Tribune News Service

Business Budget for Monday, February 11, 2019

Updated at 9 p.m. EDT (0200 UTC)


This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Living paycheck to paycheck? This San Diego startup wants to help you shop<

PFP-CASHSTRAPPED-APP:SD — Buy now and pay later. It's an irresistible offer, especially for cash-strapped Americans living paycheck to paycheck. But that offer is usually tied to high-interest credit cards or rental stores that gouge you with inflated prices. Now, there's another option. And it may be less risky than you think.

A booming tech startup in San Diego has built a retail marketplace online that lets people buy big ticket items on payment plans — without issuing a loan or a credit card. The startup, called Zebit, is catching fire online, earning $46 million in revenue last year, rocketing up from $21 million in 2017. That performance makes it one of the fastest-growing tech startups in San Diego, and CEO Marc Schneider said the company's trajectory points even further north. It's on track to rake in $100 million this year. For perspective: that's the annual revenue of San Diego's software star, Seismic, which just got a $1 billion valuation from venture capitalists in December.

1300 by Brittany Meiling in San Diego. MOVED


^Fall of fugitive 'Batman' puts global oil trading on the spot<

^OIL-TRADING-BATMAN:BLO—<To his friends, Rodrigo Berkowitz lived within his means in a rented house in the suburbs of Houston.

The former oil trader for state-controlled producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA bought clothes in outlet malls and sent his two daughters to public school. For a family Christmas trip to Orlando, his plan was to drive the 960-mile route in their black Honda CR-V sport utility — because it was crazy to spend on plane tickets, he said.

So they were shocked when the news broke in December that Brazilian federal police had issued arrest warrants for about 15 former oil traders and intermediaries.

1400 by Sabrina Valle and Lucia Kassai. MOVED



^Georgia farmers on knife edge as bad weather, tariff war, shutdown exact toll<

FARM-GEORGIA:AT — Justin Jones drove his muddy GMC truck Tuesday through one of his pecan orchards, new gaps between rows of trees spotted with smoldering ash heaps that days before had been house-high piles of broken limbs and toppled trunks brought down by Hurricane Michael.

"Looks like a war zone, doesn't it?" he said.

Earlier in the day, he had stood in a horizon-wide cotton field with a broad swath of bedraggled plants still white, the drooping cotton unpickable and ruined by unceasing winter rains.

1550 by Christopher Quinn in Leesburg, Ga. MOVED

^For Boeing, juggling cash flow often means "another 'Houdini moment'"<

^BOEING-CASH-FLOW:SE—<Boeing has gushed cash quarter after quarter for more than four years, sending its share price soaring yet leaving some analysts suspicious about how Boeing manages always to surpass Wall Street's cash flow expectations.

Inside the company, too, some are uncomfortable with the financial engineering that Boeing uses to consistently beat cash flow projections, often by $1 billion and sometimes $2 billion.

1850 by Dominic Gates. MOVED


^Former Tribune Publishing CEO Justin Dearborn joining ICM talent agency<

^DEARBORN-ICM:LA—<Following a turbulent three-year tenure as the head of Tribune Publishing, Justin Dearborn is pulling up stakes in Chicago and heading to Hollywood, joining the talent agency ICM Partners in the newly created role of chief operating officer.

Dearborn, whose new position officially begins Monday, will oversee the agency's internal day-to-day operations. He will report to managing director Chris Silbermann.

450 by David Ng. MOVED


^Pompeo hints at Huawei ultimatum to countries buying equipment<

HUAWEI-POMPEO:BLO — Secretary of State Michael Pompeo came close to issuing an us-or-them ultimatum to nations buying from Huawei Technology Co., saying in Hungary that contracts with the Chinese networking giant could limit the availability of U.S. equipment.

"If that equipment is co-located where we have important American systems, it makes it more difficult for us to partner alongside them," Pompeo told reporters in Budapest on Monday, when asked what message he would send about Huawei. "We want to make sure we identify the opportunities and the risks with using that equipment. And then they will get to make their decisions."

