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Homeless and working for Amazon: the trap of the seasonal job cycle

Amazon's homeless workersWhen President Barack Obama visited an Amazon's fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tennessee last year, he compared it to Santa's workshop. "This is kind of like the North Pole of the south right here," he said. Then speaking of the workers, he added, "Got a bunch of good-looking elves here."

What went unsaid and unnoticed was that the Amazon "elves" would not have jobs or prospects after the holidays. Many of the people in those Amazon warehouses were among the long-term unemployed – shuffling from one temporary job to another to another. Due to this unstable employment, number of them have found themselves living in shelters.

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Pfizer U.S. research jobs jeopardized by promises to UK for merger

PfeizerEmployees at Pfizer Inc's U.S. research centers, such as the La Jolla, California site that specializes in cancer drugs, may want to dust off their resumes if the company's proposed acquisition of Britain's AstraZeneca comes to fruition.

Pfizer said on Friday it was determined to reach a deal that would restore its status as the world's biggest pharmaceutical company despite AstraZeneca's rejection of its latest cash and stock offer of 63 billion pounds ($106 billion).

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After foreclosure crisis, renters suffer under Wall Street landlords

wall street slumlordsThe poster child for the foreclosure crisis has been a middle-income suburban family. But low-income urban renters also saw their buildings over-mortgaged at the height of the crisis, and now faceless hedge funds and nameless investors are replacing their desperate landlords — sometimes with disastrous consequences.

Six years after the foreclosure crisis helped tank the world’s economy, investors are snatching up “distressed” properties — those that are in foreclosure or facing foreclosure — and seeking to turn a profit on them. Advocates for affordable housing worry that this profit comes at the expense of tenants.

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Judge says will accept SAC Capital guilty plea

SAC guilty pleaA federal judge agreed to accept SAC Capital Advisors' guilty plea to fraud charges in the U.S. government's insider trading case against the hedge fund firm controlled by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said she will accept the plea at a Thursday hearing in Manhattan federal court.  She is also expected to decide at the hearing whether to accept SAC Capital's agreement to pay a $900 million fine in its settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, as part of an overall $1.8 billion payout to resolve criminal and civil litigation.

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U.S. Obama signs executive order on equal pay for women

equal pay for equal workKeeping with his promise to champion women’s rights in the workplace, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Tuesday that addresses the issue of unequal pay among federal contractors. While equal-pay advocates hail the move as a victory, many also say it doesn’t go far enough.

The executive order addresses the federal government’s gender wage gap by mandating that contractors publish wage data — by gender and race — to ensure compliance with equal-pay laws. The order also prohibits contractors from retaliating against employees who compare salaries.

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Forget about the "1%." Top "0.1% pulling ahead more

wealthiest americansThe "top 1%" might be the primary target of the masses' ire and envy, but it's actually the top 0.1% who are grabbing a bigger slice of wealth.

The average household in the top 1% pulled in earnings of $1,264,065 in 2012, according to a just-released analysis by investment firm Sadoff Investment Research. That's 41 times greater than the $30,997 average income of Americans.

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Bank Of America To Pay $9 Billion To Settle Mortgage Securities Suit

bank of americaHere’s a story that’s starting to sound weirdly familiar: Bank of America Corp. just agreed to pay $9.5 billion to settle U.S. claims linked to mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 2005 to 2007. The deal, which roughly $6.3 billion in cash to end legal claims and an agreement to buy back $3.2 billion worth of mortgage-backed bonds, might seem like a landmark … if it was not so similar to multi-billion dollar agreements Bank of America signed in 2011 and 2013.

The 2013 deal, signed that January, also involved paying $3.6 billion in cash and buying back mortgages with billions of dollars in outstanding principal. At the time, Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan called the 2013 agreements “a significant step in resolving our remaining legacy mortgage issues.” One analyst told Bloomberg that the deal would let Bank of America put its Fannie and Freddie issues behind it.

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