It depends. If you have credit card debt, paying that off is the best. Other debt would need to be compared to your mortgage debt based on interest rates, whether they adjust (and if so, where you think interest rates may go throughout its life), whether they have a balloon payment, tax deductibility, flexibility of… Continue reading Is Paying My Mortgage Off Earlier the Best Financial Decision I Can Currently Make?
Author: Felix Ling
Why Did the Fed Lower Interest Rates If the U.S. Economy Is Doing Well?
There are three prevailing theories: 1) insurance 2) political pressure 3) market pressure. Regarding the first theory, Fed chair Jerome Powell may be trying to pull off what Greenspan did in 1995 and 1998. Powell has characterized both the rate cut in July and the most recent one in September as “insurance.” What he means… Continue reading Why Did the Fed Lower Interest Rates If the U.S. Economy Is Doing Well?
What Does It Mean When “The Monetary Authority Is Financing the Fiscal Authority”?
The fiscal authority is Congress (along with the president), which passes budgets regarding federal taxation and expenditures. In economics, these types of actions are called fiscal policy, which means Congress is the fiscal authority. Tax cuts and increased spending can stimulate an economy to fight unemployment, and the opposite actions can cool it down to… Continue reading What Does It Mean When “The Monetary Authority Is Financing the Fiscal Authority”?
Are Index / Passive Funds the New Subprime CDOs?
(image via the Federal Reserve Economic Data) Someone on Quora asked if index/passive funds are the new subprime CDOs, perhaps implying that there could be an index fund asset bubble. My answer? Absolutely not. CDOs (collateralized debt obligation) are rather opaque, whereas index funds are much more transparent, particularly exchange-traded funds (ETFs). (image via MoneyControl)… Continue reading Are Index / Passive Funds the New Subprime CDOs?
Review of All the Devils Are Here
Image from goodreads.com I consider All the Devils Are Here to be the best book on the financial crisis I have read so far, edging out Nouriel Roubini's Crisis Economics and significantly better than Michael Lewis's excellent Big Short. Roubini excels more at explaining more of the economics in systemic big-picture terms and also laying… Continue reading Review of All the Devils Are Here
(Re)start Me Up
Hey all y'all, Well, life is strange. Five years ago, I was a software engineer in the Silicon Valley, taking economics classes to transition to a new career that, at the time, I thought would be public policy. A summer in D.C. and a couple of trips to Burning Man, and well, that plan went… Continue reading (Re)start Me Up
The Economics Behind the Individual Mandate
In regards to the big Supreme Court decision on Romneycare Obamacare, there's been much hand-wringing on how this is a tax on doing nothing. This does seem odd, until you realize that a penalty or tax on one group but not on a second group is economically identical to having no penalty or tax on the first group but a tax credit… Continue reading The Economics Behind the Individual Mandate
The Bucket List Meme
Things you have done during your lifetime: (X) Gone on a blind date( ) Gone on a date with someone who was blind(X) Gone on a date with someone who was blind and you stole food off their plate( ) Gone on a date blind because there was a bucket over your head(X) Had a… Continue reading The Bucket List Meme
Electoral Reform, Part II: IRV, an Improvement
Updated on 9/28/21 to add image via Yes! Media and mention of ranked-choice voting. I had originally intended this to be part of a four-part series that also covered Approval Voting and the Condorcet Method, which was my favorite method at the time, but political science professor Matthew Shugart convinced me that ranked-choice was better.… Continue reading Electoral Reform, Part II: IRV, an Improvement
Electoral Reform, Part I: The Problem with Plurality
Image via FairVote. Originally posted at "fling93 loves fishies," my old blog. Migrated, updated links, and added featured image on 9/21/21. I’ve been carping about our two-party plurality electoral system for so long now that many of you are probably wondering what I would replace it with. This will take quite a bit of explaining… Continue reading Electoral Reform, Part I: The Problem with Plurality