Monday, June 6, 2011

New research states fifty nine percent of parents pay for grownup children

A new research reveals that fifty nine percent of mothers and fathers are still sometimes giving financial support to their adult children who are not students. The study indicates the recession is stopping them from moving away from home. Also examined were so-called “boomerang kids,” or those that move away from home only to come right back again.

A ton of pressure being put down

President and CEO of NEFE, Ted Beck, said, “Parents are continuing their involvement longer than we expected. The general sentiment is that financial pressures are higher for this generation.”

Parents and the young adults surveyed agreed. Of the grownup kids surveyed, 65 percent said their financial strain is harder than their parents’ was. This was something only some of the adults agreed with though. Only 32 percent felt this way. About 43 percent of the adults said they were “legitimately concerned” about their children’s finances. About 37 percent of individuals said they hoped their kids wouldn’t have to struggle financially.

The breakdown

The lion’s share of parental support, at 50 percent, is in housing. Living expenditures were also a big one. About 48 percent went towards these expenditures. There is also the cost of transportation. That is about 41 percent of aid from mothers and fathers.

About 42 percent of those kids who still live at home say they cook and clean to help contribute. About 75 percent said they helped financially.

Other factors involved

”Face It” author, psychologist Vivian Diller, thinks that this trend has occurred because of the economy. “In the last 20 to 30 years, the family structure has become more child-centered,” she says. “Boomer parents were very willing to make sacrifices for their kids, giving them the sense that it would continue until they were on their feet. Now parents are supporting kids’ lifestyles.”

But, she warns, continued fiscal assist could have negative consequences. “Because they have been protected, some children don’t learn reasonable ways to manage money, and they run into trouble.”

How parents sacrifice

Thirty percent of mothers and fathers that were surveyed say they have given up privacy due to adult kids moving back home. And 26 percent have admitted to taking on additional debts. Another 7 percent say they have been forced to delay retirement.

“If parents are going to financially support their adult children, they should first have a serious talk about their kids’ expectations so that everyone protects their financial futures,” Ted Beck says. “We all want to ensure the best for our children. But if you are taking on extra debt or delaying retirement to help your adult child, you could be making a mistake and putting your own financial future in jeopardy.”

Articles cited




Sunday, June 5, 2011

United States continues to wallow in growth recession

Think it’s the time to celebrate economic relief? Don’t get any ideas, suggests Investor’s Business Daily. Slow, inadequate growth is almost the same as backsliding, which typically is a typical indicator that a growth recession continues to be on.

Concerning a growth recession

A growth recession is when the economic growth is low enough that it creates net unemployment. Underachievement in job creation or very low growth is also Growth recession. With job contraction, there remains growth in a country’s real GDP. It is just going too slowly.

What the numbers look like

Here are just a couple of the signs that a growth recession is here, writes Investor’s Business Daily:

  • In May 2011, there were 38,000 private-sector jobs created according to ADP Payroll Services. That is much less than economists anticipated for a growing economy. It needed to be 100,000 jobs more.
  • Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed that there were 37,135 jobs cut in May. From April, that’s a two percent increase.
  • U.S. housing costs fell 4.2 percent in the first quarter.
  • There was a 4 percent decrease in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s mortgage application index. This happened in just one week at the end of May.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s factory activity index – an indicator of United States manufacturing health – dropped from 60.4 in April to 53.5 in May, the lowest score on the index since September 2009.

Getting back into the recession we left

Most economists believe the May 2.7 percent GDP in the United States isn’t enough to get unemployment back to normal. The only way for the U.S. government to avoid the double-dip economic downturn is to match the growth with the borrowing, which is at $1.5 trillion in 2011.

Michael Pento is the Euro Pacific Capital senior economist who believes that economic health will not return unless the U.S. changes things.

“Genuine government stimulus comes from low taxes, stable prices, reduced regulation and low debt,” said Pento. “Our economic policymakers have scrupulously avoided such remedies.”

We will be repeating what has just happened in summer 2011. This was what the Indypendent thinks will take place. Spending cuts and tax increases are apparent in almost every city and state. The Federal Reserve is backpedaling at the moment. Combine anything and the United States will likely face not just a growth recession, but a full-blown return to depression.

Growth recession at teatime

Information from


The Indypendent

Investor’s Business Daily

Friday, June 3, 2011

Aaron's rent-to-own accused of watching customers

Aaron’s, the Atlanta-based rent-to-own franchise, is being sued by over confidentiality issues by a Wyoming husband and wife. The couple alleges that a computer they rented last year was used to spy on them in their home. The suit has raised issues about confidentiality and the ethics of cyber technology.

Rented computer picture

The supposed violations came to light on December 22 of last year when a manager from a Casper, Wyo., store arrived at the home of Brian Byrd, 26, and his wife Chrystal, 24, to repossess a Dell computer. The manager wrongfully believed that they hadn’t made their rent-to-own payment. The manager showed Brian Byrd a picture of him using the computer in his home from a webcam right before he gave the manager a receipt.

The lawsuit has a comment from the manager. He said he was “not supposed to disclose that Aaron’s had the photograph.”

Somebody had downloaded spyware on the computer

The suit further asserts the rented computer was loaded with spyware designed to track keystrokes, make screenshots and take webcam images.

“It feels like we were pretty much invaded, like somebody else was in our house,” says Byrd. “Crystal gets online before she gets a shower and checks her grades. Who knows? They could print that stuff off there and take it home.”

Increasingly more ‘Kill switch’ scenarios popping up

Petere Swire is an Ohio state professor that explains the “kill switch” is a legal thing to do. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act will allow it to protect the industry. In an emergency, it would be essential to use a kill switch to turn off the machine. Swire continues. “But this action sounds like it’s stretching the self-defense exception pretty far,” he said.

Spyware designer also named in suit

Designerware LLC is situated in PA and was where the spyware used was manufactured. The lawsuit referred to Designerware in it. Aaron’s was not a consumer according to technical support Chief Tim Kelly.

Aaron’s corporation denies knowledge

There are over 1,140 company-owned Aaron’s stores and several franchised as well as the company is a nationwide corporation. Aaron’s supposedly doesn’t know of any franchises that use Designerware goods while saying the Byrds rented the computer from an independent franchise.

Cyber surveillance raises ethics problems

Right now, with computers in every household, cyber surveillance is more common. Computer tracking and video cameras are common in modern offices. Highways and public places almost always have cameras. Most cellphones are equipped with GPS components that can be used to monitor every step we take. Several question the ethics of these practices.

”We’re already concerned that Americans are tracked, followed and spied on as never before,” ACLU’s Jay Stanley said.

The comments lawmakers make

Just like the do-not-call list, the Don’t Track Me Online Act was just introduced. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., introduced it. The legislation would make it extremely hard for corporations to trade information on users. This is the user’s choice though.



News Tribune

PC Pitstop

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Everyone needs the regular Call of Duty service that can be signed up for

Activision hopes “Call of Duty” enthusiasts will answer the bell yet again for an upcoming monthly subscription program. “Call of Duty: Elite,” a regular subscription program, is currently preparing for testing the game and is accepting summer individuals. By the end of 2011, Activision might offer “CoD: Elite” to gamers for $7.99 or less per month.

The ‘CoD: Elite’ moneymaker great for Activision

Massively multi-player online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, for instance “World of Warcraft,” have been very popular. It just makes sense for Activision to get in on the money by doing a model for the online multi-player FPS which is a very popular game on the console and PC. Activision’s VP of Digital Business, Jamie Berger, explains that the “Call of Duty” universe will lock in players just like most modern video games.

“In an always-on world, the competition for our players’ time has exploded,” he told Wired. “Online interactivity and community is critical for us to face that world. It’s what sets apart games with growing audiences from really great games struggling to find an audience.”

The belief that ‘Black Ops’ will go ‘Elite’ makes Americans happy

”Call of Duty: Black Ops” will be showcased in “Call of Duty: Elite.” Black Ops was the best-selling game in United States history in February, NPD research confirms. There are over 30 million individuals that spend over 170 hours each year playing “Call of Duty” games.

Activision points out that “Elite” won’t cost supporters $60. “Call of Duty” enthusiasts won’t have to make a trip to the store. Players are able to continue the “call of Duty” saga online in many chapters with “Call of Duty: Elite” which is not really a game at all. Analyst Bill Harris at the blog Dubious Quality explained that the game should get FPS online multi-player supporters interested while being Activision’s “Holy Grail” they need.

