3 Lessons You Must Learn From the Europe Mess

Dec 9, 2011, 12:48 pm EDT

Question:  A Greek, an Italian and a Spaniard walk into a bar. Who picks up the tab?

Answer:  The Americans.

All financial eyes are once again trained on the European debt crisis, with investors worldwide wondering how it will play out. Not well, I’m afraid. Not well for the Europeans to be sure. And it will be costly for Americans, too.   Read 

Maverick Judge Jed Rakoff Stares Down Citigroup, Wall Street

Dec 8, 2011, 12:00 pm EDT

One of the biggest problems with Wall Street’s malfeasance is how the ruling elite view legal settlements — as little more than an acceptable cost of doing business.

Well, no more.

Thanks to Judge Jed Rakoff, we might see some real regulatory action leading to good old-fashioned investigations, perp walks and even jail for the guilty. I’m not talking just about the Bernie Madoffs or the Raj Rajaratnams, either. I’m talking about potentially CEOs and even entire corporate boards. Read 

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Thinks Fat-Cat CEOs Need a Tax Break

Dec 8, 2011, 9:22 am EDT

One could argue that JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon was playing to the cheap seats with his line Wednesday about how bad the rich investment bankers of New York have it these days. Dimon was, after all, speaking at an investor conference organized by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

But if the JPMorgan exec was trying to deflect criticism of the so-called “wealthiest 1%,” he failed miserably.

Dimon’s one-liner was a rather uninteresting boilerplate, a typical response from a well-heeled CEO. Read 

‘Robin Hood Tax’ Would Steal from Global Investors Just Like YOU

Dec 8, 2011, 7:45 am EDT
‘Robin Hood Tax’ Would Steal from Global Investors Just Like YOU

Talk about tax reform is heating up on Wall Street, in Washington and in the homes of millions of Americans.

Previously passed payroll tax cuts deliver about $1,000 extra into the pockets of working families but are set to expire at year’s end. To balance the federal budget and address income inequality, some legislators are favoring a so-called “millionaire’s tax” on the wealthiest Americans. President Barack Obama and prospective Republican nominees for the 2012 ballot are all wrapped up in the idea of reforming the tax code to boost the economy and help small businesses.

Unfortunately, if the debt crisis across the Atlantic is preface to our own budget and tax woes in the U.S., the next chapter might involve taxes on investing income. That could seriously damage the performance of the stock market, individual retirement portfolios and the profits regular retail investors can hope to take home from their trading. Read 

How to Prepare for Market-Moving News From Europe

Dec 8, 2011, 6:00 am EDT

The stock market seems to be paralyzed ahead of what’s expected to be market-moving news out of Europe today and Friday. At the epicenter of this likely explosion of euro zone development is the European Central Bank (ECB), but what is the news — and how will it affect the market and your investments?

The ECB Governing Council is meeting on Thursday to determine whether Europe’s key interest rate should be cut. On Friday — and this is the biggie — EU leaders on the European Council are holding their final scheduled summit meeting of 2011. There’s talk about an EU treaty change to closely monitor financial “offenders” and possibly grease the way for ECB bond buying similar to the Fed’s quantitative easing programs. European Interest Rates

The ECB controls three key interest rates for the euro zone: Read 

If Congress Can’t Fix U.S. Roads…China Will!

Dec 2, 2011, 3:06 pm EDT
If Congress Can’t Fix U.S. Roads…China Will!

If you need any further proof Congress is broken and that our government is more concerned with killing jobs than creating them, here’s the latest absurd headline:

As U.S. legislators focus on cutting federal spending to the bone, China wants to rebuild America’s roads and bridges.

Speaking to the American Chamber of Commerce in China on Friday, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said he thinks the Asian superpower should help rebuild U.S. infrastructure and invest in clean energy and technology here in the States. Read 

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