backlash from health advocacy groups, Coca-Cola remains strong throughout the years, and sits firmly as the world’s fourth-most-valuable brand with an estimated value of $56 billion.


For a beverages company (even a titan like Coca-Cola) to follow so closely behind the world’s top three most valuable tech brands is a testament to Coca-Cola’s marketing department and financial expertise. Their constant presence on a global scale is difficult to disrupt, regardless of current market trends; the brand remains stable and valuable.


Coca-Cola spends more than any three of the top-valued brands with an advertising fee of $3.5 billion in 2015. But because the product rarely changes, the brand’s success relies heavily on consistently strong marketing and advertising, securing its overall value.


How Accurate Are Online Loan Estimates?


When looking for a loan you want to know a rough calculation of how much it is going to be. Everyone looks to the internet for answers. Before getting a loan you want to know how much it will cost you. Whether is a title loan estimate or student loan estimate, you want to know what your looking at. Truth be told about online loan estimates is that they are just estimates. It doesn’t include how much of loan you are approved for. They are setup to show you what you could potentially being looking at in terms of your loan. It is not an exact amount. Don’t count on an amount if you don’t even know how much of a loan you will receive.

Mortgage loan estimators are a good tool to use to see at what different rates could be. Loan estimators do not take into account whether interests rates will stay the same or change. By law the estimates do have to be accurate to a certain extent. Certain fees that may be or may not be know do not have to be counted with the estimate. Which you be a difference of about ten percent.

Also not all estimate calculators are created equal. You really have to be careful. Some estimates can be completely off if you are not careful. Calculators don’t always take into account if you are living in another state. Different states have different rates. Some are higher and some are lower. There should be somewhere on the estimator where you can pick the state you are in.

For instances if you are looking at a Mortgages estimator you want to make sure it includes taxes, insurance, HOA, PMI, and fees. That way nothing is getting missed. Many reputable websites will even give you directions on how to use the calculator and explanations. Zillow.com is one of the reputable websites that are used.

You need to find loan calculator that is going to factor in all aspects of the loan. Not just parts of it. Many problems with online loan estimates is that there could be fees attached to the loan you or your lender might not be aware of. So if you do not want any surprises use a reputable online loan source that factors in all information not just some of it.


As a borrower you want to feel safe and secure where you get a estimate from. Don’t just go to any website. No matter what kind of loan it is. More information the better calculation of the estimate. You want to use an accurate estimator so you know what you can borrow and be able to affordably pay off.If it is incorrect and you borrow the wrong amount you could be in financial trouble. Most lenders will sit down with you and calculate what you can afford. Not all will so just ask if you want their advice, it just depends on the kind of loan it is. Just because it is on the internet doesn’t mean it’s accurate.  

Huckabee Favors Campaign Finance Reforms

ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 03:  Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee walks off the stage during day three of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The GOP will nominate U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the Republican choice for U.S. President on the last day of the convention.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Mike Huckabee, one of the candidates for US presidential elections 2016, met during a roundtable discussion on campaign finance with the members of Iowa past Tuesday. This is the first time ever where a presidential candidate has approved a meeting with Iowa Pays the Price Group and their underlying initiatives.


“We’ve invited other candidates, but we haven’t been able to schedule them,” said Ruth Lapointe, the group’s campaign director . She said that their efforts always responded with the candidates sending them information about their position on campaign finance.

Predicting Iowa caucuses would end very soon, especially given the financial situation, the meeting ended on a rather positive note with things working out in the member’s favor.


“Historically, money didn’t buy it – not in ’12 when Rick Santorum won; not in ’08 when I won. Both of us were greatly underfunded compared to our competitors. But we went out there and put in the shoe leather. We made connections with voters and the voters picked, not the donors. If we see that change this year, it’s not Iowa that loses, it’s America that loses,” said Huckabee during his speech to the members of Iowa in the roundtable discussion on campaign finance.