How ‘Call of Duty: Elite’ works

GamePro explained that “CoD: Elite” will be awesome. More than player-versus-player battle will occur. The “Elite” game will have several categories. They will break down like this:

Career: Where total analysis of your play style and weapon choices occurs, as well as intensive play map details. If you think you’re an FPS pro but haven’t seen what ‘Elite’ can do, reconsider your professional status.

Connect: ”Call of Duty” followers can socialize here. Go crazy with it in chats and groups.

Compete: Matchmaking on FPS is really great. It is just like eHarmony style. Expect a fight. Firepower will be strong.

Improve: Get tips for “Call of Duty” here.

Articles cited

Call of Duty: Elite

Dubious Quality



‘Call of Duty: Elite’ Legend of Karl trailer (Note: Contains video game violence)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Unabomber stuff to be sold by U.S. Marshals

The U.S. Marshals Service has put a few of the personal things of Theodore John “Ted” Kaczynski, also called the Unabomber, up for auction. The online auction is underway and will continue until June 2. The proceeds will go to some of the victims of Kaczynski’s almost 20 yearlong mail bombing spree.

What will auction

The auction will sell about 60 lots of things found when Kaczynski was captured on April 3, 1996 in his cabin. The hooded sweatshirt and dark glasses he is known for could be found in these items. Other items consist of personal documents, for instance driver’s licenses, birth certificate, deeds, hand-written letters, checks and academic transcripts. Anything used by Kaczynski for instance bows and arrows, tools, books or clothing will be sold also along with photos. You can also buy a typewriter he used to write the Unabomber Manifesto, which is what individuals call it. The real name of it is The Industrial Society and Its Future. Almost 20,000 pages of that document, in both hand-written and typed versions, will also be auctioned.

The catalog, photos and information of all the auction items are available at the GSA auction site.

A domestic terrorist

Kaczynski was a mathematical prodigy after bring born in 1942 in Chicago, Ill. When he was sixteen, he got his undergraduate degree at Harvard. He then went to the University of Michigan and got a PhD in mathematics. Since society became more relied on technology, Kaczynski started to become frustrated. To be able to be “self-sufficient,” Kaczynski moved to a one-room cabin in Montana in 1971. He got the name Unabomber, because of University and Airline bomber put together, because of his sixteen homemade mail bombs he sent to many airlines, universities and other targets between 1978 and 1995. His bombs were responsible for killing three individuals and injuring 23 others. For a long time, Kaczynski was searched for by the FBI. He was finally arrested in 1996 after being turned in by his brother and sister-in-law. The “supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, is where Kaczynski is being held at the age of 69 in a life sentence without the poss! ibility of parole.

How it turned into an ironic thing

In a statement to the press, “We will use the technology that Kaczynski railed against in his various manifestos to sell artifacts of his life,” was what U.S. Marshal Albert Najera said.

Paying for his stuff

The money put into these items will be unclear. Nobody knows the value quite yet. The Marshals have a spokeswoman names Lynzey Donohue. “This is an unusual type of case,” she said. “It’s really difficult to put a value on these items because of the intrinsic value they have based on his notoriety.”

Articles cited

NY Daily News


The Sacramento Bee

GSA Auctions

Monday, May 23, 2011

Term life insurance exchanged by mixed policies

The nature of long-term care and life insurance policies has changed rapidly in these uncertain hard times. Many customers are reluctant to put out large amounts of money for future benefits, especially when those benefits may never become necessary. The insurance industry has changed this trend by selling combination goods that blend long-term-care with standard life insurance.

Choosing the long term care could possibly be good

Generally mixed life insurance policies utilize universal life, in which a portion of the death benefit may be used early to help pay for long-term care should it become necessary. These mixed policies have been available for a while but have recently been gaining popularity. A mixed product, combining two products into one, sounds attractive to many customers. A policy holder may still get life insurance even if the long-term car is not necessary.

The number of traditional policies still accessible

Sales of the hybrid policies more than doubled in 2010, according to Gebworth Financial Inc. By contrast, the sales of traditional long-term-care insurance have plummeted by nearly 25 percent over the last five years.

“Most people who purchase hybrid insurance are not purchasing it because they want life insurance,” said John Ryan, a Colorado-based broker. “They’re purchasing it because they need long-term-care insurance, and the sales pitch that you can get your money back no matter what is pretty compelling,”

Those that have retired

About 69 percent of Americas turning 65 each day will need long-term care at some point, according to Washington-based lobbying group for retirement homes, LeadingAge, with those numbers doubling by 2040.

Getting your use out of your policy

There are very different details on hybrid insurance plans with many different versions available. Usually a person is given a cash-value life insurance policy with the option to use it for long-term care benefits instead. When using the long-term care benefits, death benefits are no longer accessible. That is the tradeoff.

Reasons to stay away from it

There are several things to consider with a two-for-one product. Usually they’re strict with rules on combined products. There is no room to move. Usually a mixed product does not cover home care. It does not change for inflation either. The different long-term care accessible to be covered is typically specialized. It is impossible to predict future care needs, and often that is exactly what the insurance companies expect you to do. While purchasing a mixed product is cheaper than purchasing two different policies, it is also typically more expensive than purchasing a dedicated long-term care policy.

Make sure you know what you are doing

With any investment, including this one, you need to always stay well informed and know what you are getting. Make sure you know the product well. It always helps to have advice from an impartial financial adviser.


Dail Finance

Elder Law Answers


Sunday, May 22, 2011

NBA mock draft 2011 top 10 picks

The 2011 NBA Draft could turn out to be quite a snooze-fest, according to Bill Simmons and Chad Ford of ESPN. The following top 10 projections for an NBA mock drafts for 2011 start – and end in the minds of many – with Duke’s Kyrie Irving.

How about Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG (Duke)

Kyrie Irving is really great and will be a top-15 point guard most likely, although he is not amazing. Baron Davis was never good enough for the Cavs. Irving may be just what the team needs.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Enes Kanter, Center (Turkey) as an option

While on the Wolves, Kevin Love showed off a fantastic season. Still, the team could work on getting better. Keeping Love around may be hard. They may need a large man to help. The 6-foot-11, 272-pound Kanter is considered a gamble by some, however many scouts see him as a high-energy rebounder and defender who would make opposing guards think twice about strolling down the lane.

Utah Jazz to pick Derrick Williams, SF (Arizona)

Even though Williams was a power forward as a Wildcat, he will most likely be a small forward in the NBA. Utah may simply give up on the rest of the 2011 NBA Draft crop and ask for a popular male. This would be BYU’s Fredette.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonas Valanciunas, C (Lithuania)

The Cavs need a big male so Anderson Varejao is not alone. Valanciunas could be the perfect pick.

Toronto Raptors: Kemba Walker, PG (Connecticut) chances

Toronto seriously needs Kembra Walker. He can be the new point guard to help the Raptors out.

Washington Wizards have the choice of Kawhi Leonard, SF (San Diego State)

Leonard is a fantastic athlete while very good at rebounding and could be an excellent complement to John Wall with the Wizards. Leonard may be perfect to go with John Wall on the Wizards. He is an excellent rebounder and athlete.

Sacramento Kings: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky possibility

Speed, defense and a good outside shot from the point in Knight would allow the Kings to use Beno Udrih as the super backup or 2nd ball-handler the offense needs to really get moving.

Detroit Pistons: Jordan Hamilton, SF (Texas) possibility

With Tayshaun Prince leaving as a free agent, small forward becomes top priority. Hamilton can both shoot and rebound the ball.

Charlotte Bobcats wants Jimmer Fredette, Shooting Guard (BYU) just like everyone else

In order to make sure there is at least one consistent scorer, Charlotte will hope to get Fredette. Otherwise, Bismack Biyombo from the Congo should amp up the frontcourt athleticism while aggressively challenging shots.

Milwaukee Bucks: Tristan Thompson, PF (Texas)

Thompson is athletic and can run even though he is 225 pounds and 6-foot-8. If the Bucks are not gun shy following the failed Yi Jianlian pick from 2007, they may go international and snag Biyombo if he’s available.


