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How we $pend it September 21, 2015

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Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks | Neighborhood Income and rent maps of U.S. cities February 18, 2013

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle, Web Site.
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mrmoneybagsRich Blocks, Poor Blocks is an interactive map (created by Christopher Persaud, a data reporter for a bank website) showing the average income for every neighborhood in America. Type in your address, press search, and there you have it: Your city, shaded by income, according to data from an annual survey conducted by the Census Bureau. The greenest blocks–Census blocks, that is, not city blocks–signify the richest areas, typically bringing in an average household income of $100,000 or more a year. The reddest blocks are the poorest, with annual income somewhere around $20,000. All the rest get some shade of red or green, depending where they fall.

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks | Neighborhood income and rent maps of U.S. cities.

China Abandons The Abacus October 19, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business.
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China said today that it’s raising interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.

That’s a big deal. China hasn’t raised interest rates since 2007, and the move is a sign of strength for China’s economy.

One interesting detail: It’s the first time in modern history that China’s central bank made an interest-rate move that wasn’t a multiple of .09.

“The reason is that on the abacus, adding multiples of nine was much easier than adding multiples of 10. So the modern People’s Bank of China inherited that special character from the old days,” an economist with Citigroup in Beijing told Reuters. (more…)

Our Hidden Inflation June 3, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business.
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Government statistics are about the last place one should look to find inflation, as they are designed to not show much. Over the last 35 years the government has changed the way it calculates inflation several times. According to the Web site Shadow Government Statistics, using the pre-1980 method, the Consumer Price Index would be over 9 percent, compared with about 2 percent in the official statistics today.

While the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, this doesn’t even take into account inflation we ignore by using a basket of goods that don’t match the real-world cost of living. (For example, health care costs are one-sixth of G.D.P. but only one-sixteenth of the price index, and rising income and payroll taxes do not count as inflation at all.)

Why does the government understate rising costs? Low official inflation benefits the government by reducing inflation-indexed payments, including Social Security. Lower official inflation means higher reported real G.D.P., higher reported real income and higher reported productivity.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Easy Money, Hard Truths – NYTimes.com.

A Brief History of Debt May 2, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Religion.
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The emergence, in almost the exact times and places where one also sees the early spread of coinage, of what were to become modern world religions: prophetic Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, and eventually, Islam. While the precise links are yet to be fully explored, in certain ways, these religions appear to have arisen in direct reaction to the logic of the market. To put the matter somewhat crudely: if one relegates a certain social space simply to the selfish acquisition of material things, it is almost inevitable that soon someone else will come to set aside another domain in which to preach that, from the perspective of ultimate values, material things are unimportant, and selfishness – or even the self – illusory.

With the advent of the great European empires – Iberian, then North Atlantic – the world saw both a reversion to mass enslavement, plunder, and wars of destruction, and the consequent rapid return of gold and silver bullion as the main form of currency.

One of the main factors of the movement back to bullion, for example, was the emergence of popular movements during the early Ming dynasty, in the 15th and 16th centuries, that ultimately forced the government to abandon not only paper money but any attempt to impose its own currency. This led to the reversion of the vast Chinese market to an uncoined silver standard. Since taxes were also gradually commuted into silver, it soon became the more or less official Chinese policy to try to bring as much silver into the country as possible, so as to keep taxes low and prevent new outbreaks of social unrest. The sudden enormous demand for silver had effects across the globe. Most of the precious metals looted by the conquistadors and later extracted by the Spanish from the mines of Mexico and Potosi (at almost unimaginable cost in human lives) ended up in China. Read the whole 5000 year history at this link.

via Debt: The first five thousand years

Can Money Buy Happiness? August 30, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.
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A few researchers are looking again at whether happiness can be bought, and they are discovering that quite possibly it can – it’s just that some strategies are a lot better than others. Taking a friend to lunch, it turns out, makes us happier than buying a new outfit. Splurging on a vacation makes us happy in a way that splurging on a car may not.

“Just because money doesn’t buy happiness doesn’t mean money cannot buy happiness,” says Elizabeth Dunn, a social psychologist and assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. “People just might be using it wrong.”

