Texas Loans – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 01:02:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://ballingertx.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Texas Loans – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ 32 32 Texas Central CEO steps down after nearly 6 years https://ballingertx.org/texas-central-ceo-steps-down-after-nearly-6-years/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 01:02:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/texas-central-ceo-steps-down-after-nearly-6-years/ Carlos Aguilar has stepped down as CEO of Texas Central after nearly six years leading a high-speed train load between Dallas and Houston. DALLAS— Carlos Aguilar resigned as CEO of Texas Central after nearly six years leading a high-speed rail load between Dallas and Houston. Aguilar announced his departure on LinkedIn. He had been leading […]]]>

Carlos Aguilar has stepped down as CEO of Texas Central after nearly six years leading a high-speed train load between Dallas and Houston.

DALLAS— Carlos Aguilar resigned as CEO of Texas Central after nearly six years leading a high-speed rail load between Dallas and Houston.

Aguilar announced his departure on LinkedIn. He had been leading the company’s effort to build a high-speed rail line backed by Japanese technology since December 2016. His decision to resign comes ahead of a pending decision from the Texas Supreme Court in a case that could have decided the fate of the project.

“I am immensely proud of the accomplishments of our team, which has achieved, among many other accomplishments, end-to-end regulatory approvals for the first true high-speed rail project in our nation’s history,” Aguilar wrote. “This was a most conscientious and complex undertaking, carefully addressing the concerns of landowners, stakeholders and providing opportunities for all sectors of our society, a first for American infrastructure.”

Aguilar said he plans to announce his next steps soon. He is a board member of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Aguilar said most of what he called the company’s “graduates” will move on to roles at other companies. “Eventually, this team could implement this desperately needed project to improve safety, reduce traffic, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and connect two of the most important metro centers in the country with the fastest train service. advanced available,” Aguilar said. “I will never forget your ethics, talent, dedication and sheer resilience through it all!”

The company has not named a successor and does not list any executives on its website’s leadership page.

Neither Texas Central nor Aguilar could be reached for comment. In his message, Aguilar expressed the hope that a high-speed train project will materialize in the future.

“While I cannot align our current stakeholders with a common vision of the way forward, I wish the project every success and remain convinced of the importance of this endeavor to the safety and prosperity of all Texans. “, wrote Aguilar.

The proposed $30 billion high-speed train would have traveled at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and allowed passengers to travel between Dallas and Houston in about 90 minutes, according to Texas Central. The company says the project will benefit Texas by taking cars off the road, creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in economic benefits.

Many Texas landowners whose properties are within the proposed train route opposed the project. Leon County’s James Miles sued Texas Central in 2019 to challenge whether the company has the authority to use eminent domain to take ownership of the project.

Blake Beckham, a lawyer representing Miles, called Aguilar’s resignation “wonderful news.”

Carlos Aguilar confirmed what we all knew implicitly, that this project is dead,” Beckham said, adding that Texas Central has not applied for the necessary permits or begun certain regulatory approval processes.

The fact that Texas Central has not named a successor “should be a sigh of relief for anyone concerned with the rights of private landowners in Texas,” Beckham said.

“The public is not in their favor, the landowners are not in their favor, the law is not in their favor and the finances are not in their favor,” Beckham said. “The state is not in their favor and now apparently their CEO is taking a hike. I believe the project is dead.”

Funding for Texas Central is an open question. Lawyers representing Grimes, Madison, Leon, Waller, Freestone, Ellis, Limestone and Navarro counties filed a court filing in April accusing Texas Central of be in arrears by more than $620,000 in property taxes.

Opponents also accused the company of lying about taking government money.

Aguilar has long maintained that the project would be privately funded and that the company would not take public money. Last year, however, Aguilar said the project hinged on congressional passage of a bipartisan infrastructure spending bill. Congress ended up passing a $1.2 trillion spending package. He said the project would be funded entirely by the private sector because Texas Central would not be seeking federal grants or tax money. Instead, he said the company would seek long-term, low-interest loans created by law.

Beckham has repeatedly accused Aguilar of lying and said he hopes that if the project takes on new life in the future, backers will offer honesty and transparency from the start of the process.

Michael Heidler, a partner at Vinson & Elkins that represents Texas Central, said Aguilar’s departure had no effect on the pending appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.

“It shouldn’t affect the timing of the court’s decision or the court’s decision,” he said.

This story originally appeared in the Dallas Business Journal.

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Attorney General: PA COVID-19 relief fund thieves must pay https://ballingertx.org/attorney-general-pa-covid-19-relief-fund-thieves-must-pay/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 13:34:51 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/attorney-general-pa-covid-19-relief-fund-thieves-must-pay/ Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks about the fraud case last week in Philadelphia. Credit: AP Internet News Service A string of arrests last week is a wake-up call to those who defrauded taxpayers through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. Last week, eight City of […]]]>
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks about the fraud case last week in Philadelphia. Credit: AP Internet News Service

A string of arrests last week is a wake-up call to those who defrauded taxpayers through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Last week, eight City of Philadelphia employees were charged with illegally obtaining pandemic unemployment assistance through the state in 2020. The money received exceeded $300,000.

