Posts filed under “Taxes and Policy”

Why Dosn’t U.S. Take Advantage of Low Rates?


Source: Office of Debt Management, Fiscal Year 2013 Q4 Report

 

The recent chaos in emerging markets has driven investors into U.S. Treasuries. The flight to safety has helped push down interest rates, with the yield on the 10-year bond now 2.6 percent. Although that is higher than the 1.5 percent of last summer, it is considerably lower than the 3 percent the 10 year yielded last month.

This decrease in rates creates another opportunity — perhaps the last one for this rate cycle — for Uncle Sam to borrow. A broad assortment of long-term projects requires attention and low rates make it the ideal time to renovate America’s decaying infrastructure.

Indeed, this is quite significant, especially when you consider how we fund the U.S. budget deficit. According to a recent Treasury report, the average maturity of U.S. debt is 66.7 months (see Fiscal Year 2013 Q4 Report).

 

Continues here

Category: Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Markets, Taxes and Policy

Who Pays a 45% Estate Tax? Idiots Do.

By now, you must have heard about Tom Perkins’ letter to the Wall Street Journal (Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?), where he made a foolish comparison to the “parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’ ” The…Read More

Category: Investing, Taxes and Policy

Wealthometer: How Does Your Houshold Wealth Compare?

Click for an interactive calculator. Source: Wealthometer   Income inequality has been all over the news this year. Political fights about raising the minimum wage are in the near future. A related, but just as fascinating, issue is how wealth is distributed. Click through on the calculator above, and you can see where your families…Read More

Category: Economy, Research, Taxes and Policy, Wages & Income

Beware: The Phony IRS Scam

Here is the latest scam: A call comes in from 415-230-2734 — this is “Internal Revenue” calling. Not IRS, or the full name. San Francisco proper calling NY? No way. I return the call, get someone with an Indian accent. Do it again 3X, getting a different person with an Indian accent each time.They always…Read More

Category: Legal, Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy

Tax-Friendly South Dakota Shelters Out-of-State Billions

From Bloomberg: South Dakota legislators have loosened the state’s laws to encourage wealthy out-of-staters to set up trusts there, often for tax reasons. The families needn’t move to the state or even invest there. In the past four years, the amount of money administered by South Dakota trust companies has tripled to $121 billion, almost…Read More

Category: Taxes and Policy

Tax Havens 101

Half of all trade and one third of all wealth pass through tax havens. They enabled Enron, Bernie Madoff and the Greek Debt Crisis:


Source: Public Integrity

What are offshore tax havens, who uses them, and how do they work? Find out in our explainer, and get the full story at icij.org/offshore.

Category: Taxes and Policy, Video

More American Households Rely on Government Benefits

Source: U.S. Census

Category: Digital Media, Economy, Markets, Taxes and Policy

America’s Corporate Welfare Queens

It seems that welfare queens are back in the news these days. The old stereotype was an inner-city unwed mother — that’s dog-whistle-speak for black — having multiple babies to get ever bigger welfare checks (throw in a new Cadillac and the myth is complete). Regardless, welfare reform of the 1990s ended that narrative. No,…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy

Tax Rates, Inequality, and US Deficits

Its Friday, after what was for me a long and annoying 17 days. But the shutdown is over, US markets are at all time highs, and Bob Shiller got his Nobel (more on this tomorrow). You might think that I would be at peace with the current state of the world, but life is never…Read More

Category: Economy, Mathematics, Philosophy, Taxes and Policy

How the Government Pays Its Debt

Click for interactive graphic Source: Washington Post

Category: Politics, Taxes and Policy