Too many people think that long-term care planning is just a decision about whether to purchase long-term care insurance. However, long-term care planning is so much more. It is a discussion about how you will fund this expense, where you will receive long-term care, and who will provide the care.
Ask a D.C. insider what’s the best way to solve the debt crisis. Nine times out of ten, they’ll recommend taking on more debt. That’s how things operate in the Potomac swamp. Up is down, right is left, digging yourself into more debt is the best way to get out of it. But it wasn’t always like this. In fact, there used to be common sense when it came to the economy. So where did it all go wrong?
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Especially now that you have all the time in the world to do what you really want. Entrepreneurs don’t only come out of Silicon Valley. They come from all walks of life, from all different ages. If you’re retired and want to stay active while you relax, then find out the steps you need to take in order to start, manage, and grow your next small business.
Every year millions of Americans wait until the last minute to prepare and file their taxes. Regardless of whether you’re one of these people, there are still things you need to be aware of before you send those forms in.
Austrian economics does more than tell you what happens when the government disturbs market forces. In the hands of knowledgeable investors and entrepreneurs, it can tell you exactly what to expect from the market. Market behavior depends on how people behave. And how people behave is central to the Austrian perspective.
The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for almost a century, and already there are signs it may be in decline. But that doesn't mean it's not still valuable. On the contrary... As Chris Mayer explains, there are many reasons the U.S. dollar will remain relevant on the world stage for years to come. Read on...
The government will do whatever it takes to make sure it has enough of your money to fund itself. On the surface you might think that means enduring a grueling audit. But the IRS and the government is more than willing to ignore your privacy in the cold relentless pursuit of the money they think they deserve. As they get bigger and bigger every year, the smaller and smaller your paycheck becomes as they leach off it.
World War II might have dragged the country out of the Great Depression, but it did so at a great price. Central planning took center stage, and politicans and bureaucrats suddenly knew what was best for America, the economy, and your life. On top of that, they replaced the free market with a new economic system… Creditism.
If you’re good at something should you be penalized so others have a chance at success? Should award winning actors and actresses be barred from future Oscar ceremonies to give other men and women the chance to succeed? Success should always be rewarded and encouraged. But what happens when you have a government that wants to even the playing field and take away the spoils of success. Gregory Bresiger finds out...
Argentina is suffering the ravages of government debasement of the currency -- i.e., inflation, the process by which government pays for its ever-increasing debts and bills by simply printing more paper currency. The expanded money supply results in a lower value of everyone’s money, which is reflected in the rising prices of the things that money buys.
Its acceptance is as widespread as its justification is important, for it provides the rationale for the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented monetary expansion since 2008. While critics may dispute the wealth effect’s magnitude, few have challenged its conceptual soundness. Such is the purpose of this article. The wealth effect is but a mantra without merit.
Baron Rothschild, the famous French financier, was once heard to say that he knew of only two men who really understood money -- an obscure clerk in the Bank of France and one of the directors of the Bank of England. “Unfortunately,” he added, “they disagree.”
The saga of All Saints could soon be coming to a community near you. Thanks partly to the scandal surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the agency has proposed a new set of rules for a huge number of social-welfare groups that claim tax exemption under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code.
Nihilo ex nihilo fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. First put forward by ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides in the fifth century B.C., Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine later used this axiom to prove that the universe needed a “first mover” to get things going. Even if the whole thing began with some kind of “Big Bang” moment, it still needed a banger to bang it. Who? God, of course.
Economic theories don’t lend themselves to laboratory testing, so the work of a national appraisal firm is especially enlightening. A new study lends support to the Austrian business cycle theory, which says that the less government is involved, the faster a market will recover.
What positive steps can we take? The energy that is now expended by well intentioned, freedom-seeking individuals on the destructive course of politics can be turned into powerful steps that will have a positive effect on the future. All are moral, right and just. None require aggressing. Consider the following...
The first principle in dealing with government is: Don't be awed by it. What little the government achieves is almost always due to the voluntary participation of its citizens. Those who don't want to help the government can go their own ways without running into much trouble.
National Treasury Union President Colleen M. Kelly recently described the 2014 IRS budget allocation as “woefully inadequate.” But the agency has not proven itself to be an efficient steward of taxpayer dollars. Here are ten ways the IRS lost the trust of the American people.
