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Press Releases

How Washington Will Mess with Your Money in 2010

In this era of growing government involvement, it's no surprise that Washington is poised to be the biggest economic wild card of the new year.

Indeed, investors who are trying to estimate the impact that politics will have on their portfolios in 2010 are likely finding this attempt at analysis to be an exercise in futility.

If that's been the case, read on: Political pundits – even those who claim to be impartial – spend a lot of time trying to score points for their side. But they aren't really that interested in the economic aspects of the endless battle. I certainly don't claim to be any more unbiased than the next person. However, I thought it worth trying to take an educated guess at what will actually happen, and what it will mean for our money.

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Open Letter to Timothy Geithner: Is Your Nose Getting Longer?

Dear Treasury Secretary Geithner:

I noticed you recently told the Japanese press that you intended to maintain a strong dollar, and that the Obama administration would bring the U.S. fiscal deficit back to a "sustainable balance."

Tell me, don't you feel your nose extending like Pinocchio's when you tell these fibs to innocent Asians?

The dollar is not strong. In fact, it's sinking to record levels of weakness, and it's going to stay that way, for three reasons:

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Anatomy of a Scam: This "Prime Bank Program" Has Already Cost Investors Billions

Two years ago, an associate of mine lost $100,000 because he didn't listen to me. A year ago, I saved a manufacturing company from the same scam. And just last week I saved a friend of mine $300,000. For several years now, a far-fetched but seemingly plausible investment opportunity has been wreaking havoc across the […]

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Germany: Emerging Market Profit Potential, With (Only) Developed Market Risk

Many commentators have picked the East Asian economies of China, Korea and Taiwan to emerge the most vigorously from the ongoing global financial crisis. And with some justification, for China and the two Asian "tigers" share some alluring characteristics like: A highly competitive and innovative manufacturing industry. Excellent government and workforce discipline. Modest fiscal and […]

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The Newest Ruse: Banks Capitalizing on “Toxic Assets” to Book Puffed-Up Profits

Remember the infamous leaked Vikram S. Pandit memo we wrote to you about awhile back that suddenly saw Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) turn a profit on nothing more than vapors?

Stay tuned: We're about to see more of these puffed-up profits. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and PNC Financial Services Inc. (NYSE: PNC) will reportedly be booking as much as $56 billion in windfall profits using similar financial chicanery in the months ahead.

Sadly, millions of investors will likely interpret this as a sign that the U.S. financial sector is once again a viable "profit" play – when the reality is that Wall Street hasn't learned a single darned thing from the financial crisis and is up to its old tricks once again.

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Money Morning’s Bank Stress Test Says These Three Banks Are the Strongest

Why wait for the U.S. Treasury Department's bank stress test when Money Morning can highlight the four secrets that will let you separate the winners from the losers in the U.S. banking system?

Call it the "Money Morning Bank Stress Test."

Back in February, I looked at the Top 12 U.S. banks, to determine whether it was really necessary – as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was proposing at the time – to devote the enormous sum of $1.5 trillion of our money to bail them out. I came to the conclusion that such a huge bailout was unnecessary, and that only a few of the Top 12 banks seemed in any danger of collapse. Fortunately, policymakers and the market have now come to agree with me.

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Why Dividends and Gold Are the Keys to Permanent Wealth

The path to permanent wealth is paved with high-yielding dividend stocks and reinforced with gold.

With a housing market that's in tatters and an economy that's reeling, most U.S. investors see the current market as perhaps the worst ever to even think about such topics as saving, investing and wealth. Corporate profits are plunging, as unemployment soars. Investors have watched as the worst bear market since the Great Depression savaged their savings and plundered their pensions.

But Money Morning Contributing Editor Martin Hutchinson, a well-known expert on income investing, says that today's beaten-down market may represent the best opportunity in years to create real wealth – in fact, permanent wealth. And Hutchinson believes that there are right now two simple secrets that can pave that pathway to permanent wealth.

One is high-yielding dividend stocks.

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U.S. Banks: Why Only the Simplest Will Succeed

One of the most accurate forecasters of the global economic crisis, Nouriel Roubini, said last week that last September's spree of bank takeovers deepened the crisis because it made the already-too-big banks even bigger.

He may well be right; more interesting is what this tells us about the U.S. banking system going forward.

"The institutions are insolvent," Roubini said in a Bloomberg Radio interview. "You have to take them over and you have to split them up into three or four national banks, rather than having a humongous monster that is too big to fail."

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As Financial Scams Go Global, Here’s How to Avoid Being Stung

[This is the sixth installment of a new series that is exploring ways for investors to recover from the U.S. financial crisis.]

Bernie Madoff's guilty plea to a decades-long $50 billion-plus Ponzi scheme pretty much guarantees the 70-year-old will have his likeness immortalized on the Mt. Rushmore of scammers.

The former NASDAQ chairman's December arrest – with collapsing U.S. and overseas stock markets as a backdrop – kicked up a firestorm that has forced investors to take a much-closer look at who was managing their investments. Scores of investors have lost their life savings, retirees found their nest eggs gone and countless charities discovered that they were essentially out of business; the cash that they once handed out to worthy causes had disappeared.

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Plan to Repair U.S. Banking System Unveiled by Former Hedge Fund Manager

The economic house of the United States is ready to collapse upon itself, leaving us exposed and defenseless against the next Great Depression. Bureaucratic handymen with a staple gun and a trillion-dollar roll can't paper over holes in bank balance sheets or fill in the others created by plunging consumer spending.

It won't work.

What is needed – and what would arrest the slide in U.S. housing prices – is a renewed general confidence in protective regulations, and tax incentives for investors to buy troubled assets and to make equity investments in banks.

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