July 2012 archive

Understanding the New Investment Tax

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ObamaCare) is constitutional, it is time to understand the PPACA’s aspects that everyone agrees really are a tax. Interestingly, the acknowledged taxes in ObamaCare are much larger than are currently expected to be collected under the individual mandate …

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Local Governments Consider Creative “Rescue” of Homeowners in Foreclosure

Three local governments in California are contemplating a new plan where they would use their eminent domain powers to acquire homes that are underwater (i.e. meaning borrowers owe more than the current value of the home) and enable their owners to refinance at the lower value.  According to the legal dictionary, eminent domain is described …

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LIBOR at the Curbside

When a new scandal arises in the banking and financial world those outside of that sphere get the impression that those inside believe that they live in an entirely different reality of actions and consequences.  That impression does not come so much from the fact that zeal for profits might lead them to misdeeds, but …

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The IOC Should Expand the Number of Women’s Olympic Events

In spite of its reputation of equality and inclusion, the Olympic Games has a long history of excluding female athletes. In the first modern Games of 1896, women were excluded entirely from the competition. Since then the portion of female athletes has increased dramatically (by an average of 25% per Olympics). Nevertheless, the most recent …

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LIBOR Manipulation Story Is Probably Different Than You Heard

UK-based Barclays is the fourth largest bank in the world, with operations in over 50 countries. Barclays recently received huge publicity pertaining to its manipulated reporting of interest rates that go into the calculation of both Libor and Euribor rates. The U.S. (through the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or CFTC) and the UK (through the …

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False Claim Act damages require additional valuation

In mid May, the D.C. Circuit held in United States of America, ex rel. Davis v. District of Columbia, that damages for suits under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) must consider the value of the services actually received. The failure to retain required documentation does not affect the value of the services received, and therefore …

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Some Interesting Facts About Student Debt

Barclays recently published a report which highlighted some interesting facts about Student Loan debt.  The facts reported by Barclays lead one to believe that America has another crisis to deal with: The amount of total student debt outstanding is not precisely known, but is estimated to be over $1 trillion Barclays warned that the financial …

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Samsung “Not as Cool” as Apple in the UK

Samsung has won a legal battle but likely took a hit to its corporate ego in the most recent development in its ongoing patent war with Apple.  In this bittersweet victory, A UK judge has labeled the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as simply “not as cool” as the Apple product whose patent it was alleged …

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Never heard of Madera, California? You’re not alone.

The California State Legislature approved a $4.7 billion bond package to help fund the first segment of a high speed rail to run between Bakersfield and Madera. I once saw a Bob Dylan concert in Bakersfield and enjoyed some delicious Basque food while there. But prior to the Legislature’s vote, I had never heard of …

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Bankruptcy Filings Declining in the U.S.

Businesses and consumers filing bankruptcies declined 14 percent in the first half of 2012.  At this pace, bankruptcy filings could end the year with the lowest level of filings since before the 2008 financial crisis.  There were 632,130 new bankruptcy filings in the first six months of 2012, comprised of 30,946 business and 601,184 consumers …

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