October 10, 2010
In all the Hollywood journalism flicks, is there a more famous one-liner than the one in "All the President's Men" when Hal Holbrook tersely directs Robert Redford to "Follow the money"? It's truer now than ever. Bruce Beattie reminds us of the judicial branch's role in off-the-charts political spending. Dan Wasserman turns up the heat on big "tea party" donors. And Gary Varvel burned the president for deficit spending ? tight in his own backyard tour. So much for the checks. On to the balances.
October 2, 2012 |
Who's the most influential billionaire business figure in national politics? If you answered one of the Koch brothers (Charles or David) or George Soros, you're wearing your partisan blinders. The former are known for their devotion to conservative causes, the latter to liberal. In either case, you're wrong. The most influential billionaire in America is Peter G. Peterson. The son of Greek immigrants, Peterson, 86, served as Commerce secretary under President Nixon, then became chairman and chief executive of Lehman Bros.
June 17, 2012 |
Dear Liz: I opened Uniform Transfers to Minors Act savings accounts for my two boys (now 7 and 10) when they were newborns. I chose not to go with the 529 college savings accounts because I didn't like the restriction that the money had to be used for education. It has always been my intention to use these funds for college, but if they choose not to go to college, then it could be used to help them purchase their first homes, for example. I've been squirreling away a couple hundred dollars each month in each account, but I read a few of your previous pieces and think maybe the UTMA accounts were not the best vehicle for this.
November 28, 2010
Who: Nicole Rasmussen, 38 Income: $79,200 a year, including spousal support Goals: Get help with household budgeting and retirement planning. Assets: $60,000 in retirement savings; $15,500 in savings accounts and stock holdings; $20,000 in a savings account shared with ex-husband Liabilities: $493,000 home loan; $60,000 home equity loan; $11,000 in credit card debt and a $7,500 car loan Recommendations: Sell home to get out from under expensive mortgage payment; focus on reducing credit card debt; consolidate retirement accounts and balance funds into a mixture of 60% stocks and 40% bonds.
July 8, 2013 |
The business world is fond of presenting consumers with Catch-22s. Richard Leza received a real beauty from a debt collector. "They basically told me I had to prove something that doesn't even exist," he said. Here's the crux of the problem: Is it the debt collector's responsibility to prove that money is owed, or the consumer's responsibility to prove that it isn't? State and federal officials are increasingly focusing on such issues as debt collectors turn up the heat after the prolonged economic downturn.
July 28, 2012
Re "Cash-strapped? Not so much," Editorial, July 25 Let's get some perspective. Almost all financial scandals involve losing money, not finding it. Yes, the accounting system for the state Department of Parks and Recreation, which had about $54 million stashed away, needs to be fixed, something infinitely doable in this electronic age. Instead of regarding this as bad news, perhaps we should be congratulating the people whose discovery brought...