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Do US presidents carry cash?

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18 October 2014 Last updated at 00:33

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President Barack Obama’s credit card was rejected in a restaurant. How often do US heads of state spend their own money, asks Jon Kelly.

It’s commonly said the Queen doesn’t carry cash. It seems her American counterpart doesn’t get his wallet out too much either. Barack Obama told an audience that his credit card was rejected in a New York restaurant last month: “It turned out, I guess, I don’t use it enough.” During his term in office, Bill Clinton once had his credit card rejected too.

In the 1995 film The American President, Michael Douglas’s commander-in-chief attempts to buy flowers but is told his cards are “in storage with the rest of your private things”. It’s a similar situation for real-life White House occupants, says presidential historian Thomas Whalen of Boston University: “Everything’s provided for them – they really don’t need money.” The Secret Service agents who are on hand at all times can provide a loan if necessary. John F Kennedy “didn’t carry any cash at all, even before he was president. His friends would have to foot the bill for the privilege of hanging out with him”, says Whalen.

Others have been less parsimonious. A wallet belonging to George Washington contained a 1776 two-thirds dollar bill and a 1779 one-dollar bill until it was stolen from a museum in 1992. Abraham Lincoln was carrying a $5 Confederate bill on the night he was assassinated. In 1984 Ronald Reagan was once photographed paying for a $2.46 Big Mac meal with a $20 note, and his successor George HW Bush once showed his American Express card (plain green, not gold) to an eight-year-old who had reacted sceptically when informed that she was talking to the president. Some 14 years later, however, his son George W Bush told a Spanish-speaking journalist that all he had in his pockets was a handkerchief. “No dinero,” Bush added. “No wallet.”

The current incumbent – who earns $400,000 (£248,000) each year and has an annual expense allowance of $50,000 – has been filmed and photographed on numerous occasions paying for food with cash. In July he paid for a $300-plus bill at a takeaway barbecue restaurant in Austin, Texas, with a JP Morgan credit card (he was allowed to jump the queue). But now it appears that in New York last month the transaction wasn’t so successful. Thankfully for the president, his wife Michelle was present on that occasion to pick up the tab.

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Geostellar Solar Mojo™ Brings Consumers Instant, Mobile and Social Access To Solar Energy Marketplace

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

What’s your Solar Mojo™? That’s the question solar power leader Geostellar® is answering for homeowners across the country and answering with the introduction of the new online marketplace, Solar Mojo™ mobile app, and referral program – allowing U.S. consumers for the first time ever to compare solar installation and financing plans from industry leaders and then go solar with the push of a button.

“Today, on Cyber Monday 2013, we’re bringing the online comparison shopping experience to solar energy,” said David Levine, CEO of Geostellar. “Every U.S. homeowner now has immediate access to real-time, free and independent assessments of the costs and benefits of cash, loan and lease solar energy plans.”

Developed by Geostellar with a supply chain supported by NRG Residential Solar Solutions (NRG Energy Inc. NYSE: NRG), SolarCity (SCTY), Admirals Bank, Roof Diagnostics Solar, Southern Energy Management and other leading solar finance and installation companies, Solar Mojo taps the inventory of the nation’s largest solar equipment distributors, fits the solar panels to individual rooftops, models the energy production, environmental and economic benefits of solar energy, presents qualified solar installers and compares financing options to best meet the needs of the homeowner — making it easier than ever for homeowners to go solar and share solar.

Geostellar’s solar energy marketplace is designed to be simple for consumers. Users enter an address and the average cost of their monthly electricity bills, then Geostellar’s advanced “Big Data Geomatics” technology:

Quantifies the ability of each home to generate solar energy and benefit from its production by moving a virtual sun through the sky of a 3D landscape over the course of year and computing the site-specific solar energy value based on the home’s solar energy signature, which includes the unique energy production potential of the rooftop shading, slope and orientation, the optimal size of the solar energy system, utility rates, electricity usage patterns and the application of incentives. Determines carbon offset through a feedstock analysis of the energy mix on the local conventional electric grid. Compares the solar energy plans available in each market such as 1) leased solar plans in which the solar panels are installed, owned, monitored and maintained by the solar energy provider and the homeowner pays a monthly fee, 2) lending plans where the bank pays for the installation and the loan is paid off through government incentives and electricity bill offset and 3) cash purchase plans for homeowners who have capital to invest in the solar energy installation and want to receive the direct benefit of national and local tax credits, rebates and performance-based incentives. Notifies Solar Guides – experienced and certified solar energy professionals available through instant messaging, on the phone or by email – who are dispatched to help homeowners select a plan, qualify for financing and determine their eligibility for government incentives.

