February 2012 archive

Unwittingly, Romney is a terrible poster boy for the PE firms

When you are a leading presidential candidate, you get attention that you do not want.  Unfortunately for the private equity (PE) firms (like Bain Capital, where Romney made his millions), additional undesired issues arise.  Although Romney is hardly an everyday example of a PE firm executive, he is the most obvious example on which reformers …

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Religious Organizations are Not that Dumb

Earlier today, President Obama attempted to “accommodate” religious organizations that are otherwise forced to violate their religious tenants.  (See here for details) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Prior to this “accommodation”, religious organizations claimed that the HHS regulations are unconstitutional by denying religious liberties under the First Amendment. According to the President, …

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Recent tax case approves use of related party loans to reduce and fund estate taxes

The expected significant change in the estate tax at the end of 2012 should cause most affluent persons to engage in estate planning. Usually, this will involve an irrevocable trust. One issue that invariably arises is how a future estate tax will be paid for those assets that have not been removed from the estate. …

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How much of the Presidential campaign contributions are illegal?

In a number of prior rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that foreign parties should not be allowed to control, participate, or finance federal elections. The reasons are fairly obvious. In a January 9, 2012 ruling in re: Bluman v. FEC (case 11-275), the U.S. Supreme Court provided a one-sentence affirmation on this topic. This …

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The Fed’s “crazy talk”?

On January 25, 2012, The Federal Reserve (aka “the Fed”) issued a press release that undoubtedly provided financial markets a spark, but provided (or should have provided) the exact opposite reaction from others.  The Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) unveiled its plan to maintain the federal funds rate at historic low rate (i.e., practically zero) …

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Mortgage Tax Relief on Debt Forgiveness Ending This Year!

Normally, when you receive any reduction in the amount of debt you owe someone it is a taxable event.  For example, if you owe someone $10,000 and the lender forgives $5,000 of that debt, that $5,000 is consider income and you have to pay tax on that amount.  Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act …

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How and Why to Pay Attention to ICANN’s New gTLD Process.

“The end of the Internet as we know it” was how some of the more alarmist tech writers proclaimed the recent opening by ICANN for applications for new global Top Level Domains. Considering the number of changes from the command line driven applications of the initial arpanet through the static web pages of the ‘information …

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Why You Don’t Really “Pay” $5,000 to Use Google

Google’s new privacy policy, which comes into effect in March and consolidates the company’s 70+ existing policies into one, raises new concerns that the search engine giant retains the right to collect and use information about its users. Advocates for online privacy rightfully point out that this information is highly valuable to advertisers hoping to …

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Government employees are compensated 16% more richly than their private sector counterparts

In a study released in January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that, on average, civilian federal employee compensation (including both wages and benefits spending) trumps that of the private sector. Except for individuals with a professional degree or doctorate, the imbalance held true at each education level, including (i) high school diploma or less, …

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How Much Pizza Do Americans Eat Each Year?

With the Super Bowl upon us, it is interesting to note how much pizza Americans eat each year.  Yahoo! published a short video answering this very question.  Click here to see the video.  Here are the interesting facts that the video reported: 3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. every year There are just …

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