Why Elizabeth Warren needs your help to police the banks

February 28, 2011

Congressional Oversight Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren questions Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Stability Herbert Allison on the government's assistance to Citigroup during a hearing in Washington March 4, 2010. REUTERS/Richard ClementProf. Elizabeth Warren, who is starting up the new U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is either Joan of Arc or Joan Rivers — depending upon your point of view.

Save the badgers! When unions go bust, middle class follows

February 25, 2011

Protesters listen to members of the Democratic assembly speak from a live feed in the assembly chambers on day eight of protests against the budget cuts proposed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (Rep.), at the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin February 22, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Hauck We are all Wisconsin badgers now. If collective bargaining goes, forget about personal economic progress for middle class Americans.

Glassman’s redemption: Find an investment safety net

February 21, 2011

James Glassman is seen in this American Enterprise Institute undated handout photo released December 11, 2007.  REUTERS/AEI/Handout It’s hard to climb out of an abyss in which you’ve predicted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would hit 36,000 — only to see it crash twice and get pinned to the mat for years. James Glassman was one of the many bubbly U.S. stock cheerleaders who recommended stocks for the long term at the wrong time.

Hello Citi: Get down to banking basics again

February 18, 2011

A woman uses an ATM inside a Citi bank branch in New York August 12, 2009.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson What should big banks be doing now? Should they focus on mortgages, savings and business loans? Or have they crossed the Rubicon and continue to build their international portfolios? We’re in a time of reckoning and small can still be beautiful.

Why gun insurance should be mandatory

February 15, 2011

MEXICO/It’s been over a month since the Arizona shootings rocked our nation’s soul and Congress still has yet to address gun control. What gives? Egypt is no doubt at the forefront for Obama, but Congress is alarmingly quiet on the issue. Is it that a Supreme Court ruling last year and the power of the National Rifle Association are still unmovable obstacles to real reform? Only New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to be beating the drum for this serious issue.

Best ETFs in 2010: Some surprises

February 14, 2011

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange November 8, 2010.    REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Other than gold- and silver-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which funds produced the best returns last year?

Kill the mortgage deduction and give it to entrepreneurs

February 11, 2011

Prospective home buyer Jessica Doctoroff (C) visits a condominium for sale with her real estate agent Brenda Bremis in Medford, Massachusetts April 2, 2009.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder  Somehow I don’t think President Obama had the home-mortgage interest deduction in mind when he mentioned the U.S. tax code before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week.

Forex folly: Why you shouldn’t be trading currencies

February 7, 2011

A picture illustration of crumpled kuna, Dollar and euro banknotes, taken in Zagreb January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Nikola Solic Late-night infomercials and Internet ads are like sirens, calling would-be trading wizards with this alluring pitch: “You, too, could make a fortune trading currencies!”

Egypt: Mummy’s curse or economic boom?

February 4, 2011

Anti-government protesters wave an Egyptian flag during a mass demonstration in Tahrir Square in Cairo February 1, 2011.   REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis Did the Egyptian rebellion open up a gold mine for civil reforms or a mummy’s tomb of economic perils?