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Old 10-10-2011, 06:04 PM   #21
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My view also. I am ok with paying higher taxes.
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I'm fine with the low taxes, low services model if that is what voters decide when the choice is honestly presented to them. I'm also ok with higher taxes and keeping the services.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:00 PM   #22
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My view also. I am ok with paying higher taxes.

Me too, I think it has to be done.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:04 PM   #23
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Michael Lewis is a very good story teller and writer.

Here is an interesting analysis of his VF article by written by someone with experience in muni bond analysis and rating Sutor, ne ultra crepidam
Yes Lewis is a very good writer, and I found the counterpoint very interesting also. Of course lets face it, the world isn't going to end stories, are far less interesting than the opposite.


I am guilty of believing Meridith hype and Lewis is being unfair by not pointing out that sky hasn't fallen like she predicted. Still I disagree with "BondGirl" on a major point. In my experience many state local government tend to poor about providing financial information and in some case out right hide it. Recently I was engaging in my nerdy hobby of analyzing of public pension funds. The pension plan managers prominently feature the summary report on its website, complete with charming stories about all the sweet old teacher enjoying retirement thanks to the pension plan. However, the detailed annual financial report was no where to be found on the website. In fact, the only reason I knew existed is because A. they have to put them out and B. the last page of the summary said if want a copy of the annual report please write to them. I eventually found a copy on the web, via the state library system, which obviously wasn't informed on trying to keep it hidden. Nor is this an isolated incident, a few years ago I was trying to find info about San Diego muni bond I owned, it was virtually impossible to find financial information about revenue source. (Fortunately/unfortunately the bond was called so no longer worry about it). We have also seen complaints about a lack of transparency in most muni bond failures, from WHOOPs, to Orange County, to the more recent examples of Vallejo and Central Falls, RI.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
My view also. I am ok with paying higher taxes.
Considering that taxes being paid by individuals commonly include income taxes, payroll taxes (FICA and Medicare), sales taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes and taxes built into the suppliers' cost (and therefor the price) of purchased goods and services; what percentage of your income would you like to contribute to the greater good?
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:48 AM   #25
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Considering that taxes being paid by individuals commonly include income taxes, payroll taxes (FICA and Medicare), sales taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes and taxes built into the suppliers' cost (and therefor the price) of purchased goods and services; what percentage of your income would you like to contribute to the greater good?
Well, if you put it that way...

To paraphrase, the best way to get rid of bad spending is to have to pay for it.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:11 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Michael Lewis is a very good story teller and writer.

Here is an interesting analysis of his VF article by written by someone with experience in muni bond analysis and rating Sutor, ne ultra crepidam
Thanks much for the article. I'm glad I didn't let Whitney scare me out of my munis at the beginning of this year. Now this latest Dexia link - bizarre. I guess that caused the recent quick sell off. So why are European bans providing insurance on US obligations?

I always wondered about Whitney.....

Audrey
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:45 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by clifp View Post
Yes Lewis is a very good writer, and I found the counterpoint very interesting also. Of course lets face it, the world isn't going to end stories, are far less interesting than the opposite.


I am guilty of believing Meridith hype and Lewis is being unfair by not pointing out that sky hasn't fallen like she predicted. Still I disagree with "BondGirl" on a major point. In my experience many state local government tend to poor about providing financial information and in some case out right hide it. Recently I was engaging in my nerdy hobby of analyzing of public pension funds. The pension plan managers prominently feature the summary report on its website, complete with charming stories about all the sweet old teacher enjoying retirement thanks to the pension plan. However, the detailed annual financial report was no where to be found on the website. In fact, the only reason I knew existed is because A. they have to put them out and B. the last page of the summary said if want a copy of the annual report please write to them. I eventually found a copy on the web, via the state library system, which obviously wasn't informed on trying to keep it hidden. Nor is this an isolated incident, a few years ago I was trying to find info about San Diego muni bond I owned, it was virtually impossible to find financial information about revenue source. (Fortunately/unfortunately the bond was called so no longer worry about it). We have also seen complaints about a lack of transparency in most muni bond failures, from WHOOPs, to Orange County, to the more recent examples of Vallejo and Central Falls, RI.
Yes, the financial information is not always available or thorough. That does not represent the norm, however. Florida community development districts are where most of the muni failures are and those are worse than junk bonds. To include these types of bonds with a state or city GO and draw a general conclusion is a disservice.

My previous post was not to suggest there are no problems with munis, just show another facet. Muni investing is far too broad a category to make the kind of generalized assessment that Whitney and Lewis are making. The are not providing analysis, they are selling a story.
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