The Stingy News Weekly (11/27/2011)
How to kill an economy
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavezís move to expand price controls this week sparked panic purchases by consumers, leading to shortages of everything from coffee to toilet paper."
Is this really the end?
"The chances of the euro zone being smashed apart have risen alarmingly, thanks to financial panic, a rapidly weakening economic outlook and pigheaded brinkmanship. The odds of a safe landing are dwindling fast."
Dogs bite back
"The Dogs of the Dow are running strong this year. The decades-old strategy, which calls for buying the 10 highest-yielding shares among the 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average members at the end of each year, has returned 5.5% this year through Wednesday, versus a 0.4% decline for the broader Dow."
Charlie Rose interviews Seth Klarman
"Award-winning journalist Charlie Rose interviews Seth Klarman, co-chair of the Facing History and Ourselves Board of Trustees, about his deep commitment to the work of Facing History and his thoughts on philanthropic and financial investment."
House of horrors
"Based on the average of the two measures, home prices are overvalued by about 25% or more in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand, Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden (see table). Indeed, in the first four of those countries housing looks more overvalued than it was in America at the peak of its bubble."
Fridayís deals may not be the best
"Professor Etzioni, who teaches computer science at the University of Washington, has directed his considerable intellect at the American ritual of shopping for bargains on Black Friday. After examining billions of prices of consumer electronics, he has decided to spend the busiest shopping day of the year scuba-diving in Bali."
No money for sauerkraut
"Germany failed to get bids for 35 percent of the 10-year bonds offered for sale today, propelling borrowing costs in Europe higher and the euro lower on concern the regionís debt crisis is driving away investors."
Why taxing the rich wonít help
"Itís tempting to look to our millionaires and demand they pay more in taxes, but the same inconvenient truth applies. When you add up all the money made by all the people who earn more than $1 million a year, it amounts to around $700 billion. But since the millionaires already pay close to $200 billion in taxes, the government would have to increase rates to nearly 100 percent ó which is about the worst idea ever ó for it to have any real impact."
More corporate tax wonít help
"A tax rate is one thing. Tax collected is another. Indeed, in Canada progressives like to point out that thereís no need for corporate income tax cuts, since the rates in the U.S. are much higher. But no one pays the posted rate in the U.S."
Lessons from Canada's 'basket case' moment
"Finance officials bit their nails and nervously watched the clock. There were 30 minutes left in a bond auction aimed at funding the deficit and there was not a single bid. Sounds like today's Italy or Greece? No, this was Canada in 1994."
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