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Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos Is Education Champion

While Betsy DeVos was never a household name outside the state of Michigan, she surely is now. The billionaire school voucher and charter school advocate was chosen to head the Department of Education in the Trump Administration.

Betsy DeVos has worked for bettering education in the state of Michigan for over 30 years. She realized her calling while attending college. After seeing first hand all of the problems, apathy and waste within Michigan schools, she vowed to do everything she could to change it. She, along with her husband Richard have poured a great deal of their own money into establishing charter schools. They have also led the charge to put school vouchers on the ballet. It was a long and arduous task, but they finally got a bill passed.

“We came up against a great deal of opposition,” said DeVos. “I firmly believe that parents should be able to choose between crumbling schools and schools with good teachers and better technology.”

Some critics believe that DeVos is poised to break up public school systems all across the nation. DeVos says that those claims are pure nonsense. “Choice is my goal. Giving students the choice of better schools. No one will be forced,” said DeVos.

A number of supporters, including Heritage Foundation CEO Jim DeMint, says she is the best possible choice for the position. DeMint, also an advocate for vouchers and charter schools, says Betsy DeVos will be an Education Department champion. “She has a proven track record with results,” said DeMint.

DeVos has also been active in Republican politics. She is a 4-time appointee as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. She also chairs a number of organizations including American Federation for Children, Foundation for Excellence in Education and The Philanthropy Roundtable. She served as co-campaign manager of her husband’s 2006 campaign to defeat incumbent Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Although DeVos has some detractors, she is expected to receive the necessary votes to be confirmed as Secretary of Education. Her hearing has been delayed until next week.

DeVos and her husband Richard reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They have four grown children and five grandchildren.

Read more: http://www.betsydevos.com/q-a/

Here’s One For The Record Books: Neuromama Has $1,000 In Cash, No Revenue, And A $35 Billion Market Cap

Strange things happen in the investment world. Companies come and go faster than the speeding bullet we all know about. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is the watchdog for the investment industry, but now and then, actually, more now than then, a company will come along a paint a picture on paper that looks too good to be true. A company called Neuromama is one of those companies. The US Securities and Exchange Commission halted trading on Neuromama recently because the picture they painted on paper was nothing like the real life picture of the company. Neuromama has a market cap of $35 billion, and shares were valued at $56.25 before SEC stopped the trading. That market cap would mean that Neuromama is worth more than Delta Airlines and Tesla. The issue that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has with Neuromama is just about everything they reported, according to an article published by Businessinsider.com.

The SEC believes the people in charge of Neuromama are imposters; the company is lying about their Nasdaq listing, and the stock is being manipulated. When Neuromama’s business is broken down, things get a littler stranger, according to the SEC. The company claims it invests in TV networks, and an Amazon type consumer online store. The company has a line of cell phones, pads, computers, and other mobile devices. The company lists 600 patents, but 500 of them are expired. Neuromama is developing a safer way to produce nuclear energy as well. The company claims it spent $15 billion on the project and are working with China, India, the United States, The EU, and Japan on this amazing breakthrough.

Neuromama claims to have offices in Las Vegas, Sydney, Australia and everywhere in between. The company has not filed financial information with the SEC since 2014. The last financial statement showed $1081 in cash and $18.2 million in intangible assets. Neuromama has no revenue, and the company reported a loss of more than $500,000 that year.

The old saying “where’s there smoke there’s fire” certainly applies to Neuromama. Neuromama is playing a financial shell game, and there’s nothing under the shells except smoke and mirrors. The SEC has given Neuromama until August 26 to file accurate information

Marriage Penalty Increase in 2017

Marriage has long been considered a financially savvy move that offers access to health insurance, shared expenses and tax breaks. The IRS may be changing that cultural perception as it chips away at the tax benefits of marriage in a recent policy update that will increase the taxes owed by middle-class married couples.

For Americans who are married with children, the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, which offer thousands of dollars annually for those with dependents, provide deep discounts. For the increasing numbers of child-less couples, the tax benefits of marriage are not as straightforward.

