Most families will be impacted by the fiscal cliff
According to the Wall Street Journal, almost all Americans will be hit by the fiscal cliff and low income families will be one of the hardest hit segments. Ninety percent of American households will face a higher tax bill for 2013 according to the Tax Policy Institute. Most households, 121 million, will be hit by an increase in the payroll tax that requires employees to pay 6.2 percent rather than 4.2 percent. The marriage penalty, that requires many couples to pay more when they file jointly, will reappear and the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT, will extend down to middle class households. Lower income households will be impacted by the loss of child care credits and tax breaks for college expenses. While our legislators and President enjoy their turkey dinners, it is imperative that they get back to work for a change. Overtime anyone?
Hostess and Unions Fail to Reach a Deal
Despite forced mediation, the bankrupt Hostess said on Tuesday that it failed to make a deal with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Union, thus forcing the liquidation of the company. CNBC reports that Hostess runs 33 bakeries, 553 distribution centers and 527 bakery outlets. More than 18,000 jobs are at stake. The union leaders had no comment.
Airlines Improve On Time Performance
The New York Times is reporting that airline on time performance has improved dramatically in recent years. So far this year, 83 percent of flights have taken off within 15 minutes of their scheduled time, the highest since 2003. This is based on Department of Transportation information. Hawaiian Airlines has the best on time rate at 89 percent while larger carriers, such as American and United, are in the 75 percent range. This report did not include information from smaller carriers that work under the umbrella of the larger airlines. Keep in mind that the times reported on an itinerary already include some fluff time, that allows airlines to keep within their on time schedules. Do you feel that you were only on the 20 percent that didn't leave on time?
Largest insider trading deal brought by prosecuters
Prosecuters charged a former trader at a SAC affiliate named Mathew Martoma with insider trading that helped the hedge fund make $276 million in illegal profits and avoided losses on drugmakers Elan Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth in June 2008. The trader allegedly had insider tips about the results of an Alzheimer’s drug and traded on information before it was made public. Experts wonder whether the evidence will eventually lead to the arrest of the SAC Capital Advisors founder, Steven Cohen.
European leaders fail to agree on Greek aid
Greece is anxiously awaiting the next $40.2 billion installment of international aid because it is running out of cash. But the New York Times indicates that despite working until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Euro zone leaders have still not come to an agreement. One of the larger disagreements is regarding how long to finance Greece. The IMF, International Monetary Fund, is pushing for 2016 while many of the other European countries, such as Germany, want a much shorter time frame. Additionally, analysts agree that Greece’s lenders will need to take some losses, but it is not clear who will take the losses. Finally, the leaders of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF cannot come to agreement on how fast Greece must get its mountain of debt under control. (Sound familiar?) The leaders are scheduled to meet again early next week.
Black Friday shopping tips
USA Today reports that 60 percent of respondents to a recent Deloitte study indicated they plan to shop either online or in the stores this weekend, up from 51 percent in 2011. Sixty three percent will shop in stores on Black Friday and 23 percent will shop on Thanksgiving Day. This is up from 17 percent a year ago. While the lowest in-store prices are offered on Friday, the lowest online prices are generally available on Cyber Monday, after the crazy shopping weekend. Experts recommend checking flyers and online for the lowest prices before hitting the stores. Use cash, both for budgeting and for faster payment at checkout. An app call RedLaser is recommended for price comparisons. Happy shopping!
Millionaire Corner wishes you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.