Archive for March, 2009

The US as a Banana Republic – how we got into the current economic crisis

Personal finance

I found a link to an excellent if very sobering article called by , ex-Chief Economist of the IMF, to be published in the May 2009 edition of the Atlantic Monthly, which I highly recommend. It’s long reading but quite thorough and does a good job of explaining a very complex situation in understandable terms.

In the article, Johnson describes what’s happening in the US as akin to the crises he’s seen happening in various emerging markets, details what he believes is one of the root causes of the current crisis (the recent ascension of the financial industry into a favored and powerful position in the US and globally), and his view of the likely outcomes. Johnson also writes a blog called , which I subscribed to this morning. It’s kind of like (an economist’s view on the global crisis). Johnson has also appeared in interviews on popular programs like NPR’s Fresh Aire and the Colbert Report. He is critical of he current administration’s approach toward solving the crisis but also believes we are at least doing more than Europe; nevertheless, his outlook for the global economy is pretty negative.

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April 15: Not just tax day

Personal finance

A friendly reminder that April 15th isn’t just tax day but also the deadline for making contributions the 2008 year into traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and .

The contribution limit for both the 2008 and 2009 year for IRAs is $5K for those below the age of 50 and $6K for those 50 and above. For Coverdells, you can contribute up to $2K per beneficiary. Since Coverdell contributions must stop after the beneficiary turns 18, missing a year can make a big difference. For more on Coverdells, check out this comprehensive Fairmark article, which pretty much covers all the basics.

New! Excel and finance consultations for small businesses

Business & entrepreneurship, Corporate finance

I’ve decided to soft-launch a . After receiving regular requests from small business owners for help and being encouraged by them to give it a try, I finally figured, “Why not?”

The type of consultations I’ve provided so far have varied from and to create spreadsheets for analyzing compensation payouts and inventory levels to calculating returns within confidence intervals and more. Usually, people find my site through a Google search and give my tutorials a try, only to realize they need a bit more hands-on help for their particular situation.

As long as you have a legitimate question or project you’d like help with, feel free to contact me and we can decide whether or not I can help and agree on a fee for the consult. You can also read a little more about me in my “About and contact” section. I will, of course, continue to offer and create free tutorials on this site.

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