Politicians talk about the uninsured. Special interests argue on behalf of those with pre-existing conditions. But why is no one wondering how doctors are affected by the new law? They’re the ones on the frontlines dealing directly with new patients, as well as the red tape that makes bureaucracies go round.
Politicians proclaim the benefits of small business while on the campaign trail. But when they meet in the seedy halls of Congress, they have no problem doing whatever they can to stifle, regulate, and subdue their progress. Instead of siding with entrepreneurs, these politicians often side with political allies and cronies that helped put them into office.
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.
Technology brought the world together. But has it gone too far? Decades ago, mail was delivered by hand. Now it’s delivered in seconds. How has that changed the way you live your life? How has it changed the way people act with each other? These are just some of the questions we need to ask.
Here we sit Tuesday, thanking the heavens above that we live in the greatest country in the world. Allow us to count the ways. We discovered this morning that an estimated 810,000 previously uninsured Americans now have the good fortune of paying the U.S. Treasury for health insurance. That’s a full 1.7% of America’s 48.6 […]
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...
Gun control isn’t a modern idea. The rise of gun control laws and limits on your 2nd Amendment freedom go hand in hand with the increase in the size and scope of government. Politicians want you to think the only people who can keep you safe are government forces. But as one renown libertarian economist and thinker will show you, their misguided laws do nothing but take away your freedoms and leave you less safe.
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.
Protect Yourself from Tax-Time Scams and Other Tax Pitfalls. Getting caught up in a tax scam can occur at any time of year. But your chances of getting scammed peak during that jolly season when you dutifully file your taxes. This is why, leading up to April 15, the IRS releases a list of the […]
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.
The Congressional Budget Office said the government needed to reach 7 million people by the end of March. They claim to have reached the goal and now the debate about Obamacare is over. But what does this milestone really mean in the ongoing healthcare discussion? And more importantly, how will it affect reforms going forward?
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...
In an effort to cut costs and keep track of patients' records, governments could institute a medical guideline cookbook. Bureaucrats might think they have the best of intentions in mind, but these new rules would drag down the medical process and destroy whatever quality is left in our current system.
Three Opportunities to Make Double-Digit Yields or 5, 10, or even 100 Times Your Investment! By now you have probably heard of crowdfunding. It’s a new, innovative way for artists and entrepreneurs to raise money online from a crowd of ordinary individuals. You make a monetary contribution to their project, and depending on how much […]
The best way to explain how to choose a good password is to explain how they're broken.
Practical people often pooh-pooh fiction reading as a time wasting dalliance, dominated by a Marxist coloring of the world. However, fiction readers were given a scientific reason recently for spending hours absorbing fanciful figments of someone’s imagination.
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.
When government expansion is allowed to continue unabated or when it casts a heavy regulatory shadow on America’s entrepreneurial spirit, the freedoms that we’ve come to know, and perhaps take for granted, slowly begin to slip away.
Gasoline prices have held fairly steady over the past three years, but the potential for a spring-summer price spike always exists. It wouldn’t take much for prices to lift back to the 2008 highs that caused near panic among motorists. GasBuddy.com offers a mobile app that displays price data for the gas stations nearest you. […]
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.
The new reality of Obamacare’s tax credits has left finance reporters to pen articles warning readers to “take care” when considering a tax credit and providing strategies for how best to “protect yourself.” So what do finance reporters know that the White House doesn’t?
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.
As full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) approaches, every doctor, research professional, and health administrator I talk to tells me the same thing: Obamacare is going to reduce the quality of care and cost you more… in some cases, a lot more.
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.
Can you imagine losing $119 billion in a single day? That might sound like an impossible amount of money to lose in any amount of time, but in the high-stakes world of startups, it really can happen in a day. And whenever there’s a “loser” in a zero-sum situation like this, there’s also a “winner.” The difference between the two? Vision.
When you eat or drink something sweet, your body and your brain immediately want more. It’s like a drug, really. But in my book, artificial sweeteners are worse than plain table sugar. Far worse. They lull you into thinking you’re doing something smart and healthy by avoiding extra calories. But it’s all a mind game, […]
This technology is not simply for modeling and prototyping, either. TV personality Jay Leno uses a 3-D printer to make custom and hard-to-find parts from scratch for his collection of classic cars. Entrepreneurs have been using these printers in a myriad of ways, and the trend is speeding up.
