Economics and Investing:

Debt distress level at highest since recession – GG

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The death of the American pension: Shifting the retirement burden from employers to workers has created an enormous financial crisis. – RBS

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

U.S. News

Millions in Fraud on Government Credit Cards (Waste Fraud and Abuse) Some waste is absurd, but the words disgusting and despicable come to mind over reports like this one. From the Article: “That law was inspired in part by a report earlier this year from the Defense Department finding that government credit card holders from across the agency improperly spent more than $1 million at casinos and adult entertainment clubs in a single year…”

International News

It’s a MYSTERY. Dubai’s Vaporized Gold (Zero Hedge) How does the expression go? If you don’t hold it, you don’t own it. Article Excerpt: “…announced a few days ago that it had suddenly and unexpectedly gone out of business, after an inquiry by minority shareholders announced that the entire old “management team abruptly resigned with no notice” and that “there had been substantial withdrawals from the company’s account to the personal accounts of some of the management and the majority shareholders.”

China Says AIIB Up and Running Early in the New Year (Reuters) From the Article: “The bank will initially focus on financing projects in power, transportation, and urban infrastructure in Asia…”

For Canadian Repo Men Business Has Never Been Better (Zero Hedge) From the Article: “But not everyone is Alberta is struggling. Take Steven Low, CEO of Consolidated Recovery Group for instance. Low’s company works with courts on auto repos and evictions and as you can imagine given everything said above, business is booming.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

7 Things That Shouldn’t Impress Us Anymore (Becoming Minimalist) Inspirational Quote from the Article: “Let’s stop trying to impress others with the things that we own. And start trying to inspire them by the lives that we live.”

The Real Cost of Your Shopping Habits (Forbes) Hint: “The road to bankruptcy is paved with good deals.”

Scam Alert: Card Skimmers Found in Grocery Store Payment Terminals (Clark Howard) Words of Warning from the Article: “We’ve warned consumers about ATM and gas station skimmers for a while, but there’s now a new threat to your wallet that’s popping up inside more and more grocery stores.”