Our Thoughts

FJY News to Know #66

Hackers Breach Marriott Database and Compromise 5.2m Guest Profiles

The compromise probably occurred in mid-January. Sources claim the breach happened after a couple of employees’ logins were acquired during a company party. Although extremely vital information, such as credit card numbers and social security numbers, weren’t tapped — the incident becomes more alarming in light of recent history: Marriott had another breach in 2018 when 300 million accounts at a newer hotel were compromised. Some believe the hacking may have started as early as 2014. The company advised past/current guests to take timely measures, such as changing their passwords and looking out for fraudulent emails. To read what other steps guests might take, click here.

 

Trump Promises to Support the Fragile Oil Industry at White House Meeting

Last Friday, President Trump met with Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, and seven other energy companies about the hard-hit oil industry. With the price of crude nearly cut in half, too many companies are struggling, with many facing bankruptcies. The crisis is mainly due to their production costs versus dwindling demand on the open market, affecting their profit margins. The meeting included discussing another looming force in the oil market: The pressure from the Saudis and Russians to cut production to stabilize prices. However, many U.S. companies want the government to investigate the Saudis — who are suspected of intentionally flooding the market. To read more about the meeting and the future of the industry, please visit this page.

 

On Paper, the U.S. Lost 700k+ Jobs — but in Reality, the Number Could Be in the Millions

The actual losses are most likely higher than the official count: 10 million jobs and counting as the coronavirus has infiltrated the U.S. This decline is the largest in over a decade, but as large as this number is April is expected to worsen the problem. The Labor Department’s summary for March was from a survey of business establishments completed just before the pandemic began to shatter the economy. A household survey showed a decline of three million people working, and 1.6 million people just dropped out of the labor force. Jobless claims soared by 10 million in the last couple of weeks of March. The recession is back in full force, with the actual unemployment rate hovering around 10%. Some analysts say it could hit 20% in April. To read more about the economic crisis, and view graphs with an industry breakdown, go here.

 

U.S. Population Has Risen Almost 6% Since 2010 — on the Eve of the New Census

April 1st is National Census Day in the U.S. The census is conducted once a decade, with the next census occurring on April 1st, 2030. Among other things, the data collected during the census determines the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. Since 2010, the U.S. population has risen almost 6%, with much of the growth occurring in the West. States like Texas, Utah, and Colorado saw much of this growth. Texas had the most growth, claiming over three million new citizens. To see charts and cumulative yearly numbers for each state, please visit this page.

 

Midland, TX Mayor on the Edge After Oil War — and Now Corona

Mayor Patrick Payton has been losing sleep lately, and his blood pressure is usually elevated by the day’s end. It’s somewhat ironic considering this former pastor, who won the office last fall, is usually a paradigm of the positive attitude — one who has tried to uplift his community. Midland is the heart of the oil-producing region in West Texas, which historically brought in much revenue from the production of crude. However, the oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has unfortunately helped cut the price of crude in half. This was all before COVID-19 came along. To read about the impact of the new virus on the community, click here.