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  • Japan's Third Sales-Tax Blunder Must Be Its Final Mistake

    Japan's economy shrank sharply in the final three months of 2019, logging its second-worst quarter in the past decade. That would be easier to stomach if it weren't because of a mistake policy makers have now made three times. In October, Japan raised its sales tax to 10% from 8%-- and spending tanked.

  • How High Should Government Debt Go? Economists Can't Agree

    FRANKFURT--Governments around the world are loading up on debt, taking advantage of record-low borrowing costs to extend a long economic expansion and invest for future challenges. Economists warned a decade ago that pushing public debt above about 90% of gross domestic product could hurt growth and increase the risk of crises. Now they aren't so sure.

  • Two years after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act -- who are the winners and the losers?

    There's a disconnect between who actually benefitted from the TCJA and who thinks they benefitted. With tax filing season now underway, we have two full years of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes in the rearview mirror: 2018 and 2019. Are you better off than before? Is the country better off than before?

  • More Americans feel confident about taking on debt in 2020, even as delinquencies rise

    'Transitions into delinquency among credit-card borrowers have steadily risen since 2016, notably among younger borrowers'. Consumers are feeling better about taking on more debt. U.S. household debt hit $14 trillion in the fourth quarter of last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said this month, an increase of $193 billion on the previous quarter.

  • The Bond Market Might Finally Be Nearing Its Limit

    For two decades bonds have offered a form of free insurance for investors, tending to move in the opposite direction to stocks over short periods while making good money over the longer run. But investors counting on the ballast of bonds should take note: There is reason to believe this win-win might be ending. And thus when the next recession hits, bonds may be less useful than they were in the last.

  • Here are vulnerable parts of the U.S. economy that coronavirus may infect

    While consumers carry the economy, business paddle in place. Festering worries about the spread of COVID-19 is a potential peril for the U.S. economy, but ailing manufacturers and tepid investment are already muzzling growth. Wall Street has been hoping for fresh signs of a rebound in business spending, but the first batch of reports for February is unlikely to deliver any grounds for optimism.

  • Here's the segment of the economy that may benefit from fears of coronavirus, analysts say

    Housing has long been known as making up 15% of the economy but its importance may be more fundamental than that. As the COVID-19 spreads and the patient count and death toll grow, economists are slashing their once-rosy expectations for global growth in 2020.. But amid the anxiety, there's one bright spot in the U.S. that is likely to be immune from the virus fallout.

  • Veteran strategist eyes health care and financials in anticipation of 'choppy and frustrating' markets

    Not everyone's a bull or a bear. "Stocks are priced expecting, requiring, demanding good news," says Bob Doll, senior portfolio manager and chief equity strategist at Chicago-headquartered fund manager Nuveen. According to FactSet, the forward price-to-earnings ratio on the S&P 500 is 19. When the forward P/E is above 17.5, the average annual return for the next 10 years is 0.5%.

  • How to eat less meat without driving yourself nuts -- and save up to $750 a year

    These people are eating less meat to help the planet, and so can you. Easing up on animal products might strike fear into some avowed meat lovers' hearts, but environmental, home-cookery and nutrition experts say the undertaking is both worthwhile and achievable. Twenty-three percent of Americans in a poll published last week by Gallup said they had eaten less meat over the past year, with health concerns topping the reasons for cutting back.

  • Meet the new IRS tax form specially designed for people 65 and older

    Yes, it has larger type than the traditional Form 1040. For the 2019 tax year, your friends at the IRS have introduced the new Form 1040- SR. This exciting development is proof that the feds care deeply about the tax-filing needs of older folks.

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