It has been mentioned here and elsewhere that the mortgage interest deduction in the tax code is a roundabout way of subsidizing banks. If interest rates are determined by supply and demand then the demand for interest rates is only dependent on what a taxpayer’s “effective interest expense is”. A new study suggests that most of the benefits fall into the hands of lenders.
We have dealt a lot recently with historically low interest rates and their implications on not only the cost of housing and mortgages, but also implications for consumer credit and inflation. Although we have explained home price affordability in the San Francisco Bay Area before, we haven’t discussed the large variance in regional real estate prices.
Personal finance bloggers and personal finance connoisseurs (such as me) often feel that they have ultimate control over their actions. The belief is that if one is aware of their goals, the can reach them with the greatest of ease.
- Do you want to create an emergency fund? Spend four months building one.
- Do you want to retire at age forty? Control spending now and begin investing in tax-sheltered investment vehicles.
- Do you want to reduce your money spent on gas? Simply hypermile!
Is sports gambling beatable?
Casinos, over the years, have traditionally thought of sportsbooks as an amenity to offer to their customers as opposed to a real way to make money. They cap the bets made on traditional over/unders and to people who consistently win in sports gambling (known as ‘sharps’). The casinos believe that sports gambling is beatable by a select few and just hope that the losses of the masses can wash out the gains of the few. But, the obvious question is: if it is beatable, how does one stay ahead of the market/line-setters?
A lot of recent financial news has focused around the spreading European sovereign debt crisis. The big question many Americans now try to answer is what this means for them on a day-to-day basis. At the same time as this is happening, the Fed has declared that they will endorse a policy of more transparency, opening up their forecasts to scrutiny and understanding.
The Economist posted a not-so-interesting graph relating a year’s stock market returns to it’s Chinese Zodiac sign. I would imagine that a random number generator making up returns for clusters of numbers of years since 1900 and ranking the outcomes would produce a similar outcome… but let’s play devil’s advocate and see if there is something to be said from these numbers.
The issue of the declining in America has been mentioned as one of the ways in which the younger generations are falling behind economically. The caused massive deleveraging in America which increased the savings rate, but most of it was due to consumers reducing and liabilities as opposed to building assets. There could be many causes of this, but to name one: in times of uncertainty, consumer tend to brace themselves for a more hazy future by building as quickly as possible. A decrease in stock prices and eliminated much of the buildup of household assets which needed to be counteracted by an increase in savings. Also, credit standards have tightened, which has further compounded the problem and increased the deleveraging among American households.
Tying to an article earlier that my colleague PKamp3 wrote, personal finance seems to have taken a dive in popularity in more recent years. As a writer for a confessedly self-aware personal finance crowd, this assertion may seem irrelevant, surprising, or, at worst, alarming. As a young college graduate, many of my fellow coworkers (as well as I) have student loans as one of their more significant financial obligations on top of car loans and (soon) mortgages. Some plan on paying down their student loans as fast as possible to deleverage themselves and then start saving for a home. I am of a different and not necessarily correct opinion: to hold onto the student loans for as long as possible due to their incredibly low interest rate and tax-deductibility for incomes up to $60,000 (partial deductions up to $75,000).
In this article, Cameron Daniels explains that the small decrease in poverty levels from 13.3% to 12.8% from 1967 to 2003 (36 years!) is not so bad as it initially seems as Simpson’s Paradox rears his ugly head.
In early May 2007, a study gained publicity that claimed NBA referees altered their habits of calling fouls based on the racial makeup of the offending players. Maria Rainier helped write an article about discrimination in gender, I felt that it would be appropriate to continue the discussion with a look at racial bias.