The latest arrests add to 63 made statewide for fraud related to the CARES Act of 2020. So far, state investigators have determined that $3.1 million in PUA funds were obtained fraudulently.

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Shapiro’s office said other investigations into the fraud were still ongoing.

“If you made extra money during the pandemic by fraudulently applying for PUA benefits, go and sign up for a payment plan to pay back the stolen money to taxpayers. Do the right thing, or risk facing criminal charges and prosecution. The Department of Labor and Industry has set up a Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-7469 or benefits.uc.pa.gov so you can report this fraud yourself. Don’t wait for us to knock on your door,” Shapiro said.

Anyone who improperly acquired PUA benefits is asked to voluntarily return the money, Shapiro said.

Anyone who has received a letter from L&I saying they owe money should contact them and pay immediately to avoid the threat of legal action, he added.

Special agents from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office claim that the eight Philadelphia defendants fraudulently applied for PUA benefits between February 2020 and September 2020, stating on their applications that their employment was terminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authorities alleged their investigation found that each defendant applied for and received between $20,000 and $60,000 in PUA benefits while working for the City of Philadelphia at the time he falsely applied for the benefits.

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Federal aid for COVID-19 was accelerated early in the pandemic when the economy collapsed and unemployment soared.

In Pennsylvania and other states, there has been pandemic unemployment fund fraud and an investigation is ongoing by state and federal authorities.

According to research by the University of Texas, 1.8 million of the 11.8 million Paycheck Protection Program loans that have been closed, or $76 billion of the roughly $800 billion in PPP loans , have been used for illegal activities.

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Why You Shouldn’t Worry If Texas and Tesla Can’t Get Along https://ballingertx.org/why-you-shouldnt-worry-if-texas-and-tesla-cant-get-along/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 11:55:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/why-you-shouldnt-worry-if-texas-and-tesla-cant-get-along/ The serial soap opera that is Elon Musk and You’re here (TSLA 1.72%) took another turn last December, when the billionaire entrepreneur thumbed his nose at California and said he was moving Tesla’s headquarters to the huge factory he was building in Texas. Tesla said the move would create 5,000 jobs in Texas with an […]]]>

The serial soap opera that is Elon Musk and You’re here (TSLA 1.72%) took another turn last December, when the billionaire entrepreneur thumbed his nose at California and said he was moving Tesla’s headquarters to the huge factory he was building in Texas. Tesla said the move would create 5,000 jobs in Texas with an average annual salary of $47,000. Tesla, on the other hand, would be freed from costly California regulations and receive tax breaks of up to $64.7 million.

It seemed like a good deal for both parties, but rather than say thank you, Texas recently barred Tesla from a rebate plan that rewards electric vehicle (EV) buyers, and it continues to make it difficult to buy. of Teslas by Texans. Here’s why investors shouldn’t worry too much about this seemingly soured relationship.

No refunds in Texas for Tesla buyers

The Texas EV rebate program gives a $2,500 rebate to buyers of electric vehicles produced by all major automakers except Tesla. A total of 142 different models are eligible for the rebate, but not the best-selling electric vehicles in the world: those of Tesla.

When asked why Tesla was excluded from the Texas rebate program, Laura Lopez, the spokeswoman for the Texas department that administers the rebate program, said: “Under Texas law, vehicles purchased directly from the manufacturer or from an outside or state dealer not licensed to sell or lease new vehicles in Texas, are not eligible for rebate.”

While many states that offer franchise new-car dealerships protection from competition from direct sales have made concessions to Tesla, Texas has not. State law requires all new auto buyers to purchase through a franchised dealership. If you’re a Texan and you fancy a Tesla, you have to go to another state to buy one, or have the sales paperwork processed in another state.

Texas first passed protectionist dealer laws in the 1930s. The regulations prohibited the sale of cars to consumers by anyone other than a franchised dealer. In the wild and woolly early days of the auto industry, the laws may have offered some protection to consumers against the possibility of buying a car that was counterfeit or could not be repaired. But these laws have long since lost their usefulness and now only serve to protect a monopoly which, no doubt, defrauds consumers. The National Automobile Dealers Association champions these regulations, and in support of them, its PACs have paid more than $45 million nationwide to political candidates and organizations, Democratic and Republican, since 1990, and have spent more than $68 million dollars in additional lobbying efforts.

Elon Musk has tried several times to get the Texas legislature to authorize the direct sale of automobiles. In 2015, while courting the legislature, he indicated that Tesla might build a factory in Texas. He built that factory and moved his headquarters to Texas, but the state legislature did nothing. None of that seems to have deterred Musk so far.

The Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas now houses the company’s headquarters. Source: Tesla.

