Sunday, November 27, 2011

Super wealthy pay no taxes: NYT example of Ronald Lauder

New York Times ran a excellent piece on the tax avoidance strategies of Ronald Lauder. Mr. Lauder's fortune is worth $3.1 Billion. Here.

Business Week also had an a piece on tax avoidance in the April 11th, 2011 issue.

Friday, November 25, 2011

UK to discuss racism in bank loans

Nick Clegg of the liberal democreats will discuss racism in banking. Here.

Walmart has pre-paid debit cards

Walmart is offering $3 dollars a month pre-paid debit cards. Here. They offer an alternative to check cashing businesses as well as electronic payments.

Union work force training programs in Philadelphia

A short story abut union sponsored training program from Here. The union trainer complains about the lack of jobs which is reducing apprenticeships positions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Living wage bill hearing in New York City

New York City council held a second hearing on a "living" wage bill. The bill requires developers who receive government subsidies to pay $10 dollars per hour with benefit or $11.50 without benefits to employees.

Mayor Bloomberg opposes the bill. San Francisco and Santa Fe, NM are the largest US city's with living wage laws.

NY Times piece

The good, old Daily News is here.

Update on the NYC Black firefighters suit

Coming back to a popular story with some updates.

Judge Garaufus continues to press forward with our full support. The city continues to waste tax money fighting the lawsuit at every step.

Mark S. Cohen, former federal prosecutor, has been appointed monitor for FDNY by Judge Nicholas Garaufis. Daily News Here.

Judge Garaufus also approved a delay in the firefighter exam from January to late february or March. NY Post is Here.

However, the leader of the FDNY Hispanic society, Lt. George Ricco Diaz says the exam is not racists. Instead he blames recruiting policies, education, desire and poor quality residency checking. Here.

Over paid firefighters compensation tactics

I have said before that fire-fighter have one of the best jobs in the world. They also have some of the best pay relative to actual work-effort. Here is another story from the oft-conservative site, Library of Economics and Liberty, regarding tactics fire-fighters use to increase compensation (pay, benefits, retirement, shorter hours or schedule flexibility or reduce total years of service). Here.

I just wish there were more Black and Hispanic fire-fighters. Share the wealth.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lobby firm's offer to conduct anti-Occupy Wall Street research

Here is a nice piece of reporting by MSNBC.

Thanks to Occupy Wall Street and other columnists and the movie "inside job", the public is starting to understand who is responsible for the Wall Street Financial Crisis: Banks, Lobbyists and Politicians who acted in their own self interest not the public's.

However, we don't often see the sausage being made. Now someone has leaked an offer from a well connected republican lobby firm, Clark, Lytle, Geduldig and Cranford, that offers to do opposition research on the Occupy Wall Street movement. The letter asks for $850,000 from the American Banks Association for "opposition" research.

Here is the memo.
Here is the MSNBC article that broke the story.
Here is website for Clark, Lytle, Geduldig and Cranford.

When you read the memo, there are lot's some of the activities are a little creepy ("ethically suspect"). The activities include "social media monitoring, opposition reseach and message testing".

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bar rescue on Spike TV

I like bar rescue on Spike TV. Here.

Inside Job: The story of the Wall Street Financial Crisis

We recommend everyone watch: "Inside Job", the story of the wall street crisis. The story, which is narrated by Matt Damon, is seriously dry, uninteresting and sometimes boring, which is why they got a way with it. The director tries to spice it up.

You can find a version on the internet to watch for free.

Here are some references:

Inside Job Website

Saturday, November 12, 2011

On The Issues

Here is a web site where you can quickly find out where politicians stand on the issues.


One of the best summaries of Wall Street Financial Crisis

From Barry Ritholtz's Big Picture Blog. Here. The details are near the end.

Basically regulatory oversite facilitated by congress and lobbyists.

Intrade prediction market

As an economist you have to be interested in gambling, predictions and markets. SO check out the Intrade site.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

CBO on US income inequality

Thank goodness for the CBO (Congressional Budget Office). At least someone on capital hill can take a reasoned, professional and objective look at a pressing issue: US income inequality. Read the report here: Trends in the distribution of household income between 1979 and 2007.

Bounce TV

I am looking at the website for bounce TV. A new TV network targetting African Americans. Here.

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