Monthly Archives: March 2014

How Our Big Banks Really Make Their Money

(Originally published here.) The eight biggest U.S. banks earned more than $80 billion last year, with much of that coming from government subsidies, according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund. Worst of all, the Dodd-Frank reforms and Basel III … Continue reading

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Hey, Money-Market Funds, the SEC’s Your Pal

(Originally published here.) The Securities and Exchange Commission is supposed to help protect investors from the risk of financial crises (among other things), so it’s disappointing that the agency is planning to exempt many money-market mutual funds from regulations that would serve … Continue reading

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Don’t Fret About GDP, Celebrate U.S. Exports

(Originally published here.) The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has released its latest estimates of gross domestic product for 2013. Since the recession ended, real GDP has grown, although the rate of recovery slowed last year. Lots of interesting things have been … Continue reading

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Japan Is Taxing Itself Into Trouble

(Originally published here.) On April 1, Japan’s national sales tax will rise to 8 percent from 5 percent. Unless wages rise by an equal amount, the effect will be a drop in consumer spending. Japanese automakers anticipate a sales decline … Continue reading

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Facebook Bought Oculus Because It Could

(Originally published here.) Facebook Inc.’s plan to buy Oculus VR Inc., which makes virtual-reality headsets, for about $2 billion may seem like an odd fit for a company that makes money by selling poorly targeted ads. But not if you consider the incentives of … Continue reading

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Bitcoin Looks Like a Tech Startup to the IRS

(Originally published here.) The Internal Revenue Service has decided that Bitcoins are more like shares of a tech company than the money in your checking account, at least when it comes to taxes. Anyone who spends Bitcoins (orDogecoins, for that matter) will … Continue reading

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Student Debt Not as Bad as You Think

(Originally published here.) Borrowing to pay for school can be one of the best investments you can make — or one of the worst. The question is whether the increase in debt today will be offset by a more enjoyable … Continue reading

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