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This century’s 5 worst investment calls, so far
Greenpan on housing bubble ranked by Howard Gold among the epid bad investment calls.
Is it 2008 all over again?

The 10 biggest online dating photo mistakes
Dating sites crack down on liars
What NOT to do on a dating website
10 dating apps that even their users can’t stand
Online-dating boomers can teach millennials
Dating in 2016: This is the etiquette

4 factors behind oil’s best one-day gain in 7 years
 AFP/Getty Images
Oil up more than 12%, but down for the week
Move over, China: India to drive oil demand

Tour a $22 million Marbella mansion built from marble
 ENGEL & VLKERS
U.S. cities with the most, least vacant housing
Location Scouts: Insider intel from top markets

Chevy’s new Bolt — the shape of things to come?
 General Motors
Why you probably won’t see 99 cent gas

‘Deadpool’ vs. ‘50 Shades’ for Valentine’s Day record
 Everett Collection
Lithe, beautiful: The ‘Jane’ in every movie script
Film clip: Back on the catwalk for 'Zoolander 2'
Martin Shkreli: Star of stage, screen, pharma

What ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 means for buyers
What the ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 rollout means for car buyers Getty Images
Tesla predicts rosy 2016 —can Musk deliver?
Tesla’s Model 3: The 5 things we now know

The top 10 tax havens for individuals in the world
 Shutterstock.com
Watch out for these tricky tax issues this year

Challenging job: President Trump’s top diplomat
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally aboard the USS Iowa on September 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Donald Trump is campaigning in Los Angeles a day ahead of the CNN GOP debate that will be broadcast from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  Getty Images
Voters don’t care about promises — just vision

How did Kissinger get into Clinton-Sanders debate?
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger listens to a question at China Development Forum, in Beijing March 21, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee  Reuters
Clinton, Sanders clash over costs at debate

A rare bit of good news about dementia
LLANDUDNO, WALES - SEPTEMBER 08:  Senior citizens walk along Llandudno Pier on September 8, 2014 in Llandudno, Wales. Britain is facing multiple problems stemming from an increase in the elderly proportion of its population, including increasing health care costs, strains on its social security system, a shortage of senior care workers and challenges to the employment market.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)  Getty Images

Burger King’s hot dog plan is so crazy it could work
Burger King to make its biggest menu change yet  Getty Images


need to know
BAE poised to name Charles Woodburn as COO
Kohl's tells 3 top execs their positions are cut
Pope Francis in Cuba for historic meeting
Uber to pay $28.5 million in safety claim case
Shake Shack plans to open in St. Louis
Zika vaccine is at least a year and a half away
10 big stories you’ve missed this week

It’s a ‘new Cold War,’ warns Russian premier

Was that a short-covering rally we saw Friday?

23 ‘loser’ stocks thrown out with the bathwater

What bear market? Stocks look likely to rise

5 signs we might already be in a bear market
Looks like time for bottom fishing in stocks

‘Year of Monkey’ puts China stocks in focus

Funny #Fed Valentines — best of  this year’s quips

Bank of America chief gets a 23% pay raise
Intel lured Qualcomm exec with $25 mln pay
CEO Jamie Dimon’s $26 mln bet on J.P. Morgan

I want my disabled sister out of our family home

Google exec squirms when questioned about pay

Something pink and potable for Valentine’s Day?
Passy samples rosé cider
9 incredibly romantic wines

ECB may finally deal a deathblow to the €500 bill
Yen has crossed a ‘line in the sand’
Time for a coordinated response to the yuan?
Dollar to hit ¥95 by end of the year: Barclays

This can’t be why Apple made Beats deal with Dre

5 things to know about the Costco and AmEx breakup

How grocery business got ‘barbell’ shape

Grammys make Memphis candy shop a winner

Economists increasingly see Fed hands as tied
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How I paid off my student loans early

College freshmen most liberal since Vietnam

Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Boomers are loading up on debt, not millennials

Taxpayers already paying for future Super Bowls

Beer’s incessant infighting clouds the big picture

How to buy a used car
The correct way to go about buying a used car

Don’t get smoked by your marijuana investment

Actually, the most popular new emoji isn’t the taco
/conga/frontpage.html 367898

Markets »