For taxpayers earning between $75,000 and $150,000, the so-called “marriage penalty” limits some deductions and increases the income tax for a wedded couple filing jointly compared to two single individuals. This results in a higher tax burden for couples who elect to marry and delay having children. A recent legal move by the IRS has added another large deduction to this list, exacerbating the effects.

Cohabiting unmarried tax payers can claim twice as high a deduction for mortgage interest compared to a married couple. This seemingly small decision can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in financial differences, as the deduction is capped at $1.1 million of mortgage debt. The ramifications of this new decision will first be felt in early 2017 as income tax returns are due.

The Next Test for Wall Street

The next couple of months are the true test for Wall Street and the major market indexes. Historically, the DJIA sees declines of five percent or more in the months of August and September. Investors who remain bullish on the markets should prepare themselves for possible losses over the next couple of months and expect patches of rough volatility.

Wall Street has seen impressive gains since its February bottom, rallying 19 percent and touching all-time highs in July. However, the second and third worst monthly declines since World War II occurred in the months of August and September. This raises the eyebrows of many speculators as the markets come off the heels of their all-time highs. The third quarter of 2016 saw traditionally defensive sectors such as healthcare, utilities and consumer staple post positive gains.

There are several explanations as to why Wall Street suffers declines in the months of August and September. Investors typically take vacations during these months and cash inflows into Wall Street decline. Others say that mutual funds and hedge funds use these months to position their portfolios causing a sharp decrease in trades. Other analysts speculate that investors heavily scrutinize the Dow 30’s second-half earnings forecasts causing many investors to back away from short-term trading during those months. The next couple of months will really test how long Wall Street can sustain these all-time highs.

Wall Street’s $971 Billion Piggy Bank

Business Insider recently released a story on the more than $971 billion Wall Street investors have in available capital. This money sits, unused, by private equity firms.

This is a massive amount of money, and it’s exciting to think what could be invested in with that kind of money. Entire sectors of the economy could be uplifted in one trading session of much of that money were to be consolidated and used cooperatively. This is money that could invest in sustainable technology and renewable energy, water and resource preservation startups, companies that finance non-profit micro loan, and on and on and on. A lot of money could be made doing the right thing for communities if Wall Street saw that and decided to spend it on what it likes most (profits) while also doing good for people in the economy.

This also shows how Wall Street could afford to be taxed at a higher level in a nonpartisan fashion in order to fund free tuition at all in-state public institutions and part of a universal health care system. There is so much money sitting in Wall Street that it becomes incredibly difficult to justify how little Wall Street has paid the government in fees and taxes over the years. We should demand that more money for social spending come from higher taxes on investors and speculators on Wall Street.

What Will Happen to London After Brexit?

Brexit is now a fact. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union, possibly without Scotland. In a recent article, CNN Money lists cities that are likely to profit at the expense of London.

First of all is Frankfurt, the German financial capital. According to the EU regulations, banks and insurance companies can operate freely withing the EU member states as long as they are based in one of these countries. Once Britain leaves, many of these financial institutions will transfer to one of the remaining 27 countries. Since Frankfurt is among the most important financial centers, this is where some of these companies are bound to go.

The next potential winner is Luxembourg. In this tiny country, there are over 140 banks with asset approaching $900 billion. Meanwhile, the French will not want to stay behind and will seek to attract finance to Paris. The French capital already gets 35% of Eurozone’s bond issues.

The Irish capital, Dublin, is recognized as technology hub. After the UK exits, it’s quite possible that more high-tech companies will move there from the UK. Also, if Scotland breaks away, Edinburgh could get more finance-related business as well. After all, the Scottish capital is already the second biggest financial center in the United Kingdom.

The British profit greatly from London. The city is among the major financial centers in the world. Now, the continental European nations will seek to grab some of London’s share of business. Billions of dollars are at stake.

United Income Aims at Offering Exceptional Retirement Advice

Most people nearing or in retirement seek advice from financial professionals on issues such as saving for retirement, applying for Social Security benefits, and acquisition of mortgages. Most often, the advisors offer biased answers tailored to market their own products. Therefore, the Department of Labor has moved swiftly to provide a permanent solution for this issue by implementing a new rule that requires the advisors to offer guidance on retirement accounts that are in the best interests of customers.

