Category - Budgeting

1
Banks Are Lending Again, But Congress Needs Somebody to Blame
2
The Most Important Step to Getting Rich
3
Will Investors Be Better Off Post-Madoff?
4
A Trillion Here, A Trillion There….
5
How Do Hedge Funds Fail so Spectacularly?

Banks Are Lending Again, But Congress Needs Somebody to Blame

Yesterday’s House Financial Services Committee hearing gave evidence that bank lending is flowing again, but credit is still tight.

A webcast of the hearing “TARP Accountability: Use of Federal Assistance by the First TARP Recipients” is available at the Financial Services Committee website.

As is traditional in these affairs, a good deal of time was chewed up by congresspersons zealously jawboning to express vicarious anger on behalf of their constituents.

Executives from eight major banks showed up to testify on how they spent their share of the TARP money.  The CEOs actually did a pretty good job of demonstrating

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The Most Important Step to Getting Rich

Creating wealth is a long process, but it begins with one easy step. Before paying any bills, write yourself a check for as little as $25. If you do only one thing, this is more likely to make you wealthy than anything else. Paying yourself first is popular advice because it’s the most important step to becoming financially independent.

This is very powerful, but it’s often overlooked because it’s so simple. Most people save whatever is leftover each month but this never works. Rarely is there anything left to save after paying the bills. It’s human nature to spend whatever …

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Will Investors Be Better Off Post-Madoff?

Today the House Financial Services Committee will hear testimony from the SEC inspector general on the Madoff scandal. It promises to be the beginning of what Rep. Paul Kanjorski (chairman of the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises) is calling “the most substantial rewrite of laws governing U.S. financial markets since the Great Depression.” Wall Street could not have escaped congressional scrutiny after the year that we’ve had even if Madoff had never happened, but the failure of regulators to protect the public from his massive fraud has drawn fresh attention to the shortcomings of existing

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A Trillion Here, A Trillion There….

A Trillion Here, A Trillion There...Bloomberg.com has toted up all the Federal commitments made to date to stabilize the markets and the figure, if correct, is staggering: $7.76 trillion.

The late Sen. Everett Dirksen would be livid if he were around, even though Dirksen probably didn’t make the remark most often attributed to him.  But we’re definitely talking real money:  $7.76 trillion is about half of the US annual Gross Domestic Product.

The full amount hasn’t actually been spent; rather, this is the total of all the guarantees, asset buybacks, and equity purchases made by various government agencies over the past year.  The Federal …

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How Do Hedge Funds Fail so Spectacularly?

Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hauled in a gaggle of hedge fund managers to grill them about, among other things, why they should receive such favorable tax treatment. If I were a congressman, the question I’d have liked to have asked this crowd is, “Why is it so often the case that when hedge funds fail, they don’t merely fail, they implode, like dying stars?” This failure mode seems especially inappropriate for an investment class that’s often touted as a way to make money in both good times and bad.

I can’t possibly discuss all the …

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