Geostellar presents a clear comparison of the benefits and costs of solar leases, bank loans and cash purchases for each individual homeowner, based on their specific homes and unique needs. Homeowners can view the details of each solar energy plan, including up-front costs, ongoing payments, incentives and savings on electricity bills, so they can make informed decisions. Because every home has a different solar energy signature as determined by the slope, shading and orientation of each roof facet as well as economic and energy usage factors, only Geostellar can present an instant, accurate comparison of solar plans for individual homes.

“Admirals Bank is excited to work with Geostellar as they help homeowners purchase solar across the nation,” remarked Ed Steins, Vice President, Director of National Sales – Renewable Energy Lending at Admirals Bank. “Our lending program allows homeowners to maximize their electricity savings, to capture the full value of renewable energy tax credits and rebates, and to build equity in a home1. We are pleased to work with the team at Geostellar to catalyze the adoption of clean energy across the U.S.”

Admirals Bank is a leading national provider of residential renewable energy financing available in every state in the country. The bank has created a line of innovative solar energy loans that are perfectly suited to assist homeowners procure solar with Geostellar. The program allows homeowners to borrow up to $40,000 for residential solar.2 Homeowners can also use any rebates, tax credits or incentive monies they may receive to pay down the principal balance of their loan within the first 24 months of the fund date. Homeowners that choose this option may then re-amortize their loan at no cost to reduce their monthly payments.3 The loan programs provided by Admirals Bank are non-equity based,4 and homeowners may receive the funds in as little as 12 days.

“Geostellar is a great way for us to reach a wider range of homeowners,” said Kelcy Pegler Jr, Co-Founder of Roof Diagnostics Solar. “We really care about our customer’s experience while bringing solar to the masses; Geostellar’s platform has created a new path for solar education and adoption. We are thrilled to be a part of changing the way we buy energy in America.”

One of the fastest growing solar contractors on the East Coast, Roof Diagnostics Solar serves Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania with high-performance, custom-designed solar energy solutions. Roof Diagnostics Solar will offer homeowners leasing plans from NRG Residential Solar Solutions, SunRun and Clean Power Finance, as well as loans from Admirals Bank and EnerBankUSA through Geostellar.

For customers who choose ownership options, Geostellar rigorously qualifies solar equipment manufacturers and installers for their ability to service both material and workmanship warrantees. Each solar energy plan clearly describes the liability insurance coverage, licensing and experience of the solar installer, the specifications, efficiency and performance guarantees of the equipment and the cash-flow associated with all payments, incentives and savings on electricity costs on each solar plan.

“For years the solar industry has struggled to reach the American consumer,” added Levine. “For the first time we are bringing genuine price transparency to the residential solar energy market so that homeowners can be confident they are getting the best possible deal on solar energy, and the right plan for their home.”

According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, since 2000, more than 1,460 megawatts of residential solar installations are producing power in the United States, and these installations are overwhelmingly occurring in middle-class neighborhoods that have median incomes ranging from $40,000 to $90,000.

Geostellar provides the first simple, integrated affiliate program to drive the adoption of solar energy across the country. Each registered user is provided a referral code embedded in a link that can be shared by email, text message or social media. Each time a friend or associate referred through a link goes solar, the referring party receives a $500 reward.

About Geostellar

Geostellar is America’s first and largest online solar marketplace, helping homeowners secure the best deal on solar energy by comparing and tailoring a wide variety of installation and financing plans. Through advanced simulations on an intuitive social platform, Geostellar lowers the cost of solar, making it more competitive with conventional electricity. The result is more accessible, affordable and plentiful clean solar power for America. The company is the recipient of numerous awards, including selection as an IHS Energy Innovation Pioneer, the Global Cleantech100, the Global Cleantech Cluster Association’s Best of Solar and the AlwaysOn GoingGreen Global 200.

About Admirals Bank

Admirals Bank is a federally-chartered financial institution headquartered in Boston, MA with a Regional Banking Center in Providence, RI, and a Renewable Energy Lending Business Development Center in San Francisco, CA. Admirals Bank is an active acquirer of commercial real estate loans in the secondary market and also remains a leading national provider of the Title I Home Improvement Loan. Since last year, Admirals Bank has focused its Title I lending efforts in the residential solar and renewable energy industry, opening Admirals Alternatives, the Renewable Energy Lending division of Admirals Bank in April 2013. Admirals Bank also offers customers additional borrowing options such as Residential Mortgages and Personal Loans. Admirals Bank provides customers with classic banking options such as checking, savings and money market accounts, which can be conveniently opened and maintained online or via a mobile device. Admirals Bank also introduced Bespoke Banking to the financial industry, which is individually tailored, highly customized, relationship banking. Admirals Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

About Roof Diagnostics, Inc.