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...
It’s four years after the crash in the housing market and the economy is still in a funk. Sure the stock market has recovered, but unemployment remains high, housing prices continue to go nowhere, and plenty of unemployed 50 years olds worry they will never work again. Just how long are we to wait for a recovery and why is it taking so long?
The continued government stimulus of zero interest rates, bailouts, and fiscal stimulus have kept the asset bubble in real estate from correcting, at the same time it has pumped up the stock and bond markets.
But while there are more than a few pundits calling a bottom in the housing market, any slight bounce in activity we’ve seen is merely the resulting malinvestment brought about by zero interest rates, and the legal quagmire stopping home foreclosures. The market has not been allowed the clear. Until it is, the market will continue to meander near the bottom.
Ironically, it is Alan Greenspan who sheds some light on this in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. Greenspan points to a key difference between the RTC liquidation process after the S & L crash, and today’s lack of liquidation. When asked about the current administration’s policies, Greenspan said,
Well, it’s not the present administration, it’s the current view of most policy-oriented economists. And here, regrettably, I am in the minority. The notion that if there is an economic problem, the government is obligated to address it, necessarily creates uncertainty about the future. And there’s hard research that shows such activism is responsible in part for the very heavy discounting of earnings on longer-lived business investments, and by households that had dramatically shifted from owner occupancy to short-lived rentals in the face of the uncertainty of the direction of home prices. We need to replace such activism with a policy that allows the markets to correct their own imbalances. Remember the Resolution Trust Corporation in the early ’90s? I was on the oversight board of the RTC. It got stuck with the job of liquidating more than 700 failed savings and loans. Some of the stuff that the RTC wound up with was perfectly liquid and saleable. But a big chunk was uncompleted eight-hole golf courses, half-built office towers, and vacant malls. Nobody wanted it. We all sat around and said, “This stuff is deteriorating very rapidly, and if we don’t get rid of it, the taxpayers are going to take a huge hit.” I mean, the numbers were very, very large. Somebody suggested, “Let’s package it and sell it.” And we did. Needless to say, the bids were less than 50 percent of the original cost. Congress was outraged. We were giving away taxpayer-owned assets to greedy vulture funds.
A couple questions later,
Yes. Investors cleared out our illiquid inventory in a matter of months. The final cost to the taxpayers for the savings and loan crisis amounted to $87 billion, a fraction of the original estimate. Allowing the markets to liquidate worked.
What’s different with this crisis is that the FDIC remembers Congress being outraged. The deposit insurer does not want to be accused of “giving away taxpayer-owned assets to greedy vulture funds” again. So, it sits on almost $22 billion in failed bank assets and is partner in billions more.
For instance, NYSE-traded homebuilder Lennar Corp. purchased 40% stakes in bank loans from the FDIC in 2010, with the FDIC retaining the other 60% ownership along with providing seven-year, interest-free financing for Lennar’s share, beyond the $243 million the homebuilder contributed in equity. The three billion dollars in loans was purchased for $1.22 billion or 40 cents on the dollar according to Wall Street analysts.
Colony Capital was also a buyer of busted bank portfolios, again partnering with the FDIC. Commercial Mortgage Alert wrote about one of Colony’s purchases,
The stake was offered under the FDIC’s structured-sales program – one of the agency’s options for liquidating assets inherited from failed banks. Under the program, the FDIC sells stakes of 20-40% in portfolios to operating partners, which work out the assets. The agency retains an interest in order to share in any upside.
These partnerships are not the quick liquidations of the S&L/RTC days. The assets really haven’t left the government’s hands. The government holds majority shares in the partnerships and the minority partners are beholden to the FDIC for the interest-free financing. The seven -year term of the loan belies the idea that these assets will be quickly liquidated.
So as not to anger Congress, the deposit insurer is hoping the market will magically turn around and the punk loans and assets will be sold at higher prices.
The government braintrust embraces the view that the economy is cyclical and that no matter what the Fed or the government is doing, if they just wait long enough the market will turn around and a whole new real estate bubble will appear for them to sell into.
Unless the market is allowed to correct, these asset values are going nowhere. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s monetary pumping will only create other asset bubbles that will ultimately crash.