Bleacher Report

Fox Sports

The Sporting News

2011 NBA Draft Lottery highlight: The final three

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The coffee addicted men could be glad to know coffee helps prostate cancer

Drinking excess amounts of coffee might be the way to get to a long life, as it might be able to ward off prostate cancer. A new research is being unveiled concerning coffee consumption and its effect on prostate cancers. It found that men who drank six cups a day or more had the lowest rates of prostate cancer, including the deadliest forms of it.

Motives for caffeine

A new study has just been released from the Harvard School of Public Health that will comes as good news to coffee houses guys addicted to caffeine, according to MSNBC. It is great for health to drink a ton of coffee even though there might be some down sides. This was shown as the chance of getting prostate cancer was much lower with a man who drank coffee a lot. The study, according to CBS, followed 48,000 men from 1986 to 2008 and gathered information about their coffee habits every four years. Those who had a habit of six cups or more had the smallest occurrence of prostate cancer, both generally and specifically the deadliest forms.

Results against what old study said

A study was done 30 years with opposite results by the Harvard School of Public Health. The research in the other research showed that it was flawed though. Coffee habits of patients were reviewed by asking them. Patients reported more specifically on their coffee habits when they had cancer. That phenomenon, known as “recall bias,” can contaminate results easily. The study just released showed that guys had 20 percent less chance of getting the deadliest forms of prostate cancer if they drank 6 or more cups a day. They had 60 percent less of a chance of getting the cancer at all too. Anyone who drank 3 or less cups a day had 30 percent less chance. The caffeine made no difference to the study.

Conclusions unknown

WebMD reports that the reason why there could possibly be this effect is not known although there are theories with antioxidants. Many health benefits, such as low risk of heart disease and cancer, have been shown to correlate with dietary antioxidants. Other studies on the benefits of coffee consumption have credited coffee consumption with lower risks for Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and gout. One in six guys is impacted by prostate cancer making it probably the most common cancer in men. Each year, over 30,000 prostate cancer fatalities occur. This is the U.S. rate.

Information from




Friday, May 20, 2011

North Carolina H810 could change rules on personal financing

For a change, lawmakers are showing some love for installment loan companies with proposed legislation H810. The proposed H810 legislation would relax a restriction within the North Carolina Consumer Finance Act to be able to permit a charge of up to $100 extra in processing fees on installment loans of $2,000 or less. Lawmakers are also seeking to add a handling charge of $3 per month for every $100 borrowed.

Marines being cautious with fee increases on loans

Borrowers would be affected by the higher loan fees that "encourage usurious lending" and put borrowers into a debtors prison easily, according to Michael Archer. He is the Marine Corps Installations East director of Legal Assistance. He took the time to denounce payday lending while he was at it. This is in spite of the fact that North Carolina currently has a ban on the practice.

"We have a lot of businesses, particularly lenders, that target military installations, large places like Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg," said Archer. "We have a very unsophisticated population as well. They have crosshairs on their backs and they are vulnerable."

This concern was pointed out by Archer even though the installations such as Camp Lejeune have very strict rules on loan companies. These are about how close the installment and military loan businesses can be to the military base at any time. Consumers will always discover a way if they need them though.

"It's very difficult, both procedurally and practically, to put a place off limits," Archer told the Daily News.

New topic of instruction inserted

Marines and families of the Marines will be able to go to some educational workshops if H810 is put into law. These will be started by Camp Lejeune financial counselor Lewis Summerville. All of the extra instruction would make it easier for military customers to make good decisions. They wouldn't get an installment loan without first knowing about them.

If educators like Summerville all start doing military lending education in the right way, then this would likely be the case. The "just say no" idea is all the North Carolina Marine families will be taught, the Jackson Daily News thinks.

"We can only educate and make sure they make the right choice in not taking that loan," said Summerville.

Research yourself

Most independent studies have shown that private loans do not trigger poverty. The loans really will contribute to financial well-being for many people. If Michael Archer and Lewis Summerville had taken the time to read existing research, perhaps they’d have valuable information to add to the installment and military loan dialogue.

Information from

Jacksonville Daily News–.html


North Carolina Consumer Finance Act

North Carolina professionals support installment loans

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sydney the location for Australian brothel

The Australian city of Sydney will soon be home to a dubious landmark. The biggest brothel in Australia will open its doors there. The largest building of its type in the country will officially take the title once remodeling is complete, and the existing structure becomes a three story, 40 room luxury resorts. Though Australia allows prostitution, very few countries do, and residents near the proposed brothel are not particularly pleased.

Suites accessible in reconstruction

An additional floor of suites will be added with the $12.7 million reconstruction in Sydney, Australia to the resort building while the number of rooms accessible will increase. MSNBC reports that the building will most likely become the largest Australian brothel, making it different from other hotel renovations. There will be two bedrooms with king beds, a spa and pool tables in the brothel, called Stilleto, on the third floor. There will be seven of these suites. There will be 40 rooms at Stilleto’s after the remodel. This doubles from the 20 accessible before.

How the neighbors feel

Stilleto caters to “lawyers, movie stars, accountants and professional athletes,” according to MSNBC. A three story brothel in the neighborhood makes some neighbors mad. The Sydney Morning Herald states the residents near Stilleto aren’t happy about the idea. They do not want people coming and going all night long. The neighborhood security will be tightened though with security guards on the building grounds, which does help ease this anger.

How most nations feel about it

Prostitution is only legal in eight counties in Nevada in the United States. Wikipedia states that other parts of the world look at it differently. Brothers are illegal while it isn’t regulated in most nations. Everyone involved must be 18 or older in Italy where brothels aren’t allowed although the trade is. Whether or not Ruby the Heartstealer got paid before she was eighteen by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has not yet been decided. The Christian Science Monitor reports he is in legal battle with it right now. Prostitution is illegal in most of the world, however, and the nations in which it is legal and regulated are a small minority.

Information from


Sidney Morning Herald

Christian Science Monitor


Cadillac replaces two old models with the new XTS

Cadillac’s new XTS model is supposed to come out next year. The XTS will replace both the STS and DTS models. The date for production to begin has yet to be declared. GM plans to sell off the remaining DTS and STS first, however.

Auto show reveals concept automobile to start with

The Platinum concept vehicle at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show was what Cadillac used to start its XTS. The auto will be built on a stretched form of GM’s front-wheel-drive Epsilon II platform (which underpins vehicles as diverse as the Chevy Malibu and the Buick LaCrosse) and will be built at GM’s Grand River plant in Lansing, Mich.

Many like the convenience and comfort in the auto

The production model will evidently be slightly narrower than the concept vehicle and feature a slightly longer rear overhang. The features will have connectivity and infotainment. Both the rear-seat and front seat passengers will get this. GM’s direct-injection, 3.6 liter V-6, will power the vehicle. It will have controlled shock absorbers so the ride is gentle.

If the production model remains true to the concept, the XTS could come with an all-wheel-drive option, various V-6 power plants and potentially a plug-in hybrid drive line. There has been no confirmation, but a rumor is that there could be 8-cylinder engine choices.

Cadillac goes up against BMW

Now that both the DTS and STS models are being changed in Cadillac’s lineup, the current entry-level CTS can move slightly up-market in an attempt to become a rival to BMW’s 5-series and the Mercedes E-class. This in turn will make room for the new, smaller ATS sedan (which is slated to arrive in the summer of 2012) to go up against the BMW C-class and the 3-series.

Old leaves so new can stay

Cadillac has already ceased production of the six-year-old STS. DTS is almost done too. The last will be built in the next month. Before the XTS replacement is built, Cadillac plans on selling the 900 STS models and 3,000 DTS models left.


Car and Driver


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Investors says US must increase taxes

In order to make a dent in the federal debt, foreign investors believe the U.S. must raise taxes, based on a new Bloomberg Global Poll. Almost two-thirds of those polled believe the Republican party is wrong that only spending cuts will reduce the deficit by a significant amount.

GOP and Obama not in agreement

Before the next fiscal year starts on Oct 1, Obama and GOP have to agree upon deficit-reducing measures, which 60 percent of investors do not think will take place. However, an even higher percentage of respondents (70 percent) are “confident” that Congress will raise the $14.29 trillion debt limit to be able to keep away from default that would send borrowing costs skyrocketing for every person, eliminate a lot of jobs and hurl stocks, home values and retirement savings into a financial abyss.

Obama popularity does not change the truth

After Osama bin Laden died, the popularity of Obama went up drastically. Still, investors are worried about what the GOP plan will do. Fifty five percent of the U.S. investors in the Bloomberg poll did not think it would be possible to “significantly” affect the federal debt without raising taxes, although many of the investors liked the GOP approach.

