The bottom line
The share of U.S. homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages dipped below 10 percent last year for the first time since the housing crash, according to Zillow. Just 4.5 million homeowners, or 9.1 percent of the total, owed more on their mortgages than their houses were worth, down from 15.7 million, or 31.4 percent, in early 2012.
Of the 87 U.S. startups worth at least $1 billion in 2016, more than half were founded or co-founded by immigrants. The most-represented country of origin was India, which produced 14 of the entrepreneurs, followed by Canada and the United Kingdom, which each produced eight.
The Nasdaq hit two consecutive record highs this week, topping the previous all-time high set on March 12. The gains, which also saw the individual stocks of Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook hit their own all-time highs, marked a dramatic turnaround from this spring, when investors fled technology stocks amid fears of increased regulatory scrutiny of the sector.
The Wall Street Journal
Medicare’s trust fund will become insolvent in 2026, three years earlier than expected. Social Security’s trust fund will be depleted in 2034. This year, Social Security’s costs will exceed its income for the first time since 1982.
Microsoft has replaced Google’s parent company Alphabet as the world’s third most valuable company, behind Apple and Amazon. Microsoft is now valued at $753 billion, while Alphabet is valued at $739 billion.
‘1918 views’ on female corporate directors
A British survey investigating the lack of women on U.K. corporate boards received a few cringeworthy excuses from some of the country’s top executives, said Amie Tsang in The New York Times. “All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up” was one tone-deaf response, as were “We have one woman already on the board, so we are done” and “Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure.” Overall, about a quarter of the board members at Britain’s 350 biggest public companies are women. There has been some progress: The number of all-male boards among firms in the FTSE-350 stock index has fallen to just 10 companies last year from 152 in 2011. Still, the survey responses “illustrate that much remains to be done.” Reading the executives’ excuses, “you might think it’s 1918, not 2018,” Amanda Mackenzie, chief executive of the charity Business in the Community, said. “It reads like a script from comedy parody.”