Category Archives: This Economy

Layaway Angels Bring Holiday Cheer To People Around The Country

Layaway ‘angels’ are spreading cheer in different cities around the country. A customer at a Mechanicsburg, PA. Walmart paid $50,000.00 towards people’s layaway items. 100 accounts were covered by this generous act.

Two Walmarts, one located in Lake City, FL. and one in Chiefland, FL., also had anonymous, generous donations made to their layaway accounts. Chiefland’s Walmart’s layaway accounts were cleared completely by a $51,000.00 check and Lake City’s Walmart had 300 layaway accounts covered by a $59,000.00 check.

Employees are thoroughly enjoying making the calls to layaway customers stating that their accounts have been paid off. People are surprised and very happy, sometimes moved to tears, when they hear the good news.

Paying for layaway items seems to have caught on this year. Two separate Toys R Us stores received donations that paid off their layaway accounts last week. My friend Bernardo Chua showed me a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America called “Layaway Live” where Tim Tebow surprised people by paying off their layaway accounts.

Bipartisan Budget Bill Contains Far Reaching Pension Reform

The continuing resolution (CR) bill agreed upon by the GOP House leadership and key Senators of both parties contains the most significant pension changes since passage of Bush’s Pension Protection Act back in 2006. If the rider survives on the CR bill, pension plans known as multi-employer pensions may see benefits slashed in a bid to keep pension funds solvent. It is estimated that multi-employer pensions cover 10 million union workers.

One of pensions targeted by the rules changes is the Central States pension which is administered by the Teamsters Union. The pension, which applies to truck drivers, is robust and often allows truckers to retire with a monthly payment of $3,000 for life. The trouble is that when the pension plan was designed, there were four union truckers for every retiree. Now, there are five retirees for every union trucker. Even the Teamsters themselves sought the rules changes. If the types of austerity measures allowed by the CR bill are implemented in this pension plan, retirees can see their monthly payment decrease by 30% or $900 a month.

However, business investment expert John Textor shared that if a multi-employer pension fails and falls under the receivership of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the maximum monthly payout would be a paltry $1,083 per month for a 64% benefit cut. What is not clear is what safeguards if any are in place to protect employers and unions from gutting benefits of healthy plans simply to save money. This single rider on the CR will affect millions of Americans in the decades that follow.

Sam Tabar: The Highly Sought After Attorney and Capital Strategist

Sam Tabar serves the public as an attorney and a capital strategist. He gained his skills in the field after his studies at Oxford University and Columbia Law School, where earned the James Kent Award. After law school, he began his career as an Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slater, Meagher & Flom LLP, and later, he migrated to a position as the Director & Co-Head of Business Development at SPARX Group Co./PMA Investment Advisors. He also joined the Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the Director and Head of Capital Strategy in the Asia-Pacific. At a later part of his career, he began catering to hedge funds, regulatory and compliance issues, and fund formation and structure as a Senior Associate with Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

Commodities are one of my primary areas of investment. Tabar stresses that successful commodity investment is all about research and the history of commodities. You must predict how well a commodity will perform in the future in order to make a wise investment. Tabar learned through his experience with Merrill Lynch what it takes to make a safe commodity investment.

One of the primary ways to make a successful investment is to avoid poorly managed funds. Tabar helped clients skirt disaster by staying away from poorly managed funds like the US Natural Gas Fund, which fell more than 75 percent in value. This happened because demand was too high for the fund’s managing partner. The solution is to issue more shares, but until this happens, it’s simply not a wise investment. Tabar reminded his clients of this.

He also warned them to take caution when considering the United States Oil Fund. The USO’s WTI light sweet crude oil was 50 percent lower than other recent crude oil prices. This makes it an not-so-wise investment because the pricing was inaccurate and not up-to-date.

Otherwise, you may end up sinking in money investment that’s not performing well. Research is a necessary evil when it comes to commodities or any other type of investment that Sam Tabar is able to offer advice for in his office. He’s talented and well-connected.

Tabar is a go-to man for legal and capital strategy. He is able to view investments in a way that others cannot see. If you need legal or investment help, Sam Tabar is the man to call or tweet. His years of experience has made him quite a leader in the field.

