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Economy

New Stimulus Plan: The Fiscal Menace or The Economy Strikes Back?

by Luke Landes

(Or perhaps Episode IV: Obama’s New Hope.) In a few weeks the Senate will be debating another stimulus plan. This one is billed as a jobs creation package with a $154 billion price tag. It’s an extension of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and its purpose is to increase public funding for ... Continue reading this article…

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Obama’s New Job Boosting Ideas

by Smithee

President Obama gave a “major speech” today (out of curiosity, can anyone tell what makes a speech major?) outlining several new proposals for boosting job creation and ensuring job stability. More than 90 percent of all economic indicators point to a recovery already in progress, but unemployment, even though it went down in a dramatic way ... Continue reading this article…

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Initial TARP Recipients are 57% Repaid

by Smithee

With the news that Bank of America hurried up a sale of securities in order to pay back their TARP loan, the story of the many billions loaned to the “big banks” has reached an interesting turning point: they’re now more than half paid back, 57 percent to be precise. Here’s the breakdown of the $165 ... Continue reading this article…

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GMAC Asking for a Third Bailout From Taxpayers

by Luke Landes

Through today, GMAC has received government bailout funds totaling $12.5 billion. The company is asking the Obama administration for $5.6 billion more. One might say that in a true democracy, GMAC would need to ask permission from each taxpayer whose funds would go towards shoring up the company’s balance sheet, a move that would make ... Continue reading this article…

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Pay Czar Ordering Bailed Out Companies to Reduce Pay

by Luke Landes

The executives of these companies had to see this coming. When a company is “too big to fail,” it becomes a public institution in senses of the phrase but the most literal. And for a number of banks and other financial companies in the past year, the public has become a partial owner thanks to ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Prepare for the Demise of the Dollar

by Luke Landes

Since the middle of the twentieth century, the U.S. dollar has been the currency that has dominated the world. Governments have held dollars in reserve, and borrowed dollars when necessary, because this currency can buy just about anything, anywhere. In particular, dollars can easily buy oil, a commodity currently necessary for the progress of developed ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Percent of U.S. Post Offices Under Evaluation, 700 to Be Closed

by Luke Landes

The U.S. Postal Service has not been a thriving business for a while, and the recession has worsened its condition. In order to save $7 billion, the government is evaluating about 3,200 offices out of the total of 32,741, and 700 of these are currently marked for closure. Personally, I am a fan of the ... Continue reading this article…

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New Consumer Financial Regulation

by Luke Landes

The White House is proposing a realignment of the financial regulation that failed to prevent the latest recession, but will the proposals help protect consumers? There is a long way to go between the President’s proposal and the enactment of a law, but here are the highlights as the plan stands today. The Financial Services ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Prepare for Inflation and Higher Prices

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve purchased $7.5 billion of debt in the form of Treasuries from the government, and plans to continue buying debt for a long time to finance the government’s spending. As the government continues selling this debt, the money supply increases. In total, the Treasury may add $3 to $4 trillion dollars to ... Continue reading this article…

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8 (or More) Ways to Benefit From the ARRA

by Smithee

Our financial crisis is being combated on many sides, with a seemingly endless series of opportunities for people facing serious hardships. I thought it would be helpful to summarize all the options created as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and give you just the facts that you need in ... Continue reading this article…

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Oversight and Regulation: Too Much or Too Little?

by Luke Landes

Many economists are citing the lack of regulation of the financial markets as one of the primary causes of the recent economic collapse. Alan Greenspan, once a believer in deregulation, blames the crisis on the financial industry’s inability to monitor itself. A pattern of financial deregulation over the past two and a half decades paved ... Continue reading this article…

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You Be the CEO: Should Bailed-Out Banks Cut Limousine Usage?

by Luke Landes

As the government continues to bail out the banking industry and taxpayers continue to increase their stake in these companies, how far should the banks go to cut back spending on the excesses that have grown over the past several decades? The local New York City NBC news program aired a feature on the use ... Continue reading this article…

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It’s Not Just About the $400 Tax Credit

by Smithee

When talking about the 790 billion dollar stimulus bill currently nearing the end of its congressional marathon, it’s tempting for people to focus on the direct, short-term benefits, namely a $400 tax credit, and how such a thing won’t go very far in benefiting most people. I tend to agree, but I’m also the first ... Continue reading this article…

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Senate and House of Representatives Agree on Stimulus Bill Compromise

by Luke Landes

In the past few minutes, the conference including the Senate and the House of Representatives was concluded. They’ve come to a compromise between the two versions of the economic stimulus bill to be sent to the President of the United States to be signed into law. I’ll post more details when the Congress provides them. ... Continue reading this article…

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How Obama’s 2009 Economic Stimulus Will Affect You

by Luke Landes

If President Obama’s economic stimulus plan is signed into law is it currently stands, individuals stand to receive a tax credit of $500 and couples stand to receive a tax credit of $1,000. Provided you’re not disqualified for earning too much money, $75,000 for an individual or $150,000 for a couple. Taxpayers might receive this ... Continue reading this article…

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The Mythical Demise of Social Security

by Luke Landes

About the author: This guest post comes to you from Mr. ToughMoneyLove, a baby boomer who dishes the hard truth about money and personal finance at his Tough Money Love blog. I cannot count the number of times I have seen or heard statements proclaiming with great certainty that Social Security will “disappear” or that ... Continue reading this article…

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Fed Cuts Two Rates: Federal Funds Target Rate and Discount Rate

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve Board responded to the economy yesterday by lowering the target for the federal funds rate to 1 percent and the discount rate to 1.25 percent. The first number is the rate usually in the news. The federal funds rate is the interest rate that banks charge to lend their balances to one another. If ... Continue reading this article…

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Economy in Shambles, Times are Tough: Oh Really?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 514 points, making October 22 yet another day among the top ten worst days on Wall Street. But it’s the credit crunch that we’re feeling on Main Street. Until the banks start lending to each other again, it’s difficult for small businesses and individuals to find loans necessary ... Continue reading this article…

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John McCain’s Proposal to Ease the Economic Crisis

by Luke Landes

Following Barack Obama’s proposals announced earlier, Republican candidate John McCain has outlined the steps he would take as president to help spur the economy in the United States. 1. Eliminate taxes on unemployment benefits. Like the Democratic candidate, McCain suggests eliminating taxes on unemployment insurance to make sure that those individuals out of work have ... Continue reading this article…

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Barack Obama Proposes Six Ideas to Ease the Economic Crisis

by Luke Landes

Each major presidential candidate is making his presence known and ensuring his name is constantly in the media as next month’s election approaches. Recently, Democratic candidate Barack Obama announced six action steps to help heal the economy in this country and across the world. Five of these are “new” ideas, and one was originally proposed ... Continue reading this article…

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