350 by Nick Wadhams and Zoltan Simon in Budapest. MOVED


^What it all boils down to in FTC vs. Qualcomm<

^QUALCOMM-FTC:SD—<In the recent antitrust trial attacking Qualcomm's business model, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission drilled down on how the San Diego company leveraged its market power in certain cellular chips to gain the upper hand in patent licensing negotiations with smartphone makers.

It's textbook economics that this type of strong-arm behavior leads to bad things, such as fewer competitors in the smartphone chip market and reduced research and development spending.

1750 by Mike Freeman. MOVED


^Medical marijuana company to bring pot-infused edibles to Florida <

^MED-MARIJUANA-FLA:FL—<Medical marijuana company Trulieve is partnering with Colorado company Love's Oven to bring cannabis-infused edibles to Florida, Trulieve announced Monday.

The state's medical marijuana dispensaries have a wide variety of products, but not edibles. Florida law doesn't permit the state's licensed companies to produce edibles. Trulieve has to seek Florida regulatory approvals to sell the edibles at its dispensaries.

350 (with trims) by Marcia Heroux Pounds. MOVED

^Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is ditching plans to invest billions in fossil fuels, activists say<

FOSSILFUELS-LOSANGELES:LA — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will announce Tuesday that the city is abandoning a plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding three natural gas power plants along the coast, according to environmental groups who have been briefed on the mayor's decision.

Garcetti's move would mark an abrupt change of course for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where top staff has argued in recent months that the gas plants are critical to keeping the lights on in the city. Environmental groups have urged DWP to replace the aging facilities with cleaner alternatives, saying the gas-fired plants need to go because they contribute to climate change and local air pollution.

700 by Sammy Roth in Los Angeles. MOVED



Find here a daily Wall Street roundup graphic featuring Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq data.

The 1-column x 4-inch graphic, Wall Street, will be posted by 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday.

To find the graphic, visit the Graphics section of TribuneNewsService.com.

Those with questions regarding the graphic should contact the graphics team at 312-222-4131 or tydavis@tribpub.com.



These features regularly move on Monday:

^Holly D. Johnson: 6 best online brokers for stocks in 2019<

^REAL-BANKRATE:MCT—<Technology has ushered in a new era in the investing world, including the ability to trade stocks from home and in real time. But what is the best online brokerage for stock trading in 2019? This can depend on the type of investor you are, the features you look for and how much you're willing to pay for top notch trading technology. Bankrate pored over all the features the major stock trading sites offer to help you find the best online stock trading platform for your needs. Here are our 2019 picks based on investing style and major benefits.

1650 by Holly D. Johnson. MOVED


^Susan Tompor: How to avoid the Social Security scam that makes you out to be a criminal<

^PFP-TOMPOR-COLUMN:DE—<Maybe con artists are inspired by the movie "The Mule" where Clint Eastwood plays an octogenarian who hauls cocaine shipments in a Lincoln pickup for a Mexican cartel.

But here's a new scam alert: Consumers are getting alarming phone calls from someone who claims to be from law enforcement or Social Security and then scares you into thinking that your Social Security number has been connected to running drugs and money laundering across the border.

The scam tries to convince you that your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity or because it's connected to a serious crime.

1200 by Susan Tompor. MOVED


^The Journey: New post-retirement job: making the world a better place<

^PFP-JOURNEY:MCT—<Retirement experts often recommend working longer as a way to make savings outlive the saver, but it isn't always easy.

Burnout, age discrimination, health issues and new technologies that eliminate jobs or make veteran workers' skills outdated conspire against those who try.

There is a growing wave of hope, however, that saving the world — or at least taking a shot at making it a better place — may be the answer.

700 by Janet Kidd Stewart. MOVED


^Kids and Money: How to talk to your kids about getting laid off<

^PFP-KIDSANDMONEY:MCT—<Even if you aren't a federal employee hit hard by the longest government shutdown in history, there may come a time when your future is hanging in the balance from a furlough or layoff.

How will you explain to your kids that you're now spending time at home instead of heading to work bright and early?

650 by Steve Rosen. MOVED


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