Matt Fellowes opinions

Matt Fellowes is a previous employee of Brookings Institution who founded Hello Wallet, a financial wellness firm back in 2010. Fellowes believes that with ideal software, he can offer cost-effective retirement solutions. He has already relinquished his Chief Innovation Officer position at Morningstar Inc. (which purchased HelloWallet back in 2014 at $52.5 million) to dedicate his effort in the creation of a beta form of that software.

Capital source

Fellowes will use $500 million raised from Morningstar’s seed capital, wealthy relatives, and his pocket to develop the software and launch it in 2017 specifically in the first quarter. While most fintech startups target the youths, Fellowes is targeting aging adults who are nearing retirement or already retired. . Originally posted on Forbes

Unlike his previous investing startups, which have funny names such as HelloWallet, Acorns, Digit, and Betterment, Fellowes’ current venture has a serious name: United Income. He believes that people who are approaching or in retirement have a high probability of paying for advice than their children and grandchildren. United Income will serve as an investment advisor registered with the SEC.

Getting To The White House On Little Money

Donald Trump has proclaimed since he started his run for President of the United States that he has only used his money for the campaign. His first interview after the Republican contests were finished included statements about how much money he would need to get into the White House. Raising $1 billion is not necessary simply to get elected. There are hints that he won’t need half that amount to win the election.

An election for President of the United States is one that takes skill, determination and money as it’s expensive to get your name to the American people. Donald Trump has his own money, which is likely why he doesn’t want to take donations or use any kind of fundraising to get a lot of money from the people voting. If voters understand that they won’t have to financially support someone in the White House, then it could be a positive impact on the election. Those who know that they will have to pay taxes just to pay for the income of the man, or woman, in office will likely run the other way no matter who is on the ballot. Trump is a man who does understand money. He understands how to make it and how to spend it on things that will make more money. He might be the man the country needs in the economical department.

Efforts in Congress to Dismantle Dodd-Frank

During a national election year fraught with controversy, the Republican Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Representative Jeb Hensarling from Dallas, Texas plans to introduce legislation to begin dismantling sizable chunks of the Dodd-Frank banking reform legislation passed by Congress in 2010. He gave a speech on Tuesday in New York detailing proposed changes in the “Financial Choice Act”.

The new proposal would remove restrictions on the ability of banks to engage in very risky financial investments. It would also significantly increase the fines paid by banks that perpetrate fraud. The measure also provides for greater monitoring of some independent regulatory agencies by Congress.

The Obama Administration opposes the proposed changes, and The Washington Post reported that it remains unclear whether or not likely Republican nominee Donald Trump would back the changes, either. Mr. Trump has expressed opposition in the past to the Dodd-Frank legislation, a measure passed in the wake of the economic recession of 2008 in which several notorious Wall Street scandals contributed to significant losses on the part of many Middle Class investors.

In a statement released today, Donald Trump stated that he would cease making controversial comments about the heritage of judges involved in a civil case involving his business. The presumptive Republican nominee recently generated extensive media coverage when he contended that a conflict of interest existed in a civil case involving Trump University because of the jurist’s heritage and his own immigration positions. He declared he would stop discussing the case.

Tax On Sodas In Philadelphia

People who live in Philadelphia and drink soda might have to pay a little more money for the beverage. The city is poised to pass a tax on soda that would equate to 1.5 cents per ounce. This could add up to a good bit of money if you enjoy drinking the sugary treat. Mayor Jim Kenney wanted 3 cents for each ounce, but he didn’t get the support that he needed to pass the tax.

The maneuver seems to be a way for officials to make it almost impossible for people to eat and drink the things that they want to on a regular basis or even if they want a treat once in a while. The goal is to raise $91 million over the next year. Granted, the money raised from the tax will go to school, parks and other essential programs in the city. However, it’s a cost that some don’t want to pay right now because it’s a beverage that people have been drinking for many years. No one has ever said anything about drinking sodas and the need to have the drinks taxed. The new ruling would not only include sodas with a full sugar content, but it would include diet sodas as well. What is wrong with diet sodas as there isn’t as much sugar in them or as much caffeine as the regular sodas?