Tag: credit-card

Card Readers to Generate $11 Billion in Sales

Filed in Apple, AT T, E Reader, o, South African Gold, Spot Gold by on February 14, 2011 0 Comments
Card Readers to Generate $11 Billion in Sales

Filed under: Intuit Inc (INTU) , VeriFone Holdings (PAY) , Smartphones , Technology New technology spawns still more technology. Such is the case with smart phones. Entrepreneurs have found a way to facilitate buying with your smart phone. Companies like Intuit ( INTU ) and VeriFone ( PAY ) have created a card reader that can be inserted into your iPhone ( AAPL ) or other smart phone. Then you can swipe a credit card through the reader and use it to make online purchases. The potential of this new technology is enormous. Analysts estimate that the industry will grow to $11 billion this year. Continue reading Card Readers to Generate $11 Billion in Sales Card Readers to Generate $11 Billion in Sales originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 14 Feb 2011 09:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

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How Savings and Investment Increase an Economy’s Output

Filed in BP, Debt, deflation, economy, interest-rates, Lear, o, silver, Spot Gold, target, US Dollar by on February 14, 2011 0 Comments

Everyone who has held a job and a bank account understands the potential benefit of postponing consumption today in order to enjoy greater consumption in the future. However, many people — if pressed — would explain this increase in saver’s income by an offsetting reduction in the income of a borrower in the economy. This is certainly a possibility. For example, if Bill (the borrower) forgets his lunch money on Monday, he might ask his coworker Sally (the saver), “Can you lend me $10 and I’ll pay you back $11 tomorrow?”  If Sally agrees, then it is clear that her $1 in interest on the personal loan was paid out of Bill’s reduced income for that month. In other words, if Bill’s take-home pay that month were $5,000, then he would actually only have $4,999 to work with, because of his $1 expenditure in “buying a loan” from Sally. At the same time, if Sally’s normal paycheck were also $5,000, then this particular month she would actually have $5,001 to work with, after earning $1 in providing “lending services” to Bill. In the scenario above, what basically happened is that Bill financed his consumption with an “advance” made by Sally. On the Monday morning is question, …

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State Budgets are on the Razor’s Edge

Filed in BP, Debt, Gold, Gold Market, o, target by on December 20, 2010 0 Comments
State Budgets are on the Razor’s Edge

When this one blows up, don’t let anybody tell you that they didn’t see it coming. It’s as obvious as the housing bubble that started it all. It is just like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said: “The credit card is maxed out and it’s over.” If you doubt that watch this… State Budgets: Day of Reckoning By the way , according to a report released by the PEW Center in February, there is a now $1 trillion dollar gap between what states have promised their workers and what they’ve actually set aside to pay those bills. Behind the spin, States have set aside only $2.35 trillion of the $3.35 trillion they’ve promised their current and retired workers in pension, health care, and other retirement benefits. Want to know how your state stacks up?… You can read the full PEW Report click here. Or better yet you can click here for a great interactive maps from Forbes entitled: Is Your State a Debt Disaster Related Articles: The $1 Trillion Pension Gap California’s $500 Billion Hole The Brewing Pension Funding Crisis Public Pension Funds Head to Vegas Chanos: The “cracking of state and local municipalities is coming” The Pension Gap To learn more about Wealth Daily click here. Advertisement Biotech brings cure to cancer— and 10,000% gains to investors Americans currently have a 41% chance of developing cancer during their lifetimes. But while this number may seem dire, there is hope on the horizon… In-house biotech expert Steve Christ has stumbled upon a small firm having amazing success developing a cancer vaccine— and he expects this biotech outfit to make over 1000 times your money as the drug is pushed on to the world market. You can read all about this miracle vaccine right here. State Budgets are on the Razor’s Edge originally appeared in Wealth Daily . Wealth Daily is a free daily newsletter featuring contrarian investment insights and commentary.

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Are You Being Watched?

