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Money & The Economy

News on Finance, Money, markets and the economy

The Rising Cost of Congress

For the last year, we have all been beaten over the head repeatedly with the notion that health care costs are rising so fast that families can’t afford their insurance.  Is anyone applying the same formula to Congress?  They don’t mind spending our money in a care-free manner. We’ve built numerous post-offices and airports as Congressional namesakes.  Fountains have been ...

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Obama Still Missing the Mark on What Americans Want

A landmark election result came out of Massachusetts on Tuesday and the White House doesn’t see the forest or the trees. In a stunning reaction to the election, the President attacks banks in an effort to limit their size and the amount of risk they can take on. One of his suggestions are to place a dividing wall between investment ...

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Massachusetts Says Stimulus Money Created “Almost Nothing”

Government-created economic stimulus is unsustainable and does not create or save anything.  It simply delays the inevitable.   The ARRA (American Restitution and Redistribution Act) has done nothing to improve the actual economy, and The Globe finds more evidence: One of the largest reported jobs figures comes from Bridgewater State College, which is listed as using $77,181 in stimulus money for ...

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Is Obama Pursuing a Weak Dollar Policy?

Within a few days of Obama entering the White House, Tim Geithner stated that a strong dollar is in the best interest of our economy.  The actions taken to date and some historical analysis of Obama’s chief economic advisor, Paul Volcker, would point at a policy of continued weakening of the U.S. currency.  If the dollar continues it’s slide just ...

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Economy Nearing Carter-Era Catastrophe – Volcker Present Again

Interpreting the latest unemployment report could make one’s head spin, but there is valuable information in it other than the tragic 10.2% unemployment rate and the fact that the economy has shed an additional 190,000 jobs in the last month.  Yahoo news points at a separate survey that shows 558,000 more people were unemployed in October than September.  This discrepancy ...

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Manufacturing Up as Factories Stop Cutting Inventories

As an almost total surprise, the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index(NAPMPMI:IND) rose to its highest level in three years.   The 55.7 level indicates stronger growth in manufacturing than any economists had predicted.  Most were looking for between 50 and 55. The index is based on a survey of manufacturing executives.  Taken by itself, this index seems incredibly positive, but ...

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The Economy Stinks and the GDP Doesn’t Have a Clue

We all gain an understanding of gross income vs. net income when it comes to tax time and many of us forget the relationship shortly after.  What do these two terms have to do with our economy? The U.S. G.D.P. (Gross Domestic Product) is an indicator of the total of goods produced with no regard to the cost of producing ...

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The Economy is Not Getting Better.. Yet

Much of the media has been declaring an end to the recession.  I have been on the sidelines for months now and a few talking heads were not going to get me to throw my assets at a loser market. I have done my best not to sound like Chicken Little, but there was absolutely no way I could in ...

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GAO:TARP Has Done Two Things, “Jack and Squat”

In the Government Accounting Office’s October “Report to Congressional Committees” on TARP, it is apparent that TARP’s success.. isn’t that apparent. The report recommends filling important positions with permanent staff instead of the consultants currently manning them, but what really stands out is when the GAO attempts to quantify the success of the program.  The report states that, “isolating and ...

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Mortgage Bubble Started Crisis, Isn’t Getting Better

Last year the economy crashed. Now, the stimulus has stimulated, the Federal Reserve has eased, Geihtner has.. well done whatever he does, and Obama has spoken (certainly that should have fixed everything). So how did we hit 9.8% unemployment since the stimulus was an emergency action that would keep unemployment from going over 8%, pumping massive amounts of liquidity into the economy should have loosened credit, little Timmy G. and Obama bought GM, AIG and Chrysler and they helped everyone buy a new car that wanted one? It must be that G.W. Bush must still be affecting the economy from his ranch in Texas...

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Why Dow 10,000 May Not Matter

The last week has produced a euphoria in the market-place. The DOW has crossed (and again fallen below) this psychological barrier in the stock market. Many point at the crossing as a sign that the market is recovering. The DOW industrial index has gone from under 7,000 to 10,000 in the past several months and is certainly feeding on it’s ...

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Are You Running Your 401k? Are You Sure?

The Wall Street Journal published an article by Eleanor Laise that highlights an increasing practice by employers.  Taking more-and-more control of employee’s retirement accounts. “The greater employer control is a philosophical shift in 401(k)s and other defined-contribution plans, which held $3.5 trillion at the end of last year. The new, more-paternalistic approach, with employers making most of the decisions, resembles ...

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