Iowa Pays the Price – a non-partisan group supporting transparency in campaign finance  –  urged Huckabee with their initiatives. They believed that holding people who break the rules accountable and putting in an effort to increase voter participation is something that should be implemented vigorously. They have an established website set up online in order to make the communication between them and among their followers easier and more convenient. All types of information are mentioned in detail on the website, including the events that are to take place, the initiatives they have undertaken among other things.

During the meeting, Huckabee was even reported to say that he believed  the candidates should be granted access to unlimited financial donations, not necessarily reporting each and every one of them. He said he didn’t  like the current financial system wherein the Political Action Committee had the liberty to raise a substantial amount of money without disclosing the sources of the donations. He further said the candidates must be given the right to have a say in how the PAC money should be spent.


Michael Dale Huckabee, also known as Mike Huckabee, has served as the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He had also been a candidate in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries. He was a part of the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses. He started his career with Fox news channel, where he hosted a talk show, named Huckabee.


Further, he penned down some of the best selling publications in those times. He has also been a musician, a public speaker, a Baptist minister and a commentator. There is hardly anything that this celebrated person hasn’t done. Although, it is his second run for the U.S. presidency, this time he looks more promising than ever.


Are Finance Apps Vulnerable to Security Risks?

finance apps

In the age of the smart phone, apps are commonly used to make life easier. Many of these apps require personal information, especially mobile health and finance apps. Arxan, a security company, actually analyzed 126 of the most popular apps available to consumers. The findings were shocking because 90% of them were vulnerable to major security risks. What makes this so scary is that a majority of the people who are downloading and using these apps on a daily basis are unaware of how unsafe and potentially dangerous using these apps can be.


A look at the annual report

This data was taken from Arxan’s fifth annual State of Application Security Report. What a user perceived and the actuality of the security of using some apps weren’t the same. John Pironti, who is a security expert, said that he wasn’t really surprised by results, because these same behaviors were seen in the 1990’s when websites and the internet became popular. Users have an expectation that those producing these types of apps have the technology and innovation to make the apps properly secured, which isn’t necessarily the case. For the survey, 1,083 individuals from the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan were asked questions about app security. 268 of the respondents were IT executives, while the remaining individuals were consumers of the 126 specific apps. 87 percent of the executives and 83 percent of consumers said they felt their mobile apps were adequately secure. 82 percent of executives and 57 percent of consumers believe everything was being done by these apps to protect them from security issues. Just 46 percent of executives and 48 percent of consumers said yes  when asked if they believe their app could be hacked in the next 6 months.


Results and actual mobile risks

Of the 126 apps tested, 90% were vulnerable to at least two of the top ten mobile risks outlined by the OWASP Security Project. These ten risks include weak server side controls, insecure data storage, insufficient transport layer protection, unintended data leakage, poor authorization & authentication, broken cryptography, client side injection, security decisions via untrusted inputs, improper session handling, and lack of binary protections. Health apps that were actually approved by the FDA saw an 84 percent vulnerability rate, with having at least two of these risks, while 80 percent approved by the NHS were also vulnerable. A shocking 98 percent of the apps offered no binary code protection, which means the app could be reverse-engineered and 84 percent had poor transport layer protection.


How to make the apps more security friendly

Now that the data has been made available, what can be done to improve security measures for these apps? 80 percent of people said that they would change to a different app if they were using one with a known vulnerability. Unfortunately popular company IBM has looked at research that shows half of all companies have no money in their budget for mobile app security. One way executives and users might be able to get apps to provide better security is to pay the extra money for it. Is the money worth the convenience that the app provides, probably because of security problems. There are still going to be those users who believe a security attack couldn’t possibly happen to them. We will have to see what the future holds for better mobile app security.


World’s Top 10 Young Traders, Bankers And Dealmakers

Young business man holding laptop computer.

Gone are the days when experience would come with the passage of time, and considered to be the ultimate key of unlimited success in any market. A subtle change that might lead to an evolution of, perhaps, the entire future, can be observed as an increasing number of firms, allowing “younger” traders to be in charge of almost all important aspects of their business, in general.