In the fiscal 2012, the U.S. budget debt is expected to hit $1.1 trillion. The fiscal 2011 will end with a huge deficit too. It could be about $1.5 trillion.

Taxation, without free stuff

About 40 percent of the federal budget includes Social Security and Medicare-related programs which typically have not been considered in spending budget cuts before. This has prompted some to assert that higher taxes are the only way to make a deficit-busting difference.

Cutting these entitlements is a very unpopular idea. Still, it would conserve a ton of money for the future if they might be cut. About 20 percent of the federal budget is Social Security. The Center on Spending budget and Policy Priorities states that this is about $707 billion yearly. About $732 billion goes to Medicare and related programs, which is about 21 percent.

While touching entitlements will likely remain a pipe dream, Harvard University economics professor Martin Feldstein suggests in a recent New York Times op-ed that a better alternative might be increasing tax revenue, rather than tax rates, by limiting tax deductions, credits and exclusions.

Rate of interest goes up

There’s a 10 year low that bond market yields have hit. Bloomberg states this bad news. As there is an inverse relationship between bond values and interest rates, numerous experts fear that interest rates will become dramatically higher, a traditional result of an industry crisis. There was a rise in the Bloomberg poll in the number of investors that think there will be another market crisis from 18 to 22 percent.

Information from


Center on Budget and Policy

New York Times


Cenk Uygur on taxes and the deficit

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 21, 2011 - Rapture or bust

Doomsday is coming again, according to Camping. May 21, 2011, will be the day. A $5 million billboard advertising campaign is trumpeting the day.

'The Bible guarantees it’ is said

“Cry mightily unto God,” admonish billboards advertising a May 21, 2011, Judgment Day broadcast by Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio network founder Camping. The broadcast is scheduled to air May 21 from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Family Radio affiliates, of which there are more than 150 across the U.S.

Camping believes May 21, 2011, can be the Rapture, when true Christians are gathered together in the heavens to meet with Jesus Christ. Then, on October 21, 2011, Camping believes the Earth and universe will be destroyed by God. That is just five months to wait. The last time Camping predicted these events would kick off was in Sept of 1994.

Doomsday forecasts aren’t an exact science

Camping is not unlike the many before him who forecasted the end of the world. They have all used the Bible to figure it out. Mathematical calculations are used to figure out when end of the world is. They use the idea that seven days is equal to seven millennia. Camping decided May 21, 2011 was 7,000 years after Noah was told by God there would be a global judgment which was based on the Hebrew calendar.

“The Bible has given us absolute proof that the year 2011 is the end of the world during the Day of Judgment, which will come on the last day of the Day of Judgment,” says Camping on

Proven untrue for doomsday forecasts

Four ends of the world predictions were proven to be untrue. Here they’re:

1806’s The Prophet Hen of Leeds

Leeds is an English town that allegedly had a chicken in 1806. Its eggs said, “Christ is coming,” allegedly. Someone carefully watched the egg laying process. This proved the eggs were being tampered with.

The Millerites, April 23, 1843

Between March 21, 1843 and the same time in 1844, New England farmer William Miller thought doomsday would occur. His followers, the Millerites, helped him determine an exact date. This is how April 23, 1843 came about. Followers sold much of what they owned. They didn’t even sell it for much money. The Seventh Day Adventists came out of the group.

End comes from Halley’s Comet in 1910

In 1881, Astronomers decided that 1910 would be the end. This would be due to a tail of Halley’s Comet that the Earth would pass through. Stories about mass extinction via poison gas made the front page of the New York Times, but by 1910, scientists knew better.

Heaven’s Gate scared many in 1997 with theories

There were 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult that took their lives in a mass suicide. The appearance of the Hale-Bopp comet in 1997 was interpreted as the coming of an alien spaceship. Heaven’s Gate leader Marshall Applewhite assured his followers that the only way to get on board for paradise was to leave their earthly bodies behind.

Information from


WFMY News 2

Wikipedia entry for Harold Camping

Doomsday and apocalypse (Beware: Contains scripture)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A prenuptial agreement can save you agony

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s noble wedding is set for April 29, and rather than the fairy-tale front, consumers promoter Clark Howard is marveling at the undercurrent. There’s a great deal of urging in the United Kingdom media for Prince William to sign a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. While unromantic, such marriage contracts are monetarily sound insurance. Article resource – Prenuptial agreements – Not just for royalty anymore by MoneyBlogNewz.

The facts about prenuptial agreements

There is a contract made before marriage or civil unions called a prenuptial agreement. Sometimes it is also called a premarital agreement, prenupt or prenup. The dividing of property and whatnot is divided in the prenup agreement before a divorce can occur. Provisions for child guardianship and forfeiture of assets in the event of indiscretions like adultery may also be present.

After marriage, a postnuptial agreement can be made too. It is just like a pernup.

The entire divorce taking place

When it comes to divorce, this is the way one in three first marriages end and one in 2 second marriages end. This is why Bankrate suggests everyone get a prenup.

“Marriage is not just an emotional and physical union — it’s also a financial union. A prenup and the discussions that go with it can help ensure the financial well-being of the marriage,” said New York City financial adviser Nancy Dunnan.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are not the only ones a prenup is for. It can be for anyone. Someone with money and assets starting off a marriage might want to protect that. There is nothing wrong with that.

“Those are sometimes the most jealously guarded assets because it has taken a lot of hard work to accumulate a small amount,” said Iowa lawyer Joseph Zwack, author of “Premarital Agreements: When, Why and how to Write Them.”

Knowing when a prenup is essential

According to Bankrate, if any of these things apply and you are about to wed or are already married, consult with an attorney:

  • Your assets consist of retirement, stock, companies or a home
  • Your business venture may lead to a large increase in income
  • The chance of an inheritance is there. It could possibly be coming from any person
  • There are children from another marriage. There could possibly be grandchildren also
  • The balance of prosperity between you and your spouse is not the same
  • One spouse is paying for another to go to college
  • There are elderly parents that need care. They might need care soon too
  • You’ve a medical degree or are trying to pursue one. Any lucrative license counts

Making your way to a prenup

Palm Beach County, Fla., lawyer Michael McDonough says that it is very important to be honest in this. Dunnan says that you have to do it earlier instead of later. It is possible to have fair agreements as long as there are attorneys on both ends of the agreement.

Articles cited


Clark Howard


‘He fell in love during the flight’

Monday, April 25, 2011

Most Americans think housing is nevertheless a good investment

The majority of Americans still think real estate is the best long term financial investment to make. Since the housing peak in 2006, home prices have dropped by a third and more than a quarter of all homes are worth less money than what was borrowed to buy them. It will take time, however homes will eventually start to appreciate once again. Article resource – Most Americans still believe in real estate as an investment by MoneyBlogNewz.

More than 80 percent of Americans have confidence in housing

The majority of Americans are confident in housing investments even with the economic downturn, a survey noted. The Pew Research Center, according to Reuters, found that 81 percent of Americans felt real estate was nevertheless the best long term investment. The Social and Demographic Trends project, as part of the Pew Research Center, surveyed over 2,000 adults asking if a home was the best long term investment. 44 percent said that they “somewhat agreed” while 37 percent said they “strongly agreed” with the statement. About 23 percent of people said that if they could go back and do it again, they would not have purchased their home. Still, most people believe homes will recover in three years.

Possible increase

Realtors, according to MSNBC, are hoping that sales pick up during the spring and summer of 2011 and the current trend of slowing sales is reversed. The number of home sales and values may end up staying down though which realtors and real estate industry analysts are worried about considering the amount of underwater mortgages. The National Association of Realtors has high hopes. It thinks that this year alone there will be a 7.4 percent increase in home sales. The tight lending practices are making several in the real estate industry mad. They say there is no way to recuperate without this change.

People unsure over it

The housing industry is in a hard place right now. The American Dream is danger due to this. An article on the USA Today website quoted Robert Shiller, co-founder of the real estate tracking Case-Shiller Index, as saying that individuals buy houses for security or lifestyle reasons. There was another economist that talked about the return on a home. Typically, the return is around 6 percent. With all the fees and depressed prices, it may be even worse. Most people aren’t getting a return at all.

Articles cited



USA Today

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do you pay your children for grades?

