Sustainable Government Archive

The Price of Affection

By John Lumbard, CFA .... Argentina just defaulted on some of its bonds, for the very first time in 13 years. It’s their seventh default since declaring independence from Spain.  Investors kept buying Argentine bonds . . What were they thinking??? In the early 1900s the people of this bountiful land---their economy...
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How To Get The Economy Moving Again

On August 8 George Schultz, Secretary of Everything (Labor, Treasury, and State;  also OMB director) penned an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, offering ides for renewal and reform to a country that seems to be suffering from Eurosclerosis.  We'll stick to the parts that affect the economy and...
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Opportunity

By John Lumbard. It’s springtime, and investor doubts and fears are in full bloom.  Profit margins are too high, unemployment is too high, the Fed is printing too much money, China’s growth is slowing, Europe is never, ever going to get out of its funk, and we don’t have high speed...
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It’s Time for a Diet

By James Schaefer. In "Blotting the Balance Sheet", (Wall Street Journal, April 26-27, 2014), James Grant reviews the book, The Reckoning, by Jacob Soll. In it, Soll highlights the fall of successful societies, and points some of the finger of blame at accounting, and the behaviors that follow. And he lays  blame equally...
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Health Insurance Is Not Health Care

By John Lumbard, CFA. In late December movie mogul Michael Moore, writing in the NY Times, described Obamacare as “awful” and said that he’d known this all along---but didn’t want to say so because it would give comfort to the President’s “enemies”.  Maybe it’s time we stopped the hyper-partisan hyperventilating, and...
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Young In America

By John Lumbard. According to The Daily Kos, 27% of recent college graduates (ages 21 to 24) are either unemployed or underemployed.  The Democratic Underground says that recent college graduates earn $3,200 less than they did 13 years ago.  Of course, it’s not just college graduates;  low starting salaries and meager...
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(Dis)Ability

By John Lumbard. Guy walks into a bar, orders a beer, and stands there drinking it while he watches a Bruins game.  Orders another beer, and stands there drinking it . . . While he’s drinking the third one, he’s asked what he does for a living . . . . “I’ve...
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On Taxes and Growth

By James Schaefer. The U.K.'s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, wrote an op-ed recently in the Wall Street Journal ("How Britain Returned to Growth", December 17, 2013), on Britain's changes to their tax rates and spending as a means of stimulating growth of the British economy.  The results were dramatic. They...
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Bipartisan Tax Reform Is Underway; Your Input Is Wanted!

By James Schaefer. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center of Washington, DC, calls the current Internal Revenue Code "an incomprehensible mess." The latest good news on tax reform has shown up in an article by Laura Saunders in the Wall Street Journal ("Will 'Tax Reform' Really Happen?", Aug 3-4, 2013; the article is...
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The Obama Tax Cuts

By Drew Kellner, CFA. In the final days of 2012, as the Bush Tax Cuts were about to expire forever, the sitting President pressed to make them permanent for nearly every American.  There was a brief debate about whether “nearly every” meant 98% or 99% of all taxpayers (in the end...
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