Obama Defends Climate Agreement

Obama came out publicly to defend his recent agreement on energy and climate policy with China. He responded to critics by saying that “Your kids could not breathe” in Beijing. Most major Chinese cities have been under some sort of smog warnings within the past year, including Shanghai and Beijing. During these times, children and elderly are warned to stay indoors because of the dense cloud of smoke and industrial pollution that hangs over the cities.

The president likened his recent policy to the Clean Air Act of 1970. He claimed that because of this regulation change the smog clouds that hung over industrial centers like Los Angeles now have clearer skies. This policy he created with Chinese President Xi Jiaping, is meant to create similar changes for China and the globe. Currently, China is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, and also the most reluctant to create reform that it fears may dampen its economic future.

Many politicians and experts feared that legislation would destroy the business and development opportunities. However, tech industry leader Bruce Levenson pointed out that even years after implementation that policy finds environmental projects to enliven downtown Chicago without hurting businesses.

Christian Broda: Setting Up a Successful Hedge Fund

Christian Broda is a managing director at Duquesne Capital Management. He served as an economics professor at the University of Chicago before accepting his current position. He is a prolific author and has written multiple articles and books on the subject of international finance and trade. The American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics have published his findings. He was given two National Science Foundation grants to help further his research.

Broda is the associate editor for the Journal of Development Economics and has served terms at Columbia University and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is also a member of the Society for Economic Dynamics, the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Economia Journal.

Broda is responsible for multiple hedge fund start-ups and is an experienced economist. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from MIT. Dr. Broda is married with two sons.

Broda has several tips on how start your own hedge funds. Hedge funds can be tricky to begin on your own without the proper legal information. The lack of sufficient oversight in the current investment world can make it easy for an investor to practice fraudulent activity. Hedge funds by themselves, however, are not illegal and are a great way to stabilize your finances without placing yourself at a large risk.

According to Broda, hedge funds operate by investor teams, including traders, junior analysts and a chief financial advisor. There are many more key components, but the three mentioned above are the most critical. You will also need a relationship with a law firm. Hedge funds must always have a legal representative, along with advisors. Since super law firms tend to charge more than is necessary, try to work with smaller firms to avoid overspending.

The prime broker you select will be responsible for all your trades. This broker will hold the record of your stocks and enable the purchases of your hedge fund.

You will need funding to get your hedge fund up and running. The best way to start your hedge fund is to find capital investors who are willing to invest in your fund. Locating and securing these investors is a painful and time-consuming process, as you will need to work with them to ensure satisfaction of both sides.

It’s best if you have a professional office space from which to operate. A professional appearance can help attract the necessary investors and give you an enduring hedge fund.

For information on Christian’s thoughts on the state of the US dollar, see his profile on ValueWalk.

Jared Haftel’s Helpful Tips

Jared Haftel is a graduate from Duke University. He graduated in the year of 2009 with a bachelors degree in science and mathematics, as well as economics. He has now been pursuing in the investment banking field. Jared worked as an analyst, in the Global Industrials Group at BofA Merrill Lynch. He also worked as an investment banking analyst for the Bank of America. As of now, Jared is currently employed at Vector Capital as an associate; he has worked here since 2011.

But getting a job like this can be extremely difficult, if Facebook is anything to go by.  That’s why Jared is always paying things forward, by helping new prospective junior bankers with the tips that they need to have their resumes recognized, especially on Twitter.  The difference between learning to apply for a job in college, to what you’ll actually encounter in real life is immense:

1. Understand that your resume will be processed quickly.

2. Try not to exaggerate.

3. If possible, have your resume reviewed by an insider.

4. Devote at least 50% of your resume to relevant work experience.

He then states how important it is that during a job interview, a firm hand shake and great eye contact can go a long way. Set yourself apart from everyone else and be positive. You are more likely to get hired if you stay calm and appear confident. One must also be persistent, but not too persistent. It is important to call back however, don’t be pesky.

Be prepared to answer those hard questions. There are also a wealth of helpful videos that can guide you through the process.

The ones that include why you left your previous job etc. Many employers judge what an employee will be like, by how they handle the relationship with a previous employer. Overall, Jared Haftel is a great person to gain some ideas for landing that new job!