Romney Might Have Followed Wall Street’s Money Too Far

Oct 18, 2011, 2:06 pm EDT
Romney Might Have Followed Wall Street’s Money Too Far

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has raised about six times as much cash from the employees of Wall Street firms as has President Barack Obama, according to a New York Times analysis of recent campaign finance filings. This discrepancy is particularly noteworthy, given that the financial services industry was a major backer of Obama’s 2008 campaign. In fact, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) was Obama’s biggest supporter in the private sector: Its workers coughed up $1 million last time around.

So far in this election season, that same group has offered up a mere $45,000 for the president, dwarfed by the $350,000 they have given to the Romney campaign.

What’s changed in three years? Bear with me as I point out the obvious. Read 

How to Protect Yourself As Europe Banks Fail

Oct 17, 2011, 4:27 pm EDT

The latest plan to preserve the European Union (EU) and save the global banking sector is to force European banks to increase their equity capital.

The goal, of course, is to restore confidence and stability. But if that’s the case, then why are so many analysts and savvy investors still nervous?

To put it bluntly, it’s because they know it won’t work. Read 

The Need-to-Know Basics About What’s Going On in Europe

Oct 17, 2011, 5:30 am EDT

Wall Street is dancing to Greece’s (and by extension Europe’s) whistle. If Greece says “jump,” Wall Street jumps. If Greece says, “Sorry, false alarm,” Wall Street cries.

This sorry dance has been going on for nearly two years. Like an endless loop of chicken dance, this might be fun at first (for about two minutes), but it gets old real fast. If you are tired of Wall Street’s chicken dance coverage and want to know what’s really going on and how to make money (or protect your assets), here’s a no nonsense assessment of Europe. Greece — Fool Me Once …

Fool me once, shame on Greece, fool me twice, shame on me. Greece has been the scapegoat for every major sell-off and catalyst for most rallies and dead cat bounces since January 2010. Read 

Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes Is Easier Said Than Done

Oct 15, 2011, 7:00 am EDT

Herman Cain’s surprising surge in the race for the GOP nomination this week can be at least partially attributed to the appeal of his 9-9-9 tax plan. Although he is short on specifics, the basic idea is to eliminate all special deductions and move to a flat corporate rate of 9%. Clearly, this former CEO has tapped into something widely appealing.

Democrats and Republicans do not appear to agree on anything in this caustic political season. However, both parties have supported the general idea of simplifying the corporate tax code to lower the rate.

On paper, U.S. corporations pay a very high rate of taxes as compared to their counterparts overseas. However, given the wide array of credits, deductions and subsidies (i.e. “loopholes”), many companies actually pay a low rate — or no tax at all. Creating a more simple and fair tax code seems commonsensical. But the details of such an endeavor probably are insurmountable. Read 

Derivatives – The $600 Trillion Time Bomb Set to Explode

Oct 14, 2011, 11:05 am EDT

Do you want to know the real reason banks aren’t lending and the PIIGS have control of the barnyard in Europe?

It’s because risk in the $600 trillion derivatives market isn’t evening out. To the contrary, it’s growing increasingly concentrated among a select few banks, especially here in the United States.

In 2009, five banks held 80% of derivatives in America. Now, just four banks hold a staggering 95.9% of U.S. derivatives, according to a recent report from the Office of the Currency Comptroller. Read 

9 Ways ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Completely Misses the Point

Oct 11, 2011, 8:34 am EDT
9 Ways ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Completely Misses the Point

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is kicking up a lot of dust, and that cloud is growing. The protest apparently has spread to the nation’s capital, and to communities as far south as Florida and as far west as Oregon.

Americans are understandably frustrated with fat-cat CEOs and stagnant unemployment numbers, and they have decided to make their voices heard. But this Occupy Wall Street movement should seriously look at itself and ask what exactly it’s protesting — and to what end. Aside from taking shots at convenient targets and typical villains, these protests don’t seem to have much purpose.

That is not to say these folks don’t have a right to be angry. They should be. This also is not to say that Americans should sit back complacently while the economy continues to drift along listlessly. We should all push for change, and have a right to be heard. Read 

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