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Yearly Archives: 2013


“Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2012 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:


Dishonorable Mentions for 2012 include:

See why here

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Blindsided: The Bull and Bear Case for Stocks in 2013

“SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Investors, it’s time to retest your 2013 strategic computer, your brain. Are you an Optimist who listens to the noisy Wall Street’s media bulls? Or are you naturally a perennial skeptical Pessimist who never trusts Wall Street and likely every other so-called expert predicting the future of the economy, the market, the world.

Let’s look past the typical avalanche of noisy predictions into the insanity that’s ahead in 2013. First, the final phase of the 2008 crash that the Pessimist sees coming. Then, the stock market’s surprising 2012 trouncing of the New Normal’s predicted single-digits returns.

Finally, we’ll examine four unpredictable black swans that can easily spoil Wall Street’s party in 2013.

Pessimist sees the final phase of the 2008 crash dead ahead…”

Full article


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Study: 75% Of The World’s Heads Of State Are Now On Twitter

“You know how some naysayers still like to dismiss Twitter as nothing more than a time wasting website where people talk about the sandwich they’re eating? Here’s another rebuttal for them.

A new survey from the Digital Policy Council (DPC) shows that 75 percent of the world’s heads of state have a presence on Twitter. The DPC’s annual study evaluates a total of 164 countries, and found this year that 123 of them have a head of state that is on Twitter, either with a personal handle or an official government one. That’s up significantly from 2011, when 69 out of the 164 countries had a Twitter presence. (It bears mention that there are a total of 193 states recognized by the United Nations, so we’ve reached out to the DPC for more details on which 164 countries they choose to monitor and why — we’ll update this when we hear back.) …”

Full article 

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Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues to Develop for 2013


“Nearly three hundred years ago,Benjamin Franklin came up with an approach to changing habits that has yet to be surpassed. A young adult seeking to straighten out his act, Franklin developed a list of thirteen virtues, jotting down a brief definition of each. These were character traits he took to be important, but in which he found himself lacking. He knew that nurturing these habits would bring about positive change in his life.

Starting at the top of the list, Franklin spent one week working on each virtue. In the morning he thought about how he would reinforce the new habit throughout the day. During the day he looked at his notes to remind himself of the new habit. At the end of the day, he counted how many times he fell back into the old habit.

While Franklin was surprised at first to see how “faulty” his behavior was, he was so resolved that he pressed on, working through the entire list in a thirteen-week cycle, and completing four such cycles in a year. As for results, he noted in his autobiography that while perfection was unattainable, he could see big improvements.

Modern psychologists recognize three key elements in Franklin’s three-hundred-year-old procedure for changing habits:

  1. He started out committed to the new behavior.
  2. He worked on only one habit at a time.
  3. He put in place visual reminders.

Applying Benjamin Franklin’s Method ….”

Full article

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What the Fiscal Cliff Tax Deal Means for your Small Business


“For small and medium sized business owners there is good news and bad news in the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.  In addition, the deal strongly underscores the need for business owners to sharpen their own pencils to cut their taxes.  NOTE – this article is written after the Senate vote on the Fiscal Cliff deal but before the House has taken any action – will update if there are any substantive tax changes.

First, let’s start with the good news.  Greater certainty in taxes (although as you will read below, you may not like what is certain).  More than any other issue I hear about from business owners and their accountants is the need for certainty in taxes.  A recent study by the Mercatus Center highlights the economic drag of uncertainty in taxes.

The tax deal makes permanent a number of tax provisions (after making changes from current 2012 policy), including the tax rates on ordinary income; estate tax; dividends and capital gains – and best of all, the alternative minimum tax (AMT).  NOTE:  The payroll tax holiday was ended.

On AMT the current exemption of $33,750 individual and $45,000 married is increased to $50,600 single and $78,750 married and indexes the exemption and phaseout amounts.  KEY – this new AMT fix is for tax years beginning after December 31, 2011 – i.e. the 2012 tax year.  Happy day.

BUSINESS PROVISIONS EXTENDED (not permanent) – The most important tax credit for small and medium business owners – the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit was extended through 2013 and made retroactive for 2012 (see more below); Work Opportunity Tax Credit extended one year; Section 179 – keeps in place the 2010/2011 levels of a maximum amount of $500k and $2 million phase-out for 2012 and 2013; Accelerated Depreciation — the Senate deal provides for 50 percent expensing for qualifying property purchased and placed in service before January 1, 2014 (and January 1, 2015 for certain long-term assets and transportation).

Now, the bad news – the tax increases – and the hidden tax increases.

ORDINARY INCOME:  While the tax deal increases the rates at a higher level than first proposed by the President ($200k single/250k married) – it does increase the rates from 35% to 39.6% at $400k single and $450k married (talk about a marriage penalty).   From 2012 tax policy this is a tax increase of $396 billion over 10 years.   Don’t forget, there is also the 0.9 percent tax increase on ordinary income over 200k/250k already set to begin in 2013 thanks to the health bill.  Given that small and medium businesses are overwhelmingly organized as pass-thrus (LLC’s; S Corps; partnerships) – it is the ordinary income rate that hits these business owners – not the corporate rate (which was untouched in this deal)….”

Full article

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Look What Happened the Last Time Gold Decoupled From Central Bank Activity

From 9/11 on, Gold and the world’s central bank balance sheets were as correlated as over-consumption and a hangover (and linked just as causally we suggest). Then a funny thing happened in 2008 – gold slid as the central banks went extreme. Of course, as this divergence occurred, the world’s stock markets imploded almost as if the central banks knew their status quo was about to go entirely pear-shaped. From 2008 until November of 2011 (when the world’s central banks began their coordinated ease-fest) the correlation went limit up once again. Since then, Gold and CB largesse once again decoupled as liquidity is flushed around the world’s markets to suspend reality just a little longer. While this divergence is not as extreme as in 2008, something is afoot…”

Full article and charts

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A Public Service Announcement From Peter Joseph for 2013 and Beyond

I find it fascinating that everyone carries the meme that anything is possible.

I guess the human race has struggled to survive for so long that hope has been hard wired into us.

Another thing we all seem to agree on is that the only constant in man’s history is change.

When i mention this public service announcement in quick summation to people they become hostile while finding ways to negate anything being possible. The more i press the more they box themselves into a corner spitting out pre-programmed responses.

Peter Joseph has a cogent argument for why we may be forced into change. Change that is a natural outcome of our behavior.

It is up to everyone to endure the information contained herein and to free your mind, to open up to what is possible.

Remember if nothing changes then nothing changes….until your hand is forced.

May you and your tribe have a happy and healthy new year.


[youtube://http://www.youtube.comwatch?v=rm9FozovARg 450 300]


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