Wednesday, July 31, 2013

America in Trouble?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

States’ Hospital Data for Sale Puts Privacy in Jeopardy

Yikes!  It looks like some hospitals in certain states are putting your medical records up for sale.  Check out this article by Bloomberg to see the full story.

What do you think about laws protecting medical privacy?  Are these laws being tested by those looking to make a profit off of personal information?  Also, do you think personal information like this should be sold in the name of science?  Who knows, perhaps the next big cure could come from information found in these records.

The War on Drugs

Hey guys, I was shown this video by a friend, and I thought it was pretty interesting.  I do not have strong (or any) opinions on the legalization of drugs, nor on the war on drugs, but I think the things this guy said about the economics of drugs were interesting.  I promise, I am not trying to push an agenda here, but I was just wondering what people think.  Please feel free to share any opinions, especially those which relate to the economy or financial world.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The 4 Worst Tax Breaks

how many tax breaks Over the past 40 years, the number of tax breaks - deductions, credits, exemptions and other tax benefits - has more than tripled. Tax policy experts say it's time to rethink many of them.

I know its not my week, but this ARTICLE is pretty interesting...

Blogging about Roy not blogging

So it's tenth week and we're all seniors so I know that we're all on the struggle bus. I'm just posting another blog so we can all fulfill our comment obligation before class. I will also be commenting on my own post. I don't know about you guys, but I have really enjoyed this senior seminar and am glad we had such a great group. If Ray wasn't always bringing us down I would say we were basically a dream team tackling the financial crisis. Although the class was super laid back, I have probably learned more about the class subject than most of the other classes I have taken, especially since it was so discussion based. So basically comment on this with whatever you want. How do you feel about graduating in less than two weeks? What was something you learned in this class that really stuck with you? Does anyone actually believe Georgakopoulos is Jared's real last name? Feel free to make more than one comment on this post to complete your comment requirement (I'm sure Professor McKinney won't mind) just put some thought into them.

P.S. Don't forget to bring food tomorrow. Bring some grass for Erica (she doesn't eat meat)

Blockupy Protest Surrounds European Central Bank in Frankfurt - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Blockupy Protest Surrounds European Central Bank in Frankfurt - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Friday, May 31, 2013

Risky Derivatives

Risky derivatives played their own role in the financial crisis, interesting article about that problem.  Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Nations Fail

 I came across an interesting article that gives insight about the book that we're reading for this week.

“The real problem is that economic inequality, when it becomes this large, translates into political inequality.” When one person can write a check to finance your whole campaign, how inclusive will you be as an elected official to listen to competing voices?
 Read Here

Are you prepared to be number two?

The time has come to think the unthinkable: the era of American dominance in international affairs may well be coming to an end. As that moment approaches, the main question will be how well the United States is prepared for it.Asia's rise over the past few decades is more than a story of rapid economic growth. It is the story of a region undergoing a renaissance in which people's minds are reopened and their outlook refreshed. Asia's movement toward resuming its former central role in the global economy has so much momentum that it seems virtually unstoppable.....
Americans need to be told a simple, mathematical truth. With 3% of the world's population, the US can no longer dominate the rest of the world, because Asians, with 60% of the world's population, are no longer underperforming. But the belief that America is the only virtuous country, the sole beacon of light in a dark and unstable world, continues to shape many Americans' world view. American intellectuals' failure to challenge these ideas _ and to help the US population shed complacent attitudes based on ignorance _ perpetuates a culture of coddling the public.
But, while Americans tend to receive only good news, Asia's rise is not really bad news. The US should recognise that Asian countries are seeking not to dominate the West, but to emulate it. They seek to build strong and dynamic middle classes and to achieve the kind of peace, stability and prosperity that the West has long enjoyed.
This deep social and intellectual transformation under way in Asia promises to catapult it from economic power to global leadership. China, which remains a closed society in many ways, has an open mind, whereas the US is an open society with a closed mind. With Asia's middle class set to skyrocket from roughly 500 million people today to 1.75 billion by 2020, the US will not be able to avoid the global economy's new realities for much longer.

US entering Asian century with eyes closed | Bangkok Post: opinion

Monday, May 27, 2013

So, you don't want to be a tax haven?

