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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


8.1 percent

A storied Boston-area financial institution announced “disappointing” profit numbers for the latest fiscal year, with the $37.1 billion fund pulling in only an 8.1 percent return. (For perspective, the S&P 500 posted about a 13 percent return for the last year.) This comes months after the financial firm, which uses the proceeds from its ample endowments to sponsor a local university named “Harvard,” announced layoffs and more investment outsourcing. [FastFT]


$18,764

Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance coverage, according to the 2017 edition of the Kaiser Family Foundation survey of employee health benefits. Workers paid, on average, $5,714 of that. Premiums were up 3 percent compared to 2016. [Kaiser Family Foundation]


$231,250

The Republican National Committee is helping to pay President Trump’s legal bills in relation to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the potential involvement of Trump associates. The RNC confirmed that it paid $100,000 to Trump’s lead lawyer, John Dowd, and $131,250 to the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group, where another Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, is a partner. [Reuters]


299,649 Twitter accounts

Number of user accounts Twitter removed in the first half of 2017 for “promotion of terrorism.” While high, that’s still down 20 percent from the previous six months. [Reuters]


$60 million

Patreon, the site that lets fans set up recurring payments to independent creators, just closed a $60 million funding round. [Variety]


$45 billion

The GOP’s earlier attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act carried with it $45 billion in additional funding to help with opioid addiction treatment. The money was meant to compensate for cuts the repeal bill made to Medicaid. But the latest GOP effort to repeal Obamacare, Graham-Cassidy, doesn’t contain funding to combat the opioid epidemic. It’s not clear why some Republican senators were demanding the funding before but not now. [The Daily Beast]


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Walt Hickey is FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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