Car buyers still love Tesla

Neither the lack of discounts nor the barriers to buying a Tesla in the Lone Star State are likely to significantly affect the company’s sales in the state. The rebate program is limited to 2,000 electric vehicle buyers, a limited number for an automaker that will likely sell well over a million vehicles worldwide in 2022. At least one analyst predicts Tesla sales of 2 million for the calendar year. Tesla is also on track for strong U.S. numbers this year, racking up domestic sales of around 150,000 cars in the first quarter.

Apparently, quite a few Tesla buyers reside in Texas, even if their vehicle purchase was registered in another state. As of April 2022, 52,190 Teslas were registered in Texas. Only California and Florida can claim more Tesla registrations.

Wall Street jitters sent Tesla stock price crashing

While car buyers love Tesla, Wall Street has, at least for now, fallen in love with the company. Tesla stock has fallen about 35% since Musk announced his deal to buy Twitter. Musk’s vast holdings of Tesla stock were used as collateral to back up loans he took out to fund the recurring purchase of Twitter. This apparently makes investors nervous.

But the company’s cars continue to sell in Texas and elsewhere, and Tesla’s stock price appears to have stabilized in recent weeks. Tesla posted record first-quarter sales despite rising raw material costs, and the company delivered 68% more vehicles year-over-year. With 46% of the automaker’s revenue spent on research and development in the first quarter, its continued progress looks likely, raising the odds that shares will rebound going forward.

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When student loans and the housing crisis force journalists out of business https://ballingertx.org/when-student-loans-and-the-housing-crisis-force-journalists-out-of-business/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 13:40:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/when-student-loans-and-the-housing-crisis-force-journalists-out-of-business/ Economic justice is at the heart of everything MLK50: Justice Through Journalism does, not just in the content we produce, but in how we care for and compensate workers. It is there in our vision, which echoes the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King: a nation where all residents, especially working people, have enough resources […]]]>

Economic justice is at the heart of everything MLK50: Justice Through Journalism does, not just in the content we produce, but in how we care for and compensate workers.

It is there in our vision, which echoes the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King: a nation where all residents, especially working people, have enough resources to thrive, and where public and private policies support their success.

We center people who work for a living, especially those trapped in systems that create and sustain poverty. And that includes people who work for MLK50.

How do newsrooms retain talented journalists who are straining under the weight of crippling student debt and whipped by soaring housing prices? Particularly those who are BIPOC, the first generation college graduates with no inherited wealth?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for the past few weeks since the MLK50 reporter Carrington J. Tatum resigned. (Read Tatum’s article here.)

Carrington joined the team in October 2020, just months after leaving Texas State University with a journalism degree and student loan debt that now hovers around $90,000. In less than two years, he has amassed a awardwinner body of work, including dozens of stories about the controversial project Byhalia Gas Pipeline.

He used to make it work when he had a roommate, but when the roommate left and his landlord raised the rent from $300 to $1,700, the math no longer worked. His best option, he concluded, was to return to Texas and live with his mother, where his housing costs would be zero.

This was all happening while I was stuck in an Italian government detention center after catching Covid at an international journalism conference. The stress kept me from concentrating on even the simplest work tasks and the team graciously shielded me from what was happening.

But by the time I got home, her decision was made.

Not all problems can be solved with money, but this problem could be.

The fact that I didn’t realize it until it was too late reflects my shortcomings. I bawl all the time about my commitment to economic justice in all areas, including compensation. I knew student loans are a grind around too many necks and I knew rents were going up, but I didn’t realize how much it was undermining a co-worker’s career plans.

I feel like I failed Carrington, even though he assured me that was not the case. These issues are bigger than our newsroom and solving them shouldn’t be the MLK50’s cross to bear, he said.

Maybe so, but if the solutions don’t start with newsrooms like ours, where would they start?

My salary surveys of other local newsrooms and similarly sized nonprofit newsrooms indicate that MLK50 pays better than average in a city where living expenses have historically been low.

It was Carrington’s first full-time job, and his total compensation when he quit (which he shared in this article) was just under $50,000. That’s above the median household income in the city of $41,900but below the Memphis metro area median household income of $53,900.

Between March 2020, the start of the pandemic, and May, Memphis-area rents rose nearly 30%, the 10th-fastest metro-level rent growth among the nation’s largest metro areas, according to the data collected by Apartment List.

I’ve heard of rent increases much higher than that; it’s not uncommon for a one-bedroom apartment to cost $1,600. Add in student loans, auto loans, inflation, scary gas prices, and for too many people, including Carrington, it becomes unsustainable.

Before launching MLK50, I sought advice from Russ Wigginton, then Vice President of Rhodes College, and now President of the National Civil Rights Museum. His sage advice: You have a dream Cadillac, so don’t budget Pinto.

I thought I did a Cadillac budget—this year it’s just over a million dollars. But we don’t have a budget that accounts for and corrects the economic disparities that capitalism creates and maintains.

My first wildly impractical and improbable idea: win the lottery so I can pay off workers’ student loans. But the lottery itself “preys on the poor”, as Vox Explain. Lower income and black people are more likely to gamble.

In the end, I end up with questions, which as a journalist isn’t the worst place to be.

