Must Read Money Stories for Friday, Oct. 21

by October 21, 2016
Federal investigators said Thursday that Takata's defective airbag inflator was implicated in an 11th death.

Federal investigators said Thursday that Takata’s defective airbag inflator was implicated in an 11th death. (“Crash” photo by Pexels.)

Microsoft soars to new highs

Reuters reported shares of Microsoft Corp. have doubled since August 2013 after CEO Satya Nadella boosted investor confidence by shifting the company’s focus to mobile and cloud computing rather than personal computers. Sales of the technology giant’s cloud product doubled in its first quarter, exceeding analysts’ estimates and sending shares to an all-time high. Reuters reported shares broke past a level hit in 1999 at the peak of the technology stock bubble. Microsoft’s chief competition for its cloud technology is rival Amazon.com.

New earnings data drives college rankings

New earnings data is increasingly changing how students and families evaluate prospective colleges, according to a New York Times report. PayScale introduced its first college salary report in 2008 and the federal government followed suit last year. Then, this past fall The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education introduced their own college rankings. Nearly half, or 40 percent, of the rankings were outcome-based on earnings, graduation rates and loan repayment rates. The other 60 percent rated the school’s resources, student engagement and learning environment. The New York Times reported even The Economist’s first college rankings relied more heavily on earnings data.

Amazon CEO speaks out against Trump

Bloomberg reported some folks in the business community, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, are speaking out against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Bezos said Trump is “eroding our democracy around the edges” by threatening retribution against those critical of him and saying he wouldn’t accept a loss on election day. On Thursday, Bezos said he initially brushed off Trump’s candidacy last year, including sending a Tweet that joked about sending Trump to space. Trump has been feuding with Bezos on Twitter since last December. Bezos is the world’s third-wealthiest man and also owns the Washington Post. That paper first revealed video footage of Trump making inappropriate comments about women, boosting rival Hillary Clinton in the polls.

Takata airbag causes another death

Takata is in hot water again after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the company’s defective airbag inflator has caused another death. Federal investigators said it reached that conclusion after investigating a crash in California. This implicates Takata airbags in 11 total deaths. CNN Money reported almost 70 million airbags in the U.S. have been or will be recalled as part of the Takata airbag safety concerns. The airbags can explode after being exposed to heat and humidity. They also have “sprayed metal shrapnel” into the bodies of both drivers and passengers.