132.55MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 132.70M
Unchanged
134
Decliners
1500
Advancers
4873
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 15,974 +314 2.00%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,338 +71 1.66%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,865 +36 1.95%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,070 +23 1.11%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29.02 +2.81 10.72%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,708 +171 3.08%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,968 +215 2.45%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,995 +98 2.52%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 16,515 +742 4.70%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,921 +175 2.25%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 312 +9 2.91%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,385 -51 2.10%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 14,953 -761 4.84%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,320 -226 1.22%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,986 +34 0.15%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,540 +2 0.07%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 -0.01 0.61%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 113.25 +0.83 0.74%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.18%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.04%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.97 +0.36 0.38%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.99 +0.23 0.26%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.75 0.00 0.00%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.26 +0.07 37.97%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.64 -0.08 4.67%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.74 -0.04 2.01%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.42 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.08 +0.06 442.45%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29 +3 10.72%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518696/delayed 364 -1 0.27%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,925 +313 2.00%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,860 +36 1.95%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 0 0.03%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 102.01 0.10 0.10%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 93.99 0.29 0.31%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 682.40 -0.71 -0.10%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.95 0.79 7.08%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.54 2.56 7.32%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.55 0.38 3.40%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.47 0.26 0.72%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 29.02 1.38 4.99%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.26 0.81 2.95%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

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SmartMoney Blogs

Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

Deficit Reduction the Hard Way

Alicia Munnell, the director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, is a weekly contributor to “Encore.

The confluence of fiscal events scheduled for the end of 2012 represents both a major opportunity and an enormous risk.  Taken together, the restoration of taxes and large spending cuts would reduce ten-year deficits by about $7 trillion and place the budget on a sustainable course. On the other hand, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that, in the short term, these scheduled events would reduce GDP growth by about 2 percent and increase the unemployment rate by about 1 percentage point, potentially throwing the economy back into recession. The question is how to deal with this conundrum when members of Congress cannot agree on the day of the week. The answer may be not to lump all the events together because different components could benefit from different approaches.

The array of things that, in the absence of Congressional action, will happen in December 2012 is astounding:

  • The 2001/2003/2010 tax cuts will expire.
  • The 2-percent payroll tax holiday will expire.
  • Patches to the Alternative Minimum Tax to keep pace with inflation will end.
  • Cuts in Medicare payments to physicians, which Congress has deferred since the early 2000s, would take effect.
  • An across-the board $1.2 trillion spending sequestration of 10 years would go into effect (as a result of the failure of the Super Committee to reach an agreement).

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke refers to this array of looming tax increases and spending cuts as a “fiscal cliff.” Going off the fiscal cliff would not only harm the economy, but would also represent bad policy. For example, while more taxes are needed for a balanced approach to reducing deficits, all observers agree that tax reform is needed to rationalize the tax code. And while spending cuts are inevitable, an across-the-board cut in discretionary programs and defense also does not make sense.

Here’s my recommendation for each component.

The 2001/2003/2010 tax cuts need to expire. The argument that the cuts should expire only for those with household income above $250,000 is not realistic.  The 2 percent of high-income households cannot solve the nation’s deficit problems alone. Everybody needs to participate. If the economy is too weak to raise taxes in December, link the expiration of the cuts to an unemployment trigger. That is, half the cuts would be eliminated once the unemployment rate hits 7.5 percent, another quarter at 6.5 percent, and the remaining quarter at 5.5 percent. The tax system does need reforming, but it is easier to do when reform offers the possibility of tax reduction and that possibility is more likely with the Bush tax cuts gone.

The payroll tax cuts need to expire. Reducing the employee’s tax by 2 percentage points was never a particularly effective stimulus measure and its continuation undermines the financing principle of Social Security. It will be easier to solve Social Security’s manageable 75-year deficit if the payroll tax revenues are back in place.

The fixes to the Alternative Minimum Tax should be retained. If a new patch is not enacted retroactively in 2012, millions of people will be subject to a tax that was never designed for them.

Medicare requires a series of coherent proposals, not a sudden 30-percent cut in physician payments, so the “doc fix” should continue.

The sequestration of $1.2 trillion should be enforced, but not applied across the board. Rather Congress should broaden the categories for cuts to include the entire budget and then select judiciously. Again, the pattern of those cuts could be linked to the performance of the economy.