How do you repair damage to some workers? How to do this without alienating other employees who benefited from a much more solid financial base? Would candidates who are bothered by our attempts at fairness be a good candidate?

Is our remuneration structure fundamentally unfair because we pay above all for experience and skills, without taking needs into account?

What would a repair-centric salary structure look like? How would we sell that to funders? To donors?

If we decided to make need/debt/lack of generational wealth a compensation factor, at what stage of the hiring process would we inquire about a job candidate’s finances? Is it appropriate to do so? And how could we ensure that this information does not affect hiring decisions, while factoring additional expenses into our budget?

What other economic/financial worker challenges are we overlooking? (We calculate an increase in our mileage reimbursement rate to account for gas prices of $5/gallon.)

We talk to other newsrooms and try to figure out what we could do now, what we want to be able to do soon, and how to get from here to there. If you have any ideas, let me know.

In the meantime, when the Powerball gets really big, I’ll buy a ticket or two. Wish me good luck.

Wendi C. Thomas is the founding editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, where this article originally appeared, and a 2016 Nieman Fellow.

Photo illustration by Andrea Morales, MLK50.

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Subletter Examiner | CyberWyoming Update – June 13 https://ballingertx.org/subletter-examiner-cyberwyoming-update-june-13/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 21:11:46 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/subletter-examiner-cyberwyoming-update-june-13/ Employment scam: A citizen of Laramie reported an employment scam from Jinsanye Imp and Exp Co Ltd (but really from a Gmail address) saying that they needed a part-time company representative and that their offer was “very attractive”. The subject line was CONTRACT OFFER (yes, that was all caps). Windows Defender Firewall is free with […]]]>

Employment scam: A citizen of Laramie reported an employment scam from Jinsanye Imp and Exp Co Ltd (but really from a Gmail address) saying that they needed a part-time company representative and that their offer was “very attractive”. The subject line was CONTRACT OFFER (yes, that was all caps).

Windows Defender Firewall is free with your Windows OS: A citizen of Sheridan received an email with the subject “Order Confirmation” posing as a Microsoft Windows Defender order (but was from reality of a Gmail address). The email charges $249.99 for Firewall Defender Premium Protection. Just delete the email. Windows Defender comes free with your operating system.

Domain sales: If you get an email saying they want to sell you a domain name for $250-$300, in this case the citizen of Laramie said the name was WyomingITSecurity.com, most likely it is ‘a scam. Curiously, this scammer, who contacted the citizen via a Gmail address, said, “You can also get this domain from GoDaddy.” Note CyberWyoming: Usually, when you buy a domain from a provider like GoDaddy, it costs around $10 to $20.

Website Ranking Scams: If you receive an unsolicited email saying “your website is not ranking well on Google”, a citizen of Laramie wants you to know it is a scam. Do not reply to the Gmail address to get the proposal and price.

Best Buy and Geek Squad impersonation email: A citizen of Sheridan received an invoice branded Best Buy and Geek Squad, but from an email address notification.intuit.com, where Intuit is the company that legitimately owns Quickbooks, a popular accounting program. The bill was for $399.99, claimed to debit your checking account, and claimed to be for “full tech protection.” The scammer messed up and also listed a Gmail address to reply to as Geek Squad, but the email was otherwise very well crafted.

To remark!! Upgrade Your Email Storage Scam: If you receive a generic “mail admin” email stating that your mail storage has exceeded its limit and needs to be upgraded immediately, do not click the link. The scammer is trying to get your personal information and your credit card. Reported by a citizen of Laramie.

FTC Employment Scam Alert for Recent College Graduates: It seems normal to receive a CV request from a recruiter, but the scammer says that your CV format is “incompatible” and you are asked to send your CV to a website to “reformat” it. , for a fee. Remember that legitimate companies don’t ask you to pay.

FTC Formula Scam Alert: Scammers are once again taking advantage of the news. The FTC would like to remind you that if you are looking for infant formula, first do a Google search like this “product name claim scam” and if you spot a fake website, email or advertisement on social media, report it to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

FTC Tech Support Scam Alert: Scammers often pretend to be from a well-known company like Apple or Microsoft and send you random notifications that they have found malware on your computer or device. They say the problem is urgent and they encourage you to pay for technical support you don’t need. Hang up.

FTC Student Loan Forgiveness Alert: As the US Department of Education announced another extension until August 31, 2022 to suspend student loan repayments, student loans are once again in the news and therefore a prime target for scammers. Note that the only student loan forgiveness programs are Civil Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness, and neither charges you for assistance to qualify for the program. The FTC would like to remind you not to share your FSA ID with anyone.

MS-ISAC and CISA patch now warns: The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) or the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a Patch Now (Update Your Software) alert for Google’s Chrome browser, operating system Google Android, Meeting Owl Pro, Whiteboard Owl, Dominion Voting Systems ImageCast X, and Atlassian Confluence Server & Data Center products. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.

