Category Archives: Money and risk

“Wink and a nod” contract consideration – part 2

The first part of this series of posts looked at the growing inability to prosecute political bribery because the courts and legislatures have enabled layers of opaque legal entities to hide the delivery of the political favors from the receipt of the “consideration.” As I noted in that part, no official “contract” exists other than a “wink and a nod”… Read more »

“Wink and a nod” contract consideration – part 1

One of the foundational concepts of the university Business Law course, a staple of every business curriculum, is that of contracts, the agreement between two parties to do something (or sometimes, not do something). Most often, that “something” is an exchange of goods or services. And we were long taught that fundamentally, you have no contract unless you have this… Read more »

Private equity in the new tax world

      No Comments on Private equity in the new tax world

Back in February I wrote a three-part series of posts about the abuses perpetrated by private equity (PE) takeovers of American businesses and their manipulation of the U.S. tax code for bad ends. A recent article in the Boston Globe by Evan Horowitz [1] describes how the shine is coming off PE investments, a welcome event, but Mr. Horowitz missed… Read more »

Visualizing 7% investment risk

      2 Comments on Visualizing 72 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?

      2 Comments 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 »