Deck the Halls with Gifts

This year, you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect gifts for your family and friends. has put together a great list of foodie gifts that will make your loved ones appreciate you more.

Cookies from Christina Tosi are among the tasty gifts you can purchase this year.

Jane St vodkas are another great gift to help you and your loved ones celebrate. The vodka sodas are available in flavors like lime and pineapple jalapeno to fit every taste. You can drink the sodas alone or with your favorite holiday punch.

You can even arrange to get mail deliveries of foods from your favorite restaurants. Giordano’s in Chicago sends deep dish pizza directly to your door, and Mandoo’s offers mail-order dumplings.

Check out for more creative gift suggestions.

Russian Central Bank Jacks Up Interest Rate Over 60% Overnight – Rubble Slides in Foreign Markets

A convergence of factors is battering the Russian economy at this time. For starters, world petroleum prices have been tumbling with crude oil hovering in the low-sixties well below the $90-$100 range it previously held. This has translated into a welcome drop in gasoline prices for Americans. For Russia, whose GDP is 50% dependent on the petroleum sector, it has adversely affected the nation. Economists now expect the Russian economy to contract between 4.5% and 4.7% next year. This will translate into heavy jobs losses in the nation.

Another factor driving Russia’s turmoil is European Union and American sanctions against Russian enterprises as a result of the nation seizing Crimea from the Ukraine. The effect has been dramatic for the Russian rubble which has plunged 49% in value. The rubble now trades at over $64 per dollar, which is impressive to Sam Tabar.

It marks the first time the rubble surpassed the benchmark $60. Making matters worse is that it occurred in one day as the rubble dropped nearly 10% in currency trading markets.

Russia’s central bank is attempting to slow down the currency slide by raising their prime lending rate. As of midnight Sunday, the bank announced it had raised rates by nearly 62% from 10.5% to 17%.

Jared Haftel Made Wise Investments In Time And Money

Everyone should want an investment broker as wise as Jared Haftel. He invested four years in his education and the return on that investment was three Bachelor’s degrees. He earned degrees in science, mathematics and economics simultaneously at Duke University from 2005 through 2009. His studies were not his only investment there. He also helped his readers stay abreast of the popular music scene. Writing on one of his favorite topics help him gain a strong voice that he used to groom others interested in banking careers.

The year before he graduated from Duke University, Jared Haftel participated in an internship at Credit Suisse as an analyst in 2008. He learned more than the knowledge of what being an analyst required, but also about how to fit into the world of high finance and banking. Although the picture of the 2008 interns didn’t reflect the knowledge, his article “Dressing for an Investment Banking Internship” does show that the internship shaped his knowledge and behavior and was a valuable lesson that he is passing on to others. His working knowledge gained at Credit Suisse led to his obtaining the job of financial analyst at Merrill Lynch in 2009. His three undergraduate degrees made him a valuable asset at Merrill Lynch by giving him more knowledge and insight in how the economy would affect the mining, chemicals, and metals industries from a more scientific perspective, and the mathematical skills to crunch the numbers to verify his insight. His science background also gave him insight in the defense and aerospace industries, according to videos that Haftel has posted.

As an Investment Banking Analyst at Merrill Lynch from 2009 through 2011, Jared Haftel worked with an impressive list of clients who are leaders in their industries. CONSOL Energy and Huntsman Corporation, EMS Technologies, and GeoEye were some of the clients that had the benefit of his knowledge and background and added to the professional experience he gained as an Investment Banking Analyst and took with him to Vector Capital as an Associate. From 2011 to 2013, Jared Haftel served public and private clients. He lent his experience to others trying to gain ground in investment banking through his writing once again. He tells those seeking jobs in investment banking relevant information about highlighting their experience in their resume. In “The Important Parts of Writing an Investment Banking Resume” Jared Haftel points out that the average investment banking resume is read for only 30 second to a minute and selling your experience in a single page is a necessity.

With his extensive education and experience, one would think that Jared Haftel is the total package, but he sees a MBA as the cream on top. He is now attending Stanford University in hopes of advancing his career even further. While wearing dual hats as Investment Banker at Merrill Lynch and Associate at Vector Capital and acting as an investment manager, Jared Haftel also participated in Angel list, where investments of $1000 or more provide funds for business start-ups. He is also participating in a Masters competition on Kaggle helping to provide solution to businesses using complex data science. His love for music is evident from the playlist that’s still at Grooveshark.

The Many Accomplishments of Christian Broda

While many people dream of doing great things, few ultimately see their dreams come true. More often than not, dreams meet reality and people simply proceed through life taking care of ordinary tasks. However, there are a select few who have big dreams and then work to see those dreams realized. These are the people who want to accomplish great things for themselves as well as for others. One of these people is Christian Broda, who has taken his interest in finance and economics and worked to help alleviate poverty and inequality in many parts of the world.

