Category Archives: Money and risk

Visualizing 7% investment risk

      No Comments on Visualizing 7% investment risk

A continuing theme in this blog is how the human brain is constantly evaluating probability and risk, and “acting” accordingly in controlling our bodies. Yet, most humans have a hard time visualizing what “risk” actually looks like. Even if we have a handle on the mathematics of probability, we can still have a hard time “seeing” it. Below is the… Read more »

Doing stupid stuff with the economy

      No Comments on Doing stupid stuff with the economy

President Obama’s foreign policy doctrine was famously characterized as “Don’t do stupid s— (stuff).” I won’t weigh in here on the current president’s foreign policy, but I can assert that his economic policy has clearly veered into “stupid stuff” territory. I spent the better part of twenty years in the academic publishing business attending far too many meetings of professors… Read more »

Seeing past Vern Buchanan’s nose

      1 Comment on Seeing past Vern Buchanan’s nose

My Florida congressman, Vern Buchanan, sends out these inane email surveys almost every week, which always ask one question in a way that screams, “Answer this way!” A recent one, for instance, was designed to get constituents to say that congressional salaries are too high. Which is really rich, because Vern Buchanan is, uh, really rich. As one of the… Read more »

How SHOULD you tax a corporation?

      1 Comment on How SHOULD you tax a corporation?

In two recent posts [1] I have criticized the methods by which the state and federal governments tax corporations and how they treat the state-granted limited liability privileges. In this post I will make some proposals as to how best to tax corporations and limited liability companies given their ubiquity in the economy and international nature. While I disagree with… Read more »

Trump real estate finance #4 – What’s at risk?

In the prior post in this series, I looked at where the likely differential between Trump’s self-proclaimed net worth of $10 billion and Forbes’ $3.1 billion estimate came from. In this last post in this series (for now) I want to take a harder look at the Forbes valuation. Skip to the “Trump Businesses at Risk” section at the end… Read more »

Trump real estate finance #3 – valuation baloney

The prior two parts of this series of posts have looked at my take on the basic Donald Trump real estate investment strategy and on his likely issues with collateral. In this and the next posts, I want to take a look at the basic issue of “valuation,” that is, “How much is Trump worth?” First up, we need to… Read more »

Trump real estate finance #2 – the collateral

A brief Twitter flurry recently has been pondering the reason for the odd-looking sale of storage units between different Trump Organization entities for the price of zero dollars. The most-likely reason: Collateral management. An appropriate subtitle for this post is “What does Eric Trump do all day?” In an earlier post I laid out the most-likely basic financial strategy and… Read more »

Trump real estate finance – a primer

      3 Comments on Trump real estate finance – a primer

I heard a legal podcaster comment recently that, while she understood Bob Mueller’s investigations into obstruction of justice, she was having a hard time getting her head around the financial crime allegations floating around the Trump election and presidency. In general, the media, with some exceptions, has not asked good questions about where the Trump and Kushner wealth came from,… Read more »

A legislator’s guide to tax reform

      2 Comments on A legislator’s guide to tax reform

The Iowa state legislature is back at the table trying to tackle tax reform for the umpteenth time. Prior business tax preferences have not had their anticipated effect of raising total revenues. Indeed, the total cash available for crucial government spending has fallen well short of the estimates of the Republican-dominated revenue prediction team for the last several years. So,… Read more »

The “double taxation” myth

      No Comments on The “double taxation” myth

The debate over the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 resurrected a lot of conflicted thinking about what a corporation is and is not. It has become a common talking point that corporate profits are “double taxed,” first at the corporate level and then as part of the owner’s income. This particular code revision has expanded this theme in… Read more »