AlamyHere’s a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you’ll just want to know.
• U.S. soda connoisseurs who prefer the taste of Coke (KO) made with cane sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup have long been fans of Mexican Coke, which still uses the old-fashioned sweetener. But it looks like their soft drink of choice may soon become harder to find: Executives at Latin America’s second-largest Coca-Cola bottler say they may switch away from the costlier cane sugar in response to a sales tax hike on soda that Mexico’s congress passed last week.
• Among the things that attract top employees to tech startups is the dream that, someday, when the company goes public, their stock options will make them rich rich rich! (Congratulations, Twitter founders.) But the Silicon Valley version of playing the lottery isn’t always a great gamble: A VC investor has run the numbers, and reveals what the odds are that your tech startup will end up worth $1 billion.
• Public investment in the U.S. has hit its lowest level since just after World War 2, thanks to congressional Republicans’ success in derailing President Obama’s push for more spending on infrastructure, science and education. Gross capital investment by the public sector — the kind of government spending that gives an outsized boost to the overall economy — has dropped to just 3.6 per cent of U.S. output, compared with a postwar average of 5 percent, according to figures compiled by the Financial Times.
• Over at BillMoyers.com, they’ve decided to look past the storm of rhetoric raining down around the Obamacare health care exchange launch and examine the math. First key number: Only 6 percent of American consumers are covered in the individual insurance market — putting them at risk of having their policies cancelled or modified due to the Affordable Care Act. Second key number: Around half of that 6 percent will end up paying more for more coverage than they might want under their new plans. And the numbers get more interesting from there.
• And finally, regular readers of DailyFinance will know that we put a lot of focus on helping people get prepared for retirement. But having a nest egg big enough to last as long as you do is only half the challenge. The other half is figuring out what you want your “third act” to be. And in that vein, we must pass on to you this morning the story of Estella Pyfrom, a retired school guidance counselor who — realizing how many poor children in her district lacked easy access to computers — spent a serious fraction of her savings to buy a bus, fill it with computers, and take the tech to the kids. As CNN reports, “her mobile computer lab, Estella’s Brilliant Bus, has provided free, computer-based tutoring for thousands of students since 2011.”