A while ago we learned a bit about tax havens.  Apparently some countries do not want to be tax havens.  Here is a recent article about Ireland.  Also, sorry you have to answer two questions or do something else to view it.

Ireland will deploy ministers to counter ‘tax haven’ claims

No Bank is too big to Jail

Should big banks be sent to jail for everything they did, or do you think that without them our economy wouldn't have been in such a good financial state in the first place? With all the buzz about these different banks playing major roles in our current financial crisis, what are your guys' thoughts on whether or not jail time should be enforced?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lingering affects of the housing bubble, and the future of the housing market

This is a bit of a story, so if you just want to read an article about the future of the housing market, jump down to the link.

I went home this weekend to my parents house for the first time since last summer.  Our next door neighbor is quite the compulsive hoader.  He owns three lots and houses, and they are all filled with trash and junk.  There are cars and boats in his yard that just sit, never to be used again.  It is quite the eyesore, but we don't really care because it is his property, and he can do what he wants with it.  However, the woman who lives on the other side of him is not ok with his lifestyle.  She is trying to sell her home, and has had no success.  She is blaming our hoarding neighbor for this, saying that no one wants to live next to such a monstrosity.  After hearing this gossip, I asked my parents what she was asking for her home.  They said, $450,000.  This is extremely high for the area.  My parents then told me she got her home appraised in 2007, right before the housing bubble burst.  My whole family agrees that our hoarding neighbor is not the main reason she is not selling her home.  I almost want to explain to her that since 2007 things have changed quite a bit, but I don't think I will.

A New Housing Boom? Don’t Count on It

Profits, morality, and cancer screening

Opinion: Why Jolie's cancer test costs so much -

Fighting both hunger and obesity!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Employment Increases

This article discusses the recovery in America in terms of employment.  However, Ben Bernanke Thinks this will not continue.  "The job market is improving, but that higher taxes and government spending cuts likely will slow economic growth this year."  What does everyone think?

Applications for unemployment aid fall

Fewer Homeless

This an article about how even through these terrible financial crisis we are struggling to recover from, there are less homeless people.  Let me know your thoughts about this huge recurring issue.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

As(z?)ia Rises

This video discuses the rise of Asian countries in the world economy.  What do you guys think?  Will these trends continue?  For how long?

Hans Rosling: Asia's rise -- how and when

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Obama's Political Appointments

In the movie we watched on Tuesday we saw that many of Obama's economic appointments were people already from the world of finance, many of which caused of took advantage of the low level of regulation.  Here is an article discussing some of the partisanship involved in making political appointments.  It is also about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Elizabeth Warren: Richard Cordray Stalling By GOP 'Is About Keeping The Game Rigged'

Financial crisis: 25 people at the heart of the meltdown – where are they now?
This article is very interesting and connects well with the movie Ryan showed us on Tuesday in class. What do you guys think?

America: Bladerunner With Food Stamps - Business Insider

How do we create a meaningful future for the middle class?

America: Bladerunner With Food Stamps - Business Insider

So lets play monopoly

Erica must have had this card last Tuesday night:

obama.jpg (JPEG Image, 715 × 445 pixels)

Fed Pours Huge Sums Into Foreign Bank Coffers: no wonder we can't fund health care and education

Look at the graphs and remember that the unit of measurement is in trillions of dollars.......

Fed Pours Huge Sums Into Foreign Bank Coffers | The Big Picture

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The 1 Chart That Reveals Just How Grossly Unfair The U.S. Tax System Has Become

 federal revenue

The 1 Chart That Reveals Just How Grossly Unfair The U.S. Tax System Has Become

Death in Parched Farm Field Reveals Growing India Water Tragedy - Bloomberg’s the loss of water rights to heavy industry, the worst drought in four decades and the rise in debt that follows that’s causing farmers to take their own lives.In 2003, Maharashtra -- which is bigger than Italy and has a population of 112 million or about the same as Mexico -- gave industries and municipalities access to 25 percent of the water in its irrigation reservoirs. Power plants were the biggest beneficiaries, prompting a spurt of investment, according to a March report by Pune-based non-profit advocacy group Prayas.“Water for food and water for industry is a debate on in much of the world, and we’re no exception,” Sachin Kalantre, a deputy administrator in Maharashtra’s Amravati town, said in an interview. “The way out is for both to work together. There has to be a consensus,” he said, with a picture of a waterfall filling the wall of his office behind him.More than 2,200 farmers in India committed suicide in the past four years, as water loss and drought drove them deeper into debt.
Death in Parched Farm Field Reveals Growing India Water Tragedy - Bloomberg

Young People and Recession

These two articles discuss the consequences of both joining the workforce during a recession, and of being born in a recession.  We will all shortly be joining the workforce, and the generation behind us is currently being born in recession.  What affects could our low wages and future teen delinquency have on society/the economy?  Can anyone make a prediction to tie them together?

