The federal tax on transfers of wealth from estates has been with us since the passage of the Revenue Act of 1916, although there were similar temporary levies around the time of the Spanish-American War. This tax came to an … Read more
Are Americans becoming more thrifty? Personal savings rates are up, the government statistics tell us. This fact has engendered a wide-ranging debate. Is this just a short-term deviation from America’s obsession with spending, or is it a permanent change?
I … Read more
Like everyone else, I’ve been reading (well, skimming) reams of year-end—and in some places, “decade-end”—economic summaries. There’s lots of talk about black swans, financial “Frankensteins,” lost decades, and fundamental changes in investor behavior.
Black swans are old news, and I’ve … Read more
I’ve mentioned in several previous posts that the anxiety about 401(k) balances has been largely overstated, in part because of the beneficial effects of ongoing contributions and diversified portfolios. This point has come across as Pollyanna-ish to some of you, … Read more
Paul A. Samuelson, who died December 13 at age 94, was rightly remembered as a brilliant educator, as author of the best-selling economics textbook ever, and as the second recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Professor Samuelson, the … Read more