Five things you should know before starting your work day on Jan. 4

Divorcing? A good family lawyer will check that there is no conflict in meeting with you before they speak with you, and will find out as much as possible about your situation before the first meeting to ensure the time is as productive as possible.

Good morning, and happy Friday! Well, after Apple’s revenue warning, the markets went for a toboggan ride yesterday; we examine that situation. And not unrelated, there’s likely another U.S. housing bust on the way. It’s the time of year many start divorce preparations; we’ve got some tips on how to do that. Our transportation-sector stories look at WestJet’s first quarterly loss in 13 years and at Uber’s loss in appeals court.

IT’S A (MARKET) WRAP

The Dow dropped 660 points yesterday as markets learned that there’s now even more to worry about than Apple’s warning on its revenue shortfall. The bears started digging deeper in preparation for a chilly winter. Investors headed for safe havens, having read the increasingly evident signs that the bad stuff the stock market worried about is starting to happen. But — for those ready to expect the unexpected, here are five black swans that might fledge in 2019.

HOME TRUTHS

When this man worries about housing markets, people listen — and now he’s deeply concerned. Economist Robert Schiller is again worried about a bust — the Nobel laureate foresaw the 2005 housing crash, so he knows what to look for. There’s price escalation, delinquency rates, housing starts, debt levels … none of which look very good right now. But does he see the current housing market heading for a soft landing or a precipitous decline?

SERIOUS IN SPLITSVILLE

Every January, people flood family lawyers with calls about divorce. Here’s what you need to know if you are considering getting a divorce in 2019. Lawyer Laurie H. Pawlitza suggests that the financial consequences of a separation are so far-reaching and long-lasting, you must look before you leap. First tip: Before you’ve told your spouse you’re separating, speak to a reputable family law lawyer about your specific circumstances. And then, have realistic expectations.

TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN

The first quarterly loss in 13 years proved that WestJet has been living beyond its means, CEO Ed Sims says. Shocked by the result, but in hindsight not too surprised, he immediately began working on a plan to turn the company around. “… in many ways, I think the decisions were easier for me because (the need) became blindingly obvious.” For one, he opted to fly its new Dreamliners out of the company’s Calgary home base for the first year, to ensure smooth operation for later expansion — and partly, he says, to help kickstart the city’s economy.

DRIVERS’ SEAT

An appeals court has ruled that Uber Technologies’ driver services agreement is “unconscionable” and “invalid’,” meaning that the door is open to a drivers’ class action lawsuit. Emily Jackson reports that the drivers want to be classed as employees, not contract workers, but the bigger issue was that if they wanted to take Uber to court, they would have to do so in the Netherlands. The appeals court ruled they can turn to Canadian courts.

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