Monthly Archive: March 2011

Mar 31

Some common notions of American income & wealth are wrong

Listening to certain political commentaries, one is led to believe that the “rich” are getting richer, while the “poor” are getting poorer.  These same commentators tell us that income mobility in the United States generally does not occur.  In this context, the “rich” are perceived as a relatively fixed group, consisting of someone other than …

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Mar 31

Some common notions of American income & wealth are wrong

Listening to certain political commentaries, one is led to believe that the “rich” are getting richer, while the “poor” are getting poorer.  These same commentators tell us that income mobility in the United States generally does not occur.  In this context, the “rich” are perceived as a relatively fixed group, consisting of someone other than …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/03/some-common-notions-of-american-income-wealth-are-wrong/

Mar 30

CBO Disagrees with the President’s Budget Projections

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its initial assessment of President Obama’s 2012 budget.  A more complete assessment will be released in April.  Generally, CBO concluded that the President’s deficit forecasts were too optimistic.  The CBO wrote: CBO’s analysis of the President’s proposals is based on its own economic assumptions and estimating techniques (rather than …

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Mar 29

SEC’s Attempted Minimizing of the Becker Conflict is Appalling

On March 10, 2011, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing regarding conflicts of interest by David Becker, the Securities and Exchange Commission general counsel.  Mr. Becker had recently resigned over this issue.  Since February 2009, Mr. Becker oversaw the SEC’s legal work on the massive Madoff fraud, including how …

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Mar 26

Obama’s Desired Tax Increases are contained in his 2012 Budget

President Obama proposes numerous new taxes in his 2012 budget.  President Obama repeats his desire to end the Bush-era income tax cuts for higher-income individuals.  Generally, the President defines as single individuals with incomes over $200,000 and married couples with incomes over $250,000. The primarily changes would be as follows: The top individual income tax …

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Mar 25

House votes to reduce GRATs – Act before the effective date

A grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) can be a tax-efficient technique for transferring to children property that the transferor expects to appreciate in value. The transferor (the “grantor” of the trust) creates an irrevocable trust, places property into the trust as a gift, and retains the right to a fixed payment each year until the …

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Mar 24

Hollywood Accounting: Another good reason to read (and audit) your contracts.

Hollywood accounting (or Hollywood bookkeeping) is the term used to describe how studios report profits on movies and television series. It often carries a derogatory connotation because of various common practices which don’t follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or necessarily reflect market realities.  These contractually-based practices often serve to reduce revenues, inflate costs, and eliminate …

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Mar 23

Large IRS Whistleblower Payoff Encourages Others

The Internal Revenue Service paid a $1.1 million reward to an anonymous whistleblower for information that exposed a tax fraud by Enron, Bankers Trust and others before the company collapsed.  The whistleblower, a Wall Street banker who has chosen to remain anonymous to protect his job and career, received the maximum reward of 15 percent. …

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Mar 22

Are Edible iPads in our Future?

Last week the Federal Reserve continued its media campaign to try to sell its unconventional monetary policy to average Americans.  The Federal Reserve’s policy of negative real interest rates and quantitative easing (aka QE1 and QE2) involves the Federal Reserve pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy by purchasing U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage …

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Mar 21

Ninth Circuit Supports Lone Pine Orders Without Restrictions

A Lone Pine order is a case management device in which the judge requires the plaintiff to make a prima facie showing of injury, causation, and/or damages. Its purpose is to simplify or eliminate cases to lessen the burdens on the courts and defendants. In a Lone Star order, plaintiffs are required to show an …

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