Starting career during recession can damage salary for decades

Babies Born During Recession More Likely To Exhibit Delinquent Behavior As Teens

Elizabeth Warren on the Brown-Vitter legislation to break up the banks

Elizabeth Warren Challenges Treasury Secretary Lew on Too Big To Fail - YouTube

Seeing may be believing but data is also helpful

The Four Charts That Really Matter - Arctic Sea Ice

Climate Change Before And After Pictures - Business Insider

Seeing is believing?

Climate Change Before And After Pictures - Business Insider

This might not change your life but .....

think how it might change the life of someone in a developing country.....

Solar Powered Window Socket | The Big Picture

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Future of Financial Services

Here is an interesting article about how financial services will change and adapt over the next decade.  The main 4 are:

1.  A New Playing Field for Financial Services: Regulatory pressures will increase and competition will grow from both traditional competitors and new entrants. These forces will lead financial institutions to explore new business models, collaboration and partnerships, and increased consolidation.

2.  Shifting Segments, Changing Markets: Consumer demand for financial services will increase across all age groups. The two largest contingents – aging baby boomers and GenYers – will demonstrate particularly acute shifts in their needs and types of products and services they purchase.
Competition to serve mid-market businesses will intensify, slimming financial institution margins.  However, the overall small business sector will continue expanding, with the total number of small and personal businesses increasing by more than 7 million over the next decade. Most of this growth will come from micro and personal businesses (less than $1 million in revenue) creating opportunities for financial institutions that can serve these firms efficiently.

3.  The New Customer Connection: Technology’s role in the customer experience will take center stage. With increased cost pressures and a growing demand for flexibility, accessibility and personalization, financial services organizations will accelerate their use of technology to meet customer needs.
Cloud computing platforms and applications will combine with advanced analytical tools, ever-larger data sets, and social and mobile computing to reshape the way the financial services industry designs and delivers value-added products and services to customers.

4.  Reputation and Relationships Rule: Institutions that use technology to serve up useful customer insights will win. Over the next decade, the financial service industry will shift its focus from transactions to customized value-added services.

Which of these do you agree/disagree with?  Does anyone have any other predictions?

The United States of Conspiracy | The Big Picture

The United States of Conspiracy | The Big Picture

So...which of these do you believe????

Monday, May 20, 2013

3 Lies That May Bring Down Our Economy


Lie Number OneEveryone can afford to and should own their own home. This crock has pretty much imploded over the last few years, although I sense a creeping rebirth when I hear the President talk about how the JOBS legislation is such a triumph of democracy since pretty soon every Tom, Dick and Harry will be able to buy and own cheap stocks, and raise money through new and virtually unregulated crowd-funding vehicles.

Lie Number Two: Every kid in America needs and is entitled to a four-year college education. Whether they (and/or their parents) can afford it or not, whether they want it or not, whether or not they are capable and likely to be successful.
Would some of these kids be better served and far more likely to ultimately find a job if they pursued a shorter, less costly program to get some practical vocational training? Then they could get on with their lives without mortgaging their future with student loan obligations. 

Lie Number Three: Classroom education is one size fits all. This ignores how differently each of us learns and pretends that a single instructor standing in front of a classroom full of kids can effectively teach anything to all of them at the same time. 
By the time many kids are college aged, the damage from this lie is already done and they’re long gone from the system. The ones who remain are no better served by the continued pretense that we’re teaching them much of anything useful or of value in today’s globally competitive world. Instead, we’re teaching those students that we still think of schools as industrial-style factories with a premium on rote memorization and repetition rather than rigorous reasoning and problem solving. 

Read More Here