It’s going to come up. Moms and dads are going to have to choose whether to pay their kids for good grades. Some look at a little money as an extra incentive to excel, while others believe that it sends the wrong message to children about the value of both money and education. However if various studies of pay-for-grade programs at public schools are any indication, there’s a middle road that comes with educating kids as to the value of money. Article source – Paying kids for grades: Capitalism in action by MoneyBlogNewz.

Sounds like ‘School is your job’

Some say that a kid is going to school which is why it is very important to pay for grades. To be able to prepare for education that life becomes, a kid has to learn as much as possible. It is essential to pay for performance just like an employer pays.

Several parents are against the idea of a payment. They say that students have to learn to work hard in school for personal gain, rather than for rewards. With grade payment, could students be more prepared? Are internships that are unpaid what students are preparing for? Some employees feel abused because of unpaid internships. Is it really worth it?

Pay for good grades programs have been instituted in numerous public school systems to good impact, states the New York Times. Yet controversy has remained. While Urban League President Darwin Davis praised such efforts for mirroring the reward systems of United States capitalist society, Manhattan Institute fellow Sol Stern called it “an insult to every hard-working parent.”

Working for free is not great

Compensating kids for their work educates children how to work well. Moms and dads can do this to help their kids. In short, the lesson is that if you’re good at something, never do it for free. Children must understand the value of money if this is something they can understand. Money Crashers know how to help teach children the value of money:

  1. Money is king. Do not give teenagers gift automobiles or prepaid debit cards. The tangible feeling of handling dollars and cents as they purchase the things they want will help them understand the finite nature of money and help them visualize what it’s like to develop a savings.
  2. Jobs are essential. In addition to earning money for good grades, if children need more money, they should find part-time employment. Younger children might simply do yard work to earn a little bit if they’re younger and do not get an allowance. Teenagers can get a part-time job. They might even consider a paper route. Some children will understand money better after working for it. They will know what it takes to get a dollar.
  3. Charity. By donating time or money, children can learn about doing well. Children will learn how to appreciate money and education when they learn to be selfless.

Articles cited

Money Crashers

New York Times

Exxon is paying high school students for grades

Hedge fund industry resumes attracting billions, however for what?

Hedge funds appear to be looked at favorably yet again. In search of high returns, investors are turning yet again to hedge funds and their risky approaches. However there are more losers than winners overall in the hedge fund industry and several funds will most likely tip over before the year is out.

Hedge funds treading water

The hedge fund industry attracted $22 billion from investors in March, the highest rate in over a year, according to The 2008 all-time high is almost being hit with the hedge fund business at $2.5 trillion. This is 83 percent of that high number. A few hedge funds are doing really well. The rest of them are nevertheless struggling to make money though. In fact, states that about 35 percent of 2,500 funds that voluntarily report performance have yet to return to their high water marks. While investors are seeing returns, the hedge funds themselves cannot charge performance fees until the assets they manage return to their pre-financial crisis peak. In order to get to the right place, a hedge fund with $100 million that lost 25 percent during the meltdown has to get a 35 percent return at the very least. There might be years before the fund can go back to normal. That normal 20 percent could be hard to get.

The manipulation in the hedge funds

The management fees of about 2 percent of the assets are charged while client expenditures are also charged which is the way hedge funds are able to get money up. Others who lost most of their client’s money simply shut down, reopen under a different name, entice new investors and start collecting performance fees. Then it is business as usual, which contains classic forms of hedge fund industry manipulation. For hedge funds that have returned to performance fee territory, most of them inflate reported returns by purchasing up their own holdings the last few seconds before a quarter concludes. After their fabricated results are recorded, they dump the stock. A study was done on this to show it is true. Toulouse School of Economics, Wharton, Ohio State and Swiss Finance Institute were all a part of this. The last-second rallies are good for stocks with a lot of hedge fund ownership. This was shown in the research to benefit more than normal. After the manipulation,! stocks with high hedge fund ownership also trended toward lower returns on the first day of the month.

Huge increases for hedge funds

Business experts believe that in 2011, a hedge fund shake out will happen making it so some of them disappear while many are attempting to make a recovery. This isn’t new. It occurs often. According to, the median return of 1,400 hedge funds tracked over the past five years is 41 percent. Several hedge funds lost then. There were 3,000 totally dropped. According to Brett Arends at MarketWatch, the great numbers reported by the hedge fund industry only include a few of the survivors. His own “vanilla portfolio” was in contrast to 2,229 hedge funds. All of these started in 2001. The vanilla portfolio gained 94 percent. If the industry were to match the vanilla portfolio, it would need all the hedge funds that did not do better. They would have all needed to get 60 percent. This didn’t happen. A fifth of the 535 survivors didn’t come close to matching this.

Articles cited

Market Watch

New York Times

All About Alpha

14 banks ordered to pay homeowners back for foreclosures

The banks that wrongfully foreclosed on people in the robosigning scandal have been ordered to pay those people back by the federal government. Though the individuals who have had to endure this injustice can be repaid, the exact number of people who were foreclosed on without having done anything wrong isn’t known yet.

How banks lose with fees

Federal regulators recently reached a settlement with the financial institutions involved in the robosigning scandal, in which foreclosure proceedings were improperly started against homeowners because bank officers could not be bothered to do their due diligence on the paperwork concerning the state of the homeowners’ personel loans. Part of the settlement agreement, according to Reuters, is that any property owners who were wrongly foreclosed on have to be repaid by the financial institution that did it. Total, there were 14 businesses. USA Today reports that they’re Ally Financial, Aurora Bank, EverBank, HSBC, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Banks, MetLife Bank, OneWest Bank, PNC, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Citibank. There will even have to be payments made by loan service businesses MERSCORP and Len! der Processing Services. The institutions will contact impacted homeowners soon.

Total fallout to be determined

The numbers of people that have to get paid or the fines that can be placed have not been added together yet. The banks might end up with $20 billion in fines. This has been recommended by government officials. To further add to the headaches of these institutions, this is only from the settlement with the Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Every state lawyer general still has settlements pending along with federal agencies.

Mortgage costs to go up

Banking and real estate insiders are insisting the new legislation and increased regulatory scrutiny will increase the costs of lending a mortgage to a prospective homeowner. There were new rules added on mortgage officer compensation by the Federal Reserve. This means that loan officers will lose commission, reports MarketWatch. Most institutions are no longer giving out commission depending on interest rates on the mortgages. That means a lot of profit will be lost. The customer advocacy group, the Center for Responsible Lending, said that this will eventually be passed on to the customer instead of the banks.

Articles cited


USA Today


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ad-supported Kindle to ship at $114

Amazon is in a position to ride the wave of revolution in the print industry, thanks to its Kindle system. Industry studies indicate that the Kindle currently holds a 60 percent share in the e-reader market, a figure that will no doubt improve as the company introduces the $114 Amazon Kindle with Special Offers. However there’s a caveat for people, states the Christian Science Monitor. The latest Kindle offering will be ad-supported. Post resource – Amazon to release ad-supported Kindle for $114 by MoneyBlogNewz.

Putting ads on a kindle; pay less

The first generation Amazon kindle in 2007 cost $399. The price deduction never included ads before this. Doing this, the e-reader market could be breached making the iPad competition. May 3 is when the kindle will start with Special Offers. Target and Best Purchase will sell the ad-supported version of the Kindle 3 in stores at that time.

Founder and CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos state it is a “chicken in every pot” move. Every person will want the Special Offers $114 kindle:

“We’re working hard to make sure that anyone who wants a Kindle can afford one,” he said via a statement.

An ad-based kindle might bright out typical concerns. These concerns were displayed as responders on a Christian Science Monitor article on price cuts. The price of books was brought up by one reader that claims kindles for free with advertisements would be okay with $0.99 books. Another reader concurs that a $25 discount isn’t enough to make up for the presence of ads, however one thing experts believe Amazon has done right is to isolate the ads to the Kindle’s screensaver and the bottom of the home screen.

“It’s very important that we didn’t interfere with the reading experience,” Kindle director Jay Marine told the Associated Press.

The price is needed

Getting to the $99 Kindle for Christmas 2011 is essential, TechCrunch believes. That is what the $114 Amazon Kindle is leading up to with its Special Features. 99 is a magical number. Most marketing would suggest this.

