Fed’s Lockhart: ‘comfortable’ with cautious September taper

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve could announce a cautious first step in tapering bond purchases at its meeting next month, provided there were no “really worrisome” signs the economy was faltering, a top U.S. central banker said on Saturday.

Amgen close to buying Onyx for $125 per share: sources

(Reuters) – Amgen Inc is close to buying Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc for $125 per share, or more than $10 billion, in a deal that is expected to be announced as soon as Monday, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

UPDATE 2-Amgen close to buying Onyx for $125 per share -sources

Aug 24 (Reuters) – Amgen Inc is close to buying Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc for $125 per share, or more than $10 billion, in a deal that is expected to be announced as soon as Monday, two people…

The Truth About Open-Plan Offices

Turns out it has little to do with whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, open-plan office spaces just aren’t good for getting work done.

Offices that lump employees together in large spaces, called open-plan offices, have detrimental effects on workplace productivity despite previous claims that such configurations promote communication and boost morale, a new study by Jungsoo Kim and Richard de Dear of the University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture has found. Based on a survey of more than 42,000 United States office workers, the researchers found that workers who had private offices were far more satisfied than those in an open-plan office.

The main problems for open-plan workers were the small amount of space as well as what the researchers called “sound privacy,” Management-Issues.com points out. Employers saving money by putting workers together may have argued that ease of communication made up for the size of the working space. This was not the case, however, according to the survey.

“Our results categorically contradict the industry-accepted wisdom that open-plan layout enhances communication between colleagues and improves occupants’ overall work environmental satisfaction,” the researchers wrote. “The open-plan proponents’ argument that open-plan improves morale and productivity appears to have no basis in the research literature.”

This isn’t the first study to argue against open-plan office spaces, however. A 2009 review article found that 90 percent of studies looking at open-plan offices linked them to health problems such as high stress and high blood pressure, according to the BBC. Meanwhile, a 1982 study cited by the British Psychological Society Research Digest found that open-plan offices have also been found to discourage communication among employees due to lack of privacy.

(Hat tip: The Daily Mail)

Macedonian PM threatens early election over political deadlock

SKOPJE (Reuters) – Macedonia’s prime minister threatened on Saturday to call a snap election unless the main opposition party did more to resolve a political deadlock that is damaging its European Union membership prospects.

Home Properties: Why It’s Time To Buy This Apartment REIT

ByCasey Hoerth:

Home Properties (HME) is an Apartment REIT operating mostly in East Coast metropolitan areas. They own, operate, acquire and rehabilitate apartment communities. Once the properties have reached their full potential under Home’s ownership, they are sold. Home redeploys the proceeds to purchase other communities which may need work and can generate higher returns.

Home ownership in the United States peaked in 2004 at 69% and has since been steadily declining, dropping to 65% in 2012. Most experts believe the preference to rent is a cultural shift. Renting provides freedom and flexibility while home ownership has become more difficult. The benefactor to this trend is apartment owners and operators such as Home Properties.

Home Properties offers a steady, growing income coupled with superior return metrics. They also operate in areas with high barriers to entry. Home is poised to take advantage of this broad trend toward renting, has put itself in

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Penn State settles claim from Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son: source

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Pennsylvania State University has reached a settlement with former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son, who is among the men who have said they were sexually abused by him, a source with knowledge of the negotiations said on Saturday.