Economics and Investing:

Strange and Crazy in the Financial World!

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Reader B.B. Sent in this article: New Arizona Bill Would Give Tax Break To Gun Owners

HJL’s Comment: While it seems at first glance that this bill is a good thing, a deeper look reveals that it is not. On July 29, 2010, Arizona’s Constitutional carry law went into effect. This means that if you are legally able to own a firearm and you are 21 years of age or older, you can carry concealed in the State of Arizona without a concealed weapons permit. (You still have to abide by all concealed carry laws and off limit signs.) I believe this is just another attempt to “register” those who would carry a firearm to protect themselves, except this time, they are trying to entice the person rather than coerce the person to sign up. I’m putting this right up there with the 501c3 scam perpetrated on America’s churches. Stay away from it!

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Nearly $8T Wiped Off World Stocks in January (Reuters) Excerpt: “World stock market losses are approaching $8 trillion so far this year and investors last week poured the most money into government bond funds in a year, suggesting they fear the global economy could tip into recession….”

Schlumberger Cuts Another 10,000 Jobs as Oil Rout Deepens (Bloomberg) Today’s “rally” in the price oil may simply be too little and too late to change the trajectory of larger and longer term decisions by companies like Schlumberg. … but perhaps more interesting is whether or not there has been a geopolitical shift with regard to the management of the price per barrel. Here are two additional reports that further develop this story. Business Insider’s quick read: Oil is Now Rocketing …and a more detailed article from Market Watch related to China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia: Russia, China and Saudi Arabia are on the Ropes

Puerto Rico: US Calls on Creditors to Make Sacrifices (BBC News) If history is any measure, creditors are unlikely to volunteer themselves for loss. It is reasonable to expect that the process of resolving Puerto Rico’s debt debacle will occur substantially within the courts. Excerpt: “The people of Puerto Rico are sacrificing, but unless that sacrifice is shared by creditors in an orderly restructuring, there is no path out of insolvency and back to growth…”

International News

The World’s Most Famous Case of Hyperinflation (Visual Capitalist) Excerpt: “The world’s most famous hyperinflation event, which took place in Germany from 1921 and 1924, was a financial calamity that led millions of people to have their savings erased.”

5 Reasons Why Venezuela’s Economy is in a “Meltdown” (CNN Money) Oil crash. Currency worth less than a penny. A political power struggle. Default that is difficult, may be impossible, to avoid. …and a food crisis. Conditions in Venezuela are tragic and teaching.

ECB to Review Monetary Policy in March (Fox Business) Excerpt: “The European Central Bank held interest rates at record lows on Thursday, but the market crash, tumbling bank stocks and ebbing inflation may set the stage for action later in the year.” Even so, there is only so much monetary policy can accomplish as referenced in this second link to a quick read and an important message. Reuters reports: ECB’s Nowotny Says Monetary Policy Has Limits in Boosting Growth

Personal Economics and Household Finance

How to be Frugal: One Month at a Time (Frugalwoods) Excerpt: “If your internet is anything like my internet, there are approximately 595,890 articles out right now about how to successfully save money this year. But here’s the thing: the timeframe of a year is entirely too broad when thinking about money (or most things, really)–it feels like a freaking eternity.”

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