My Car! My Student Debt! Grads Pulled in Two Debt Directions ( Admin posted on December 18th, 2014 )

Trying to determine whether its more important to pay off your student loan versus the purchase of a vehicle to take you to your job (so you can pay off your student loan) is a debate as old as whether the chicken or the egg came first.

This conflict has never raged on so fiercely as during this uneasy, post recession period. Millennials have racked up some of the highest student loan debt in history but are trying to make a dent in it amid living in an auto-loving country. In many places outside urban environments, no car means no job so owning your own set of reliable wheels is imperative to knocking down student loan debt.

Featured in Forbes Magazine, The Project on Student...

Moody’s assigns A1 rating to AMP Inc. Prairie State’s Series 2015 A and B; ( Admin posted on December 18th, 2014 )

Affirms ratings and the outlook is stable

New York, December 16, 2014 —

Moodys Rating

Issue: Prairie State Energy Campus Project Revenue Bonds,
Refunding Series 2015A; Rating: A1; Sale Amount:
$524,925,000; Expected Sale Date: 12-24-2014;
Rating Description: Revenue: Government Enterprise

Issue: Prairie State Energy Campus Project Revenue Bonds,
Refunding Series 2015B; Rating: A1; Sale Amount:
$138,755,000; Expected Sale Date: 12-24-2014;
Rating Description: Revenue: Government Enterprise

Opinion

Moodys Investors Service...

Low Oil Hurts Most—But Not All—Frontier Markets: Capital Economics ( Admin posted on December 18th, 2014 )

By Teresa Rivas

Low oil prices are predicted to shake out in a number of different ways for emerging market economies, but what about frontier markets.

Capital Economics’ Adam Collins and John Higgins have a note out on the subject today, and they are mixed on the topic. They note that the oil-heavy iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (FM) is on track to underperform the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM) in the fourth quarter for the first time since 2012. With little relief in sight for oil prices, they don’t see the Frontier ETF outperforming any time soon. Yet certain frontier markets still hold appeal.

First the bad news:

The FM Index covers...

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Success of ‘land sparing’ will depend on global economics, regulations ( Admin posted on December 18th, 2014 )

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Categories: Economics

Economics’ failure to tackle real-world issues drives women away ( Admin posted on December 18th, 2014 )

On the first Thursday of every month, nine men and women meet within the marble halls of the Bank of England to decide whether the nation’s mortgages will get more expensive and to answer the pound;375bn question: is it time to reverse the Bank’s electronic printing presses, which pumped money into the economy during the financial crisis.

More specifically, seven men and two women make those vital decisions. As recently as six months ago it was nine men. It was only the arrival of Nemat (Minouche) Shafik, a former World Bank official, and Kristin Forbes, a US academic, at the monetary policy committee that ended an all-male run that had lasted for four years.

Around...

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Sexual equality still a work in progress ( Admin posted on December 18th, 2014 )

Just the same, Mr Murphy, should it be he, will continue to operate in the southern political hemisphere until he works his passage to Holyrood. And the two candidates for deputy leader are also female, so a woman, probably Kezia Dugdale, will follow temporary chief inquisitor Jackie Baillie into the government bashing slot.

Women are not quite on top, (the gender balance has slipped since the heady days of the first reconvened Scottish parliament). But with a 50/50 split in the Sturgeon cabinet you cant call them marginalised. (And didnt you just love Herald cartoonist Steven Camleys take on it yesterday, where Her Maj suggested the boys went off to powder their noses whilst she and the new FM did some...

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Categories: Family Budgeting

The Economics and Politics of Long-term Budget Projections ( Admin posted on December 17th, 2014 )

SUMMARY
Budget projections can provide a valuable look at what the world will look like if current laws remain in place, but they cannot tell us how or when to act in the face of projected imbalances.

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Categories: Economics

Seasonality In Business And Economics: A Primer ( Admin posted on December 17th, 2014 )

Managers need to understand how their business is doing, but normal seasonal variations make this harder. Here’s a basic primer that every business leader needs to understand before looking at data about sales, operations or finance.

The Christmas season is a great example of seasonality: it occurs regularly and has a colossal impact on many companies, as I pointed out in my recent article How Big Is Christmas For Retail? That article showed that the category of “Sporting goods, hobbies and music stores” had the biggest impact from Christmas of any retail sector. Let’s look at that in more detail.

The chart shows a spike in sales every December. There...

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Categories: Economics

Less Debate in Economics Journals? ( Admin posted on December 17th, 2014 )

About the chart above:

Once upon a time, economists regularly used to publicly criticise each other’s work in academic journals. But not any more.

In Figure 1 I have illustrated the degree to which economists have stopped debating. The data have been culled from Jstor, the online database of academic journals. To estimate the number of debating articles for each year, I searched for articles with “comment”, “reply”, and/or “rejoinder” in their titles, as these are the key words used to indicate a comment on someone else’s article and a reply to that comment. I did the search for the five most prestigious economics journals....

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How Michigan can improve the lives of 80000 homeless children ( Admin posted on December 16th, 2014 )

A few months back, the family routine of 12-year-old Jayla Bluntson was anything but routine.

First, Jayla and her family were evicted from their Grand Rapids apartment. Her parents slept in a car, while Jayla and her six siblings stayed with a nearby relative. That lasted two weeks.

Then Jayla, three of her siblings and her mother, Joy, moved from church to church, staying a week in each in an emergency shelter network operated by a nonprofit Grand Rapids-based organization called Family Promise. Their typical home was an empty church conference room with beds, no television and little or no furniture. Three other siblings and her father, Jerry, stayed with a relative in Milwaukee.

That...

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