However, new research from New York’s Columbia Business School indicates that the advantage is more imagined than it is real anymore. A dollar plus approach, adding a penny, was more effective than the dollar minus approach, taking a penny away. The Columbia study showed this clearly. Sales of products that used the dollar-plus method increased by 3 percent, and consumers felt greater trust for dollar-plus brands as the costs were perceived as being less manipulative.


Christian Science Monitor

Columbia Business School

Knowing and Making


Kindle sales tripled after last price drop

Twitter bribed by payroll tax break to stay by the Bay

In an 8-to-3 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has decided in support of an ordinance that will give local business Twitter among others a tax break from the city’s corporate payroll tax on brand new hires, states the Los Angeles Times. The 1.5 percent tax shelter will be good for the next six years, so long as corporations like Twitter maintain their physical San Francisco offices. San Francisco Mayor Lee lauded the vote as an economic boon for the city, however critics on the city board see a negative precedent set by such a large city having to stoop to court a business with tax shelters. Article source – City of San Francisco grants Twitter a payroll tax break by MoneyBlogNewz.

It is ‘rejuvenation’ for Twitter to be there

Lee says that keeping Twitter in San Francisco could only have happened with the payroll tax break.

“This moment represents a real step forward in the effort to revitalize and transform the Central Market area,” he said. “Central Market and the Tenderloin have been burdened with high vacancies and blight for decades.”

While Twitter officials would not comment on the payroll tax exclusion Wednesday, Lee told the San Francisco Chronicle that he appreciated Twitter’s enthusiasm for helping revitalize those key business districts. Those areas need some job creation. It would help out San Francisco a lot.

“There is great synergy between Twitter and the arts organizations and small retail businesses who are looking to expand in the area," said Lee. "The city can work collaboratively with businesses, community-based organizations, property owners and area residents to catalyze meaningful change.”

Tax holiday may not be such a fantastic thing

The Chronicle states that the tax break can be saving Twitter a lot of money. About $22 million can be saved in taxes in just six years. The $22 million isn't something every person is thrilled about. City supervisor John Avalos explained that San Francisco really needs the money.

“I don’t believe giving an exception to our payroll tax is the way to go,” he said. “I believe that businesses in San Francisco and around the country should be socially responsible. … If we allow a company to threaten to leave, then give them a tax break so they don’t, we’re setting a bad precedent."

Information from

Los Angeles Times

San Francisco Chronicles

San Francisco Mayor's Office

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on corporate tax holidays and offshoring

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Additional banks ending debit card advantages

Debit card rewards have become endangered species at large banks, which are cutting the programs because of a possible cap on interchange fees. The laws which were passed in order to perfor4m financial reform the good of consumers are starting to have ripple effects. The cost of protection for customers may be a loss of convenience and some tighter conditions from financial institutions. Legislators are starting to debate whether financial reform is too costly to keep on the books. Resource for this article – More banks ending debit card rewards by MoneyBlogNewz.

Safeguarding customers take away rights

banks are desperately attempting to discover new ways to make money and save money. This is because of the proposed cap on interchange fees, also called "swipe fees," where merchants are required to pay banks anytime a card is swiped. Free checking programs and debit card rewards have landed on the chopping block. The debit card rewards program is being ended by JP Morgan Chase while others are following, CNN reports. Debit rewards are no longer offered to customers of Wells Fargo subsidiary Wachovia while April 15, Wells Fargo will follow. Right now, Citibank is "in the process of evaluating potential changes." More than likely, its advantages programs will also end.

Paying even additional for a financial reform to work

USA Today reports that the Government Accountability Office estimated a $1 billion per year price tag on the financial reform bill or Dodd Frank Act. The creation of a totally new agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has already brought on controversy and infighting among lawmakers. Over 2,000 new employees would be needed to enforce laws, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in accordance with Government Accountability Office estimates. Congressional Republicans have been openly critical of the agency, which some assert has too much authority. The special adviser to the president in charge of setting up the agency, Elizabeth Warren, has defended the agency, saying the "Wall Street behemoths" that created the need for the agency should be targets, not the CFPB, in accordance with Bloomberg. All customer financial products will be reviewed by the agency that will be in charge of them, including personal loans and charge cards.

Credit could be lost

The financial reform laws are ones that are designed to protect consumers. Financial institutions won’t be able to trick customers into anything anymore. It might be a good idea. Still, financial institutions are already trying to make up for losses. Debit card advantages and free checking are falling by the wayside, but banks cannot impose fees with impunity. Loan credit is likely to get tighter, though that also means banks and loan companies cannot gouge consumers out of the blue. However, the debate is going to be whether the loss of convenience is worth it.



USA Today


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Comprehending the problem of staying away from credit

It is a catch-22: To be able to build credit, one must have some credit to go by. However, several creditors won’t lend to customers with thin or non-existent credit histories. If your credit score is exceptional but you’ve been denied for a mortgage, for instance, it’s probably because you don’t have enough active credit irons in the fire. Article source – Understanding the down side of avoiding credit by MoneyBlogNewz.

The super-responsible person never has fun

Anybody who is super responsible with credit may not do as well off as they think. Paying off student loans right out of the gate, staying away from excessive use of credit and generally living debt-free will save money in the long term, however some creditors do not view the credit-phobic kindly. There are a lot of people that use credit, but have many choices to select from. It can look bad to have credit inquiries too often though.

Having little credit history and being a serial charge card applicant can impact credit negatively, says Rod Griffin, public education director for the credit bureau Experian. Showing an ability to handle a reasonable number of open, active credit sources over time is paramount in illustrating credit-worthiness to creditors, including mortgage loan companies.

Pay off loans, however keep some credit active

The argument Griffin has is that it is not bad to pay off loans early. This is regardless of what credit experts say. You’ll have good marks stay for about 10 years on a FICO report. At the exact same time, only seven years are needed to get rid of negative marks. Some consumers will pay off loans quickly. This makes some creditors less likely to lend. Some creditors will say no to a credit application just because there are not three accounts open and active for about 24 months.

Only some charge cards should be used

Do not take on a lot of charge cards if you’re a college student that is just beginning to build credit. You will find some students that are responsible enough to handle the card. The one or two cards might help the students in these cases.

Change is taking place though. Griffin explains that this could change everything. The ability a young person has to building credit is overlooked due to the new Charge card Act the Obama administration started. By restricting credit card company access to college students, some experts see more limited opportunities for building credit history.

Using just money can hurt credit

You will not be building credit with a money only lifestyle, even though you also won't have debt. When in an emergency, use an installment loan and no credit check loan while also having credit accounts that you pay on each month. You can avoid building up too much debt on a charge card with these goods even though they won't make a difference on a credit history without reporting.

Information from



Understanding the Credit card Act

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Increase in mortgage insurance coming to FHA

Federally supported mortgages, last year, got more costly. In April of this year, the cost will go up all over again. This increase will increase the overall expense of low-cost mortgages. Article resource – Cost of FHA loans set to increase again by MoneyBlogNewz.

The place of FHA loans

Specific mortgages get home loans from the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA doesn't give bad credit personal loans. Instead, it insures mortgages for other loan companies to lend. A down payment between 3 and 6 percent is required instead of the 10 percent standard mortgage down payment with an FHA-insured loan. FHA mortgages could be taken out for any amount up to $729,750. There are many that want to own a home but cannot make a down payment. Typically they can nevertheless make a mortgage payment though.

How much you pay for FHA loans

Borrowers don't have to worry about the difference between FHA loans and regular mortgage loans. There isn't much of a difference. Borrowers are required to pay mortgage loan insurance with FHA loans so that the federal government will repay the lender if something goes wrong. For many years, FHA loans required a 0.5 percent premium be paid as mortgage insurance. The amount went up 0.9 percent in 2010. Now the total is at 1.15 percent. This was after another 0.25 percent increase in April. FHA borrowers have to pay 1.15 percent additional of the mortgage. This can be added to monthly payments. For those who have a $157,000 mortgage, this can be a pretty large increase. It means $400 a year extra.

FHA has good and bad about it

The FHA wrote mortgage insurance for the first quarter of 2011 for $72.1 billion in loans. The FHA wrote more refinancing loans since There are fewer loans than in previous years. It is not all bad news though. There are fewer defaulting FHA loans. There is also bad news. In order to stay solvent, the FHA will have to increase rates still. Borrowers should expect rise in mortgages. This will occur on average. This could show a recovery in the economy or that mortgage lending nevertheless makes the federal government nervous. Either way, the boon of low interest rates is sure to end soon.