Roof Diagnostics Solar is one of America’s top solar companies with over 400 employees located in 5 different states. In 2013 INC Magazine named Roof Diagnostics Solar as one of the fastest growing companies in the country and Solar Power World Magazine named them the 37th largest solar company in the world. Roof Diagnostics has also been named by Roofing Contractor Magazine as the Roofing Contractor of the Year. Established in 1994, Roof Diagnostics has been exceeding their customers’ expectations and working to keep their tremendous reputation.

1 Admirals Bank does not guarantee that a homeowner’s monthly loan payment will be less than the savings on his or her monthly energy bill. Admirals Bank does not guarantee enhanced equity value in the home.

2 All loans require a completed application and are subject to credit approval.

3 Must be a project that qualifies for federal and/or government rebates or incentives.

4 Lien will be placed against the property. Lien will be in first or second position.

Renewable Energy & Energy SavingNature & Environmentsolar energy Contact:

Geostellar

Amy Burger, 314-265-1372

amy.burger@geostellar.com

or

Admirals Bank

Charlie Angione, 401-862-1003

cangione@admiralsbank.com

or

Roof Diagnostics Solar

Kristen Cullen, 617-391-6622

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Survey Shows Payday Lending is High in Oklahoma | onlyfresh


Survey Shows Payday Lending is High in Oklahoma

August 3, 2012

Survey Shows Payday Lending is High in Oklahoma
(Source: By Wayne Greene, Tulsa World, Okla. (MCT) – Oklahoma’s “permissive” small-loan laws are pushing the highest known rate of payday borrowing in the United States, a national survey shows. “Payday Lending in America: Who Borrows, Where They …
Read more on LoanSafe

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Overland Park. Payday loans, elections. The donations of payday lenders to our elected officials are threatening our rights as citizens (7-28, A4, “Millions given by payday lenders”). Because of the influence of this money on our politicians, Missouri …
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Improved Online Payday Loans Matching Service – Fast Decisions, Pay-outs
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“Payday loans are legalized loan sharking designed to get people into debt,” says Kathleen Day, a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsible Lending. “Why would lending to someone in financial straits at outrageous interest rates …
Read more on Wall Street Journal

Payday Lending is High in Oklahoma “>

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Examiner Editorial: Energy Department brags about cash for a clunker

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FREMONT, CA – MAY 31: Repubican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks to the podium to speak during news conference in front the shuttered Solyndra solar power company’s manufacturing facility May 31, 2012 in Fremont, California. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2011 after receiving $535 million in federal loan money. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Department of Energy officials are a bit sore about Solyndra, the solar panel company that received $535 million from their stimulus loan guarantee program and abruptly declared bankruptcy, leaving 1,800 workers without a job and taxpayers on the hook.

So, in order to combat the negative press about their green energy programs, DOE officials have created a slideshow highlighting their favorite loan recipients. They titled it “Beyond Solyndra” because they want Americans to understand that their program is about much more than one bad company. Or even three bad companies, if you count two other recent “green energy” bankruptcies — Beacon Power ($43 million DOE loan guarantee) and A123 Systems ($243 million DOE grant). But who’s counting?

The department’s “Beyond Solyndra” presentation laments all of the unfair news coverage. “[W]hile critics have focused their attention on the Department’s loan guarantee to Solyndra,” it states, “the full story is that the Department’s loan portfolio as a whole is having a transformative impact.” Indeed — DOE also funds transformative firms like Fisker, a Finnish electric car company that is featured in the department’s slideshow. Fisker received a $529 million loan guarantee. Fisker’s Karma, a $115,000 electric car, received the 2012 Design of the Year award from Automobile Magazine — a fact that DOE’s slideshow makes sure to mention.

Unfortunately, Fisker reportedly plans to cancel the manufacture of vehicles in the United States. Last May, its loan guarantee was frozen by DOE because, as a department spokesman explained at the time, “Fisker has experienced some delays in its sales and production schedule.” Two months after winning the design award, Fisker laid off 66 employees since it was running out of the $193 million of the loan that DOE had already disbursed.

In noting how cool Fisker’s Karma design really is, Automobile Magazine offered this caveat: “There is no way to know yet whether Fisker will be a Lamborghini-style success or a DeLorean-style failure.” The latter is looking increasingly likely. In April, Fisker threatened to pull out of Delaware unless it got more government help — three years after Vice President Biden’s 2009 visit to its factory there. That factory was supposed to employ about 2,500 people by now, but USA Today reported in April that it is “absolutely empty.”

Given all this, and the $193 million that taxpayers could lose, it is surprising that Fisker would be featured in the Obama administration’s official propaganda as a positive sign of what the Department of Energy is doing. On the other hand, it seems oddly fitting that President Obama’s administration would think it grounds to boast that it has subsidized a car that looks cool but doesn’t sell.

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