The type of project or projects that are funded by a bond affects the taxability of income received on the bonds. Interest earnings on bonds that fund projects that are constructed for the public good are generally exempt from federal income taxes, while interest earnings on bonds issued to fund projects partly or wholly benefiting only private parties, sometimes referred to as private activity bonds or PABs, may be subject to federal income tax. However, qualified private activity bonds, whether issued by a governmental unit or private entity, are exempt from federal taxes because the bonds are financing services or facilities that, while meeting the private activity tests, are needed by a government. See a list of those projects in Section 141 of the IRS Code.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook. Could Not Hold Onto the GainAfter yesterday's, I think 550 point drop in the Dow, the market bounced back a bit today. I think at one point earlier in the day the Dow managed to gain over 200 points, but it could not hold on to that gain. It closed down ju ...…
In their latest report on commodity prices, French bank Natixis outlined why precious metals have a strong couple of years ahead of them as the U.S. economy slows. According to an article on Kitco, the report states that after a remarkable year, the dollar will finally begin to trend lower as the Fed puts the brakes on its tightening cycle. Read More
Already rising for two weeks, following the Geithner announcement the DJIA had its fifth-biggest one-day point gain in history.[40] "Tim Geithner went from zero to hero in a matter of just a few days" and reported that Bank of America stock led banking stocks with 38% one-day gains.[41] On March 26, 2009, after just short of three weeks of gains which frequently defied the day's bad economic news, the DJIA rebounded to 7924.56. A rise of 21% from the previous low, this met the technical requirements to be considered a bull market.[42] A Wall Street Journal article declared, "Stocks are on their strongest run since the bear market started a year and a half ago as investors continue to debate whether the economy and the markets have finally stabilized".[43] Bloomberg noted the Obama administration's successes included the sale of $24 billion worth of seven-year Treasury notes and pointed out that March 2009 was the best month for the S&P 500 since 1974.[44]
Purchasers of municipal bonds should be aware that not all municipal bonds are tax-exempt, and not all tax-exempt bonds are exempt from all federal and state taxes. The laws governing the taxability of municipal bond income are complex. At the federal level they are contained in the IRS Code (Sections 103, 141-150), and rules promulgated thereunder. Additionally, special rules apply to certain types of investors (e.g., financial institution and property and casualty insurance companies) or in certain situations. For example, there is no IRS Code exemption for capital or other gains received from the sale of a municipal bonds and special rules apply for secondary market discount and original issue discount on municipal bonds. Each state will have its own laws governing what bonds, if any, are exempt from state taxes. For publicly offered bonds and most private placements, at the time of issuance a legal opinion will be provided indicating that the interest bonds are tax-exempt; these opinions do not customarily address collateral tax treatment. Offering documents, such as an official statement or placement memorandum, will contain further information regarding tax treatment of interest on the bonds. Investors should be aware that there are also post-issuance compliance requirements that must be met to ensure that the bonds remain tax-exempt. The IRS has a specific section of their website,, devoted to tax exempt bonds and compliance with federal requirements.
There are many people who don't agree with these bears. PIMCO analyst Joachim Fels, for one, finds a recession to be unlikely over the next 12 months, Barron's reports. However, he adds that a global recession within the next five years has a 70% probability, based on history. Barron's also notes that the forecasting prowess of Jim Rogers and Marc Faber is questionable. They have been wrongly bearish for years, and those who followed their advice in the recent past would have missed out on the bull market. Additionally, Barron's notes that Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller of Yale University, whose models indicate an overpriced market, nonetheless believes that stocks may climb yet higher. (For more, see also: Stocks Could Rise 50%, Says Yale's Shiller.)
Wall Street owns the country. That was the opening line of a fiery speech that populist leader Mary Ellen Lease delivered around 1890. Franklin Roosevelt said it again in a letter to Colonel House in 1933, and Sen. Dick Durbin was still saying it in 2009. “The banks—hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created—are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill,” Durbin said in an interview. “And they frankly own the place.”
After a little bit of a lull, the international currency crisis is back with a vengeance.  Currencies are collapsing in Argentina, Brazil, India, Turkey and other emerging markets, and central banks are springing into action.  It is being hoped that the financial chaos can be confined to emerging markets so that it will not spread to the United States and Europe.  But of course the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, and a massive wave of debt defaults in emerging markets would inevitably have extremely serious consequences all over the planet. Read More
The price of gold fell another ten bucks and that of silver another 28 cents. Perspective: if you’re waiting for the right moment to buy, the market is offering you a better deal than it did last week (literally, the price of gold is a 7.2% discount to the fundamental vs. 4.6% last week). If you wanted to sell, this wasn’t a good week to wait. Which is your intention, and why?

Over the course of the last few BullBear Market Reports, I have been exploring the potential for a long term secular shift in the financial markets.  Analysis has suggested strongly that trends in force going back to 2011 and 1980 and 1949 and the underlying structures supporting them are in process of being reversed and supplanted.  Continued developments since the last report in July have tended to confirm this analysis.  Such shifts are akin to the gradual turning of a large craft such as an ocean liner or aircraft carrier.  It's a process that takes time even after the rudder has been turned.  Evidence is continuing to surface that the change of direction is forthcoming but not imminent. Here are some key snippets from the March 2018 BullBear Market Report, "Evaluating the Potential for a Secular Market Shift":

The decline of 20% by mid-2008 was in tandem with other stock markets across the globe. On September 29, 2008, the DJIA had a record-breaking drop of 777.68 with a close at 10,365.45. The DJIA hit a market low of 6,443.27 on March 6, 2009, having lost over 54% of its value since the October 9, 2007 high.[6] The bear market reversed course on March 9, 2009, as the DJIA rebounded more than 20% from its low to 7924.56 after a mere three weeks of gains.[7] After March 9, the S&P 500 was up 30% by mid May and over 60% by the end of the year.
What is the opposite of a margin of safety? That is a question this market has had me asking myself for some time now. A margin of safety is a discount to intrinsic value that provides a safety net in the result of an error in analysis or unforeseen negative developments. The opposite of a margin of safety then is a premium to intrinsic value than can vanish even if your analysis is correct or things go unexpectedly in your favor. There are times when a security reaches a valuation such that even if everything goes right you’re unlikely to profit. The price has already discounted a perfect outcome. This “priced for perfection” scenario is the opposite of a margin of safety and this is currently where the stock market finds itself today. Read More
On this episode of Money For the Rest of Us, David Stein walks you through the complex idea of a bond bear market. He explains that a market consisting of losses of 20% or more are considered a bear market type loss and that this type of loss is possible even in the bond market. David states that “It’s important to understand what drives interest rates, how high they could get, and what the ramifications of that are.” Be sure to listen to this full episode to fully understand this idea and to hear some of David’s suggestions for investing in a rising interest rate environment.