Daily Reckoning

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  • Uber v.s. Taxi: Which Saves You More?

    Uber v.s. Taxi: Which Saves You More?

    This post Uber v.s. Taxi: Which Saves You More? appeared first on Daily Reckoning. If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve heard that popular ride-hailing app Uber is planning to go public. Uber is reportedly seeking to raise about $10 billion in a deal that could value the ride-hailing giant at $100 billion. Experts predict it could be one of the biggest IPOs in history. This news got me thinking about the rise of ride-hailing services over the past few years and how much these apps really cost to use. If you live in a mid-to-large-sized city, there’s a good chance you’ve tried Uber or Lyft. But even if you haven’t, it’s worth knowing the true cost if you ever decide to one day. First, what is a ride-hailing service? Uber’s story began in Paris in 2008. Two friends, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, were attending a tech conference. Rumor has it the concept for Uber was born one winter night during the conference when the pair were unable to get a cab. The initial idea was for a timeshare limo service that could be ordered via an app. Today, Uber is a platform that hosts drivers and riders. …Read More »
  • 10 Reasons Why Cash Is Still King

    10 Reasons Why Cash Is Still King

    This post 10 Reasons Why Cash Is Still King appeared first on Daily Reckoning. Have you ever tried paying for a plane ticket with cash? It’s not easy. Better yet, try renting a car with cash — good luck. There are some things today I can’t imagine not paying by plastic or through my mobile device. And I’m not the only one… According to an ING International survey conducted two years ago, nearly one third of U.S. citizens never or rarely carry cash, and 34% said they would go completely cashless if they could. As mobile payments become easier and more readily available, the need to carry cash and plastic is quickly becoming less important, or so it seems.  Also with savings interest rates almost non existent, it might seem foolish to hold a lot of cash in your portfolio. But, I’ll happily argue that plastic, mobile payments, and traditional investments haven’t dethroned the king yet. In fact, I can think of 10 reasons why you still want to keep cash on hand. Cash-Only Transactions While there are lot of plastic-only transactions these days, the world still has quite a few places where greenbacks are the only accepted method of …Read More »
  • New Congressional Bill Punishes IRA Holders

    New Congressional Bill Punishes IRA Holders

    This post New Congressional Bill Punishes IRA Holders appeared first on Daily Reckoning. Here’s one of my favorite Washington paradoxes… On one hand, politicians say they want to help Americans save more for retirement. On the other, they look for every possible way to punish people who actually succeed in the endeavor. For proof of this look no further than a new bill that recently passed through the House Ways and Means Committee with unanimous support. It’s called the SECURE Act and will soon go to a full vote along with a similar companion bill – called the RESA Act – working its way through the Senate. The basic aims include: Letting employers automatically raise employee 401(k) contributions from a maximum of 10% of pay to a new max of 15% Increasing tax credits to small businesses that start up retirement plans and/or include automatic enrollment features Creating new ways for graduate students and other special categories to participate in retirement savings programs Plus, allowing penalty-free account withdrawals for births or adoptions On the surface, these don’t sound too bad, right? What You Might be Missing I mean, perhaps we can argue over the idea of default 401(k) enrollment a …Read More »
  • Dollar Dominance Under Multiple, Converging Threats

    Dollar Dominance Under Multiple, Converging Threats

    This post Dollar Dominance Under Multiple, Converging Threats appeared first on Daily Reckoning. For years, currency analysts have looked for signs of an international monetary “reset” that would diminish the dollar’s role as the leading reserve currency and replace it with a substitute agreed upon at some Bretton Woods-style monetary conference. That push has been accelerated by Washington’s use of the dollar as a weapon of financial warfare, including the application of sanctions. The U.S. uses the dollar strategically to reward friends and punish enemies. The use of the dollar as a weapon is not limited to trade wars and currency wars, although the dollar is used tactically in those disputes. The dollar is much more powerful than that. The dollar can be used for regime change by creating hyperinflation, bank runs and domestic dissent in countries targeted by the U.S. The U.S. can depose the governments of its adversaries, or at least blunt their policies without firing a shot. But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As the U.S. wields the dollar weapon more frequently, the rest of the world works harder to shun the dollar completely. I’ve been warning for years about efforts of …Read More »
  • Japan on a Larger Scale

    Japan on a Larger Scale

    This post Japan on a Larger Scale appeared first on Daily Reckoning. In my 2014 book, The Death of Money, I wrote, “The United States is Japan on a larger scale.” That was five years ago. Last week, prominent economist Mohamed A. El-Erian, formerly CEO of PIMCO and now with Allianz, wrote, “With the return of Europe’s economic doldrums and signs of a coming growth slowdown in the United States, advanced economies could be at risk of falling into the same kind of long-term rut that has captured Japan.” Better late than never! Welcome to the club, Mohamed. Japan started its “lost decade” in the 1990s. Now their lost decade has dragged into three lost decades. The U.S. began its first lost decade in 2009 and is now entering its second lost decade with no end in sight. What I referred to in 2014 and what El-Erian refers to today is that central bank policy in both countries has been completely ineffective at restoring long-term trend growth or solving the steady accumulation of unsustainable debt. In Japan this problem began in the 1990s, and in the U.S. the problem began in 2009, but it’s the same problem with no clear …Read More »