Morning Money Memo…
Your iPhone may be using a lot more electricity than the family fridge. The finding comes in a new report on the electricity use by mobile gadgets, the internet, the cloud and the rapidly growing data storage industry. According to the Digital Power Group the world’s information communications systems are using nearly 10 percent of the world’s electricity generation, and the share continues to rise. “Trends now promise faster, not slower growth in information communication technologies use,” says the report.
The stock market is coming off its worst week this year. The Dow and other averages lost more than 2 percent. After such a long strong run, are the good times over for Wall Street for now? Minutes from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday and the central bankers’ meeting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming may give fresh hints about when the size of bond buying purchases will be reduced. Any change from current policy could have a big impact on the market. One reason why stocks have been up this year is because very low interest rates make other investments less attractive.
The U.S. government is reported to be looking into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of senior Chinese officials to help boost its business in China. The New York Times says a government document shows the bank hired the son of a former Chinese banking regulator and the daughter of a Chinese railway official. Allegations of cash bribes have been made. JPMorgan says it is fully cooperating with regulators
Housing is one of the bright spots this year for the economy. When new reports come out on Wednesday and Friday they may show that July home sales rose to their highest level three years. The recent increase in mortgage rates does not appear to have put a big dent in the housing market.
Living standards remain flat, and that’s why most Americans are not putting more money away for retirement. “Only 18 percent of Americans are actually saving more for retirement now than they were last year,” says Greg McBride of Bankrate.com. Seventeen percent said they are saving less. McBride says consumers “don’t have a whole lot of extra money laying around. Wages are flat particularly when adjusted for inflation, and they’re not really in a position where they can ramp up their retirement savings from one year to the next.” Despite concerns about living standards, layoffs are down compared to last year. Americans feel more financially secure than a year ago “We’ve seen 6 consecutive months where people feel their financial security has improved,” says McBride.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc