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Perkins & Marie Callender’s files for bankruptcy again, to sell assets

Perkins & Marie Callender’s Holding LLC, operator of two family and casual dining chains, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday and plans to sell most of its assets, after suffering from lower customer traffic and rising food and labor costs. The Chapter 11 filing is the second in eight years for the Memphis-based company, which has nearly 400 stores under the Perkins and Marie Callender’s brands in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Its 2011 reorganization left it under the control of the investment firm Wayzata Investment Partners, still its majority owner. Thirty-two underperforming restaurants are being closed, but the…

6 HUGE Social Security Mistakes

One of the biggest Social Security mistakes I see people make is claim their benefits too early. According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 60% of seniors are applying for social security benefits before full retirement age. If you turned 62 last year, your full retirement age will be 66 years and six months. Full retirement age will continue to increase in two-month increments each year until it reaches 67. Even though you’re eligible to start claiming benefits at 62, it’s ill-advised. Monthly payments are reduced by 25-30% if you claim at 62, depending on your birth…

Lowe’s slashes store-level jobs

CEO Marvin Ellison, who’s served as Lowe’s chief for just over a year, has wasted no time in making big changes at the home improvement retailer. Ellison has shaken up his team, shifting the responsibilities of the COO, chief customer officer, corporate administration executive and chief development officer to other senior executives. He has also moved to shutter underperforming stores in an attempt to reduce costs. Lowe’s in November announced it would close 51 stores in North America on top of ceasing its Mexico operations. This came just months after it announced it would shutter all of its Orchard Supply…

American seniors employed at record-high levels

As the record-long U.S. economic expansion continues, more seniors than ever appear to be putting off retirement. According to data from Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok, the employment to population ratio for those aged 65 and over hit 20 percent in July – a record high. Employment among the demographic has been on an upward trajectory for about 20 years. As previously reported by FOX Business, 30 percent of baby boomers between the ages of 65 and 72 were either working or looking for work in 2018 – higher engagement rates than what was observed among previous generations at the…

Don’t Believe the Hype: Sales Tax Holidays Are Usually a Ripoff

When Florida started experimenting with sales tax holidays in the late 1990s and early 2000s, something interesting happened. According to a paper by four economists at the University of West Florida, some businesses actually increased their prices during the holidays, thus likely capturing a portion of the savings that the policy was supposed to create for consumers. That’s just one of the many potential downsides that these tax-free weekends have: They’re gimmicky ways for states to dodge the tough work of making their regular taxes less harmful, and they don’t deliver many benefits for consumers. It’s always nice to be able to…

TAX, TAX, TAX, TAX, TAX: DC Renews Push For Downtown Congestion Tax. Inspired by New York City, Washington, DC now wants to tax commuters who drive into the city with a congestion charge

The District of Columbia is moving to finally implement the tax on commuters it has sought for decades. The city’s recently adopted 2020 budget provided $500,000 for a study of congestion pricing due on July 1, 2020. City officials, bolstered by efforts to impose a toll on city streets in New York City, are hoping to raise millions with the new charge. As adopted by the city council, the study is to provide “an analysis of the potential to raise revenue” by putting up toll booths on the bridges across the Potomac River that lead to the city, as well…

More Fake Happy News About Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the US economy created 148,000 new private sector jobs during July.  The jobs number does not translate into employed people as increasingly Americans hold two or more jobs.  For example, the BLS reports that from June to July the number of multiple job holders rose by 233,000 which is 85,000 more than the 148,000 new private sector jobs.  What we are seeing is not more people employed, but more multiple job holders. Since May the number of multiple job holders has increased by 534,000.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t09.htm  The claim of a falling rate of unemployment…

It’s Over: The Democrats And The Republicans Are Both Conspiring To Bankrupt America And Destroy Our Future

Both major political parties are working together to destroy America’s financial future, and most Americans don’t seem to care. Once upon a time, the Republicans were considered to be “the party of fiscal responsibility”, but now they are just as bad as the “free spending” Democrats. As you will see below, a “compromise” budget deal was just reached which will dramatically increase federal spending and will suspend the federal debt limit until after the next election. In other words, both sides are conspiring to make our debt problem much, much worse over the next year and a half, and this…

Elizabeth Warren Warns Of ECONOMIC CRASH, Her Policies Will Make It Worse!

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren says that some warning signs are flashing that we will have an upcoming economic crash. While the crash is imminent and the signs are obvious, Warren’s own policies will demolish the middle class and impoverish everyone in the United States. Warren has literally just given anyone with a few brain cells a reason to never vote for her and reject her socialist policies. “Warning lights are flashing. Whether it’s this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high — and growing,” Warren said according to CNBC. And what, pray tell, does…

“I don’t know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people’s garbage”

Despite all the bragging that the mainstream media is constantly doing about the U.S. economy, the truth is that most Americans are deeply struggling right now.  59 percent of us are living paycheck to paycheck, and nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty.  Sadly, most of those that are living in poverty actually come from a home where at least one person is currently employed.  Millions upon millions of Americans are working as hard as they can, but it simply is not enough to pull them above the poverty line, and it is a very serious national crisis.  Even…

U.S. Manufacturing Is Officially In Recession

The manufacturing industry in the United States has officially sunk into a recession. The once-booming industry is struggling to stay alive amid the trade war as production slumped in the second quarter. Data from the Federal Reserve shows that production in June fell flat. In fact, the numbers were below the expectations of a meager 0.1% gain predicted by Wall Street economists. The U.S. factory sector declined in the three months ended in June, the second straight quarterly decline, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. For the second quarter, production was down 1.2% after a 1.9% decline in the first three months…

Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

Challenging conditions in the U.S. housing market, along with tighter currency controls by the Chinese government, caused a stunning drop in foreign demand for American homes. The dollar volume of homes purchased by foreign buyers from April 2018 through March 2019 dropped 36% from the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The decline was due to a drop in the number and average price of purchases. Foreigners bought 183,100 properties with a total value of about $77.9 billion, down from 266,800 valued at $121 billion in the previous period. They paid a median price of $280,600, which…

New Multi-year Gold Rally Has Emerged

The dollar price of gold has been on a roller-coaster ride for the past six years. But the past six weeks have been a turbocharged version of that. Investors should expect more of the same for reasons explained below. The six-year story is the more important for investors and also the more frustrating. Gold staged an historic bull market rally from 1999 to 2011, going from about $250 per ounce to $1,900 per ounce, a 650% gain. Then, gold nose-dived into a bear market from 2011 to 2015, falling to $1,050 per ounce in December 2015, a 45% crash from…

Fed chairman warns of ‘unthinkable’ harm if debt ceiling isn’t raised

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that the global economy could suffer “unthinkable” damage if the White House and Congress fail to raise the federal debt limit. Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, the Fed chairman said it was “essential” for Congress to raise the legal limit on the federal debt before the U.S. government defaults on its loans. “We’ve always paid our bills, and it simply must happen that Congress raises the debt ceiling in time to allow that to happen,” Powell said. The consequences of inaction “would be highly unpredictable,” Powell added, warning that “no one should…

Amazon Is Giving Workers A Chance To Learn To Code Before Robots Take Their Jobs

Amazon is grooming its vast workforce for the automation job apocalypse that the company itself is helping to bring about thanks to its robotics division. As the company introduces more robots and automated systems to sort goods and fill orders at its warehouses, making more of its increasingly better-paid workforce redundant, the company apparently wants to be seen as giving them a chance to learn new skills – like, for example, how to code – before shunting them aside. As WSJ reports, Amazon is planning to spend $700 million – a drop in the bucket compared with the company’s $240…

CBO Analysis Shows $15 Federal Minimum Wage Would Raise Pay for 27 Million Workers and Lift 1.3 Million Out of Poverty

A Congressional Budget Office analysis published Monday showed that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would significantly increase pay for over 27 million workers and lift 1.3 million people—including hundreds of thousands of children—out of poverty. The CBO also found that more than doubling the federal minimum wage would boost the income of families earning less than three times the poverty rate by nearly $22 billion. While corporate media headlines emphasized the CBO’s estimate that a $15 minimum wage could wipe out over a million jobs, economists disputed this finding as overly pessimistic and noted…

Milk Sales Plummeted By $1.1 Billion In 2018

Good news! Dairy sales dropped by $1.1 billion in 2018! You may not know why this is good news just yet, but we’ll get there! Dairy Farmers of America during released the new statistics during an annual meeting in 2018. Sales dropped 8% from $14.7 billion in 2017 to $13.6 billion in 2018. This was due to low milk prices and a massive consumer shift toward plant-based alternatives like cashew milk, almond milk and soy milk. In response to the losses, dairy lobbyists have been pushing to ban marketable terminology like ‘milk,’ ‘cheese’ and ‘dairy free’ from being used by…

US Warned About Risk of Default in September

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a Washington-based think tank and advocacy group, in its latest report has warned that the United States may default on government debt in the first half of September. “The Bipartisan Policy Center now forecasts a risk that the debt limit ‘X Date’ — the date when the federal government can no longer pay all of its bills in full and on time — could occur in the first half of September”, the think tank said on Monday. The report’s authors stressed that in July and August, the US Treasury would continue to spend funds on…

Amazon staff will strike during Prime Day over working conditions

While Amazon is busy hyping up this year’s Prime Day extravaganza, its workers will be drawing attention to more serious issues than price cuts. Staff at a warehouse in Shakopee, Minnesota will hold six hours of strikes on July 15th (the start of Prime Day) to demand less stringent quotas and the conversion of more temporary workers into permanent employees. The quotas make the work dangerous and unreliable, according to the workers, and permanent work will help create a “livable future.” Workers in the US have protested before (including a December protest in Minnesota over support for East African workers),…

Landlords can’t ask for ‘last month’s rent’ plus security deposit, thanks to new rent laws

As of July 14th, it will be illegal for landlords to require you to pay last month’s rent in addition to a month’s security deposit when you sign a lease. New rent reforms clearly state that in nearly all cases, “no deposit or advance shall exceed the amount of one month’s rent.”  Nor can landlords require renters with bad credit histories or annual salaries less than 40 to 45 times the monthly rent to pay multiple months of rent up front. In the past, they’ve typically asked for anywhere from three to 12 months worth of rent. The new law…

Deutsche Bank will exit global equities business and slash 18,000 jobs in sweeping overhaul

Deutsche Bank announced Sunday that it will pull out of global equities sales and trading, scale back investment banking and slash thousands of jobs as part of a sweeping restructuring plan to improve profitability. Deutsche will cut 18,000 jobs for a global headcount of around 74,000 employees by 2022. The bank aims to reduce adjusted costs by a quarter to 17 billion euros ($19 billion) over the next several years. The German bank’s decision to scale back investment banking comes just two days after investment banking chief Garth Ritchie stepped down by “mutual agreement.” Deutsche expects its restructuring plan to…

1 in 4 Americans have no plans to retire

Nearly one-quarter of Americans say they never plan to retire, according to a poll that suggests a disconnection between individuals’ retirement plans and the realities of aging in the workforce. Experts say illness, injury, layoffs and caregiving responsibilities often force older workers to leave their jobs sooner than they’d like. According to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 23% of workers, including nearly 2 in 10 of those over 50, don’t expect to stop working. Roughly another quarter of Americans say they will continue working beyond their 65th birthday. According to government data, about 1…

Over 25% Of All June Job-Cuts Came From The Auto Sector

More than 25% of June’s 41,977 announced job cuts came in the automotive industry, according to Managing Economist for Refinitiv Jeoff Hall. Hall commented on Twitter that the industry’s 10,904 redundancies were the most in seven months and the second most in seven years. Hall also noted that excluding autos, there were only 31,073 job cuts in June, the fewest in 11 months, in low-normal range. About a month ago we focused on layoffs in the auto industry, noting that China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the United States have all seen at least 38,000 job cuts over the last six…

Carmageddon Continues: New Vehicle Sales Plunge To “Horribly Mature” 1999 Levels

The auto industry continues to look like a bursting bubble in progress and all around sad state of affairs, despite low rates and the “prosperity” of the stock market hitting new all time highs. Meanwhile, under the surface of those numbers, the actual economy – especially in autos – is telling a different story. New vehicle deliveries, combining fleet sales and retail sales, were down 1.5% in Q2 to 4.5 million vehicles, according to Wolf Street. For the first half of the year, vehicle deliveries fell 2.4% to 8.4 million vehicles. This puts the pace for new vehicle sales on track to…

Wall Street Beware: The Public Banking Movement Is Coming for You

It may not come as a surprise to hear that the majority of Americans don’t trust the banking system in this country. Only 27 percent of those surveyed in a 2016 Gallup poll said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the institution — less than half of the record high set in 1979. And the lack of trust is spread relatively evenly across the political spectrum — it’s not just liberals or those on the left: Almost everyone is fed up with the banks. And if banking institutions don’t exactly spark joy, their lead…

Still Planning Your Estate? Why You Shouldn’t Wait Another Day

Perhaps you’ve spent hours upon hours and a chunk of money to have your attorney draft documents so your assets will pass to your loved ones with minimal delay and expense. These might include a will, revocable living trust, durable power of attorney, durable financial power of attorney, and health care surrogate. You’ve even detailed who will receive each of your cherished mementos. Now that you’ve taken care of the financial and healthcare details in your life, there’s one more document you might want to add… and you don’t need your attorney to draw it up. Begin with this… Visualization…

Social Security benefits go furthest in these 25 countries

Senior citizens in the U.S. seeking adventure after retirement Opens a New Window. may want to consider fleeing the country, particularly to parts of the world where Social Security benefits Opens a New Window. last the longest. There are plenty of ways to boost Opens a New Window. your retirement income Opens a New Window.  — from delaying retirement past the age of 65 to ensuring you work a full 35 years — but moving is one of the best options, especially if you live in a state that taxes Social Security benefits. So far, at least 13 states impose taxes on Social…

The US labor market rebounds in June, adding far more jobs than expected

In the latest snapshot of the US economy, government data out on Friday showed that hiring rebounded in June and that wage growth accelerated at a slower rate than expected. The Labor Department said the US added 224,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, a healthy recovery from a surprisingly weak reading of 72,000 jobs in May. Economists had expected a gain of about 164,000.  “The jobs growth number this month is comforting after a few months of uncertainty,” said Martha Gimbel, an economist at Indeed, a career site. “While job growth may be slowing down from its astonishing rate last year,…

A World without Dollars? Are We Approaching the End of America’s Financial Order?

First published on February 1, 2019 For Washington, the U.S. dollar is leverage, a financial weapon to dominate the world economy, to impose its foreign policy agendas and to secure a steady flow of natural resources over sovereign countries who use the currency. In the last decade or so, the reputation of the U.S. dollar has been widely discredited because it is viewed by many governments around the world as a risky asset since the U.S. economy holds more than $21 trillion in debt and if you add the unfunded liabilities in the form of promises to ensure payments to…

“Raise My Taxes” Really Just Means “Raise Others’ Taxes”

As has happened during every recent presidential campaign that might result in higher taxes on “the rich” (i.e., every one with a Democratic candidate), some of the 1 percent (or the .1 or .01 percent) have come out in favor of “taxing me more,” in the name of paying what they think is their fair share and generating government funds to address poverty, wealth inequality, or the latest in progressive proposals. While the list of supporters changes, whoever is among the latest “raise our taxes” promoters get widely lauded for their altruism. However, there have always been serious problems with…

Phony Economic Growth Stats Conceal Deep Problems on Main Street

We live not only in a time of fake news but also in the era of fake economic growth. The performance of the economies of the industrialized countries since 2010 is a prominent case of deceptive economic growth. This economic recovery is not the result of a strengthening of the productive forces of the economy, but is due to a massive expansion of liquidity. Central banks created a monetary avalanche that has gone mainly into the financial markets and has become a source of deception for investors. In real terms, the economy has not advanced very much since the financial…

U.S. Stock Market Hits A New Record High, But What’s Really Going On?

As Americans head off to Independence Day celebrations, they’ll be greeted with a plethora of headlines about record highs in the U.S. stock market. What I find most interesting about the latest bout of exuberance is the fact that priced in gold, stocks remain far below last fall’s peak. From my perspective, a real equity bull market is one where the stock market, in this case the S&P500, consistently hits new highs relative to what’s historically been the world’s politically-neutral monetary asset, gold; and the U.S. stock market did exactly that from August 2011 until September 2018. Though equities in…

Trump Says US Should Join “Great Currency Manipulation Game” By Devaluing Dollar

President Trump has never been a fan of the strong dollar. And after beating around the bush for months by demanding a 50 bp rate cut and more QE from the Fed, it seems the president is now explicitly calling on the US to artificially weaken the greenback by any means necessary. In a tweet, Trump blasted China and Europe for playing a ‘big currency manipulation game’ and recommended that the US “MATCH” or risk being “the dummies who sit back and politely watch as other countries continue to play their games.” Notably, the tweet calling for even more easing…

The 7 Biggest Regrets for Retirees

More than half of retirees have retirement regrets. And, as you can imagine the regrets range from “I wish I started saving earlier” to “I wish I traveled more when my health was good.” But, the number one biggest regret most retirees have is claiming Social Security too early. As many as 57% of recent retirees chose to claim Social Security before their full retirement age, locking themselves into a lifetime of 25%-30% smaller Social Security payments. The National Bureau of Economic Research also found that early Social Security claims are linked to increased likelihood of living in poverty in…

New Chicago Mayor Wants State Taxpayer Bailout Of Chicago Pension Debts

It didn’t take long for new Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to propose a plan that would wash her hands of Chicago’s pension crisis altogether. According to a recent report in Crain’s, Lightfoot wants the state to take over Chicago’s pension debts and merge them with the other pension plans throughout the state. The move would make all state taxpayers responsible for paying down the city’s debts.  The plan to shift city debts to the state would bail out the mayor from having to raise about $1 billion in additional taxes to pay for increasing pension costs by 2023. A massive…

Three Steps to Save America from Collapse (I say let it collapse)

Our monetary system is broken. It’s given us low growth, a shrinking job force, inequality beyond what a healthy economy would produce, inefficiency, and the unnatural growth of finance as a portion of the economy. Our aging Federal Reserve System starves both small businesses and Silicon Valley of the capital needed to grow jobs and wages. Fed policy translates into zero-interest-rate loans for the government and its cronies, and little or nothing for savers or small businesses. And it has transformed Wall Street from an engine of innovation into a servant of government power. But I believe America can be…

A New Tax Warning for Business Owners

I’ve been self-employed for the last decade and I’ve been doing my own taxes for as long as I’ve had income so I’ve learned an awful lot about both things over the years. Now, after recently getting a letter from the IRS regarding my 2018 return, I have some new insights to share with you about where the two areas intersect – specifically why the advantages of a special retirement plans for business owners have just gotten a bit less attractive under the new tax laws that went into effect for 2018. Here’s the Background… As a self-employed person, I’ve…

One-third of Americans have cut their spending this year, and some fear a recession is coming

Money may have potential, but there are only so many things you can do with a dollar. Spend it. Save it. Donate it. Invest it. Mostly we seem to want to spend it. Or do we? Contrary to what you might think, the real minority is spenders. That’s good news, since some people save so they can invest for their future financial stability. At least, when answering questions for the Invest in You Spending Survey, more people described themselves as savers, at 54%. The national survey of 2,800 Americans was conducted June 17–20 by CNBC + Acorns in partnership with SurveyMonkey.…

Saudi Buying of U.S. Treasuries Has Soared Since Trump Election

By now, President Donald Trump’s bromance with Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is well documented. The platitudes and chummy photo-ops. The billions of dollars in U.S. arms sales. And, of course, the willingness to brush aside evidence implicating the crown prince in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But what’s gone largely unnoticed is just how enthusiastic the kingdom has been in snapping up America’s debt. After aggressively culling its holdings of U.S. government debt for most of 2016, Saudi Arabia has amassed an even larger position since Trump’s election in November that year. Based on the latest reported figures,…

The ridiculous return of the Zimbabwe dollar

Here’s our Friday roll up of the most absurd and concerning articles we came across this week. Jail time for offensive image in Great Britain Recently some idiot teenager in Britain edited an image of Prince Harry into something that was stupid and racist. This moron clearly intended to be offensive. His photo depicts the prince (who married Meghan Markle) with a gun to his head and the caption, “see ya later race traitor.” It was such a primitive thing to do, and an even worse thing to believe. But does his stupidity actually constitute a ‘crime’? In the UK…

California to have highest gas prices in nation when new gas tax kicks in July 1

When the new gas tax kicks in July 1, California will have the highest gas tax in the country. The new gas tax will add an additional 5.6 cents per gallon of gas. Consumer Watchdog President Jaime Court argues even though the new gas tax is expected to generate more than $50 billion over the next decade for much-needed road repairs, road infrastructure and transit upgrades, consumers shouldn’t be stuck with the bill. “I had an issue with the tax increase when it went into effect because I felt that it should be paid for by the oil refineries excessive…