Economists, often referred to as “the dismal scientists,” are teetering on ebullience about the future. The upbeat assessments come with the usual abundance of caveats (“the economic path will be determined by the ability to quell the virus,” “not every sector will be back on its feet by the summer”), but the combination of ...Read more
Cal Newport hooked me with the title “A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload.” If that concept seemed dreamy a year ago, it now feels like those of us lucky enough to be working from home are yearning for the salvation that Newport is suggesting.
I first encountered Newport, a computer science professor ...Read more
As I write this, bitcoin has breached $50,000. That may just be a number but consider Bitcoin’s recent ascent: Just two years ago, a single bitcoin fetched $3,600 and at the beginning of this year, the value had increased tenfold, to over $36,000 and it is now trading at $50,000. The dizzying ride of Bitcoin began for me back in 2013, when I ...Read more
Tax filing season for calendar year 2020 opens February 12, a few weeks later than usual. Unlike last year, when the deadline to file and pay any tax owed was extended to July, this year, we revert to good ol’ April 15, so it’s time to get organized.
If you didn’t learn the lesson of electronic filing last year, this is the year to dump ...Read more
Nearly 25 years ago, then Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan asked, “How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions?” Given the recent volatile action of GameStop stock, I wonder: Is irrational exuberance back?
GameStop, the brick-and-...Read more
After President Biden signed executive orders addressing the pandemic itself and its financial fallout, it is reportedly looking at other ways to boost the economy and help Americans. One idea that was floated during the campaign may actually find bipartisan support — a $15,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. Unfortunately, unlike so many ...Read more
Days before his inauguration, President-Elect Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal. The “American Rescue Plan” is a starting point for negotiations with Congress, but the plan would include $350 billion in state and local government aid, $170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education institutions, $50 billion for COVID-19 ...Read more
In a five-day period that saw the Senate flip to Democrats, chaos on Capitol Hill after a scary insurrection, discussions of a second impeachment of President Donald Trump or invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, new horrendous daily death tolls from the pandemic, and a disappointing monthly jobs report, US stocks somehow ...Read more
As we attempt to put the dumpster fire of the year known as 2020 in the rear view mirror, it’s time for the annual ritual of making — and more importantly — keeping resolutions. Despite a pandemic; a roller coaster stock market; and an emotional election, the most common financial resolutions for 2021 remain the same, according to Fidelity...Read more
Nearly nine months after the $2.2 trillion CARES Act became law, the lame duck Congress passed an additional $900 billion relief bill just before Christmas. The fate of the legislation hung in the balance for a week, after the President threatened not to sign it. But with benefits expiring and millions of Americans facing financial peril, Trump ...Read more
Pantone, the self-described “global color authority” announced its color of the year for 2021—actually, it was two colors: Ultimate Gray (a first for gray) and Illuminating, a yellow-ish, smiley face tone. The company notes that when the two come together, they “create an aspirational color pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of ...Read more
The Department of Education (DOE) has granted the over 40 million Americans who have Direct federal loans and PLUS loans an extra month of breathing room. The extension of forbearance, the pause in interest accrual, and the suspension of collections activity will run through January 31, 2021.
The decision should help borrowers prepare for what ...Read more
The post election stock market rally persisted throughout the month of November, culminating in a new milestone for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA): 30,000. While the Dow is the oldest of the major U.S. stock indexes, it is the least useful because it only captures 30 companies and the index itself is calculated in a screwy way.
The Dow...Read more