Must Read Money Stories for Thursday, May 12

by May 12, 2016

MRMSHyperloop hype

On a dusty patch of desert somewhere near Las Vegas yesterday, a team of engineers made history for human transportation, or this was a marketing stunt for a technology that will never pan out. At this point, we’re not really sure what to make of the first demo-run for the hyperloop, a transportation dream conjured by Elon Musk that could, in theory, get people from San Francisco to L.A. in 30 minutes. NPR has a roundup of what yesterday’s demo was all about, and the ongoing skepticism over whether it will ever become a real thing.

A stand on ads

Google announced it will no longer include ads for payday lending companies in its search results. The company had been under pressure from advocacy groups who claim the lenders take advantage of low-income customers and charge excessively high interest rates. In its announcement yesterday, Google essentially agreed, calling the lenders’ practices “harmful and deceptive.” The L.A. Times reports websites for the lenders will still show up in Google search. They just won’t show up as ads.

The Wal-Mart problem

The Tampa Bay Times called around to the sheriff’s departments in the local counties to see which addresses accounted for the most calls for service. Turns out, Wal-Mart locations dominated. The Times investigates the high cost of these calls, and why Wal-Mart requests far more support from taxpayer-funded law enforcement than its rivals.

Supply and demand

The AP takes us to The Blind Burro, a San Diego bar, for a look at what may be coming to a bunch of industries. It’s called dynamic pricing. Think of airline tickets, where the price changes depending on demand. At The Blind Burro, tequila prices fluctuate by the minute, depending on how many people are buying. The AP says new technology will make it easier for companies everywhere to adjust their prices in real time to react to demand.

cuervo” by flickr user “theogeo” CC license CC by 2.0.