Happy Friday! Here are 8 fascinating things I read this week.
The richest 1% of Americans save almost half their income. The bottom 90% spend more than they make:
Saudi prince Alwaleed has spent a fortune fighting Forbes over how big his fortune is:
One of the world's richest men, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, has spent $2.2 million in legal fees so far fighting a libel battle with the business magazine Forbes, reports Jane Croft of The Financial Times [The dispute is over Alwaleed's net worth: He says it's higher than Forbes does, lowering his ranking on the Forbes list of richest people.]
Croft writes, "Andrew Caldecott QC, representing Forbes, alleged to the court that part of his client's case was that the prince 'was desperate to be in the top 20′ billionaires on the Forbes list.
Here's important context about student loans. The biggest balances are held by the richest people:
By last year, the top fifth of total households by income, or those making more than $101,000, was on the hook for roughly a third of student loan balances, nearly twice their share in 1989, according to the Fed survey. At the beginning of the period, student loans were mostly held by middle income families-the next two fifths down the income ladder. But their share fell sharply by 2013 and the share of the bottom two fifths held about steady.
The data does not show the income of students' parents so it is not possible to draw conclusions about the backgrounds of heavy borrowers. The numbers do suggest, however, that worries that America is heading for a debt crisis over student loans are overblown.
Who doesn't use the Internet? The old and poor:
More states are voting to raise the minimum wage:
Based on the results tallied by 2:45 a.m. EST, voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota -- all red-leaning states -- had approved proposals to raise their state-level minimum wages over the next few years.
Alaska: The minimum wage will rise from $7.75 an hour today to $9.75 by 2016.
Arkansas: The minimum wage will rise from $6.25 an hour now to $8.50 by 2017.
Nebraska: From $7.25 today to $9.00 by 2016.
South Dakota: From $7.25 currently to $8.50 next year; it will be adjusted for inflation thereafter.
This shows how hard curbing climate change will be:
The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can-and must-be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.
I love this "path to knowledge":
Here's a fascinating interview with one of the world's youngest billionaires:
Have a good weekend.
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