In short, the fiscal cliff needs to be turned into a gradual descent. In this environment where raising taxes is virtually impossible, policymakers concerned about long-run deficit reduction cannot pass up the only opportunity available. That is, the tax cuts must be allowed to expire. The revenues are desperately needed, additional revenues will facilitate reform, and Social Security needs its money back. Similarly, slated cuts on the spending side should be honored but done in a more intelligent way. But neither the tax increases nor the spending cuts all need to occur in December 2012. They can be triggered by improvements in the economy.

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (4 of 4)

View all Comments »
    • A typically liberal mix of immediate tax increases for all taxpayers ith a vague wave toward nonspecific spending reductions. Particularly confusing is the declaration that taxes could be lowered once the tax laws are reformed – but only after all of the existing tax cuts are repealed! No wonder private citizens are disgusted with the lack of coherent fiscal policies from the Congress and clueless “advisors” like this one!

    • “Medicare requires a series of coherent proposals, not a sudden 30-percent cut in physician payments, so the “doc fix” should continue”.

      Really?

      The home medical equipment industry (HME) will be experiencing a dramatic and immdeiate payment cut of 24%-30% for home medical equipment (oxygen, respiratory care equipment and the like) beginning July 1st 2013.

      The result of a flawed competitive bidding program implementation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in 90 of the largest MSAs.

      So much for fairness.

    • This is the best solution I’ve seen so far. It’s not fair to our children and grandchildren to let this go on this way. Unfortunately, the media doesn’t let them know how bad it will be for them.

    • I agree. Especially on the 2% SS tax. That had to be the worst designed stimulus of all time (unless you had a political motive to reduce the tax on those making < $100k and lobby for the Buffet rule).

      Let the Bush tax cuts expire for ALL. Everyone's taxes will go up – then maybe there will be some serious effort to redoing the tax code – similar to Simpson Bowles – so we can be more competitive.

      AMT is probably the best example as a reason for all laws having a sunset provision. The AMT was never meant for the middle class – it was the previous version of the "Buffet rule".

      Reduce spending across the board – it is only by making both parties squirm that anything will happen.

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Open in:

This century’s 5 worst investment calls, so far
Greenpan on housing bubble ranked by Howard Gold among the epid bad investment calls.
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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally aboard the USS Iowa on September 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Donald Trump is campaigning in Los Angeles a day ahead of the CNN GOP debate that will be broadcast from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  Getty Images
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LLANDUDNO, WALES - SEPTEMBER 08:  Senior citizens walk along Llandudno Pier on September 8, 2014 in Llandudno, Wales. Britain is facing multiple problems stemming from an increase in the elderly proportion of its population, including increasing health care costs, strains on its social security system, a shortage of senior care workers and challenges to the employment market.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)  Getty Images

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Burger King to make its biggest menu change yet  Getty Images


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/conga/frontpage.html 367898

Markets »

132.55MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 132.70M
Unchanged
134
Decliners
1500
Advancers
4873
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 15,974 +314 2.00%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,338 +71 1.66%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,865 +36 1.95%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,070 +23 1.11%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29.02 +2.81 10.72%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,708 +171 3.08%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,968 +215 2.45%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,995 +98 2.52%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 16,515 +742 4.70%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,921 +175 2.25%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 312 +9 2.91%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,385 -51 2.10%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 14,953 -761 4.84%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,320 -226 1.22%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,986 +34 0.15%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,540 +2 0.07%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 -0.01 0.61%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 113.25 +0.83 0.74%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.18%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.04%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.97 +0.36 0.38%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.99 +0.23 0.26%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.75 0.00 0.00%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.26 +0.07 37.97%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.64 -0.08 4.67%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.74 -0.04 2.01%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.42 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.08 +0.06 442.45%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29 +3 10.72%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518696/delayed 364 -1 0.27%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,925 +313 2.00%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,860 +36 1.95%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 0 0.03%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 102.01 0.10 0.10%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 93.99 0.29 0.31%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 682.40 -0.71 -0.10%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.95 0.79 7.08%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.54 2.56 7.32%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.55 0.38 3.40%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.47 0.26 0.72%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 29.02 1.38 4.99%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.26 0.81 2.95%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

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