The Stingy News Weekly (03/06/2011)
Stingy News Flash
We're holding a Keynesian beauty contest to give away a copy of the new MoneySense Guide to Retiring Wealthy ...
A madcap quest for ‘free’
"As soon as Kathy Spencer walked into the Rite Aid in Haverhill, early one recent Sunday morning, she knew something was up: All the carts were gone. At that hour, she was accustomed to having the store to herself, quietly piling hundreds of dollars worth of goods in her cart, quietly working the system, quietly walking out the door without having to pay for any of it. Instead, the store was “a madhouse full of crazy women fighting over toilet paper,’’ she said. She knew exactly who was to blame: she was."
Broke Town, U.S.A.
"In May 2008, Vallejo filed for bankruptcy. The filing drew little national attention most people were too busy watching banks fail to worry about cities. But while the banks have largely recovered, Vallejo is still in bankruptcy. The police force has shrunk from 153 officers to 92. Calls for any but the most serious crimes go unanswered. Residents who complain about prostitutes or vandals are told to fill out a form. Three of the city’s firehouses were closed. Last summer, a fire ravaged a house in one of the city’s better neighborhoods one of the firetrucks came from another town, 15 miles away. Is this America’s future?"
Flee the land of quota
"So, rightly or wrongly, unlike so many others, we didn’t base our family’s future on an industry spinning its wheels, plus having an investment-to-earnings ratio similar to where Nortel was when things went into the manure pit."
Five Tips From Warren Buffett
"While the stock market overall has boomed, and it's a battle to find cheap stocks, one thing does stand out: Many of Warren Buffett's favorite stocks remain at, or around, the prices he paid for them. As Mr. Buffett only likes to buy stocks for a lot less than he thinks they are really worth, this suggests you can get a bargain or two"
Global Investment Returns 2011
"High dividend yield strategies are a focus of this year's report."
Why Koch Industries Is Speaking Out
"Federal data indicate how urgently we need reform: The unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid already exceed $106 trillion. That's well over $"68%",000 for every man, woman and child in America (and exceeds the combined value of every U.S. bank account, stock certificate, building and piece of personal or public property)."
The Myth of Japan's 'Lost Decades'
"There is clearly a contradiction here, and after studying the facts on the ground in Tokyo for decades I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that the story of Japan's stagnation is a media myth. Certainly anyone who visits Japan these days is struck by the obvious affluence even among average citizens. The cars on the roads, for instance, are generally much larger and better equipped than in the 1980s (indeed state of the art navigation devices, for instance, are more or less standard on many models). Overseas vacation travel has more than doubled since the 1980s. The Japanese boast the world's most advanced cell phones, and the biggest and best high-definition television screens. Japan's already long life expectancy has increased by nearly two years. Its Internet connections are some of the world's fastest -- something like ten times faster on average than American speeds. True, not all of Japan's indicators are equally impressive. The Tokyo stock market, for instance, has never recovered from its 1990s slump. Neither has the real estate market. (In the latter case, however, there is a silver lining in a major boost to living standards, in that young home buyers now get far more space for their money. In any case the implosion since 1991 has merely restored some sanity to valuations that had previously become -- very temporarily -- outlandish)."
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