Articles cited

Tampa Bay Times

Total Mortgage

Real expense of nuclear power apparent at Fukushima

Resurgence was brewing for nuclear power, however the Fukushima disaster might have nipped it in the bud. However, the darker side of nuclear energy has been exposed by Japan’s struggle to contain radiation from the reactor damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. Measures to protect nuclear reactors from earthquakes in the future might be so costly that investors will think twice before believing that an investment in nuclear energy could be profitable. Article resource – Fukushima disaster lays bare the true cost of nuclear power by MoneyBlogNewz.

Getting nuclear power paid for

About 62 percent of the public was interested in nuclear power in a Gallup poll in 2010. This was because of the idea of nuclear power as a clean, reliable energy source. The Obama administration announced plans to provide $54.2 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of nuclear power plants. But even prior to the Fukushima disaster, it was doubtful that new nuclear reactors would be under construction in the U.S. anytime soon, according to Mark Cooper of the Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment. Cooper gave a presentation at the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada, where he said there was a United States nuclear industry bubble that was not going to last soon. The bubble began to inflate in 2001 when the Bush administration started heavily promoting nuclear energy with billions in loan guarantees. The nuclear industry was not doing as well as anticipated by 2008. Natural gas became a cheap option while the recession began. The othe! r clean energy possibilities helped bring it down as well.

Nuclear power starting to cost more

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, building new reactors could become even more cost prohibitive. Cooper's research shows that there was a 95 percent increase in construction costs after the Pennsylvania Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Every person had to pay 40 percent more in electricity because of this. Construction costs went up 89 percent causing electricity to rise 42 percent in 1986 after the Ukraine Chernobyl disaster. The price of construction goes up quite a bit after accidents occur for nuclear reactors. This is as the safety needs to be addressed causing a design change. Due to the Fukushima incident, the United States already has the Nuclear Regulatory Commission together to start figuring out what changed have to be made.

Investors cannot risk it

Clean energy alternatives, like wind, solar and natural gas, are looking like something more investors are willing to invest in over nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster. The nuclear plant risk is one utility might pass on as well. Sometimes you do not want to pay much for energy. If this is the only consideration, nuclear energy makes the most sense. The cost to clean up a nuclear accident aside, it is cheaper to do most other options. Onshore wind farms are 35 percent cheaper than nuclear power plant building. The world can get electrical power from several alternative sources. The nuclear power costs to the economy are avoided with them. For savvy investors, clean energy alternatives promise more profitable opportunities.



Fast Company

The National

Google Books judgment depending on copyright and antitrust worries

Google’s vision of a universal virtual library has hit a snag in court . Google settled with author and publisher groups for $125 million to get the go ahead for the project, however those opposed to it cited copyright and antitrust worries. Authors and publishers, which have become allies of Google in the case, said the Google Books ruling made it clear as to what changes must be made to eventually get the negotiation approved.

Settling on Google Books

To be able to try to scan all published books and make them accessible to everyone who wants them, the program Google Books was started. Due to the book-scanning project, Google got sued in 2005 by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. In 2008, Google agreed to pay $125 million up front and provide the means for authors and publishers to get paid any time their books are viewed online. The settlement has been mired in the legal system as opponents for instance Amazon, Microsoft, the Justice Department, copyright experts and some foreign governments argued against it. On Tues, Manhattan federal court judge Denny Chin said the Google Books settlement would solidify the company’s search monopoly and give it the right to exploit published works without the permission of copyright holders.

What orphan works has to do with this

There was one objection that Judge Chin had probably the most and it was to a provision in the Google Books settlement. This would, unless an author and publisher opted out, allow to business to digitize any books. It would look better, states Chin, with an "opt in" choice instead. The opt-out provision was written because of an issue with so-called “orphan works.”. Anytime a book has a copyright holder that can't be found or is unknown, it is an orphan work. An opt-in would make it impossible to use orphan works, Google states. The point of this was for Google Books to be able to consist of orphan books to be accessible to everyone. Many say that Congress, not a settlement or lawsuit, should be in charge of making the decision on orphan texts.

Antitrust issues

Every book written is being offered in the book scanning project that is meant to "democratize knowledge" which means over 130 million books is integrated. Antitrust worries are there as well though. Nobody would be able to compete with such a complete library as Google would have with this program. Other critics of Google Books said offering exclusive access to millions of books would put Google in an unassailable position in Internet search. As the battle goes on, Google has scanned about 15 million books. Books with expired copyrights can be accessed via Google's Book Search, as well as about 20 percent of copyrighted titles Google has licensed from publishers. Sample text can be accessed from copyrighted titles that have not been licensed to Google.

Information from

New York Times

Financial Times

PC World

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Demand diminishing between companies as durable products costs rise

Orders of durable products have fallen in the past month, which is being attributed to weaker consumer demand, among other things. Orders for durable goods, or manufactured products that last for long periods of time, rose in January, but increasing prices may have put a damper on the willingness of businesses to order such products. However, orders for transportation increased, so plane and automobile manufacturers are shipping more units.

Dropping demand not hurting transportation

Transportation has been doing really great, states AOL News. This is during a time where there has been a huge decrease in the amount of durable products being ordered. There was a 1.9 percent increase in February in vehicles and trucks orders. Orders for commercial aircraft rose by 26.7 percent. Congress isn't worried about getting new defense aircraft so those order dropped 18.4 percent. It’s the fourth time in the last five months that there was a decrease in durable goods. In fact, in February, there was a 0.6 percent decrease, including transportation.

Price goes up

The increase in gas means it costs more to drive customer goods, states CNN. Also, the rising oil and gas prices mean a rise in energy costs. Smuckers and Kraft, parent companies, elevated costs for Folgers and Maxwell House coffee. A steady increase in customer costs has been shown. The energy cost increase isn’t helping this increase. You will find non-essential products being purchased for instance the iPad 2. More than likely, consumers will spend less money on these things as food prices increase.

Costly summer likely ahead

There is no shortage of supply of gas causing the price to go up. MSNBC states that gas is increasing anyway which could hurt consumers after hurting retailers. Transportation costs affect goods, in the more it costs to get things like Huggies diapers and T-shirts to stores, the more stores have to charge for them. The cost of essential items for instance food is going up because businesses aren't purchasing durable goods and producers are raising costs. The things individuals will always buy, such as gas, coffee or bread, are the ones producers can charge more for. A huge decrease in non-essential items mean someone could get a cheap iPad. CNBC states this is only for people that have some additional money after all the price increases.

Articles cited

Daily Finance




IE9 surpassed by Firefox 4 in downloads at release

Internet Explorer nine appeared on the scene about a week before Firefox 4 was released. Firefox 4 had three times downloads in the first 24 hours than Internet Explorer 9 had a week earlier. Microsoft could be faulted for some of the beating, because Internet Explorer 9 has no support for Windows XP, while Firefox 4 does.

Higher number of downloads of Firefox 4 than Internet Explorer 9 by a long shot

On Tues., Firefox 4 launched. It was downloaded about 7 million times in the first 24 hours it was out. One day after Internet Explorer 9 was launched, 2.4 million users had downloaded the upgrade. IE9 is definitely losing to Firefox 4. Nevertheless, nothing can compare to the "Download Day" that Mozilla did to win a Guinness World Record with Firefox 3.0 having 8 million download in the first twenty-four hours. In Europe, Mozilla is very popular. That is where much of the Firefox 4 downloads ended up coming from. Users in Europe logged 44 percent of Firefox 4 first-day downloads. About 26 percent came in North America. Next was Asia. This was where 20 percent of users came from. The remainder of the connected world included the rest.

No more Windows XP compatibility for Microsoft

The plans Microsoft had for Internet Explorer 9 meant that Firefox 4 was bound to win the first day download competition. It did not even seem like a competition anymore. Internet Explorer 9 was only developed for Windows 7 and Windows Vista by Microsoft. CEO Steve Ballmer might end up needing a personal unsecured loan after that decision. IE9 will not support Windows XP, even though the 10-year-old operating system is used by more than 61 percent of Windows machines that went online in Feb., according to the Web metrics company Net Applications. Firefox engineering director Jonathan Nightingale told GeekWire that offering Windows XP users a high-quality experience with Firefox 4 was difficult, however the user group was too large to leave behind. Microsoft wasn't planning on wasting time developing Internet Explorer 9 "to the lowest common denominator," according to a statement about it. Microsoft might be attempting to convince Windows XP users to upgrade. It w! ould seem logical.