Filed in BP, deflation, o, silver by on December 17, 2010 0 Comments

Do you remember the good old days the when it used to be illegal for governments to spy on their citizens? I don’t either… but I’m told that it used to be illegal. Oh, how times have changed. The British government went out of control years ago. One report from the BBC in 2009 showed that an average of 1,500 petitions are submitted — every day — to conduct surveillance on U.K. citizens. In the latest (publicized) perversion of government power, federal agents are now ordering real-time tracking of credit card transactions, travel information — pretty much anything right down to what brand of peanut butter you buy, and all without judicial or citizen oversight Known as “hotwatch orders,” government agents are able to write their own administrative subpoenas to surveil U.S. citizens; they request the records of phone companies, Internet service providers, video rentals, and even frequent flyer/customer loyalty programs at airlines and grocery stores. Without court oversight, the subpoenas do not even need to be part of an ongoing investigation or suspicion of criminal wrongdoing; U.S. federal agents can simply decide that a particular individual should be tracked, and then compel private companies to provide a real-time feed of his/her activities. Frequently, the administrative subpoenas are accompanied by gag orders that prevent the company from notifying its customer that they have been served with a subpoena. More than likely, the customer will never know that his/her records are being instantaneously relayed to a federal agent. The thing is, these hotwatch orders are not expressly authorized under U.S. law; federal agents are capitalizing on loose language in existing laws that allow them to write administrative subpoenas in certain instances… and they’re taking that limited authority to extremes. In 2009, House bill HR 1800 (National Security Letters Reform Act of 2009) was submitted, which would tighten the language, provide clear guidelines for federal agencies’ authority, and provide an oversight mechanism. The bill quickly lost momentum and has been in subcommittee purgatory for 18 months. Just like the TSA’s egregious violations of passenger privacy, politicians have no incentive to keep their federal agents in check. All in all, this is yet another brick in the wall that shows how quickly the U.S. is descending into a police state. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before the redux of the “Un-American Activities Committee.” Perhaps the final nail in the coffin is that in addition to their far-reaching, unchecked power for surveilling their citizens, U.S. federal agents also have nearly unlimited powers to confiscate any asset in the country that they suspect may be involved in criminal wrongdoing . To be clear, ‘criminal wrongdoing’ covers a lot of ground… most people think such seizures are limited to customs violations, drug trafficking, and the like. Not true. Government agencies as irrelevant as the Federal Trade Commission can ruin your life if they even suspect you of violating any number of obscure laws relating to email spam, Internet downloads, misuse of pay-per-view cable TV, etc. It’s the real-life equivalent of that old, trite joke about the guy who goes to jail for ripping off the “DO NOT REMOVE” tags from underneath his mattress. Law enforcement officials often…

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Consumer’s Revolt, Shun the Chains of Debt

Consumer’s Revolt, Shun the Chains of Debt

As I discussed in this article, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. That’s where the ultimate sticking point is for the Fed — especially in an economy where consumption is 70% of GDP. Because while the Fed can force money into the system in exchange for government bonds, they can’t necessarily make the money circulate to create new goods or more importantly, new jobs. In short, that leaves the Fed essentially “pushing on a string” while commodity prices rise across the board. Meanwhile, consumers are refusing to go along with the Fed’s ongoing effort to hook them on even more heroin… From Bloomberg by Caroline Salas entitled: U.S. Household Debt Shrank 0.9% in Third Quarter, Fed says. “ U.S. households cut their debt last quarter, borrowing less against homes and closing credit card accounts, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Consumer indebtedness totaled $11.6 trillion at the end of September, down $110 billion, or 0.9 percent from the end of June, according to the New York Fed’s quarterly report on household debt and credit. Households have slashed about $1 trillion from outstanding consumer debts since the peak in the third quarter of 2008, the New York Fed said. U.S. households, facing a jobless rate that’s persisted near a 26-year high, have slashed debt and increased savings following the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That’s pared consumer spending and slowed the economic recovery, helping to prompt the Fed’s decision last week to start another round of unconventional monetary stimulus. “ Consumer debt is declining but only part of the reduction is attributable to defaults or charge-offs,” Donghoon Lee, a senior economist at the New York Fed, said in a statement. “Americans are borrowing less and paying off more debt than in the recent past. This change, which we continue to study carefully, can be a result of both tightening credit standards and voluntary changes in saving behavior.” Individuals paying off their debt crimped their cash flow by about $150 billion in 2009, the New York Fed said. Between 2000 and 2007 borrowing increased consumers’ cash flow by $300 billion a year, according to the district bank.” Needless to say, the borrow and consume model is has seen better days. Phony is as phony does. Related Articles: Hoenig: QE2 May Lead to “future instability” Agflation is Here: Hate to Say I told you So… Hoenig: QE2 Won’t Work Jim Grant on the Fed’s “Mission Creep” Jim Grant: “The Fed is out of its lane” To learn more about Wealth Daily click here Advertisement Masamune’s Secret Metal Six centuries ago, a Japanese sword master accidentally dropped some into the steel he was making… creating the first ever true Samurai Katana blade. Today, it’s the cornerstone of a $987 billion-a-year industry. Find out how you can bank up to 2682% as one tiny mining company taps into one of the world’s last remaining untouched deposits. Consumer’s Revolt, Shun the Chains of Debt originally appeared in Wealth Daily . Wealth Daily is a free daily newsletter featuring contrarian investment insights and commentary.

