Summary of “How to Budget When You’re Broke”

Follow these steps to set up a budget if you’re broke.
Not all experts agree on which is best to focus on first, debt or savings.
The “Debt Snowball” method: Pay your smallest debts first.
The “Debt Avalanche” method: Pay debts with the highest interest rates first.
As finance blog Ready for Zero points out: “Proponents of the Debt Avalanche point out that you can lose thousands of dollars by choosing not to tackle your highest interest accounts first.”
The most important thing is to keep your debts organized and come up with a plan on how you’ll tackle each one.
Once you pick your debt repayment strategy, allocate an amount toward each debt.
Calculate how long it will take to eliminate each one, with your budget in place.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Stop Putting Off Your Big Idea”

As Jessica Abel, a cartoonist and author, explains, it’s because it’s become part of your Idea Debt.
Idea Debt is when you spend too much time picturing what a project is going to be like, too much time thinking about how awesome it will be to have this thing done and in the world, too much time imagining how cool you will look, how in demand you’ll be, how much money you’ll make.
It’s the screenplay idea you’ve had for 10 years, the podcast you’re always brainstorming but never executing, the novel you keep promising to sit down and write, yet never find time for.
Abel says she first encountered the term Idea Debt while interviewing Kazu Kibuishi, a graphic novel author and illustrator.
Idea Debt takes this one step further: You’re not just putting off answering an email for a few weeks, you’re putting your dreams on hold indefinitely.
“Avoiding Idea Debt is about acting before you think too much and get overwhelmed by how hard, and how important your project feels,” writes Abel.
What happens when you carry Idea Debt for too long, and your life moves on, is that your idea hangs on like an albatross.
Ask yourself: Are the ideas taking up space in your head the ideas of today, or an earlier you? Do they still excite you? Will they help you become the person you want to be, or are they just sitting there because you’ve never cleaned them out? Allowing yourself to move on frees you from that Idea Debt so you can take on new initiatives and goals.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The $247 trillion global debt bomb”

The untold story of the world economy – so far at least – is the potentially explosive interaction between the spreading trade war and the overhang of global debt, estimated at a staggering $247 trillion.
Here’s where the trade war and debt may intersect disastrously.
In the first quarter of 2018 alone, global debt rose by a huge $8 trillion.
In 2018 and 2019, about $1 trillion of dollar-denominated emerging-market debt is maturing, the IIF says.
Debt can either stimulate or retard economic growth, depending on the circumstances.
If debt growth is not sustainable, as Tran believes, new lending will slow or stop.
The meaning of the $247 trillion debt overhang is that many countries will be dealing with the consequences of high or unsustainable debts – whether borne by consumers, businesses or governments.
“If you are in a high-debt situation, you need to bring the debt down, either absolutely or as a share of GDP,” Tran said at the briefing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Welcome to the buyback economy”

The cash-outs are helping to drive debt – corporate debt – to record levels.
The most significant and troubling aspect of this buyback boom is that despite record corporate profits and cash flow, at least a third of the shares are being repurchased with borrowed money, bringing the corporate debt to an all-time high, not only in an absolute sense but also in relation to profits, assets and the overall size of the economy.
What concerns these regulators is not simply the growth of the corporate debt market but also the change in its structure and how it will perform during a sell-off.
For the bigger reality is that the global economy is now awash in debt – not just corporate debt but also record amounts of government debt, household debt and investor debt – at a time when interest rates are rising from historically low levels.
Not only does the new debt need to be financed, but trillions of dollars in old debt will also need to be refinanced when it comes due.
Memories are short, and a decade later, mortgage debt, credit card debt, student loan debt, and car loan debt are all, once again, at record levels and growing briskly.
Finally, there is the debt that investors large and small take on to buy stocks, bonds, derivatives and other securities.
“Banks will reap what they have sowed in having created all this debt,” said James Millstein, an expert in corporate and government debt who oversaw the restructuring of insurance giant AIG for the treasury during the 2008 financial crisis.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Letter to My Daughter About the Black Magic of Banking”

As you grow up and experience more of the ups and downs of the economy, you will notice a piece of mindbending hypocrisy: during the good times, bankers, entrepreneurs-rich people in general-tend to be against government.
Entrepreneurs need bankers to lend to them, who need entrepreneurs to pay interest.
Bankers need governments to protect them, who need bankers to fuel the economy.
Who has provided the government with the requisite loans? The bankers, of course! And where have the bankers found the money? I hardly need tell you that they have conjured it from thin air.
Why? Because a market society’s bankers need public debt as surely as fish need water to swim in.
When the government borrows, say, $100 million from a banker for, say, a ten-year period, in return it provides the banker with a piece of paper, an IOU, by which it legally guarantees to repay the money in ten years’ time as well as pay an additional yearly amount to the banker in interest-say, $5 million a year.
Bonds are, in bankers’ parlance, “The most liquid of assets.” As such, they lubricate the banking system to keep its cogs and wheels turning.
In bad times, when bankers pick up the phone to the government and demand that the state’s central bank bail them out, it does so not just by creating new money, as we have already seen, but also by issuing even more bonds and using them to borrow more money from other bankers, often foreign ones, to pass on to the local bankers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Happens to Your Debts When You Die”

