It’s time for banks to pay back their debt to the rest of us

July 29, 2011

The devilish deficit dance going on in Congress right now has been a convenient distraction for big U.S. banks. They’ve not only escaped new taxes for now, but they also are relishing their taxpayer bailout by earning robust profits.

Boost your money market rate in a zero percent world

July 25, 2011

I grimaced when I looked at my money-market fund statement the other day. I was earning zero percent yield.

3 more gloomy bargains: How much the debt deal will cost you

July 22, 2011

No matter what plan Washington concocts to reduce the deficit, it’s going to cost you something. “Shared sacrifice” is in vogue, but your pain will be bigger if you’re unfortunate enough to earn wages or need social benefits.

Is now the time to China-proof your portfolio?

July 18, 2011

As  the People’s Republic is entering a “whack-a-mole” phase — where unrest and economic pressures keep rearing its head in different places — it makes it hard to predict whether or not China’s volatility over a strained economy will result in a major meltdown in Chinese stocks. The country has weathered storms before and bounced back.

Debt ceiling & dumber: No safe haven for your money?

July 15, 2011

Washington is now acting out a scene from Tennessee Williams’ classic play Glass Menagerie. The ever-fragile players are about to shatter .

How safe is your money-market fund?

July 12, 2011

Here’s a $12 trillion question: Are money-market mutual funds safe?

The industry insists that they are and banking regulators aren’t calling in the National Guard, although the U.S. Treasury Department is considering some emergency measures in case of a U.S. debt default.

Pirates of the Caribbean alert: Offshore corporate cash hoard

July 8, 2011

Paging Captain Jack Sparrow. The modern equivalent of pirate treasure islands is holding some $1 trillion of corporate cash by U.S. corporations.

Financial independence day: 5 ways to get there

July 4, 2011

No fireworks will explode if you can pull off financial independence, but it sure beats working for the man. How do you do it? Do you have to live like a monk? Give up chocolate? Move to a tent? Stop watching the Cartoon Network?

CORRECTED: AT&T-T-Mobile merger: Why the FCC should hang up

July 1, 2011

Is mean old Ma Bell back from the grave?

In the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, it certainly raises the ugly specter of highly concentrated control, fewer consumer choices and higher prices. While various labor groups and legislators have endorsed the deal, it could be a garbled signal for most U.S. cellphone users.