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Showing posts from September, 2013

Federal regulators issue guidance on reporting financial abuse of older adults

Regulators from seven different federal agencies issued guidance today on how banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions should recognize and report the financial abuse of older adults. The full text of this guidance document can be found on-line here.
The seven federal agencies involved in this are the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as well as:Commodity Futures Trading Commission;Consumer Financial Protection Bureau;Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;Federal Trade Commission;National Credit Union Administration;Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and Securities and Exchange Commission. I have to admit that I have mixed feelings on this one.

On the positive side, I'm thrilled that there is a coordinated approach to federal government handles at least the reporting of elder abuse in financial cases. I'm also happy to see coordination between various federal agencies regardless of the issue.
However, I'm also a little vexed as this is…

My Obamacare Rant

I respect the views of those who don't like the Affordable Care Act. I'm of the opinion that, despite all of it's faults, the Act is a huge improvement over what we used to have. Regardless, I respect the views of those who oppose it.
With that said, I am really, really getting tired of those who blatantly lie about what is in the Act.

I think it's time we impose a special tax on everyone who claims that Congress is exempt from the ACA. There isn't such an exemption. There never has been one. In fact, the law specifically mandates that Members of Congress are to buy their insurance from the same exchanges as everyone else.
Full text of the law has been on-line for more than two years. One can find it here. It's really easy for anyone who is remotely interested in knowing it's terms to know what is in it.
And that's why we should have a special tax on those people who claim that Congress is exempt from it.

Twitter files for an IPO

We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.
— Twitter (@twitter) September 12, 2013 Twitter filed the paperwork for its initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. They announced it, of course, in a 134-character Tweet.
For what it's worth, I think Twitter will do much better post-IPO than Facebook did. Twitter has taken the time to solidify its business model. They also do change things periodically with no apparent reason other than to annoy their user base.

Steal $11 million. Get 50 months in jail

Muhammad Shahab, the mastermind of an almost $11 million Medicare fraud scheme in Detroit, was sentenced today to 50 months in prison. The Detroit Division of the FBI has a press release about his sentencing, as well as the investigation that led to it, here.
I have to admit that I'm a little miffed that someone who essentially stole $11 million from American taxpayers only got 50 months in prison for his crime. The average American family only makes $50,502 per year, as of 2011 (the most recent year with full data available from the U.S. Census Bureau).
This means that, if my math is correct, a typical American family would have to work 217 years, nine months, and three weeks in order to earn the $11 million that Muhammad Shahab stole from us. For this crime, he only has to spend 50 months in prison.
50 months in prison. $11 million stolen.
It almost makes it worthwhile to go ahead and steal. The potential punishment is so low and the potential gains are so high that it becomes h…

U.S. exports $189.7 billion in goods

According to new data from the Commerce Department, American companies exported a total of $189.7 billion worth of goods during July, 2013. This is just shy of the all-time record of $190.5 billion that was set in June, 2013. It's also on top of the fact that the U.S. set a record for the most exports in one year during 2012 with $2.2 trillion in American goods being sold overseas despite economic headwinds.
The driving force behind this growth has been President Barack Obama's National Export Infinitive. This program has sought to improve the conditions that directly affect the private sector’s ability to export. This includes working to remove trade barriers abroad, helping companies and farmers overcome hurdles that have previously kept them out of new markets, and assisting with financing.
The whole program has largely flown under the mainstream media's radar. However, since it is starting to produce results, they will probably be forced to pay attention to it soon. T…