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American Express Catches Two Downgrades Following DOJ Lawsuit Announcement (AXP)

Filed in dividend, earnings, Gold, Gold Investment, shares by on October 5, 2010 0 Comments
American Express Catches Two Downgrades Following DOJ Lawsuit Announcement (AXP)

Credit card issuer American Express Company ( AXP ) on Tuesday caught downgrades from two different analysts on the heels of today’s announcement of a Department of Justice lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit alleges that American Express used anti-competitive business practices with its merchants, in attempts to discourage customers from using non-AmEx credit cards. Analysts at FBR Capital markets cut their price target for AXP to $45 on the news. That new target represents a smaller expected upside of 15% to the stock’s Monday closing price of $39.05. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley cut its earnings estimates through 2012 for AXP, noting the company may be required to lower its U.S. credit card merchant discount rate. Still, the analyst maintained its “Overweight” rating and $52 price target on the stock. American Express shares rose 40 cents, or +1%, in premarket trading Tuesday. The Bottom Line Shares of AXP have a dividend yield of 1.84%, based on last night’s closing stock price of $39.05. The stock has technical support in the $36 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $42-$44 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now. American Express Company ( AXP ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out

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Divorce Doesn’t Stop Credit Card Responsibilities

Filed in ceo, Debt, dividend, Gold Investment by on September 13, 2010 0 Comments

Divorce is a big issue for many couples, and the age-old concept of splitting everything right down the middle also applies to credit card debt. Regardless of what spouse physically racked up all the credit card debt, if both parties’ names are on the credit card agreement, both are equally responsible for paying the bill — even following a divorce. Unfortunately, the animosity that so often accompanies divorce prompts one spouse to decide not to pay their share of the debt. The only way to enforce payments is to take the former spouse to court. It costs more money to do that for both parties, so avoid further litigation if at all possible, and be sure to close any accounts you may have held jointly once you get your outstanding balance paid off. To protect your credit score from taking a hit, it pays to get the account statements mailed to both new addresses to monitor the payment status as you look to clean up the debts that were outstanding when divorce proceedings were initiated. Worst case, it may make sense to pay the debt and move on, not damaging your credit score as you move on with your life. The good news is that you are not financially responsible for any credit card accounts that are solely in your spouse’s name, unless a court decides it is your responsibility for some reason. Of course, your attorney would be

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Market Wrap-Up for Aug.30 (HPQ, PNC, PRU, CF, X, more)

Filed in dividend, Federal Reserve, Gold, Gold Investment, lead by on August 30, 2010 0 Comments
Market Wrap-Up for Aug.30 (HPQ, PNC, PRU, CF, X, more)

The Federal Reserve recently approved regulations to help credit card customers avoid getting hit with heavy late fines when they miss their scheduled payments. The new rules block credit card companies from charging more than $25 for late payments except in extreme circumstances (if a consumer has shown a pattern of “repeated” violations or if a card issuer can show that a higher fee reasonably offsets its own costs in dealing with the violation). Also, creditors can no longer charge customers for not using their cards. This move follows recent changes where card issuers were prohibited from hiking interest rates on existing balances as long as customers paid their bills on time. Credit card companies must also now notify customers at least 45 days in advance of interest rate increases and most fee changes. Be sure to check your credit card statements carefully in the event your credit card issuer is not following through on these new changes. As for today’s start to the new market week, we saw sellers take charge, stunting optimism there would a follow-up rally to Friday’s move. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) saw a pop from its $10 billion stock buyback announcement. I have repeatedly said that buybacks are not as attractive as Wall Street always likes to make them out to be. Boosting their dividends to a respectable level (HPQ currently has a .84% dividend yield) would have been a great move in my book, but the company decided to go in a different direction. Commodity plays like CF Industries ( CF ) and U.S. Steel ( X ) moved lower as did financial names PNC Financial ( PNC ) and Prudential ( PRU ) . Volume could be a definite issue this week as the end of summer vacation period wraps up over the next week or so. We are still unable to put together strong volume sessions on the upside with any consistent basis. We will certainly be looking over our recommended names for any further potential changes we think need to be made to our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks list. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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Special Report: Time to Pay Down the Mortgage?

