Economics and Investing:

What does Wal-Mart owe the towns it leaves? 9 experts weigh in – There are a variety of opinions, but the bottom line really is that Walmart does not owe the community anything. Smaller businesses were driven under because the community chose to save a few bucks. It is the community itself that bears the responsibility. – RBS

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CEO of shipping giant Maersk says economy is “worse than 2008” TRUNEWS with Rick Wiles – RBS

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Fed’s Yellen Says Global Risks Could Pose US Growth Threats (Reuters) Excerpt: “But Yellen acknowledged that some of the weaknesses in the global economy have become self re-enforcing, with weak growth in major manufacturers like China and oversupply on commodity markets rattling the world’s oil and mineral exporters. A broad sense of a world slowdown, in turn, and uncertainty about the depth of China’s problems, has tightened financial conditions for U.S. businesses.”

Obama Proposes $4.1T Spending Plan in Final White House Budget(Reuters) Meanwhile, unbridled spending proposals flood forth from the government’s tax-and-spend conveyor belt. Excerpt: “The president’s final budget continues his focus on new spending proposals instead of confronting our country’s massive overspending and skyrocketing $19 trillion in debt,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi.” The Washington Free Beacon is also following this story: Obama Budget Would Add Another $9.3T to the Debt

Perdue Bill Aims to Aims to Control Fed’s “Financial Mess”(Washington Examiner) In order to begin resolving our debt, we must first examine, understand, and adjust our spending. Excerpt: “Without an honest and accurate assessment of the federal balance sheet, Americans don’t know what the government takes in and what it spends,” Perdue said. “There should be no hidden trust funds or unaccountable spending programs.”

International News

The Walking Dead: Something is Rotten in Europe’s Banking System (Contra Corner) Excerpt: “All signs are that things are in fact in danger of getting out of hand, even if it seems to us as though it is time for at least a brief pause in the mini panic in risk assets we have observed in recent weeks. This is just a reminder that oil prices and the yuan are not the only things on the minds of market participants at the moment. As is seemingly always the case, when it rains, it pours.”

Fresh Banking Crisis Fears Send FTSE to Lowest Level Since 2012 (The Telegraph) Excerpt: “Health of the financial system and danger of negative central bank interest rates cause bank stocks to fall to lowest level in nearly four years.”

Bonds Follow Bank of Japan into Negative Territory (New York Times) Excerpt: “The Bank of Japan’s new policy is intended to stimulate the economy, which narrowly avoided falling into recession last quarter. By making it unprofitable for banks to hold cash, Mr. Kuroda hopes to encourage them to lend more freely and get businesses and households to spend. He also wants to give a lift to consumer prices, which have been sagging after a welcome but short-lived bout of inflation.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

IRS Announces Taxpayer Data Stolen in Cyberattack (Washington Examiner) Excerpt: “Using personal data stolen elsewhere outside the IRS, identity thieves used malware in an attempt to generate E-file PINs for stolen Social Security numbers….” In other tax related news: Anyone who might have made overpayments should be aware of the deadlines for recovery of those funds. From the Washington Free Beacon: IRS Kept $4.75B in Overpayments that Taxpayers Can No Longer Claim Back

A Deep Pantry – What It Is and Why You Need One (Just Plain Living) Excerpt: “One of the first things I hear when I suggest people start building up a deep pantry (or food storage – use whatever term works for you) is that they can’t afford to buy extra food for storage. My experience is that you probably can’t afford not to.”

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