Oracle CEO buys Hawaiian Island
Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle and 6th richest man in the world, is about to buy 98% of Hawaii’s 6th-largest island, Lanai. The price: about half a billion dollars. This kind of shopping spree isn’t new for Ellison, who has bought yachts, California mansions, and even a fighter jet in the past, according to NPR. Mike Wilson, author of a book on Ellison, said in an interview, “If the question is why did he want to buy Lanai, I think the answer might be because no planets were for sale.” Ellison will join the club of other wealthy island-owners including Bill Gates, Celine Dion, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mel Gibson, and Johnny Depp.
Confidence in public institutions gets low
A new Gallup Poll reports dreary figures on Americans’ confidence in public institutions. Only 29% of Americans responded that they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools; that number was only 21% for banks and big business. At the upper end, the military received 75% confidence and small business got 63%. The absolute worst rated public institution, with only a 13% vote of confidence? Congress.
Moody’s slapped credit score downgrades on 15 global banks this week, including JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Citigroup. Why it matters: the downgrades could mean higher costs for the banks to do business–as their creditors could increase charges on their loans–and also hurt profits by turning customers towards institutions deemed less risky. This, of course, may mean higher costs to remaining bank customers to offset the losses.
Four of the EU’s top leaders met today to talk plans for easing the financial crises inflicting Europe. Monti (Italy), Merkel (Germany), Hollande (France) and Rajoy (Spain) agreed on a 130 billion euro plan that would promote economic growth. German chancellor Angela Merkel, representing the country with the deepest pockets, didn’t budge when it came to forgiving some euro debt or further use of bailout funds. Next week, leaders from all 27 European Union member nations will meet at the European Union leader’s summit.
Obama’s immigration rule
An executive action announced by Obama will grant a reprieve of 2 years from deportation and the right to work legally in the United States for some young illegal immigrants–namely, those who meet the following conditions: are under the age of 30, came to the U.S. before the age of 16, have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years, are currently enrolled in school or a high school graduate or a military vet, and are free of any criminal history. As you can imagine, some interest groups have rejoiced, while others have decried the policy as a political move that out steps the president’s bounds.