Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Defending the Fed and Not Worrying about Inflation

November 4, 2011

The Federal Reserve has a lot of critics these days. There’s a lot of fear that the Fed’s aggressive policies are setting the stage for much higher inflation. John Makin, in his latest monthly commentary, counters those criticisms head on. He concise spells out how the Fed can cause inflation and why its recent policies […]

Lessons People Won’t Learn

November 4, 2011

I don’t mind when people disagree with me. What I do mind is when people don’t learn anything from history, especially when those people control important institutions where their poor decisions adversely affect the rest of us. Too many people in finance and government didn’t learn the lessons of the Long-Term Capital Management bankruptcy of […]

The Enormity of the Euro Debt Crisis

November 3, 2011

Just how big is it? No one really knows. The policymakers certainly underestimated it from the early stages until recently. The problem is the tie-ins between banks and governments and cross dealing between them. This piece by Gerald O’Driscoll spells out a lot of the cross relationships. It doesn’t try to put numbers on the […]

Countering the Attack on Medicare

November 3, 2011

Once the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 was enacted, government leaders began the push to reduce the cost of the program. Their main focus is to reduce care and treatment, claiming much of it is unnecessary and doesn’t provide benefits. But they might not be using the best analysis and studies to decide the […]

A Financial Time Bomb in Europe?

November 3, 2011

One theory about the bailouts stemming from the U.S. financial crisis is that things were worse than policymakers have let on. Because of contracts such as credit default swaps and other derivatives, financial firms were more closely tied than they at first appeared to be. Also, because there were so many firms involved in these […]

Wanted: More Growth

November 2, 2011

Policymakers in Washington and Europe talk a lot about bailouts, deficits, high debt levels, and even tax reform. They even talk about “jump starting” the economy. But they aren’t focused on creating an environment that foster economic growth, and economic growth is what we need to solve most of the problems. Unemployment won’t fall without […]

More Reasons to Ignore Credit-Rating Firms

November 2, 2011

You know that the credit-rating firms (they’re not agencies by the way, they’re private, for-profit businesses) shouldn’t be relied on. But here’s more evidence. The ratings of bond issues are highly correlated with the amount the issuers pay to the rating firms, according to a new study by some academics. For example, state and local […]

More Bank Fees on the Way

November 1, 2011

We reported yesterday that banks are backing away from imposing new fees on debit cards. But they’re going to look for other ways to generate more fee income. SmartMoney has a few examples of fees that are likely to appear at a bank near you: Already this year, banks have made checking more expensive. While […]

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