15 January 2019 FT — Articles to Read

15 January 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are ten (10) quirky Social Security facts you need to know?


Finance – Pg. 7

–        A cut-throat sales culture in the retail division, where perverse incentives led employees to open millions of false accounts and mis-sell other products, was ignored or brushed aside by the board and senior management until the story went public in 2016.  Wells’ first response when the problems emerged was mass firings of lower-level employees.  More than 5,000 were forced out

–        But Wells considers itself more than just another bank: it was on top of the industry in returns, valuation and reputation

–        A strong culture of credit risk management was matched by precious little culture of operational risk management

–        …primary checking accounts – a key yardstick for what retail customers think of the bank – are increasing at a rate of nearly 2%, recovering from zero growth immediately after the scandal broke, but still less than the 5% in the two years before

–        Financial services is a sticky business.  Customer relationships, once won, are hard to lose

–        Wells’ key challenge, then, is winning new customers


Car sales in China fall for first time in 28 years – Pg. 15

–        Vehicle sales in China fell for the first time in almost three decades last year, as the end of government tax breaks and a wider economic slowdown reduced consumer demand for new cars in the world’s largest market

–        Sales of passenger vehicles were 23.8m in 2018, down 4.1% from the previous year

–        China’s overall vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, were down 2.8% to 28.1m last year…

–        A wave of defaults by peer-to-peer lending companies that provided high-interest consumer loans, which accounted for as much as 10% of car purchases, has also hit spending power, especially in rural areas that depended on the sector


Answer: (1) Staying in school pays for children getting benefits; (2) Parents can sometimes get survivor benefits; (3) Just got married? You might still have to wait; (4) Multiple ex-spouses can get benefits if they qualify; (5) Remarrying sometimes affects your benefits – but not always; (6) Being in prison suspends Social Security benefits; (7) You can get a do-over on when you claim; (8) You can get a new Social Security number; (9) Social Security numbers don’t get reused; (10) There’s a strangely prices time limit to fix mistakes