The money Firefox brings in

Mozilla has high states in the market for a browser. Because Mozilla displays links in the search bar of the Firefox browser, it gets money while Microsoft and Google track user information to make money. As users for Firefox multiply, Mozilla, a non-profit foundation, generates more revenue. There was a 34 percent increase from 2008 to 2009 in revenues going from $78 million to $104 million. Currently, market share mostly goes to Internet Explorer at 56.8 percent. It was at 68 percent in 2009 which means it has dropped. Due largely to Firefox 4 launch a delay, Firefox has lost 2.5 percentage points in the past year and has a 21.7 percent market share. Google Chrome has grown to 11 percent market share from nothing, doing really well.

Articles cited




Monday, March 14, 2011

A summary of several frequently unnoticed tax write-offs

In this economy, unnoticed tax deductions are a crying’ shame. Unnoticed tax deductions lead to millions of working class individuals paying more than they should. But you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a CPA to discover a lot of tax deductible expenditures.

Tax deduction values

Instead of taking the standard tax deductions, about 46 million U.S. taxpayers will itemize. This means the government ends up losing about $1 trillion in tax dollars. About 85 million taxpayers use standard write-offs to protect another $700 billion. Choosing the standard tax break means many people are missing out on free cash. Several could pay fewer taxes each year if they were to itemize. Even those who take advantage of tax write-offs for instance interest paid on mortgages and student loans, real estate property taxes and state sales taxes might be giving the government extra money.

Career-related tax deductions

Most people do not realize there is a tax deduction for any expenses caused when looking for a job. The U.S. job industry has been terrible lately meaning several individuals are missing this tax break. Any job hunters expenditure is deducted as long as that job hunter has a total itemized deduction that is greater than 2 percent of the adjusted gross income. This is only allowed if the job search is in the very same industry as the previous job. Unless a first time job hunter is moving over 50 miles for the job with 14.5 cents per mile and moving expenditures deducted, first time job hunters cannot deduct job hunting expenses. For working class individuals going back to school to change careers, $2,500 of college tuition can be claimed as a tax credit. While a tax break lowers taxable income, a tax credit lowers the taxes owed. Single taxpayers making $80,000 or less or married couples making $160,000 or less qualifies for the tuition tax credit.

More unnoticed tax deductions

You will find tax deductions that get unnoticed. This involves deductions for home and family. As more Americans take care of their elderly parents, they become eligible for a substantial tax deduction. When paying over 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income for this person, they may be able to get a dependent parent deduction. In fact, over half of the parent's financial support comes from them. There have been a lot of United States automaker incentives for purchasing a new vehicle. In 2010, buying a new car means you are able to deduct the sales tax, even in case you are not doing an itemized deduction, as long as you made under $135,000. Taxpayers that made energy efficient improvements in their home can get green energy tax credits up to $1,500. The Making Work Pay tax credit was available too. It won't be much longer before the Making Work Pay tax credit isn't accessible anymore. 2010 is the last year for it. This tax credit is often taken care of by employe! rs who withhold less, but singles can take $400 off their tax bill and married couples can save $800 by completing Schedule M along with the 1040 form.

Articles cited

MSN Money

U.S. News and World Report

ABC News

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Global food inflation starting to hit U.S. grocery budgets harder

Food prices in the U.S. are rising at an accelerated speed. Checkout at the supermarket is getting more painful in the U.S. as need rises globally for key commodities used in food production. Source of article – Global food inflation starting to hit U.S. grocery budgets harder by MoneyBlogNewz.

Costs of food going up is a problem to deal with

There was a year-over-year increase of food inflation in January of 1.8 percent. The U.S. Consumer Price Index came out to state this. With the rising fuel prices and bad weather, the cost for many goods is going up. The need is increasing right along with it. So far, the impact of these factors has been most dramatic in meat costs. For example, due to tightening supplies, corn costs reached a 30-month high in January. Feeding livestock takes corn. That means it costs more to pay for livestock to live. More people in developing countries such as China and India want more meat too. There has been a 1.5 billion pound increase in beef exports in the U.S. This has happened in just five years time.

Average U.S. food costs

With the Global supply of meat, consumers in the U.S. have to bid against other countries. A year ago, the price for meat was down. In just that time, poultry costs have gone up 2 percent, beef went up 6 percent and pork went up 12 percent in cost. Rising Global commodity prices are also affecting other items in the food cart. There has been a huge increase in bread, milk and egg prices according to January CPI data. The price of wheat has gone up while the coffee bean went up 77 percent last year. That means cereal and coffee are now luxury items to buy. The 2011 expectations for pork are insane. There is anticipated to be a 10 percent increase in prices. Beef costs are expected to rise more than 7 percent. U.S. customers will be eating more chicken, which is anticipated to rise in cost a little more than 5 percent.

Perspective for price of food in 2011

Overall, U.S. food prices are anticipated to rise 3 percent to 4 percent this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The idea that this inflation in food costs won't affect Americans is there. U.S. policy makers don't want to admit to the truth. The Senate Banking Committee heard from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke last week who said that customers will have an effect that is "temporary and relatively modest" from the food inflation. The Fed doesn’t factor in food and energy costs when it calculates inflation, but more than 12 percent of after-tax income in U.S. households is now spent on fuel and food. Consumers aren't happy with the increases in costs. This is because unemployment is still extremely high while those who are employed are not having an increase in wages anytime soon. In 2008, the average taxpayer earned $33,000 a year, far less than two decades ago.

Information from

CNN Money” target=”_blank

Seeking Alpha” target=”_blank—and-oil—to-lead-climb-in-us-food-prices–2903.html” target=”_blank

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Microfinance founder Yunus terminated by Bangladesh government

Muhammad Yunus, head of the Grameen Bank and Nobel Laureate, was thrown out of his placement by the Bangladeshi government. Yunus, the original head of Grameen Bank, is popular for his work in the arena of microfinance, lending small loans to the poor to help them start businesses. Yunus is a noted and vociferous critic of the Bangladeshi government, and some feel it is only an intimidation tactic by the government. Source for this article – Microfinance pioneer Yunus fired by Bangladesh government by MoneyBlogNewz.

Trying to get Nobel Prize winner out

Yunus was forced out of his Grameen Bank placement. NPR reports the Bangladeshi government is responsible for this. While director of Grameen Bank by Bangladesh Bank which is the central Bangladesh Bank in the nation, Yunus was ordered out of the position after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. As Bank directors are required to retire when 60 years old, Bangladesh Bank claims that Yunus was not complying. Yunus is 70, however Grameen Bank was founded under a law passed in 1983 which exempts Yunus from the statute. He was given an indefinite term of office as managing director of Grameen Bank in 2000, when he reached the age of 60. Yunus is still in the job while Grameen is combating this.

Microcredit icon and government fight continuously

For years Yunus and the Bangladeshi government have been fighting. Yunus has previously accused the government of corruption, while government officials termed the small loans that Grameen lends to the impoverished as “sucking the blood from the poor.”. In 2007, Yunus tried to start a political party that failed. Officials have been looking at the operations of Grameen Bank to root out any possible malfeasance for months, after allegations were made of an improper funds transfer, according to the New York Times. All funds were redeposited after Grameen transferred donations from the Norwegian government straight to a Grameen affiliate without the Norwegian government finding out over it. This amount was for $100 million.

Key figure in fight against poverty

Many know and love Yunus and Grameen Bank. This is due to the microfinance loans used to battle poverty in the world by the Bank. Very poor, mostly women, are able to get small loans from Grameen Bank to be able to get a small industry started. For instance, a very poor clothing maker could get a microloan for a sewing machine and fabric and set up a business and an income. Women make up 97 percent of Grameen’s borrowers, according to USA Today, and the Bank has more than $10 billion in loans. The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize award was given to Yunus and Grameen Bank due to help with poverty conditions. Bangladesh did much better after these loans were made. Many feel like putting the poor in a placement where they now have debt is a poor choice since it encourages a bad practice, getting the microcredit model criticism. Others are worried because microlending in other countries has lead to violence when it comes to collecting payments and other corrupt practices.

Articles cited

USA Today

New York Times