Economics and Investing:

In Sweden, a Cash-Free Future Nears – Sent in by G.G.

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

U.S. News

Saving Puerto Rico from Itself (Wall Street Journal) From the Article: “After snowballing for decades, Puerto Rico’s debt problems have become an avalanche.”

Economic Growth Slower Than Thought in the 3rd Quarter (Washington Examiner) But wait, there’s more… The Federal Reserve projects growth of just 2.4% in 2016.

Biggest Economic Story of 2016: Inflation (Business Insider) The Fed has taken its strategic position: that inflation, rather than deflation, will be the greatest risk to the economy in the coming year. Is it the right one? This is a complex question involving many different and dynamic driving forces. …and the results can create confusion among us in trying to understand what’s happening and why. We’re all trying to discern a story that is at once unfolding over time and in the moment. In my view, it’s likely we’ll see elements of both and that the interaction of these (in conflict and competition) will complicate policy decisions going forward.

Pennsylvania and Illinois Usher in the New Year with Record Budget Impasses (Zero Hedge) From the Article: “And so, we see what happens with gross fiscal mismanagement meets petty partisan bickering.”

IRS Costs Taxpayers $46M in Suspect Refunds (Waste Fund and Abuse) From the Article: “The mistakes and shortcomings at the Internal Revenue Service could incorrectly drain up to $230 million from the Treasury during the next five years if left uncorrected, according to the report.”

International News

China Establishes Rival to World Bank (The Telegraph) From the Article: “Despite the opposition of Washington, major US allies such as Australia, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Philippines and South Korea have joined.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Scam Warming: Redemption, Strawman, Bond Fraud (FBI)