It’s easy to be negative about the U.S. economy these days. Find a glint of silver, and folks come running to point out all of the dark clouds looming about. This, of course, is what we got last week when the monthly jobs report was released from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Folks pooh-poohed the number of jobs and whining that they’re not enough or that it’s less than a bunch of economists thought that it might be. But you know what? Stuff ’em.
Given how poorly states like California and Illinois have funded the pension funds for their own employees, one would think that this would stop dead in its tracks any plan to have the government assist in managing private sector funds too. The spate of recent activity, however, suggests otherwise.
The financial world is plodding along like a drunken sailor avoiding debt collectors by keeping no cash in his wallet. It’s not the kind of calm that’s going to last or end well. But the storm will have to wait until after the Olympics.What a game! We’ve never watched ice hockey closely before. But watching […]
President Obama crowed in his State of the Union speech about the economy, even mentioning “a rebounding housing market.” Maybe he was referring to friends in high places, like the seller of Penthouse One in New York, which just closed for $50.9 million, all cash. Millions of mere-mortal homeowners likely wanted to throw something at […]
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is acting in a bipartisan way to cover up the biggest single threat to the bipartisan political alliance that is stripping America of its wealth: the United States Congress.There is no question that the following policy is bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are completely agreed that the following information […]
Amidst all the revelations about how the American people, many of whom are absolutely convinced they live in a free society, have their telephone calls, emails, website visits, and who knows what else under surveillance by their own government, let’s not forget the massive infringements on financial privacy that have gone on for decades.Consider, for […]
The exercise had an awesome name, inspired by the movies: “Quantum Dawn 2.”On July 18, scads of U.S. banks, stock exchanges and government agencies took part in a digital fire drill — a practice run in the event all of Wall Street came under massive cyberattack.This isn’t the first time banks have come under an […]
The faces of the Detroit bankruptcy are the thousands of pensioners whose promised benefits are suddenly part of the restructure negotiation. When Motown filed for Chapter 9 last July, the city had $11.5 billion in unsecured liabilities. The vast majority of this was pension and health care benefits owed to retired city employees.The images of […]
The Largest Company in History:“The United States Corporation of Government (USCOG)”I follow global social and commercial networks, looking for entrepreneurial opportunities.Innovation surges when industry and government models change. Buggy whips. Landline phones. Railroads. The Soviet Union. Apartheid South Africa. All marked social and commercial innovation, both bad and good.We are witnessing a new form of […]
Real estate, and the careers that depend upon it, is a boom-bust business in the age of inflation. The illusion of wealth is everywhere..until it is snatched away.
That’s why it’s a great time for David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize winning “Glengarry Glen Ross” to make its third appearance on the Broadway stage. It’s a show about Chicago real estate salesmen selling Florida properties through deception and intimidation.
The show appears just as Iowa dirt ascends to new heights, hope springs eternal that home prices have stopped falling, and Bernanke’s tonic is finally putting some sizzle in the home market.
I’m a huge fan of the movie, as those who attended last year’s Vancouver Symposium may have detected. When asked during the Whiskey Bar panel what movie depicted the U.S. economy, I offered up “Glenngary Glen Ross.”
I was sky high with anticipation taking my seat on 4th row. I was not disappointed. Broadway is indeed magic, especially when you can see the shine on the actor’s shoes and spit flies as they say their lines.
Reviewers are carping that the production is nothing but a vehicle for Al Pacino, who plays deluded has-been Shelly Levine. Maybe, but Bobby Cannavale steals the show as Ricky Roma, the role Al Pacino earned an Oscar nomination for in the 1992 movie version.
Cannavale brings more swagger to the Roma role than even Pacino did. He combs his slick Guido-style hairdo using his sun glasses as a vanity mirror. He looks to have stolen his suit, suspenders, white-collared shirts, and argyle socks from Gordon Gecko’s closet.
The audience was on the edge of their seats ready to react to any utterance or facial expression Pacino would produce. Still, his portrayal of ‘The Machine’ did not have the Willie Loman desperation that Jack Lemmon brought to the role on the big screen.