Data breaches in the news: Online gun sites – Ranier Arms and Numbrich Gun Parts Corporation, Shields Health Care Group (Massachusetts), Transact Campus (student account holders), City of Alexandria (Louisiana) ransomware attack and possible data breach, Icarus, Pegasus Airlines, Verizon Employee Access, Linn County (Oregon), Washington University School of Medicine, MGM Resorts, Texas Department of Transportation, Zola Wedding Registry Accounts, Regional Eye Associates (West Virginia), General Motors , Chicago Public Schools, Texas Department of Insurance, Omnicell (health care company), Mercyhurst University (Pennsylvania), RefuahHealth and Parker Hannifin.

If you have an account with one of these companies, be sure to change your password and consider freezing the credit on your accounts through all three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax .

Please report any scams you may encounter to [email protected] to alert your friends and neighbors.

Other ways to report a scam:

  • Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker: www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/reportscam
  • Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection 307-777-6397, 800-438-5799 or [email protected]
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/
  • Report your scam to the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/Home/FileComplaint
  • Unwanted calls reported to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call listing. Online at https://www.donotcall.gov/report.html or call 1-888-382-1222, option 3
  • Office of the Inspector General: https://oig.ssa.gov/
  • AARP Fraud Watch Network (all ages welcome) Helpline 877-908-3360
  • IRS: Report email scams impersonating the IRS to [email protected]
  • Call the Wyoming Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) for help with potential Medicare fraud, abuse, or errors at 1-800-856-4398
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Hiltzik: The Musk/Twitter circus is coming to Texas https://ballingertx.org/hiltzik-the-musk-twitter-circus-is-coming-to-texas/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 20:07:19 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/hiltzik-the-musk-twitter-circus-is-coming-to-texas/ If we choose to take our hats off to the Republican leaders of the State of Texas, it is to recognize their determination to divert the attention of their constituents from the most pressing questions. Exhibit A: Atty. General Ken Paxton. With the funerals of the 19 children and two adults shot dead by a […]]]>

If we choose to take our hats off to the Republican leaders of the State of Texas, it is to recognize their determination to divert the attention of their constituents from the most pressing questions.

Exhibit A: Atty. General Ken Paxton. With the funerals of the 19 children and two adults shot dead by a gunman in Uvalde, Texas still taking place and expected to continue until at least next week, Paxton has taken a tough stance – about Twitter.

On Monday, Paxton announced that he had launched an investigation to find out if Twitter lied about the percentage of fake accounts, or “bots,” on its platform.

If Twitter is misrepresenting the number of fake accounts to increase their revenue, I have a duty to protect Texans.

— Lawyer from Texas. General Ken Paxton

If you think that’s a weird thing for Paxton, you’re not paying attention to the context that the percentage of bots on Twitter has become a big deal for Elon Musk in his quest to get out of the terms of his deal. $44 billion to acquire Twitter.

Musk was keen to move the headquarters of Tesla, his electric car company, to Texas from California, prompting gratitude from Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Abbott said Musk told him he “had to leave California because, in part, of the social policies” in California and that Musk “constantly tells me that he likes the social policies of the state of Texas.” These policies include one of the most draconian anti-abortion laws and some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country.

In May, Musk also said he would vote Republican in the next election, having previously voted for the Democrats. Abbott and Paxton are both Republicans.

Paxton isn’t the only Republican to take a stand on Twitter. The GOP has long complained that the platform has disadvantaged conservatives in its account blocking practices; in April, a group of 18 House Republicans suggested they investigate company transactions with Musk if they get a majority.

Paxton justified his grandstanding on Musk’s behalf by saying Twitter’s “potentially false reporting” of fake accounts could violate Texas deceptive marketing practices law. “If Twitter misrepresents the number of fake accounts to increase their revenue, I have a duty to protect Texans,” he said.

“Twitter has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks” for its claim that “less than 5% of all users are bots,” Paxton said.

A few points on this: first, “the scrutiny” came from exactly one person, Elon Musk, who, as we will explain, may have an ulterior motive to raise the issue; neither Musk nor anyone else has presented any evidence that Twitter misled the fake accounts.

Second, Paxton is wrong to say that Twitter claimed that less than 5% of all its users are bots; Twitter said that less than 5% of all its “monetizable“Users are bots, a category that already excludes bots that he has identified and taken action to get rid of the platform.

Third, Paxton has the nerve to bring a charge of fraud against anyone. It’s because he is himself indicted for alleged fraud, in a case that has gone unresolved in the Texas court system for seven years without a trial. He would also be under criminal investigation by the FBI in a separate case. He has pleaded not guilty in the state case and says there is nothing to the FBI’s investigation.

There’s no escaping the fact that Paxton’s foray into the Twitter affair has made Musk’s takeover bid even more of a circus than it was before. Let’s go back to the chronology.

The adventure began on April 4, when Musk revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he had acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter worth around $3 billion. He claimed in the filing that the purchases were intended as a passive investment and that he had no intention or desire to influence Twitter.

