Getty ImagesHere’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.
• Average Joes may be worried about the economy, but millionaires are suddenly feeling seriously optimistic. The Spectrem Group’s Millionaire Confidence Index, which charts the fiscal outlook of the wealthy, has shot up to its highest level since it was launched almost 10 years ago.
• JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is facing so many legal probes, it’s throwing in the towel — sort of. Hoping to defuse all the uncertainty at once (because there’s nothing investors hate as much as uncertainly), the banking giant has offered the Justice Department $3 billion to settle a wide range of ongoing investigations, The Wall Street Journal reports.
• Obamacare is looking like a better deal than even the administration first thought. A new report from the White House shows that 95 percent of the people who enroll in the new Obamacare health care exchanges will pay premiums that average 16 percent lower than the government had previously projected.
• Alibaba Group Holding, the Chinese ecommerce giant that is that nation’s counterpart to Amazon, will pursue an IPO in the United States after talks to do it in Hong Kong failed.
• European governments are beginning to trim their stakes in the banks they nationalized or partly-purchased to keep them standing during the worst of the financial crisis. But if they follow the Swedish model, those European banks won’t fully return to private hands until 2028.
• A German and French researchers have created a solar cell that can convert 44.7 percent of the sunlight it receives into energy. That’s a new record for solar energy. A 50 percent efficiency rate is view as the holy grail within the solar world.