John C. McGinley on the other hand makes for an even angrier Dave Moss than the Ed Harris movie version. If there’s a plot to Glenngary, Moss is its protagonist. It is his desperate plan to do something, rather than just being stuck with the deadbeat sales leads, that puts the Premier Properties office in turmoil and sets up the climax.
Real estate investment is an opportunity. We paraphrase that great investment mind Ricky Roma, the alpha male salesman at the top of his game. Investments can teach a man about himself, as Roma waxes philosophical to the lonely James Lingk. It’s the power of suggestion plying the vulnerable.
In real life today, there is no shortage of vulnerable, especially not in Sioux County, Iowa.
On October 25th in Iowa, no spell was needed to entice buyers of fertile Iowa farmland. No condos or McMansions will sit on this land, only corn or soybeans. Auctioneers took turns taking bids as prices climbed for 80 acres in this heart of corn country. When bidding hit $20,000 per acre, reported an observer, “you could hear a gasp in the room.” Applause broke out when bidding stopped at $21,900.
It’s been awful dry in the midwest, but the land market continues on fire, with prices up over 31 percent in the past five years, according Bloomberg Businessweek. Yep, it’s a no-brainer; income from crops “and the long-term appreciation of the property,” professor Michael Duffy opines.
In a similar way, the Toronto condo market has defied reason and gravity for years, enticing investment from around the world. One reason is that people like Herbert Crockett believe in the old saw, passed on to him by his father: Invest in things you can touch. So Mr. Crockett took the plunge on a Trump Tower Hotel condo for C$904,000.
The “Trump” salesforce told Crockett he would rack up between a 5 and 27 percent annual return from his investment in the big-name project. That sure beats the 2.25% regulated rate banks are paying in Crockett’s home in France. “We bought into the Trump name and what we were being told was a hot real estate market in Toronto for this kind of project,” Crockett told Bloomberg in an interview. “It turns out that the hotel had nothing to do with him and that it isn’t a good investment after all.”
The Toronto market, with more condos under construction than any other city in the world, is now beginning to soften and Mr. Crockett and others that bought are only renting their units a quarter of the time projected. Instead of receiving a monthly check from his investment, the retired HR director is now losing C$7,000 a month according to his lawsuit.
Although the Donald was featured prominently in Trump Tower sales literature, he and his staff were not involved in the development other than selling his famous name to the project and attending the grand opening. An attorney for Trump said, he “was not involved in the sales process and Talon, the developer, made no representations to buyers regarding return on investment.”
But while the Trump legal staff paints the picture that he didn’t have anything to do with Toronto’s tallest building, evidently EVP and daughter Ivanka didn’t get the memo. “We look forward to continuing to achieve great success at Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto,” she told Bloomberg in an email. “Our team is dedicated to providing world-class service and amenities only found in a Trump Hotel Collection property.”
Great success? Well, yeah. “The hotel is an unbelievable success,” Trump attorney Alan Garten says. Hey, occupancy might not be great. Investors might be losing money. But, the Canadian Automobile Association has awarded the hotel restaurant’s a four diamond rating and TripAdvisor.com rates the Trump Hotel tops in Toronto.
Mr. Crockett has hired lawyers to fix his mistake. In his court filing, Crockett contends he is “the victim of an investment scheme and conspiracy based upon reckless and negligent misrepresentations.”
With the Toronto boom turning into a bust, the advice of Mr. Crockett’s late father is not so sage. It turns out he’s an investing neophyte. “These are not sophisticated investors,” said Javad Heydary, who heads the law firm that is suing the developer and Trump for Crockett and 20 other investors. But the developer’s head man says this is all just a case of “buyer’s remorse” and the plaintiffs just want to get out of their deals.
What were dreams and opportunities in a boom, become in the bust the fraudulent schemes of court filings. The charming and helpful salesmen are suddenly liars and crooks. “There’s the illusion of movement in the Toronto housing sector with sales and buyers,” Crockett told Bloomberg, “But now it seems more like a Ponzi scheme.”
Central bankers can print money and for a while, in some markets of some things, create the illusion of wealth and prosperity. There will always be salesmen around to facilitate the transaction — Glengarry style. But neither the Fed nor the salesmen can stop the busts, the ruined lives, and hard feelings. The money printing and money manipulations — all taking place on a epic scale — only creates more.