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December 2012

Barone: 2013: Forecasts for the unsettled road ahead

Forecast 1: Slow economic growth in 2013’s first half; second half could be better. Whether we go over the “fiscal cliff” or not, the first part of 2013 will be quite slow with the possibility that even the “official” numbers could show up as negative. At this writing, it does not appear that the Washington politicians will reach any sort of meaningful deal by year’s end. But, even if they …Read More

The Demonization of Corporate Tax Avoidance

Like a doctor who takes the Hippocratic oath always to put his patients’ best interests first, so, too, a director of a company, especially a large or publicly traded one, has, under the law, a fiduciary duty always to serve the best interests of its shareholders. Profits always have been an important measure of the health of a company, and it is an accepted norm that shareholders are better off when profits are higher than …Read More

Advisors Could Be Affected By Proposed Money Market Fund Reforms

As soon as Robert Barone heard rumors that money market funds were in trouble back in 2008, the financial advisor switched his clients’ assets out of prime money market funds and into government-backed money market funds. Fast forward to 2012, financial advisors may want to examine money market fund assets before investing or transferring, given proposed regulatory reforms that, among other things, would allow the net asset values of money …Read More

Spending: the nation’s real fiscal cliff issue

The business media is fixated on the “fiscal cliff” issue, not because its avoidance will spur economic growth, but because failure to avert it likely would mean another severe contraction in an already underperforming economy. The most likely short-run outcome is for Congress and President Barack Obama to reach a “compromise,” which “kicks the can down the road” and gives these institutions additional time to resolve the issues. “Kicking the …Read More