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Economy

The Great (Class) Divide

by Luke Landes

Big Media CEOs get paid to stay at home. Media companies will pay their chief officers big bucks on top of their salaries to keep second homes for business. The numbers in that article are staggering, but not unexpected. This quote by Paul Hodgson from The Corporate Library mimics my sentiment exactly: “The very idea ... Continue reading this article…

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Today’s Interesting Items

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve Bank raised rates to 3.0 percent. Will ING Direct, Emigrant Direct, and other high-yield internet savings banks follow? Seven rules for negotiation. Here is some good advice for negotiating anything, such as raises, car prices, and hostages. I wish I had read this when I first accepted my current position at this company. ... Continue reading this article…

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Back To Reality

by Luke Landes

This weekend, I arrived home from my California Vacation. It wasn’t exactly a Griswold farce, but the week had its share of zany moments. Now I’m back to reality — New Jersey — and things aren’t looking good: * The stock market hasn’t exactly been working in investors’ favor this year. * Mathew Emmert from ... Continue reading this article…

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Being Last is Best

by Luke Landes

According to a CNN story and a AAA report, New Jersey is the last state whose average price for a gallon of gasoline has surpassed $2.00. Still, New Jersey remains at the bottom of the list thanks to local refineries, ports and low taxes. Luckilly, there are two low cost gas stations on my route ... Continue reading this article…

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Predicting Markets

by Luke Landes

Neville is writing about predicting the markets. Are the markets predictable? What were people predicting in 1930 and 1940, and were those predictions accurate? I was researching these questions and I came across a paper by Felix Stalder, a PhD Student at the University of Toronto, entitled The Nature of Financial Networks. It’s an interesting ... Continue reading this article…

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The New Bankruptcy Bill

by Luke Landes

There’s a new bankruptcy bill that’s up for vote in the Senate. if it passes, and it probably will, filing for bankruptcy will be harder. More specifically, fewer people will be able to file under Chapter 7, where creditors will get nothing and all debt is liquidated, and instead will be forced to file under ... Continue reading this article…

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New Jersey is Last

by Luke Landes

It never felt so nice to be last on a list. New Jersey is ranked 50th when it comes to the average price of gasoline according to AAA. If you’re looking for more fun with gasoline price statistics, check out AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The good news is the station I usually go to ... Continue reading this article…

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Better Stock Up

by Luke Landes

I was listening to Marketplace on NPR during the commute home from work today. They reported that according to CBS, gas prices at the pump may surge $0.24 a gallon in the next few days. The article says that this is one analyst’s prediction, but that one analyst is getting a lot of press. When ... Continue reading this article…

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Positive Outlook

by Luke Landes

It’s true that maintaining a positive outlook can help keep your life together, generally or financially speaking. Here are steps from the CBS Marketwatch article: * Identify your traps. Figure out what your excuses are. One of mine, for example, is I’m not making enough money to cover all of my expenses. * Consider your ... Continue reading this article…

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Social Security Calculator

by Luke Landes

Chuck Schumer, the senator from New York, put up a fancy Social Security benefits calculator on his website. This calculator shows how much today’s workers will likely receive for their annual benefits if Bush’s proposed plan is pushed through. Here’s a hint: your combined benefit of both the government and private portion will be lower ... Continue reading this article…

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Financial or Marital Bliss

by Luke Landes

An ever-growing body of research shows that most of us adapt quickly to improvements in our finances; we simply learn to covet a higher class of goods. But the happiness-inducing qualities of a solid marriage last and last. That’s a quotation from this special report from CNN Money. The summary is simple: If you want ... Continue reading this article…

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Individual Social Security Accounts

by Luke Landes

I still need to do more research before I decide whether I like the idea of privatizing social security. For future reference, here’s some information on the current proposal.

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Fed Funds Up

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve raised the “target for the federal funds rate” to 2.5 percent up 25 basis points (0.25 percentage points). Their statement shows that their decision is based on the idea that inflation is “realitvely low.” I expect the interest rate on my savings account will follow suit, especially since the competition has leapfrogged in ... Continue reading this article…

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Delayed Deposits Cost Account Holders

by Luke Landes

Jonathan Burton of CBS MarketWatch has pointed out that millions of dollars are lost by employees when their employer holds onto 401(k) funds after they are deducted from the paycheck. It works like this. On Friday, January 1, you receive your paycheck. 12 percent of your paycheck has been deducted before taxes and put aside. According ... Continue reading this article…

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Are You Matching Inflation?

by Luke Landes

The “Consumer Price Index” is around 3.2 percent at the moment, although I believe the cost of living has gone up much more for most people, due to prices of things that are not reflected in the CPI. Hopefully, any cost of living adjustments we receive at our jobs will cover at least the Consumer ... Continue reading this article…

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Ashes, Ashes

by Luke Landes

As you know if you follow the news, the U.S. dollar has been losing value when compared to other currencies around the world. I don’t know much about currencies, but I know that means anything dealing with something from outside the country (say, traveling overseas or imported food) is going to be more expensive. Someone ... Continue reading this article…

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Fed Moves Up

by Luke Landes

You may have heard that the Federal Reserve Bank (aka. The Fed) has raised its interest rate by one quarter percentage point to 2 percent. (Another way of saying one quarter percentage point is 25 basis points—a “basis point” is a hundredth of a percentage point.) Digressing for a second, I should clear up any confusion ... Continue reading this article…

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Post-Election Update

by Luke Landes

Like the rest of the country, I am dealing with the aftermath of the presidential election. The stock market rallied for the day after the elections, but it’s probably more of a response to the fact the election was over quickly, not a response to specifically the guy who won. While we could think about ... Continue reading this article…

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Salary Increase Disparity

by Luke Landes

News item from CNN/Money: CEO pay rose, worker wages fell. The disparity not only makes it tougher for workers to make ends meet, analysts said, but also threatens the overall health of the economy, which depends on consumer spending for two-thirds of its strength. Costs of the basic living necessities, like food and gas for ... Continue reading this article…

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Heard on NPR Today

by Luke Landes

With oil prices up (though lower than inflation-adjusted 1980s prices) and a possibly colder-than-average winter in the US Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions predicted, home heating costs are going to be high. Start budgeting… wait for it… now.

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