Category Archives: Money

Costs of Living

cost of living

What is a dollar worth?

If you answered that it’s worth a dollar, you must be living in Illinois.  A research report by U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the prices for a particular basket of goods and services—food, transportation, housing and education—are higher in some states than others.  Illinois came in at almost exactly the average; a $100 bill will buy $100.70 worth of the items.  People living in the District of Columbia, the nation’s most expensive area, would have to pay, on average, $118.10 for the same basket of items.

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Regs to the Rescue?

rescue

The world of money market funds changed forever back in 2008, when an investment vehicle called the Reserve Primary Fund loaded up on loan obligations backed by Lehman Brothers.  Lehman famously went under, and the fund “broke the buck,” meaning that when Lehman was unable to pay back its loans, the value of a share of the Reserve Primary Fund dipped under $1.

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Follow the money

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Who’s going to win the U.S. Presidential election in November?  If history is a reliable guide, it will be the candidate who raises the most money during the campaign season.  The last time the candidate who raised the most money lost was Gerald Ford vs. Jimmy Carter in 1976.  Ever since, the money determined the winner.

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Higher pay for underperformance

Salary

It would seem obvious that companies that do well—enjoy better profits and deliver higher returns to their shareholders—would pay their CEOs more, while companies that didn’t fare as well would pay less.

It would also be wrong.

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Expensive Olympics

Rio

The opening celebration for the 2016 Olympic games just happened, and of course all you’re hearing about is pollution, crime, unfinished facilities, Zika and cheating Russian athletes.  Chances are, the games will go off without a hitch and be highly-entertaining, despite some of the challenges that the athletes will face in their housing and venues.  But once the games are over, the nation of Brazil is likely to experience a familiar dose of economic trauma.

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A Market High—But Is It a Market Top?

 

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In case you hadn’t noticed, the S&P 500 index reached record territory yesterday, and the Nasdaq briefly crossed over the 5,000 level before settling back with a more modest gain.  At 2,137.6, the S&P 500 finished above the previous high of 2,130.82, set on May 21, 2015.

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