Dr. Broda, possessing a Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is currently working as the Managing Director at Duquesne Capital Management. Though currently working with a variety of clients while managing a hedge fund, Christian is still deeply devoted to using economics as a tool to alleviate the poverty and inequality that exists in many areas of the globe, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean.

A regular contributor to media outlets, Christian uses these opportunities to spread the word about economic inequality and how current policies are helping to keep the cycle of poverty going strong. Through his numerous research studies (sometimes co-authored), newspaper columns, magazine articles and other media appearances, Christian has shown that it is indeed how economic policies are formulated and implemented by governments that determines the economic fate of people in their nations.

Due to his interest in international finance and trade, Christian has held a variety of positions in both the business and academic worlds. It was there that Christian was able to start actively scrutinizing various economic policies from around the world and compile data showing how financial policies of one nation can affect other nations and their citizens.

However, where Christian felt he could make a true difference in helping to get economic policies changed for the better was while he was an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. In this position, he received two National Science Foundation grants that allowed him to conduct extensive research into the relationship between poverty and inequality and how they are affected by such factors as tariffs, terms of trade, exchange rates and global economic destabilization. As a result of his research, he was named the James S. Kemperer Scholar and had his research featured extensively in academic journals and at conferences and symposiums.

So while some people see difficult situations and only wish they could do something to help, Dr. Christian Broda has gone beyond that and used his skills in research and analysis to make a difference in the lives of others. Now one of the world’s most well-respected economists, Christian is able to voice his opinion on various matters of international economics and have people stand up and listen.

Elizabeth Warren Continues Verbal Rant Against Big Banks – Still Fails to Back up Words with Filibuster

Senator Elizabeth Warren is railing against the big banks she deeply disdains. Speaking on the floor of the Senate, she made caustics remarks about the banking reform rider that will once again allow FDIC-insured institutions to make derivative investments. She also stated that the 2010 banking reform bill known as Dodd-Frank, which was written by the two elected officials who stymied 14 legislative attempts by Bush to prevent the banking crisis, has “imperfections”. She later elaborated that those imperfections were that the big banks weren’t busted up into tiny pieces. She then countered that if banks want to revise Dodd-Frank, she is open to doing so in a way that truly gets rid of “too big to fail” banks.

That is powerful rhetoric indeed, but as they say in the street: “talk is cheap”. That is definitely what Brad Reifler. The senator has yet to announce she’ll invoke a filibuster. That is the only logical step to take given her incendiary remarks. While she disdains derivative investments, she has remains closely allied with President Obama despite his strong ties to those very same banks. In fact, the president’s recent nomination of Antonio Weiss for a treasury department position had a resume showing extensive experience selling derivative products for Wall Street banks. Warren criticized the nominee (talk), but has not vowed to block the nominee (action). Senator Lindsey Graham stated Warren should be careful to avoid causing a government shutdown.

FreedomPop: Free Internet and Wireless for All

FreedomPop is an internet and wireless company based in Los Angeles, California. The goal of the company is to provide free wireless and data packages to customers through existing wireless network infrastructure.

The basic free package offered by FreedomPop comes with 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 voice minutes each month. FreedomPop hopes to offer plans to wireless customers who feel like they’re paying too much for traditional wireless plans, but who don’t use enough data or wireless minutes to justify paying large premiums each month.

FreedomPop has raised close to $16 million in venture capital in 2014 and plans to make money from their freemium service by offering add-ons for additional data, minutes, and text messages to the basic plan.

The company is able to greatly reduce their operational costs by teaming with Sprint to use their towers for data transmissions as opposed to both voice and data used by most wireless services. Using a modified version of the Android operating system on their available smartphones, FreedomPop has forced all transmissions through the phone to be either 3G or 4G, a much cheaper data option than traditional voice data. If FreedomPop was to follow in the footsteps of other discount wireless carriers like Ting, their current “free” offerings would cost users about $15 or $20 per month to transmit voice data in the traditional way.

Although the initial handset offerings by FreedomPop excluded LTE devices in favor of Sprint’s WiMAX, an outdated competitor to LTE before the smartphone market widely adopted LTE as the standard, FreedomPop has recently included the option to use LTE devices on their network.

In July 2014, TechCrunch reported that FreedomPop would expand its network reach to Europe. With partners already confirmed in Belgium, the company hopes to bring the same 500MB, 500 text, 200 minute plans to the European continent by next year. The major difference between the European phone plans and the ones available in the USA are that SIM-only handsets will be required on European FreedomPop plans.

Stokols, the company’s CEO, has said that negotiations have already begun with additional partners around the continent to eliminate roaming charges within mainland Europe, even if some of the countries in the continent have not yet introduced FreedomPop service.

According to CrunchBase, the majority of the venture capital the company has raised has come from VC Group Mangrove, a partnership among some of Skype’s early investors.

Recently, FreedomPop announced free international calling for its customers. With this announcement, it is rumored that FreedomPop might be acquired by Sprint. Give the FreedomPop app a try for free on both iTunes and Google Play.