Of the many downsides of death you could name, you might think an upside is that you no longer have to worry about the massive pile of debt you’ve accumulated over your life-almost $62,000, on average, according to a 2017 report from Credit.com-from astronomical health care bills to the mortgage on the house you couldn’t afford to your tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt.
Before you pass on money to your heirs, your debts are repaid.
An executor handles all of this, and will pay off your debts with your estate.
Because mortgages are secured debt, lenders get first dibs on your assets to recoup their loan.
If the estate can’t cover the cost of the debt and you have a co-signer, they’re responsible for the rest of the loan.
Credit card debt isn’t secured, meaning if the estate runs out of funds after the mortgage and car loans, there’s nothing for creditors to sell to get their money back.
If not, the debt may die with you, unless you live in a community property state.
If there’s money in your estate, that’ll be put toward private student loan debt.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Real Retail Killer”

Retail is, of course, not the only target of private equity.
Remington faced specific challenges-most notably a nationwide decrease in gun sales following President Trump’s election-but private equity’s fingerprints were all over its collapse as well.
It’s in retail that private equity’s malign influence has really been felt.
Claire’s, Payless, Wet Seal, rue21, and dozens of other retail outlets have all filed for bankruptcy in recent years-and all had been acquired by private equity firms before ultimately throwing in the towel.
For all of these companies, Toys ‘R’ Us very much included, private equity was supposed to be a savior, making the necessary cuts to compete in an increasingly fragmented and top-heavy marketplace.
These companies have become burdened with debt that cannot be repaid, while revenue has stagnated.
In a fluid retail environment, legacy brands have to adapt to the rising threat of e-commerce.
Why has private equity’s role in the retail apocalypse been obscured? One reason is that Amazon has fundamentally changed the way that the media discusses business.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Billionaire and a Nurse Shouldn’t Pay the Same Fine for Speeding”

Plus, scaled fines might encourage more equitable prosecution.
Serious crimes, where prison is on the table, also carry fines.
Progressive fines might even help address America’s addiction to incarceration.
No one really thinks fines are an adequate substitute for prison.
That’s because a fine high enough to punish wealthy people would devastate a poor person.
After Germany moved toward income-based fines, the use of short-term prison sentences declined, even for crimes like larceny and assault.
America’s limited experience with day fines suggests that making fines more progressive will work.
Amid a flourishing national movement to reform our criminal justice system and tackle income inequality, the progressive fine is an idea whose time may finally have come.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Financial Whisperer to Trump’s America”

Beloved for his down-home manner and direct, time-to-take-your-medicine approach, Ramsey is the pro bono financial adviser to millions of Americans who otherwise could never afford one.
When Ramsey listens to America talking, what does he hear? Two hours before he goes on air that Tuesday afternoon, I ask Ramsey about that term, “Economic anxiety.” He hesitates.
Like other financial gurus, Ramsey built his empire on a fairly straightforward insight given a catchy name and applied to more or less every customer.
Today, Ramsey is the No. 3 talk-radio personality in America, behind only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
Today, Ramsey is the No. 3 talk-radio personality in America, behind only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity; his show is the cornerstone of the Ramsey Solutions empire with 650 employees spread across a sprawling campus.
The Ramsey faithful who make the pilgrimage to Brentwood, Tennessee, are free to camp out in the lobby of the Ramsey Solutions headquarters and watch him broadcast the show live; he comes out for hugs, handshakes and selfies at commercial breaks.
The couple started listening to Ramsey as newlyweds, took his nine-week course and say he still serves as their de facto financial adviser.
A lot of students these days are taking Ramsey’s class, and not always by choice: Five states require high schoolers to take some financial planning curriculum before graduation; Ramsey Solutions has a team actively lobbying more state governments to do so.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Italy’s Election Is a Shipwreck – Foreign Policy”

A few weeks ago, an Italian magazine asked me to illustrate graphically how I see Italy from abroad. I am incompetent at drawing, but an image instantly popped in my mind: the Costa Concordia shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea in 2012.
Italians have faith that the Stellone Italiano will save them at the last minute, just as it has historically bailed out the Italian soccer team in World Cup matches.
Just as the Italian lucky star seems to have abandoned the national soccer team, which failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup for the first time in 60 years, it might also be inadequate as Italy approaches the astral combination of three crucial events: the end of monetary quantitative easing, the possibility of a U.S. recession, and the national election on March 4.
In 2017, Italian GDP grew 1.5 percent, industrial production was up 4.9 percent, and Italians are now feeling – for the first time in a decade – more optimistic about their future.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Italian productivity grew faster than most advanced nations, generating what is commonly known as the “Italian economic miracle.” In the 1970s and 1980s, in spite of high inflation and social tensions which led to a serious terrorism problem, Italian productivity grew in line with most developed nations.
If the market perceives Italian debt to be unsustainable, there would either have to be a European bailout or Italy would be forced to exit the eurozone.
Thus, the European Union and the ECB will ultimately shape Italian economic policy, as we have seen in Greece.
Some cynics claim that cooking Italy slowly greatly benefits Germany, the hegemonic country in Europe, which gets the best and the brightest young Italians in its workforce and can suffocate its most competitive rivals in manufacturing.

The orginal article.