“The thing I worry about is the buildup of sovereign debt,” said Roubini
If the problem isn’t addressed, he said, nations will either fail to meet obligations or experience higher inflation as officials “monetize” their debts, or print money to tackle the shortfalls.
“While today markets are worried about Greece, Greece is just the tip of the iceberg, or the canary in the coal mine for a much broader range of fiscal problems,”
Greece “could eventually be forced to get out” of the 16- nation euro region, he said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday. That would lead to a decline in the euro and make it “less of a liquid currency,” he said. While a smaller euro zone “makes sense,” he said, “it could be very messy.”
[Roubini supports] a carbon tax on gasoline, with Roubini saying it would reduce American dependence on oil from overseas, shrink the trade deficit and carbon emissions, and help pay down the U.S. budget deficit.
I agree that the damage done by those (which is nearly all of them) countries living beyond their means is significant. The USA and many countries in Europe and Asia (South Korea and China are two exceptions) have raised taxes on the future (by default – spending more than you have necessarily increases taxes later) to consume today. The strong emerging markets are another exception, many having learned their lessons and stopped spending money they didn’t have in the 1990’s.
However the richest countries have been spending money they don’t have for decades and the increase in government debt as a portion of GDP is an increasingly serious problem. It would be nice if the government of the rich countries could behave responsibly but it does not look like many of them have citizens who will elect honest and competent leaders. As long as they elect leaders that insist on raising taxes on the future (and lying to the populace by claiming they cut taxes – because they eliminate taxes today) those countries will pay severely for the irresponsible spending.
Saying you cut taxes when you just delay them is equivalent to saying I paid off my credit card bill when all I did was get 2 new credit cards, borrow all the money I owed on my original card, pay that one off, and then borrow more to increase my debt even more. Yes it is true I did pay off my original credit card, but that is hardly the salient point. My credit card debt increase. All that has happened in the USA since the Clinton administration had a balanced budget is politicians used a credit card thinking to lower taxes while necessarily increasing them in the future. You don’t reduce debt by spending money you don’t have.
Most common degree: Associate’s
Median pay: $72,910
Employment in the occupation is expected to grow by nearly a third between 2008 and 2018
Most common degree: Associate’s
Median pay: $66,570
It’s no surprise that the healthcare field is home to several careers that offer the best pay and opportunities for the education required, given that the healthcare industry has faced steady increases in demand despite the recession.
Most common degree: Bachelor’s
Median pay: $108,020
When it comes to jobs for which the typical degree is a bachelor’s, only airline pilots earn more than petroleum engineers. For one thing, engineers’ salaries reflect the technical skills required, says Margaret Watson of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. But the salaries are also a result of supply and demand, as there are relatively few graduates in petroleum engineering—some enter the field with degrees in other engineering disciplines, as well—and demand is expected to increase as more engineers reach retirement age.
Nuclear power reactor operator
Most common training: Long-term, on-the-job training
Median pay: $73,320
Nuclear power reactor operators might start their careers as plant equipment operators while they become familiar with the operations. In fact, reactor operators need at least three years of experience working in a power plant—including at least one year in a nuclear plant. To earn the right to control the equipment as reactor operators, they must be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Employment of nuclear power reactors is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Follow the link for more of the top 10 job paths that payoff well. I certain don’t think it makes sense to pursue a career that doesn’t interest you just because it pays well. But if you are choosing among several careers that appeal to you, one factor worth considering are the employment prospects in the careers.
Many people get into financial trouble in part due to their misuse of credit cards. By following a few simple rules you can avoid the missteps and use credit cards to improve you personal finances instead of falling into the credit card traps.
Most importantly, don’t use your credit card for loans. Pay off your balance each month. Pretty obvious advice but far too many people don’t follow it. If you use your credit card for a loans most of time that is a mistake and big risk to your personal financial future. Don’t do it. There is a reason pretty much all the advice from financial advisers on credit cards starts with this – it is the most important advice.
Second, if you don’t follow the advise above pay off your loan as soon as possible. Payment the minimum payment is huge mistake. You should not be making any discretionary purchases if you are not paying down your credit card debt substantially each month.
Continue reading tips on using your credit card in a smart way.
According to Sharpe, who is also the founder of Financial Engines, the typical 4% rule recommends that a retiree annually spend a fixed, real amount equal to 4% of his initial wealth, and rebalance the remainder of his money in a 60%-40% mix of stocks and bonds throughout a 30-year retirement period.
What’s more, he shows the price paid for funding what he calls “unspent surpluses and the overpayments made to purchase its spending policy.” According to Sharpe, a typical rule allocates 10%-20% of a retiree’s initial wealth to surpluses and an additional 2%-4% to overpayments.
The only problem with what academia knows to be right and what’s practical in the field — even by Sharpe’s own admission — is this: “Many practical issues remain to be addressed before advisers can hope to create individualized retirement financial plans that maximize expected utility for investors with diverse circumstances, other sources of income, and preferences,” Sharpe wrote in his paper.