The SEC is investigating whether Musk misled investors with this filing, and why Musk violated its rules by delaying the official disclosure of his stock purchases on Twitter for more than a week after he should have. report.

The day after Musk revealed his involvement, Twitter said he had agreed to join its board and limit future stock purchases. Musk later recanted, rejected the overture, and on April 13 announced an offer of acquire all outstanding shares of Twitter at $54.20 each, well above their trading price of around $44 billion, and would then take Twitter private. Twitter’s board accepted the deal on April 25.

The agreement was binding except in very limited circumstances; Musk said he wouldn’t perform any due diligence on the company – reviewing a target’s books and records to make sure there are no hidden traps or conditions that could interfere with a successful takeover.

Since then, however, Musk has given several signals that he is experiencing buyer’s remorse. He seems to be looking for an excuse to justify his negotiation for a lower price or to drop the deal altogether.

One reason may be that Twitter’s bid contributed to a decline in Tesla shares, at least in part because Musk planned to borrow against his holdings to fund the bid, raising the possibility that he has to sell stocks to go crazy.

Shares of Tesla have fallen more than 36% since it announced its acquisitions on Twitter on April 4 and about 27% since announcing the takeover bid on April 25. At their current price of around $730, they are down more than 40% from their peak of around $1,230 on November 4th.

Musk tweeted attacks on Twitter executives and company policies; this is a potential violation of a provision of the agreement to prohibit him from disparaging the company while the takeover formalities are being worked out.

More recently, he questioned Twitter’s estimate that less than 5% of its “monetizable daily active users” were fake or spam accounts — a figure Twitter has been disclosing for years.

Musk asked for the ability to perform his own analysis based on the data he requested from the company, which the company declined. Musk first said his doubts about the stat put the deal “on hold,” even though that’s a meaningless claim under the terms of the deal.

On Monday, however, Musk really curtailed the Twitter boom. In another SEC filinghe claimed that the company’s refusal to provide the data he had requested constituted “a clear material breach” of the takeover agreement and could prompt him to “terminate the merger agreement”.

On Wednesday, Twitter appeared to call Musk’s bluff by offering him access to data from the 500 million daily tweets posted on the platform, according to the Washington Post.

All that side-play has, predictably, undermined confidence that the deal will ever materialize. That’s especially true among the bankers lined up to fund the takeover, who indicated some difficulty finding investors for the loans they’ve offered Musk.

This in turn may indicate Musk’s true intentions, as one of the conditions that allows him to walk away is the inability to secure funding. If he abandons the offer without good reason, he could face a fine of $1 billion or even a court order ordering him to complete the transaction at the agreed price.

Wall Street investors voted with their feet on Musk’s Twitter deal. Twitter’s stock price, which is expected to converge with Musk’s $54.20 bid, has never closed above $51.70, which it hit on the day of the announcement. the agreement. Since then, it has traded at $35.40, 34.6% below the offer price, an incredible spread for a deal that faces no known regulatory hurdles. As of midday Wednesday, Twitter was trading at around $40.50.

Musk’s plan to take over Twitter has dwindled to a side act, with speculation focusing not on when he will close the acquisition, but on whether he will ever do so, and how and at what price he will. will come out.

The whole affair turned into a lesson in how to undermine financial trading principles that have lubricated trading for decades. Unfortunately, it is not surprising that Elon Musk pushes the limits of good faith in this way. And, even more sadly, it’s not troubling that Texas’ top legal official, working as he is under the cloud of criminal charges, prioritizes Musk’s whims over real crises in the state. .

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Deadline Approaches in Texas for SBA Working Capital Loans | KWKT https://ballingertx.org/deadline-approaches-in-texas-for-sba-working-capital-loans-kwkt/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 13:07:08 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/deadline-approaches-in-texas-for-sba-working-capital-loans-kwkt/ SACRAMENTO, Calif. (FOX 44) — Many central Texas counties are among the 36 counties eligible to apply for a federal SBA disaster loan for economic harm. Director Tanya N. Garfield of the US Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West reminded small, nonfarm businesses in these Texas counties of the July 5 deadline to apply. […]]]>

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (FOX 44) — Many central Texas counties are among the 36 counties eligible to apply for a federal SBA disaster loan for economic harm.

Director Tanya N. Garfield of the US Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West reminded small, nonfarm businesses in these Texas counties of the July 5 deadline to apply.

These low-interest loans are to offset economic losses due to reduced income caused by excessive humidity in Texas counties that occurred from January 1 to July 31, 2021.

The main counties are: Calhoun, Colorado, Delta, Falls, Floyd, Hopkins and Victoria.

Neighboring counties are: Aransas, Austin, Bell, Briscoe, Crosby, Dewitt, Dickens, Fannin, Fayette, Franklin, Goliad, Hale, Hunt, Jackson, Lamar, Lavaca, Limestone, Lubbock, Matagorda, McLennan, Milam, Motley, Rains , Red River, Refugio, Robertson, Swisher, Wharton and Wood.

