Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quotes of the day

A 10% drop in the amount of young people working as a result of this recession. That’s 10% more people detached from the labor market and with decades of lost wages. That’s 10% more people with fewer opportunities to develop their capabilities and build the American economy over the 21st century. And that is a generational crisis unless we get a serious attempt to fix this economy and put people to work.--Mike Konczal

If President Obama is truly serious about ending earmarks, he should oppose Senate Democrats’ pork-laden omnibus spending bill and announce he will veto it if necessary. This bill represents exactly what the American people have rejected: more spending, more earmarks, and more big government.--John Boehner

Where change does work is if it’s done in small, manageable steps leading to measurable improvements. By focusing on details rather than visions and incremental changes rather than epoch defining business re-engineering the very best corporations can effectively continually re-invent and rejuvenate themselves. The future is most effectively built on the achievements of the past, not on its ruins.--timarr

Today’s fad is tomorrow’s flop.  I’m as confused as the next guy about what’s going to happen with currencies and whether [Federal Reserve chairman] Ben Bernanke is right or wrong. But I’m not sure a whole bunch of yellow stuff in a warehouse is going to do much.--Tim McElvaine

Harvesting your losses is most beneficial when you can write long-term losses off against either short-term capital gains or ordinary income. That is because those are taxed at rates of up to 35%—making today's losses more valuable as write-offs against them. Loss-harvesting also makes great sense when you have a plan to defer capital gains indefinitely—for example, by donating your investments to a charity or by including them in your estate. That way, you use the losses to shelter your taxable ordinary income. But you don't take the gains—ever. Before you harvest a loss, make sure you or your adviser have thought through whether it will be treated as long-term or short-term and what kind of income you can offset with it. Ask for proof that by lowering your basis today you haven't raised your tax bill tomorrow.--Jason Zweig

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