The fresh talent and an even newer perspective that these vigorous entrepreneurs carry has been seen impacting the financial services quite effectively. Technology companies such as IEX Group and SoFi are among the few to have been started by people who have undoubtedly shaken the way financial markets function at a comparatively very young age.


So, let’s have a look at the top ten young traders/dealers/bankers who really carved a niche by virtue of their outstanding abilities and capabilities:-


–  Vladimir Tenev


A 28 year old owner of a mobile app company, known as Robinhood, is the first one to offer commission free stock trading through the given digital medium. Founded back in 2013, the company, till date, has been able to raise up to $66 million of funding from many investors, out of which one is Google.


–  Ryan Smith


Ryan Smith was only twenty-nine years old when he executed his vision of offering the most effective technical chops to startups to help Wall Street utilize block chain technology. Heading this venture under the name of chain.com, this website single-handedly gathered up to $150 million within the past two years of its existence.


–  Darren Dixon


Another smart inventor to have achieved great deeds at a relatively young age is a gentleman named Darren Dixon, who, just at the age of twenty-nine, has been promoted to the position of managing director at Goldman Sachs.


–  Jonathan Birnbaum


It  certainly isn’t a small deal to quantify at the position of a chief operating officer in a company, which is as big as Morgan Stanley at the age of twenty-nine and Jonathan Birnbaum proved it to be possible.


–  Iseult Conlin


Not only is Iseult Conlin a fixed income trader at BlackRock but she is also a pioneer at electronic trading methods. She is incredibly talented with a fixated sense of direction. She generally focuses on corporate bonds in industries like aerospace & defense or transports for five-year and lower durations.


–  Joshua Klivan


There are some who manage to become stars of the financial world before even reaching the age of thirty. Joshua Klivan is one of them. Being a partner in 3G Capital with Jorge Paulo Lemann, he works out of the New York office while focusing on 3G’s long/short equity fund.


–  Brian Welch


Another one is Brian Welch, who, at the mere age of twenty-nine, is recognized as the partner of Bill Ackman’s billionaire hedge fund that helps people with home runs like Pershing Square’s bet on the Canadian Pacific.

–  Robert Kalsow-Roman


Robert Kalsow-Roman sits as the principal at Apollo Global Management. Communicating with several major chemical groups such as Hexion and Momentive Performance, he has achieved a lot at the age of just twenty-nine.


–  Frank Yu


He has been directly involved in putting $1.4 billion to work at Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities group at a young age of twenty-nine.


–  Nate Paul


Founder of the Texas-based private equity firm by the name of World Class Capital Group, Nate Paul has managed to build and call a human $1 billion real estate portfolio in over seventeen states in perhaps, the shortest time possible.

Finance’s Diversity Problem Got Worse After the Financial Crisis

Finance’s Diversity Problem Got Worse After the Financial Crisis

The finance industry has long been under scrutiny when it comes to how it treats minorities in the industry, especially in terms of the hiring and promotion of minorities, especially African Americans. However, recent reports that black representation in the Chicago finance industry had fallen more than 20% in six years has drawn new attention to this serious problem.

The really unfortunate thing about all of this is that the issue really isn’t showing any signs of getting better. In fact, The Financial Services Pipeline Initiative recently released research showing that, by all accounts, the problem will likely get worse in the future.

And while it’s the recent findings from Chicago that have drawn increased attention to this issue, Chicago isn’t the only guilty city. However, it is one that has many commodities markets and thus many more opportunities to hire and promote financial workers, making the discrepancy between how minority workers and non-minority workers are treated all the more obvious.

The Financial Services Pipeline Initiative touched on this issue in its highly in-depth report. It also made clear the fact that the financial industry is guilty of hiring minorities predominantly for lower-level positions and then not promoting them. This means that minorities “fortunate” enough to be hired in the first place by this discriminatory industry were more prone to layoffs, attrition, and other unfortunate treatment.

