Economics and Investing:

Sears, Kmart closing 78 more stores in bid to restore profitability – Go ahead, and don’t let the town/city door knob that once supported your operations hit you in the rear on your way out of there. Perhaps the other insult is how this firm manipulates its “CLOSEOUT” liquidation process…further jabbing the last dollar out of the already suffering local community. – RBS

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Obama Boasts In Britain: I Saved The World Economy As President – I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. – B.B.

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Negative Rates Put Pressure on Central Banks to Take Risks (Financial Times) Excerpt: “Central banks need to preserve capital, so investing in securities that force them to lose money is counterintuitive….” …and a follow up from the Wall Street Journal: Negative Interest Rates: How Do They Work? This is a video link.

Helicopter Money to the Rescue (Mises) Excerpt: “Friedman’s comments about helicopter money included an important caveat: it is unlikely that the helicopters would fly only once.”

“Helicopter Money” Sounds Great, But Here’s Why It May Not Work (Fortune) Excerpt: “It could take many forms: QE combined with fiscal expansion; direct cash transfers to governments; or, the most radical option, direct cash transfers to households via cheques, bank transfers or state pension payments.”

What Comes After Negative Rates? Helicopter Money (Wall Street Journal) Excerpt: “When modern banking first emerged in medieval Italy, European mathematicians regarded negative numbers as absurd. Six hundred years on, the successors to the Medicis and Peruzzis face negative interest rates….”

Money From Heaven (The Economist) Excerpt: ““HELICOPTER money” sounds like an item on an expense claim at a hedge fund. In fact, it is shorthand for a daring approach to monetary policy: printing money to fund government spending or to give people cash.”

International News

Japan Probably Won’t See “Helicopter Money” Anytime Soon (Business Insider) Excerpt: “So on the one hand, not a shocking call from Kuroda that will be no helicopter drops in Japan. On the other hand, as the Journal notes, Japan has been fertile ground for calls from the economics community for more experimental policies like helicopter drops.”

How Central Planners Crippled Japan’s Economy (Mises) Excerpt: “No, the most devastating aspect of the financial meltdown is that central planning alchemy lost no credibility.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

How New Malware Stole Millions from Customers of 22 US Banks (Clark Howard) Excerpt: “Here’s how it works: the malware is installed on a user’s computer when he or she clicks on any attachment or link sent via email. The malware then remains hidden, so the victim has no idea it’s even there, until the user accesses his or her bank account from that same computer. “

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