According to Garfield, small non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of any size can apply for economic disaster loans of up to $2 million. to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

The interest rate is three percent for corporations and two percent for private non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial situation.

By law, the SBA makes economic disaster loans available when the United States Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on November 2, 2021.

Businesses whose primary business is agriculture or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster relief. Agricultural businesses should contact the Farm Services Agency about the United States Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s Statement.

Applicants can apply online, receive additional information about disaster assistance, and upload applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email Disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on disaster assistance.

For people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment, they can dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed applications should be mailed to: US Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX, 76155.

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Critical Contrast: Blue Foundry Bancorp (NASDAQ:BLFY) vs. Third Coast Bancshares (NASDAQ:TCBX) https://ballingertx.org/critical-contrast-blue-foundry-bancorp-nasdaqblfy-vs-third-coast-bancshares-nasdaqtcbx/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 20:18:55 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/critical-contrast-blue-foundry-bancorp-nasdaqblfy-vs-third-coast-bancshares-nasdaqtcbx/ Bancorp Blue Foundry (NASDAQ: BLFY – Get a rating) and Third Coast Bancshares (NASDAQ: TCBX – Get a rating) are both small cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We’ll compare the two companies based on their risk strength, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, profitability, and institutional ownership. Analyst Recommendations This is a […]]]>

Bancorp Blue Foundry (NASDAQ: BLFYGet a rating) and Third Coast Bancshares (NASDAQ: TCBXGet a rating) are both small cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We’ll compare the two companies based on their risk strength, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, profitability, and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of the current recommendations for Blue Foundry Bancorp and Third Coast Bancshares, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sales Ratings Hold odds Buy reviews Strong buy odds Rating
Bancorp Blue Foundry 0 0 0 0 N / A
Third Coast Banking Stocks 0 1 3 0 2.75

Third Coast Bancshares has a consensus price target of $28.75, indicating a potential upside of 13.01%. Given Third Coast Bancshares’ likely higher upside, analysts clearly believe that Third Coast Bancshares is more favorable than Blue Foundry Bancorp.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

39.0% of shares in Blue Foundry Bancorp are held by institutional investors. By comparison, 28.6% of shares in Third Coast Bancshares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership indicates that large money managers, endowments, and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares the net margins, return on equity and return on assets of Blue Foundry Bancorp and Third Coast Bancshares.

Net margins Return on equity return on assets
Bancorp Blue Foundry -59.96% -9.33% -1.66%
Third Coast Banking Stocks N / A N / A N / A

Benefits and evaluation

This table compares the revenue, earnings per share and valuation of Blue Foundry Bancorp and Third Coast Bancshares.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net revenue Earnings per share Price/earnings ratio
Bancorp Blue Foundry $58.53 million 5.85 -$36.34 million N / A N / A
Third Coast Banking Stocks $105.49 million 3.25 $11.42 million N / A N / A

Third Coast Bancshares has higher revenues and profits than Blue Foundry Bancorp.

Summary

Third Coast Bancshares beats Blue Foundry Bancorp on 7 out of 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Blue Foundry Bancorp (Get a rating)

Blue Foundry Bancorp operates as a bank holding company for Blue Foundry Bank, a savings bank that offers various retail and corporate banking products and services. The company offers deposits; and loans, such as residential properties for one to four families, home equity, commercial real estate, multi-family, construction, commercial and industrial loans, and other consumer loans, as well as margins home equity loan. As of December 31, 2021, it operated 17 full-service branches located in northern New Jersey. The company was formerly known as Boiling Springs Bancorp and changed its name to Blue Foundry Bancorp in July 2019. Blue Foundry Bancorp was founded in 1939 and is based in Rutherford, New Jersey.

About Third Coast Bancshares (Get a rating)

Third Coast Bancshares LogoThird Coast Bancshares, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for Third Coast Bank, SSB which provides various commercial banking solutions to small and medium businesses and professionals. The Company’s deposit products include checking, savings, individual retirement and money market accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. It also offers commercial and industrial loans, such as equipment loans, working capital, automotive finance and trade finance. In addition, the Company provides personal and corporate cash management online banking, mobile applications, safe deposit boxes and wire transfer services, as well as debit cards. It operates through eleven branches in Greater Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin-San Antonio; and a branch in Detroit, Texas. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in Humble, Texas.



Get news and reviews for Blue Foundry Bancorp Daily – Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of breaking news and analyst ratings for Blue Foundry Bancorp and related companies with MarketBeat.com’s free daily email newsletter.

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Johnson & Starr celebrates saving 100 homes https://ballingertx.org/johnson-starr-celebrates-saving-100-homes/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 18:26:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/johnson-starr-celebrates-saving-100-homes/ Property tax lender closes 100th property tax loan AUTIN, Texas, June 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Stara Texasproperty tax lender, today announced that it has provided its 100e property tax loan since starting the business just a few months ago. Each year, more than 300,000 Texas property owners are behind on their property tax […]]]>

Property tax lender closes 100th property tax loan

AUTIN, Texas, June 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Stara Texasproperty tax lender, today announced that it has provided its 100e property tax loan since starting the business just a few months ago.

