Archive for January, 2009

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Bailout Trade-Offs

January 31, 2009

I am pretty sold on the idea that, for long-term economic growth, tax cuts are one of the best things.  They keep more of the money in the economic machine.  However, short term, I do not think tax cuts have any real stimulating effect.

So, what do we do?  Do we spend our way out of the problem?  I believe a large spending stimulus package will stimulate the economy in the short term.  Throwing that much money into the economy and money will start flowing through the economy.  What remains to be seen is how far and how fast it will flow.  If it flows fast and far enough, it might just get us out of this downturn.

The downside to the large stimulus package is the large increase to federal debt.  It prevents larger future tax cuts because that debt needs to be paid back with interest.  So, it appears the cost of stimulating the economy now may be slowing the economy’s long-term growth.

Is it worth it?  I do not know.

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Starting The Sell-Off

January 26, 2009

I have been wanting to do this for awhile, but in order to clean out the apartment and pump up the bank account, I have listed some of my books on Half.com.  I also listed some textbooks the campus bookstore would not buy back.  So, hopefully things will sell well, and I will have a less cluttered apartment.

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Cutting Back At Work

January 24, 2009

So, at work yesterday we were informed of the changes to our benefits.  They “suspended” our 401(k) match until such time we achieve “predictable profitablility.”  They also increased the cost of our insurance $5 every two weeks.

At least MY coverage did not change.  They cut back the coverage on our part-time employees a lot, though.

We also let go most of our seasonal employees, even though we usually keep a good half to three quarters of them.  So, hopefully these are not signs of us being in too dire of straights.

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Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Prosper?

January 22, 2009

The SEC is, according to NPR’s Planet Money Podcast.  That is why Prosper.com is going through its quiet period.  Apparently the SEC does not know quite how to classify peer-to-peer lending networks like Prosper.com, so it closed Prosper down pending some filings and discussions.  Hopefully Prosper will come back in a form similar to when I started investing, because I really want to keep increasing my number of loans.

P.S.  Planet Money is a great blog and podcast and pretty accessible for those without a financial background.

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Excited For Class

January 21, 2009

I usually do not look forward to going to class, but my finance 301 course has me excited.  The way the professor described it, this will be  what I call a “path-finding” class.

“Path-finding” is something I discovered with stoicheometry in chemistry class.  It also appears in geometry and symbolic logic.  Basically, it consists of being given a starting point and a destination.  It is your job to find the path between the two.

In stoicheometry, you are given chemicals to combine.  Then you have to figure out what and how much product the reaction will produce.  In geometry and symbolic logic, your job is to use theorems and corrolaries to prove something.  The path is what theorems to use and what order to use them.

It appears in this finance class, I will be given a situation and have to figure out what equations to use and what information to input into them.

I love path-finding.

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Moonlighting

January 20, 2009

Thanks to Pepsi’s PepsiPoints promotion, we scored the first two seasons of Moonlighting.  I remember it was popular and funny when I was a child, but going back and watching it nearly 25 years later I realize just how great it was.

The writing is amazing, and the wackier the episodes get, the better they are.  It’s like the spiritual ancestor to Farscape.

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Welcome My Wife

January 20, 2009

My wife has setup a blog of her own.  It is The Pointy Stick.  Check it out.