February 2012 archive

Working for Free Today?

Today is February 29, 2012.  Once every 4 years, we are blessed to have an additional day added to our year in the month of February.  This year is commonly referred to as a “leap year”.  This is done to keep our calendar year in sync with the seasonal year as a corrective measure because …

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A Primer on Regression Analysis

Regression analysis is a statistical technique that is commonly used in litigation because of its unique ability to ascertain both liability and damages.  Specifically, litigation invariably involves questions of (i) whether event x caused event y, and (ii) if so, how much did y change because of x.  As regression is used more frequently among …

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A solution for the tax guilt of the super-rich

A few vocal members of the super-rich elite have come forth and publicly announced that they would welcome additional taxes.  However, there is an widely underused mechanism that allows for any taxpayer who feels they have not contributed sufficiently to the government to remedy the situation.  One can simply make a voluntary contribution to the …

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Despite political giddiness, ignore crowdfunding finance

In November, the House of Representatives passed the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (H.R. 2930) which will make it easier for businesses to raise capital through “crowdfunding”. The legislation would amend the Securities Act of 1933 by providing a new securities registration exemption by allowing companies to raise up to $1 million within a 12-month …

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CBO Issues Interesting Budget & Spending Projections

On the last day of January 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its budget and spending projections for the federal government covering the next ten years. The 167-page report is full of economic and spending charts and statistics. This article provides lots of quotes and details. Here is a summary of the CBO’s most …

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BAC is a Target for High-Frequency Traders

On a typical day, 4 billion shares of stock are exchanged on the NYSE.  Recently, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) has been targeted by high-frequency traders.  With high-frequency trading, investors use computer algorithms to capture value from small changes in a company’s stock price.  If a computer can seize on a stock fractions of a …

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Is the NBA More Competitive After the Lockout?

The lockout shortened the NBA season by nearly two months while the number games was not proportionately reduced, resulting in a more compacted game schedule and shorter resting periods between games. Is it possible that the lack of rest equalizes the playing field (or court in this case) by rewarding young athleticism at the expense …

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Time is Running Out to Claim $1 Billion of 2008 Tax Refunds

Approximately a million people still haven’t filed their 2008 tax return and the IRS isn’t rushing to find them.  That’s because, in aggregate, these late filers are owed $1 billion from the government in unclaimed tax refunds.  If the related returns are not filed by April 17th, this amount is forfeited by the individuals and …

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Debt’s impact on the recovery

Consulting firm McKinsey issued an interesting and well-done report comparing the debt loads of different countries entitled “Working out of Debt”. The good news for the U.S. in the report is that we have made better progress than other countries. The bad news is that we still have a lot of debt that still needs …

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Specificity in Contracts Can Avoid Future Disputes

 Contracts are often long and arduous to read, with excruciating detail and numerous defined terms that sometimes bear little resemblance to their “real world” usage.  And yet, when a problem arises and each side points to the contract to prove the superiority of their position, many items still become a subject of dispute (even if one side’s current …

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