Each year, more than 300,000 Texas property owners are behind on their property tax bills. Property taxes that are overdue in Texas are subject to additional interest and penalty charges and may result in seizure.

“Overdue payments end up costing people a fortune,” said Nikolaos Stavros, CEO. “Our goal at Johnson & Starr is to help ease the stress of heavy overdue property tax bills and ultimately keep Texans home.”

Carey Dellandre is a client who says Johnson and Starr helped save his home. “After a cancer diagnosis and divorce left me behind on a payment, the state wanted to take back my home,” Carey said. “That’s when I found Johnson and Starr. They gave me affordable and flexible options and I couldn’t be more grateful for their help in saving the home where I’m raising my kids.”

“Close our 100e speaks to the fact that Texans welcome our flexible and honest approach to property tax lending, which can be difficult to find with traditional lenders,” says Andy CahillPresident.

Johnson & Starr’s philosophy of doing what’s right for the customer using innovative approaches also extends to partners, and the company’s leadership welcomes conversations about partnership opportunities. For more information please contact Nik Stavros at (737) 295-4316.

About Johnson & Starr

Johnson & Starr proudly serves Texas and Texans by offering property tax loans that save homes. Johnson & Starr is dedicated to Texas owners and also provides services to a variety of commercial property tax clients. Founded by experienced property tax experts passionate about peace of mind, Johnson & Starr brings personalized service and compassion to the marketplace. Johnson & Starr is regulated by the State of Texas.

Media Contact: Nikolaos StavrosCEO
(737) 295-4316
[email protected]
http://www.johnsonandstarr.com

SOURCEJohnson & Starr

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Interest rates on new federal student loans increase for 2022-2023 https://ballingertx.org/interest-rates-on-new-federal-student-loans-increase-for-2022-2023/ Sun, 29 May 2022 15:01:44 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/interest-rates-on-new-federal-student-loans-increase-for-2022-2023/ (NerdWallet) – Two years ago, federal student loan borrowers enjoyed the lowest interest rates ever on their loans. This fall, rates for undergraduate borrowers will be nearly double what they were in 2020-21. Interest rates on new federal direct undergraduate student loans are expected to drop to 4.99% for the 2022-23 academic year, from 3.73% […]]]>

(NerdWallet) – Two years ago, federal student loan borrowers enjoyed the lowest interest rates ever on their loans. This fall, rates for undergraduate borrowers will be nearly double what they were in 2020-21.

Interest rates on new federal direct undergraduate student loans are expected to drop to 4.99% for the 2022-23 academic year, from 3.73% last year and 2.75% in 2020-21. Interest rates on direct graduate loans are also expected to increase to 6.54%; parent and graduate PLUS loans will increase to 7.54%.

Since the new interest rates come into effect from July 1, any new loans taken out before this date will bear the interest rates for the 2021-22 academic year.

Interest rates 2021-22 Interest rates 2022-23
Direct Undergraduate Loan 3.73%. 4.99%.
Direct loan to graduates 5.28%. 6.54%.
More ready 6.28%. 7.54%.

Rising rates make college more expensive

Higher interest rates mean that loan repayments will be more expensive. For a dependent undergraduate student, a $5,500 loan — the maximum that student could borrow — will cost $6,997 over the standard 10-year repayment term with an interest rate of 4.99%. At the 2020-21 rate of 2.75%, this loan would cost $6,297.

Those who take direct and PLUS loans for graduates will see the cost of borrowing increase even more. In addition to higher interest rates, PLUS loans carry an origination fee of 4.23% and have no borrowing limit.

According to the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit focused on education issues, the average PLUS loan in 2019 was around $14,000. This loan amount, taken out with a standard term of 10 years and an interest rate of 7.54% next year, will cost $19,977 over the life of the loan, including $5,977 in interest.

Interest rates for federal student loans are set by the Treasury Department’s 10-year note auction in May. The interest rate on the May 10 notes, 2.94%, is added to the margins set by Congress, and these margins differ between types of federal student loans.

For direct undergraduate loans, 2.05 percentage points are added to the interest rate; graduate student loans have 3.6 points added and 4.6 points for PLUS loans.

Submit the FAFSA and consider the gain

Increases in federal student loan interest rates make it even more important to consider college payoff and whether any debt you are incurring is worth it.

Nevertheless, even with higher interest rates, federal student loans are the best option for financing your education if you need loans. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSAto be eligible for federal, state, and school aid.

Submitting the FAFSA also allows you to be considered for grants and other aid that you don’t have to repay, such as the PellGrant. Once you’ve taken advantage of aid that you don’t have to repay, exhaust all federal student loans available to you before opting for private student loans. Federal student loans offer more protections to borrowers.

The benefit of attending college will vary depending on your major, the cost of attendance, and the amount of debt you must incur to fund your education. If the payoff is unclear to you, consider college alternatives or start with a community college before moving on to a four-year school to obtain your baccalaureate.

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