Many investors are contemplating a big financial question these days concerning their homes. The debate about whether it makes sense to pay off your mortgage or not really depends on each person’s particular situation. As people get older, their appetite for risk slowly wanes. Despite our best efforts on Dividend.com to stress the long-term positives of investing in dividend-paying stocks, many individuals still have money parked in money market accounts (which can’t even keep up with inflation) and abhorrently low CD rate accounts. For those who are simply terrified of any risk, paying down your mortgage based on where interest rates have been — and likely will continue to be for the next several years — makes sense. For example, if you’re paying a 6% mortgage and leaving your money in a low-interest account (essentially earning you nothing), your best strategy could be to pay off your mortgage, thus erasing the 6% APR. The potential loss of any sort of inflation hedge won’t matter because of the piece of mind you’ll be getting. For others, I would recommend looking at other ways to cut down debt, especially where the interest rates are much higher than mortgages, such as credit card debt. Also, if your company offers it, take full advantage of tax-deferred retirement options like a 401(k) matching benefit. Even looking at your current life insurance situation makes sense — ensure that you have adequate life and health insurance based on your current situation. You could even consider disability and long-term care coverage as other places to wisely spend your money, instead of giving up the yearly tax deduction you receive as a result of your mortgage. At the end of the day, there are several arguments against paying off your mortgage, but the decision will always involve many factors even beyond the items I mentioned

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Apple Hits Peak Profitability

Filed in Gold, GOld juniors, Gold Market, Gold Prices by on July 26, 2010 0 Comments
Apple Hits Peak Profitability

In case you missed the news, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) recently surpassed Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) in market cap. Revenue is also set to surpass MSFT this year. It’s even more impressive when you consider the fact that Apple has done it with only 9% of the PC market they set out to take from Microsoft 25 years ago. The performance of Apple stock over the past decade is enough to make you wish you’d sold your house and piled in. It’s up 3500% from April 2003 levels, when it briefly traded in the mid $6s. Check out this chart of Microsoft and Apple since 2002: An impressive run. And there’s no doubt that Apple is a great company with great gadgets. But the firm’s profitability is likely nearing a peak for this cycle. iPhone dominance set to fade The iPhone is Apple’s undisputed cash cow, contributing around 40% of revenue in Q1 2010. Profit margins are fat— around 60%, according to the New York Times . Those margins are boosted by a deal with desperate partner AT&T, who’s willing to do just about anything to preserve market share (except improve their network, of course). And so far, Apple has smoked every so-called “iPhone killer” to challenge their dominance. But all that’s about to change. Apple has finally met its match with the new generation of Android-powered devices. An army of phones including Motorola’s Droid X and HTC’s Evo are starting to hit the market. According to Bloomberg Businessweek , Android’s share of the smartphone market is up from 1.6% last year to 9.6% today. This new generation of phones will finally give the iPhone a run for its money. Motorola’s Droid X, for example, has more computing power and a higher resolution camera. With an app network that can finally compete with Apple’s, the stage is set. But the biggest factor may be service partners. Verizon and Sprint are betting on phones powered by Google’s Android operating system. They’ve managed to avoid a bidding war with AT&T over the iPhone, choosing instead to focus on building better networks. Now that Droid phones can compete, they’re in a strong position. Personally, I can’t wait to ditch AT&T. The coverage is miserable, dropped calls are frequent, and mystery charges seem to pop up every month. For example, a few years ago I looked at my AT&T bill and noticed a $5 late payment fee on the last five statements. …

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Lobbying Charges Flat for Discover – Analyst Blog

Filed in earnings, Gold Investing, silver by on June 3, 2010 0 Comments

Discover Financial Services ( DFS ) has reportedly spent $220,000 in advocacy costs, unchanged from the prior-year quarter but 58% lower than the prior quarter. The Riverwoods, Illinois based company lobbied the federal government on issues such as credit card lending and financial regulatory reform. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, known as the CARD Act, was passed by the United States Congress on May 22, 2009.The Act includes several provisions aimed at regulating the fees levied on customers by credit card companies. The Act required Discover Financial to make fundamental changes to many of its current business practices, including marketing, underwriting, pricing and billing. The CARD Act’s restrictions on finance charges and fees would result in a reduced interest income and loan fee income for the company. This is expected to put continuous downward pressure on the yield in the U.S. Card segment with the implementation of the CARD Act. Besides this, Discover Financial also lobbied on the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, approved by the Senate on May 20, 2010, which deals with interchange fees. Interchange fees are fees that card issuers charge the merchants for using the card. As opposed to other fees such as late fee or ATM fee, the interchange fee is undisclosed and forms a major component of card issuer&#

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What Business is Wall Street In ?

Filed in economy, gld, Gold by on May 10, 2010 0 Comments

The best analogy for traders ? They are hackers. Just as hackers search for and exploit operating system and application shortcomings, traders do the same thing. A hacker wants to jump in front of your shopping cart and grab your credit card and then sell it. A high frequency trader wants to jump in front of your trade and then sell that stock to you. A hacker will tell you that they are serving a purpose by identifying the weak links in your system. A trader will tell you they deserve the pennies they are making on the trade because they provide liquidity to the market. WRH permalink

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