Best Credit Card Offers

It's been a long time since I looked at a credit card offer (I simply don't need more than 1-2 cards–nobody does, really), but this site crossed my desk and I thought I'd share it with you.

I mean, if you're looking for a credit card, you may as well get the best one there is.

Best Credit Card Offers

Three Economic Myths: Part 2

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on economic myths.

Economic Myth 2: The markets are panicking about the deficit

 

From Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

 

To hear the G-20 tell it, the U.S. and other top countries had better slash those budget deficits before the world comes to an end.

And maybe the markets should be panicking about the deficits.

But they're not. It's that simple.

If they were, the interest rate on government bonds would be skyrocketing. That's what happens with risky debt: Lenders demand higher and higher interest payments to compensate them for the dangers.

But the rates on U.S. bonds have been plummeting recently. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond is down to just 4%. By historic standards that's chickenfeed. Panicked? The bond markets are practically snoring.

They aren't seeing inflation either. On the contrary, they're saying it will average just 2.3% a year over the next three decades. That's the gap between the interest rates on inflation-protected Treasury bonds and the rates on the regular bonds. By any modern standard the forecast is low. Instead of worrying about inflation, some are starting to worry about something even more dangerous: deflation, or falling prices.

If that takes hold, cutting spending and raising taxes would be a bad move.

It's certainly possible the lenders buying these bonds are being foolish. And it's worth noting that the Treasury market is also subject to political distortions, because foreign are among the heavy buyers of bonds. So it's worth treating its apparent verdicts with some caution. Nonetheless, the burden of proof, as usual, is on those who argue the market is wrong.

It's the age-old "deficits are bad" baloney. Well, deficits can be bad. But in our case, they're not. We've been running deficits since the 40s, regularly. There was a time when we got close to eliminating the yearly difference between tax revenues and federal spending (late 90s very early 2000s), but Alan Greenspan warned that surpluses were bad.

Maybe he was right. The federal government certainly heeded his warning: We've spend trillions over the past 9 1/2 years, well above our "normal."

But most of that spending has come in terms of non-discretionary spending ("entitlements" that no politician has the courage to challenge, social security being one of the biggies, Medicare being the other horn of a really nasty bull) and very discretionary war spending.

Neither of which, I'll add, stimulates growth in the economy or jobs. Surely, soldiers have jobs, but they had those jobs before the economy tanked. What's going to happen if we every withdraw and don't need them any more? Will the government have the courage and discipline to "lay them off?"

I doubt it.

The problem is that, while we did put together a $787 billion stimulus package, it clearly wasn't enough. Yeah, you read that right.

They should have spent $2 trillion on boosting the economy from the get-go. But that's just my opinion. Prove me wrong 🙂

 

The Mortgage Market Is Rigged Against Borrowers

by Jack Guttentag

Yes, the mortgage market is more rigged against borrowers than ever before. If only PMI had been required on all buyers between 2001 and 2007…what if?

In my last column, I indicated that most mortgage borrowers who need private mortgage insurance are not aware that they have options in the kind of premium plan they select. Almost all are directed into monthly premium plans. Yet for many borrowers, the total cost over the period the borrowers will have the mortgage will be higher on a monthly premium plan than on a single financed-premium plan. In every case, furthermore, the increase in payment will be larger on a monthly premium plan.

A Market Rigged Against Borrowers: Why aren’t borrowers offered the option?

More on Mortgage Market Rigging

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Candwich Man Sued by SEC

"Investors" seem to be getting burned more and more often nowadays. This time, silly people invested in a company whose owner instead used their funds to buy stuff and make silly investments such as "canned sandwiches." That's funny.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued a Utah man for fraudulently misusing $139 million of investor funds on such things as a film about the Cub Scouts' Pinewood Derby car race and development of a "sandwich in a can."

According to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Salt Lake City, Travis Wright misappropriated all but $6 million of the $145 million he raised from about 175 investors between 2001 and 2009 by selling notes issued by his Waterford Loan Fund LLC.

The SEC said the 47-year-old Draper resident represented to investors that their money would be used for loans secured by commercial real estate.

SEC sues Utah man in 'sandwich in a can' fraud – Yahoo! News

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