The Canary in the Coal Mine?

Given recent events, it seems like the stock market, and perhaps the world economy, are dependent upon the health of Greece’s economy. The slightest bad news from Greece sends stock markets around the world plummeting and the pundits repeating their dire predictions of the end-of-the-world as we know it. Certainly, the Greek economy may be […]

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BEWARE of the AMT

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was passed in 1969 to prevent people with very high incomes from using special tax benefits to pay little or no tax. The U.S. Congress enacted the AMT in response to the outrage generated when the Secretary of the Treasury testified before Congress that 155 people with adjusted gross annual […]

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The Top Marginal Tax Rate

The ongoing national political debate includes proposals to increase the top federal marginal tax rate on the highest income taxpayers. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that less than one percent of all individual federal income tax returns were subject to the highest individual marginal tax rate of 35 percent. Taxes collected at the 35 […]

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The Top 1 percent

Recently, the top one percent, those individuals with the highest incomes, and their fair share of the tax burden has been the subject to much debate. Just who are the top one percent and what is their current share of the tax bill. Tax Stats, the public data site of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) […]

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Is it a coincidence?

The Coincident Index (CI) is a monthly composite economic indicator published by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. The CI provides a snapshot of economic conditions in each state. An increase in a state’s CI over time indicates an expansion in economic activity the state while a declining CI signals a contraction in the state’s economy. The […]

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Apples to Apples

It has been widely reported that Wisconsin lost 9,700 nonfarm jobs and ranked 43rd among states in employment growth in October. That compares to Minnesota (-6,100 jobs), Michigan (+2,000), Illinois (+30,000), and Iowa (+2,300) during the same period. However, that is based on comparing October job numbers to September employment. While it provides a useful […]

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Foreign Investment

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) defines Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as ownership or control of 10 percent or more of a business located in the U.S by a foreign individual or entity . In 2010, Foreign Direct Investment in U.S. companies totaled $288 billion. U.S. individuals and entities also make direct investments in […]

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Buy Local?

In June 2010, foreign investors (individuals, corporations, and governments) owned $9.7 trillion in U.S. long-term securities. Their holdings accounted for 19.3 percent of all U.S. long-term securities and included: $3.3 trillion in U.S. Treasuries $1.1 trillion in U.S. gov. agency debt (i.e Fannie Mae) $2.8 trillion in publically traded U.S. stocks/mutual funds $2.5 trillion in […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

The National Turkey Federation reports that in 2010: 88 percent of all U.S. residents ate turkey for Thanksgiving 46 million turkeys (736 million pounds) were eaten on Thanksgiving Day 22 million turkeys were consumed on Christmas and 19 million on Easter. Minnesota leads the nation in turkey production (not surprisingly) accounting for almost 20 percent […]

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BS¹ your way to a more secure job

(¹ or BA) Last week highlighted the fact that, according to the U.S. Census, the 2010 the median income of Wisconsin residents with a bachelor’s degree was $17,192 higher than those with only a high school diploma. College graduates also fare better at the unemployment line. According to the latest data (September) from the Bureau […]

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