Economics and Investing:

Saudi-Iran Dispute Won’t Cause Lasting Oil Price Rally

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Wall Street Journal: 7% Fall in the Chinese Market Triggered Closure for the Day – T.A.

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Rand Paul: Here’s Why We Should Audit the Fed (Business Insider) Excerpt: “It is no secret that the Federal Reserve’s unchecked printing press causes recessions and increases income inequality. Allowing the Fed to inflate our money supply will artificially keep interests rates low, but at what cost? Their acts can no longer go unchecked…”

The Rise of the Zombie Earmark (Taxpayers for Common Sense) The key to a change in behavior is the CHANGE in BEHAVIOR. It’s not about imposing new rules only to find ways to work around them! It is about making a sincere and determined decision to change course and then following through on that choice. Excerpt: “When Congress banned earmarks in 2011, House Speaker John Boehner said stripping lawmakers’ ability to direct federal dollars to their pet projects was a “critical step to restore public trust.” But nearly five years later, members of Congress have found stealthy ways to load up defense spending bills with scores of provisions propping up programs the military didn’t request and doesn’t want — while also allowing some earmarks from decades past to live on.”

International News

Greece Warns Creditors on “Unreasonable Demands” Over Pensions (Financial Times) Excerpt: “He stressed that the economy would not withstand a repeat of the 2015 stand-off that pushed the country to the brink of a eurozone exit and financial collapse.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Recognize the Signs of Discontentment (Stewardship Central) Although this article was written with churches in mind, the message is also a very important one for individual households. Excerpt: “There’s one issue in particular that, if not dealt with, makes the proper handling of money almost impossible. That issue is discontentment. And it’s a great place to start the money conversation.”

How the Medical Code Overhaul Will Affect You (Market Watch) Be aware of the changes coming and anticipate that more time will be dedicated to your insurance and payment of any money due than will be invested in time with your healthcare professional. Excerpt: “Your doctor and medical staff may get crankier. Your health insurance claims may be denied or delayed. You could be pressured to pay health care balances in full, rather than over time. Welcome to the new world of medical coding that took effect Oct. 1, 2015.”

Monthly Spending Worksheet (Frugal Living) A simple tool well worth using to sort out where your money is going and how to manage it more effectively. Even for those among us who are proactively financially disciplined, a review and refresher of the ways in which we spend money is a good idea!

The Jury Duty Scam (Identity Theft Resource Center) Spoiler Alert: Do not make payments over the phone. Here’s How It Works: “Callers posing as sheriff’s deputies reach out to individuals at random to inform them that they have failed to appear for jury duty, and have therefore had a contempt judgment levied against them. The deputies then offer to accept payment over the phone for the fine.”