Dunn and others are beginning to offer an intriguing explanation for the poor wealth-to-happiness exchange rate: The problem isn’t money, it’s us. For deep-seated psychological reasons, when it comes to spending money, we tend to value goods over experiences, ourselves over others, things over people. When it comes to happiness, none of these decisions are right: The spending that make us happy, it turns out, is often spending where the money vanishes and leaves something ineffable in its place.

via Happiness: A buyer’s guide – The Boston Globe. (more…)

How Much Is A Trillion Dollars? July 29, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Politics, Video.
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YouTube – One Trillion Dollars Visualized from www.mint.com.

Monetary Warfare December 31, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
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What are the threats that could make the U.S. economy look less like America and more like Zimbabwe? He sees them everywhere – in the Chinese ownership of vast amounts of American debt, in Russia’s increased centralization of its economy, in Al Qaeda’s long-established fascination with damaging the U.S. economy.

Four of the scenarios keep him up at night (more…)

Social Security and Madoff – Both Pyramid Schemes December 30, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Politics.
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madof121820081. Legitimate investment vehicles take investor funds and invest them in businesses, real estate, and other assets. These investments are intend to generate returns for shareholders. Madoff didn’t do this. He paid off early investors with cash from subsequent investors. Investment assets were never purchased.

Similarly, Social Security has no investments. It pays retirees benefits with cash deposited by younger workers. What’s worse is that Social Security has taken in a surplus of funds over the years. Instead of investing the extra funds legitimately, the government spent it on other programs. Now Social Security is completely unfunded — something that’s illegal for companies to do but not the government.

2. Madoff’s early investors received excellent returns, which averaged 12 percent to 14 percent a year. Similarly, Social Security provided excellent returns to its early participants. The first person to receive monthly Social Security benefits was a woman named Ida May Fuller. She paid $24.75 total into the Social Security system over a three year period, and received $22,889 during her lifetime. Even Madoff was not so egregious to provide such a large return to his early investors. (more…)

The New Millionaire Psychology December 22, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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Our culture has changed from buying books on “How To Be A Millionaire” to watching a TV Game- Show with an entitlement angle – “Make Me A Millionaire”.

“California, sales are down 10% since the beginning of fiscal year 2009, which began on July 1” says Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the California lottery. Traverso says he hopes sales will revive with larger jackpots and with the January launch of a new televised game show called Make Me a Millionaire.

via Losing Faith in Gambling’s Allure – BusinessWeek.

Bling Goes Stealth December 18, 2008

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At Hermès and a handful of other exclusive retailers, “secret shopping” has becoming the winter season’s newest trend. Anyone who can still afford, say, the three cashmere throws at $2,225 each that Mrs. Fuld bought when she stopped by the store that day isn’t likely to advertise it. Instead, the city’s most extravagant shoppers are ferrying their purchases home in unmarked bags; delegating delivery to assistants; or manipulating credit card bills to disguise their spending from outsiders—and their spouses.

via What Rich People Don’t Want You to Know About Their Spending – The Daily Beast.

Hurricane Bernie Slams Palm Beach December 17, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business.
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Sunday afternoon there were supposedly four multi-million dollar condos at Breakers Row already put up for sale by Hurricane Bernie casualties forced to evacuate. Partly true. A real estate broker pal of mine told me on Monday morning there were actually only two on the market, one at $7.6 million and the other at $8.6 million.

By Tuesday morning it was good news for both broker and seller of the Breakers condos. Both were under contract at almost their full asking price. Somewhere, someone has some dough left. What is true is that Hurricane Bernie will have a long term effect on the fabric of Palm Beach life—financially, socially and philanthropically.

via I Survived Hurricane Bernie – The Daily Beast.

Palm Beach In Shock Over Madoff December 15, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Business, In The News.
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bebBelow is a piece that I posted on Huffingtonpost.com yesterday. About ten minutes after it went on line, the metropolitan editor of the New York Post emailed me about running it and it’s on page four in Saturday’s paper. The piece has reacted in a full range of opinion, from overwhelmingly positive to outrage. I’m trying to understand why some people are so upset. And as soon as I have a full grasp on this I’m going to publish again at Huffingtonpost.com and put it in my personal blog as well. (Thanks to Randy Marks)

via THE WAGES OF WEALTH.

How To Make Your Dollar Go Further October 28, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Art, Humor, Video.
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Hawaiian Won Park has been folding dollar bills into Oragami creations for 32 years and it pays off. Watch how he creates this Choi ( a large Goldfish). Click here to see more including his Star Wars Collection.

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.733991&w=425&h=350&fv=]

more about “Won Park Folds His Dollar Koi Shaping…“, posted with vodpod
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