Meanwhile, Stephen P. Utkus, a principal with the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, agrees that the 4% rule is flawed. But he also notes, as did Sharpe, that there’s no practical mechanism to replace it with and that further research is required.
I think this is exactly right. The proper personal financial actions in this case are not easy. The 4% rule is far from perfect but it does give a general idea that is a decent quick snapshot. But you can’t rely on such a quick, overly simplified method. At the same time there are simple ideas that do work, such as saving money for retirement is necessary. The majority of people continue to fail to take the most basis steps to save money each year for retirement.
For the most part my investment philosophy is based on fundamental long term investing strategies. But I do also occasionally speculate with a portion of my portfolio. It is risky (and honestly most people will lose money trying so it is unwise for most, if not all, to try) but can bring great returns for the successful speculator/trader. My methods are significantly influenced by Nicolas Darvas who wrote the classic investment book – How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market (which I am re-reading now). In it he provides an honest and open look at his experience from his naive start to his eventual success. He lays out, in great detail, exactly what he did and how foolish some of his actions were. Then he explains how he came to find success by focusing on the price and volume action of stocks and a pseudo fundamental component (more of a story that could presage future fundamental success than actual fundamental strength). While honing his investment strategy, in the 1950’s, he traveled the world working as a world class ballroom dancer and placed order via cable.
Darvas’ method was a forerunner of the many technical analysis schemes used today. He is extensively referenced by William O’Neil (of Investor’s Business Daily fame) and other leading technicians. An extremely simplified overview of Darvas’ method: determine “boxes” (trading ranges) for a stock and buy on the breakout, to the upside, of the topmost box. He used a rest period of several days to set the top of the box and then determine the bottom of the box after that top was set. He used very close trailing stop loss orders to minimize losses. He sought to make large gains (let his winners run) and cut losses quickly.
Nicholas Darvas’ ideas and books included a disdain for wall street insiders, analysts and rumors. The CAN SLIM (William O’Neil and Investor’s Business Daily) investing style owes a great deal to Darvas’ ideas on investing.
I have created a new twitter account for to comment and follow others trading ideas. I would suggest only experience and successful investors even consider trading with a small portion of their portfolio. For most it is a losing proposition.
More on Darvas’ investing ideas and other leading investors. Books by Nicolas Darvas: Wall Street: The Other Las Vegas – You Can Still Make It in the Market (republished after a long period when it was not available) – Darvas System for Over the Counter Profits
According to a new report on Privately Held, Non-Resident Deposits in Secrecy Jurisdictions the United States is the country with the largest amount of private, non-resident, deposits. Cayman Islands takes second, upholding its commonly held reputation as a tax haven often used to avoid paying taxes own by wealthy people. Switzerland comes in 9th.
The countries with the most private, foreign deposits in billion of $US.
|Country||June 2008||June 2009|
Since 2001 deposits in the Cayman Islands have more than tripled, while those in the UK have close to tripled and in the USA they have a bit more than doubled.
- Total Current total deposits by non-residents in offshore centers and secrecy jurisdictions are just under US$10 trillion;
- The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Cayman Islands top the list of jurisdictions, with the United States out in front with more than US$2 trillion in non-resident, privately held deposits in the most recent quarter for which data are available (June 2009);
- Contrary to expectations of perceived favorability for deposits, Asia accounts for only 6 percent of worldwide offshore deposits, although Hong Kong is the tenth most popular secrecy jurisdiction by deposits in this report;
- The rate of growth of offshore deposits in secrecy jurisdictions has expanded at an average of 9 percent per annum since the early 1990s, significantly outpacing the rise of world wealth in the last decade. The gap between these two growth rates may be attributed to increases in illicit financial flows from developing countries and tax evasion by residents of developed countries.
The report is an interesting read and provides some background on the banking practices often used in concert with wealthy people avoiding paying taxes. As you may we recall we noted that rich USA tax evaders tried to sue to hide their illegal activities from the Department of Justice. As far as I know those rich thieves have not been put in jail. I guess stealing tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars from the United States of America, by rich people, is not seen as important (either that or brides work to make sure the way rich people steal isn’t punished) say compared to some teenager stealing from a store.
Google posted very good earnings yesterday but not good enough for many. The earnings, and a 5% fall in Google’s stock price, were good enough for me to add a few more shares to my long term investment in the company. Earnings per share grew from $4.49, $1.42 billion total, in the 1st quarter of 2009 to $6.06, $1.96 billion (38% increase in profits and 35% on a earnings per share basis). On a non-GAAP basis earning per share grew from $5.16 to $6.76. Revenue increased from $5.51 billion to $6.78 billion and the operating margin increased from 34.2% to 36.7%.
Chris Bulkey has a good article on TheSteet.com, Google Tax Rate Inflates EPS, though I disagree with his conclusion.
