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PERSONAL FINANCE

Op-Ed: Social Security’s impending bankruptcy doesn’t resonate with voters, yet

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

I am not a constitutional lawyer, but I see nearly zero chance that funding Social Security out of the general fund would be allowed for any significant length of time. It is at best a fool’s errand to hold out hope that Congress will be able to float the program’s imbalances out of the general […]

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The Long Odds of Solving the Budget Crisis

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

The budgetary crisis in the US has reached a critical phase. The debt ceiling fight about to unfold will simply be the latest phase. Experts say it is irresponsible to “play a game of chicken” with the debt ceiling. In the past, this means, Congress should increase the debt limit without resistance. The Democrat Congress has […]

Our Smart but Stupid Economic Masters

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

A review of The Lords of Easy Money:  How the Federal Reserve Broke the American Economy, by Christopher Leonard, Paperback Edition, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2023, 373 pages. Your neighbors might object to you reading The Lords of Easy Money.  That’s because it’s a book that will make you want to go outside and howl at the moon, given […]

Positive Feedback Loops With Negative Consequences – Part 2

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

Editors Note: Janet Yellen, US Secretary of the Treasury said late last week that the US would be out of money by January 19th, and would begin to take extraordinary measures to keep the government afloat until June. The problem is the previous Congress has already approved massive spending but has to go back to […]

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Positive Feedback Loops With Negative Consequences – Part 1

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Editors’ Note: Debate over the budget and deficit spending has been a staple of American political debate since they became chronic with Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society. Too bad it has in recent years just become background noise for both political parties because the stakes for America are very high. However, as this article […]

Biden Is Lying about the Jobs Data

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The personal savings rate is near seventeen-year lows. Credit card debt is at record levels. Millions of prime-age workers have quit the job market, and full-time employment continues to wither. On the other hand, the Biden Administration wants you to think things have never been better. Last week, following the release of December’s jobs data […]

Dip in Mortgage Rates Not Slowing Housing Bust 2: Mortgage Lenders Sing the Blues

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

It just keeps getting worse.  Mortgage applications to purchase a home are a forward-looking indicator of where home sales volume will be. Existing home sales that closed in November already plunged by 35% year-over-year, the 16th month in a row of year-over-year declines, making for a historic plunge. And mortgage applications went in the wrong direction […]

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Understanding Today’s Economy and Financial Markets

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Editor’s Note: The Prickly Pear published a related article last week on January 3 entitled The Price of Easy Money Now Coming Due. We recommend reading both articles together to understand current economic conditions and our readers’ concerns about personal financial situations.   When it comes to the economy, nearly the entire populace is of […]

Investment Challenges Ahead in 2023

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

In line with our promise to provide more guidance and opinions on personal finance,  the following is offered as our take on what 2023 will likely provide for investors. We hope to provide a little theory to develop your thinking and some actionable ideas. Keep in mind this is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Always […]

There’s A Massive Red Flag That Could Spell Disaster For Americans’ Pension Plans

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

U.S. government pension funds currently have the lowest cash holdings since the 2008 financial crisis, and corporate pensions’ cash holdings are barely above the 13-year low they hit in 2021, which could spell disaster in the event of a financial crisis. Over the past 15 years, public pensions had 2.45% cash holdings and private pensions […]