As mentioned, while all minorities and their treatment were examined and observed during the research process, African Americans were found to fare worse than other minorities. In fact, the number of Hispanic persons working in the industry increased over the years studied, though members of the Hispanic population still tended to be hired for lower-level positions and less likely to be promoted than their non-minority counterparts.

The recession that the nation went through during the years examined only made matters worse. Because so many minorities had been hired to low-level positions, they were the ones who were most likely to be let go when the recession hit, and, as a result, far more minorities ended up losing their jobs during this troubled period than did non-minorities.

As if that information wasn’t disturbing enough, the report also pointed out several other unfair trends. It found, for example, that among the few minorities who did get promoted, they were much less likely to stay in their higher-level positions than non-minorities. They also expressed more concern and disbelief over their respective companies’ commitment to diversity

The report does more than just bear bad news, though. It also provides several helpful recommendations that, if put into practice, could really change the way things are done for the better. Some of the recommendations put forth in the report included:

  • Hiring from within for higher level positions
  • Offering more support to minority workers
  • Increasing hiring overall

The organization is hopeful but realistic. It understands that the only way for change to truly happen is for financial industry executives and employers to actually heed this advice. That, the organization explains, is the only way to put an end to this injustice.

Trump vs Cruz on Economy

Trump vs Cruz on Economy

In total honesty, neither Trump nor Cruz are my image of an ideal candidate, to say the least. But if you have to pick between the lesser of two supremely morally-questionable evils, then here are the facts on where they stand on a range of economic issues.


The Federal Reserve

Trump is not a fan. Trump isn’t a fan of much. He mostly just enjoys babbling about all the things that he hates, and then his solution is to make everything that hates illegal for everyone.

He’s acknowledged that the Federal Bank is a fairly broken system, but hasn’t proposed any potential solutions to the perceived problem.

Cruz, on the other hand, has a more condemning view of the Federal Bank. He repeated proposes legislation to “audit the Fed,” but they don’t pass because he doesn’t seem to know all the facts about how the Federal Bank is regulated. The Federal Bank IS already audited by a number of independent groups.

There are concerns that any additional checks and audits imposed on the Fed that Cruz would incur could leash the Bank to Cruz’s political interests and the Fed would no longer serve the needs of the government as a whole, let alone its people.



Generally speaking, most Republicans don’t favor taxes. Although most politicians fail to come up with a better plan for funding our massive national debt. Here are the two candidate’s proposed tax plans, so you can compare to see which is “better”:

There are seven existing tax brackets, but Trump proposes to limit them down to just four. Those would be 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. People who earn less than $25,000 would pay no taxes. But he also plans to reduce already low corporate taxes even farther, from approx. 39% to just 15%. Some speculate that decision is made in the interest of his corporate empire, rather than from a political standpoint. An unsurprising move, given Trump’s lack of political experience and his origins as a business owner rather than a political representative of anyone.

In comparison, Cruz’s plan is alarmingly radical (as if Trump’s weren’t already shocking enough). Cruz would completely eliminate all tax brackets and lump them into one category. 10% for everyone; no matter what your income is like, regardless of your family situations, etc. He also intends to completely abolish corporate taxes, so businesses would be able to grow to massive proportions without paying anything other than a fee on sales and wages.

His tax plan could cripple the middle and lower class, but it would allow businesses to operate freely without the burden of taxes.


The U.S. Job Market

Neither Trump nor Cruz have outlined particularly detailed plans on how they plan to improve jobs in America, although they certainly talk about it a lot.

Trump likes to say that jobs would be his speciality if he were miraculously elected to represent America, as his experience as a CEO would lead the way. But his current views simply follow what every GOP candidate repeats: trim back government regulation and reduce taxes for all businesses.

Once again, Cruz takes it a step further into radicalism. He has a more specific plan in mind to cut major government departments (which would result in job losses for every employee connected to these massive departments, but that hasn’t seemed to cross his mind). Cruz says he would eliminate the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He’s failed to explain how this will help the job market.

In summation, neither of these candidates has a feasible plan for the American economy just yet. So take your pick.