Recall that Google records gains from marketable securities with interest income. This gives management flexibility to boost income by timing investment sales. Normalizing this line item with the year-ago period shaves 3 cents a share from the bottom line. The effective tax rate came in below the prior year with essentially no change in revenue from international customers (53% vs. 52% in the first quarter of 2009). It is therefore likely that deliberate utilization of deferred tax assets was responsible for the easy comparison. Attempts to ascertain specific amounts deferred were unsuccessful; we’ll have to wait for the 10-Q.
Cash flow decelerated to $2.58 billion from $2.73 billion sequentially. On a year-over-year basis, cash generated from operations increased 15% — respectable in absolute terms, but loosely correlated with net income, up 38% from last year.
We reiterate a “sell” rating and $544 price objective; Our target multiple moves to 21 times revised 2010 EPS estimate from 23 times.
Obviously I bought more, so I don’t agree with the conclusion, but his points are sensible and worth considering.
The Wall Street Journal wrote “Their Fair Share” in July of 2008 claiming that the rich are paying their fair share of taxes.
Wow. The Wall Street Journal against a tax cut? Well I guess if it is a tax on the poor they don’t support cutting those taxes. I think it may well make sense to reduce the social security and medicare taxes on the working poor (including the company share). Of all the taxes we have this is the one I would reduce, if I reduced any (given the huge amount of government debt any reduction may well be unwise). But reducing income taxes for those under the median income doesn’t seem like something worth doing to me.
They seem to ignore that income inequality has drastically increased. When you have a system that puts a huge percentage of the cash in a few people’s pockets of course those people end up paying a lot of cash per person. One affect of massive wealth concentration is that the limited people all the money is flowing to naturally will pay an increasing portion of taxes.
It is fine to argue that the rich pay too much tax, if you want. I don’t agree. I think Warren Buffett explains the issue much more clearly and truthfully when he says he, and all his fellow, billionaires (and those attempting to join the club) pay a lower percent of taxes on income than their secretaries do. He offers $1 million to any of them that prove that isn’t true.
And I guess you can say that the top 22% of the income paying the top 40% of the taxes is “steeply progressive.” I wouldn’t call that steep, but… It is nice the graphic is at least decently honest. Saying just “top 1% of taxpayers, those who earn above $388,806, paid 40% of all income ” is fairly misleading. It is much more honest (I believe) to say that “the top 1% (that made 22% of the income) paid…” Those with the top 22% of income paid 40% of the taxes, the next 15% payed 20%, the next 31% paid 26% the next 20% 11% and the final 12% paid 3%. That is progressive. From my perspective it could be more progressive but I can see others saying it it progressive enough.
If 22% to 40% is “steeply” progressive what is 1% to 22%? The income distribution seems to be what? very hugely massively almost asymptotently progressive? The to 1% of people, by income, take 22% of the income, the next 4% take the next 15% of the total income, the next 20% take 31%, the next 25% take 30% and the bottom 50% take 12%. This level of income inequality is much more a source of concern than any concern someone should have about a slightly progressive tax result.
China’s GDP increased 11.9% in 1st quarter of 2010, from last year. China is now the 2nd largest economy (overtaking Japan in the last year). More cars will be bought this year in China than any other country (they overtook the USA in 2009). The 4th quarter of 2009 saw an increase of 10.7% above 2008. Real estate appreciation continues and the government reported housing prices in 70 major cities rose 11.7% in March compared to 2009. I believe it would be wise for China to take stronger action to deflate a bubble. Raise rates. Cut back on infrastructure spending. Raise the value of the Yuan.
March’s China consumer price index was 2.4% higher than a year earlier, while the producer price index was up 5.9%.
China’s economy feels the heat by Robert M Cutler
The government has held its overnight interest rate steady at 5.31% since January 2009.
The government has already moved to slow the real estate market through higher mortgage rates and required down payments and the re-introduction of sales taxes.
The ministry of housing and urban-rural development has said it intends to crack down on price speculation in the property market and curb attempts to hoard land. Measures being considered include requiring a down payment of 40% on second residences
By contrast, that ratio of household debt to economic output was 70 percent in 2000. To get back to that level, Americans would need to pay down $3.4 trillion in debt
And it isn’t like the 2000 level was one of great consumer discipline. The economy needs to improve in several ways to be approaching a state that could be called a healthy economy. The 2 biggest, in my mind are 1) decreasing debt (consumer and government) and 2) increasing jobs. My next most important would probably be increasing the number of “good” jobs. Many other data points are important, such as: decreasing income inequality; increasing the age at retirement (because of all the systemic problems caused by extremely long retirements financed not by savings but taxes on existing workers); low inflation (luckily that is continuing to look good); value added economic activity (real GDP); decrease in the cost of the health care system as a % of GDP; decrease in financial leverage; economic strength worldwide (economic weakness of Japan, Europe… can severely hamper economic success in the USA). I do not see a bubble hyped economy as a healthy economy – even if lots of measures look good.