I live out in the country. Among my few neighbors is a man we like to call “Mr. Mow-it-All.” This guy has the most perfect lawn you will ever see. He mows religiously when the grass is green. We see him almost daily out there on his zero-turn John Deere riding mower, keeping his lawn looking like Pebble Beach.[Read more...]
There is one reason why you should oppose the proposed $5.3 billion Keystone XL Pipeline. And it has nothing to do with “green religionists,” as The Wall Street Journal calls the opposition in today’s paper.
Instead, it has everything to do with a foreign oil company using U.S. government power to force Americans off their land in the name of “eminent domain.” It has everything to do with putting a 78-year-old grandmother in jail, pepper-spraying protesters and using other bullying tactics that would make the Mafia proud.[Read more...]
The US government is going to kill the small banking industry in the US. The irony is hard to miss. It was not the small banks that threatened the financial system in the crisis of 2008. Yet they will bear the brunt of the regulatory costs imposed in its wake. The end result will be that US banking assets will collect into the hands of even larger banks.[Read more...]
In 2004, Maurice Underwood was just a man with a van.
When he made the decision to start his own moving company, Underwood was running an established small business in Reno, Nev., providing home cleaning services. A moving business was a natural next step, he thought, after he noticed several of his clients inquiring about moving services.[Read more...]
This past week provided an excellent example of this old French saying, which translates somewhat inelegantly into English as: â€œThe more things change, the more they stay the same.â€� The US mid-term elections may have resulted, as expected, in a large victory for the Republicans, who now control the House of Representatives. But notwithstanding some grand headlines in the press, this is highly unlikely to change current US or global economic and financial market trends.[Read more...]
Elizabeth Warren — Harvard Law School Professor and Special Advisor to the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — appeared on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show earlier this year beating the drum for Wall Street reform.
From her perspective, banks have gotten the cops, regulators, off the beat in order to sell predatory credit cards, car loans, and home mortgages for huge profits and bonuses, while also taking on ever-increasing risk… of the sort that results in financial crisis.[Read more...]
The SECâ€™s budget, or appropriated funding as it is known, was $906 million for FY2008, having risen 11.5 percent annually since 2001. Investor complaints however, have barely increased. From 2001 to 2007 their annual growth was just 1.6 percent.
According to a Rand Corporation study of investment advisors and broker-dealers registered with the SEC, the combined total of these grew at an annualized rate of just 3.4 percent over the five years 2001 – 2006, but this growth rate was skewed by some 700 hedge funds that subsequently deregistered after the studyâ€™s end point; excluding these the annualized growth would shrink to just 2.5 percent. All of the growth has come on the investment advisor side, and these are typically very small operations compared to broker-dealers.[Read more...]
Most Americans donâ€™t know it, but the financial industry may be the most highly regulated sector in the economy. Because each new rule passed by FINRA, the SEC, or the five national banking regulators unquestionably works to the good of the hapless investor or depositor, none may be removed and only more may be added.[Read more...]