As Barack Obama gears up to announce Ben Bernanke’s successor, the Federal Reserve chairman is expected to make the deeply symbolic gesture this week of announcing the beginning of the end of quantitative easing – the drastic depression-busting policy that has led the Fed to pump an extraordinary $85bn (£54bn) a month into financial markets.
It will signal the Fed’s belief that the US economy is on the mend, but it could also frighten the markets and hit interest rates. So what exactly is Bernanke doing, why now – and how might it affect the UK and other countries?
After on Tuesday and Wednesday’s regular policy meeting, the Fed is widely expected to announce that it will start to “taper” its $85bn-a-month quantitative easing (QE) programme, perhaps cutting its monthly purchases of assets such as government bonds by $10bn or $15bn.
It should be: it means the governors of the Fed, led by the chairman, Bernanke, believe the US economy is strong enough to stand on its own, without support from a constant flow of cheap, electronically created money – though they still have no plans to raise base interest rates from the record low of 0.25%, and they expect to stop adding to QE over a period of up to a year.
Each week we screen thousands of corporate bond listings to find what we believe are currently one of the best corporate bond for investors needing or seeking higher yields with the least amount of risk possible relative to its projected return. This week, we look at 3? year Yankee bonds (in US dollars) from Berau Coal Energy PT, an Indonesian based company engaged in producing thermal coal in Indonesia. Although the approximately 8% yields currently indicated with this bond only carries a BB- rating from Standard & Poor’s, the following review shows why we see these 44 month high yield notes are a good choice to both increase cash flow and preserve capital.
A presentation by Mick Moore of the Institute of Development Studies, exploring in clear and straightforward terms why it’s crucially important to build up effective tax systems in Africa.
We obtained this video via the website of the International Centre on Tax and Development, having just blogged Prof. Picciotto’s important new paper asking Is the International Tax System Fit for Purpose, Especially for Developing Countries?
Those interested in these topics might also be interested in the recent paper entitled Going Where the Money Is: Strategies for Taxing Economic Elites in Unequal Democracies.
And much, much more.
Everyone has heard of hybrid cars, but what about a hybrid banking product: linked savings accounts?
These accounts, though still rare, link a savings account to a certificate of deposit, checking account or even debit card. The lure is greater access to your savings or higher interest rates — sometimes more than 6 percent.
Like many linked savings accounts, there are restrictions and caveats that sometimes can be complicated — but lucrative, experts say.
Take Massachusetts-based Marlborough Savings Bank’s Hybrid Savings, a cross between a savings account and a CD. By keeping a minimum balance of $25,000, your rate is bumped up from the interest rate on a regular savings account. You can make unlimited deposits, and you get one free withdrawal per month, Marlborough Savings Bank e-branch manager Jamie Belmore says.
And BECU, a credit union based in Seattle, has its Member Advantage Savings account.
Shares of Vivus plunged last week, after the companys new CEO, Anthony Zook, resigned only after a month on the job. Zook was appointed after activist shareholder First Manhattan won a battle proxy battle to take control of the company. First Manhattan believed Zook to be a good fit for the company, due to his prior industry experience.
Zooks departure was reportedly due to recurring issues from a previously diagnosed medical condition. In Zooks place, Vivus has appointed Seth Fischer, a former executive from Johnson & Johnson as the new CEO. Fischer is also on the board of Trius Therapeutics and BioSig Technologies, and has worked in the pharmaceuticals industry for three decades. Fischer is Vivus third CEO in less than two months.
Vivus investors have already been concerned about an increasing amount of executive departures with golden parachute deals, exacerbated by weak sales of its anti-obesity drug Qsymia.
Strong market fundamentals are keeping real estate sales strong and housing prices affordable according to the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton in a report released today:
“Our market continues to exhibit strong fundamentals,” said President Darrell Cook. “Rental vacancy rates are low at about 1.2%, new home starts are up and weekly take-home pay rates are the highest in Canada. The upward pressure on housing prices will be moderated by the seasonal decreases as we approach winter.”
Our market snapshot shows sales and prices are up from last year, while the inventory of homes on the market is down.
Taking a closer look at things, you can see sales are following their typical seasonal decline, but are at higher levels than we’ve seen for a few years.
A big part of why Ive adopted the lifestyle I have OK, the biggest part is that financial independence is an incredibly attractive prospect to me.
I believe that human beings are more likely to produce the highest positive benefit to society when they follow their passions and interests on their own time and in the absence of financial stress or incentives.
So I was curious to see the responses of a recent poll from Gallup, which asked the question to Americans, If you won 10 million dollars in the lottery, would you continue to work, or would you stop working?.
Before we get to the results can we all agree that $10M is still enough this day and age for everyone to call it quits? Even if the question is interpreted as pre-tax and pre-lump sum, its far more money than 99% of us will ever accrue in net worth in our lifetimes.
So what were the results?