Economics and Investing:

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Genius: FATCA has brought in just $13.5 billion in revenue on a cost of $1 trillion

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Investors ‘Go Bananas’ for Gold Bars as Global Stock Markets Tumble – Getting more serious by the day.

Yellen on Negative Rates: ‘We Wouldn’t Take Those Off the Table’ – You bet your biscuits, negative rates are not off the table. However, they have painted themselves in a corner, without an “event” that provides the cover to say, “Well things were going great until XYZ event, which was totally unforeseen and unpredictable.”

Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Yellen: Fed Not Likely to Reverse Course on Rates Despite Risks (Reuters) Excerpt: “The Federal Reserve is unlikely to reverse its plan to raise interest rates further this year, but tighter credit markets, volatile financial markets, and uncertainty over Chinese economic growth have raised risks to the U.S. economy, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday.”

CAGW Scorches Final Obama Budget (Citizens Against Government Waste) Excerpt: “This swan song budget follows the same well-worn path of enabling the government to pick winners and losers, intensifies failed initiatives by throwing more money at them, and introduces a regressive tax on oil that will hurt all Americans.”

Low Wage Recovery Highlighted by 7 Out of 10 Jobs Added in January Coming from Minimum Wage Waiters and Temporary Retail Workers (My Budget 360) Excerpt: “This is troubling because it highlights the economy being more efficient at adding low wage jobs without the prospect of better paying jobs. In other words, we have gutted the market for workers and have made it easier for companies to essentially pay people very little and to destroy the quality of life for many. All the while CEOs are doing pretty well….”

International News

European Central Bank Gets Ready for More Easy Money (Mises) Excerpt: “While mainstream thinkers would likely oppose ordinary money counterfeiting, they are totally supportive of monetary pumping by the central bank, which sets in place the same dynamic as a counterfeiter.”

Sweden Takes Negative Interest Rates Even Lower as Riksbank Fights to Keep Up with Global Stimulus (The Telegraph) Excerpt: “Swedish policymakers acknowledged that ‘several central banks [were] pursuing more expansionary monetary policy’, meaning that they would need to act with more stimulus to prevent the krona from rising.”

Shipping Industry Faces Worse Storm Than After Financial Crisis, Warns Maersk Boss (The Telegraph) Excerpt: “The shipping industry is in crisis with sector giant AP Moeller-Maersk reporting plunging profits and its boss saying conditions are now tougher than after the global financial crash.”

Norway Seeks to Diversify Its Economy as Oil Earnings Plunge (BBC) Excerpt: “We have the highest unemployment levels since 1995, and many of those out of work are young….”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

17 Things to Make Instead of Buy (Frugal Living) Excerpt: “Making things yourself can be both satisfying and cost effective. As you run out of things that you normally buy, challenge yourself to come up with a homemade replacement. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make many of the products that you’re used to buying.”

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