Sunday, November 30, 2008


Put your medical record on the net, is it good?

List of e-health web sites:
Microsoft HealthVault
Google Health

To read a Wall Street Journal report on Intel's new health-care offerings, click here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jim Cramer's 25 Rules

1. Stay Diversified. 

2. Buy and sell slowly. 

3. Your first loss is your best loss. 

4. Dividends limit losses. 

5. Its always good to have some cash. 

6. Don't own too many volatile stocks. 

7. Know what you own. 

8. Don't own low-dollar stocks. 

9. Accounting irregularities equals sell. 

10. Stay away for two good quarters following an earnings shortfall. 

11. When your broker stops talking about a stock, it's time to sell. 

12. After a big run, get defensive. 

13. If a stock's dividend yield is twice that of Treasuries, sell it. 

14. If a company has a new CEO, stay away. 

15. Never turn a trade into an investment. 

16. Never sell "call" or "put" options. 

17. Never use margin. 

18. Never buy a stock at its all-time high. 

19. Play with the house's money. 

20. Keep your head clear. 

21. Contribute to retirement accounts throughout the year. 

22. Mutual funds should be diversified, too. 

23. Playing defense is crucial in volatile markets. 

24. Invest in stocks with buyback programs. 

25. Don't stop looking at your monthly statement. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Is it fair to their employees and students?

Excerpt from College presidents' salaries increase: One-third earn over $500K
At least one person on campus has done OK as the economy has declined: public university presidents' salaries climbed 7.6% last year.
And despite the troubled economy, public universities increased tuition 6.4% this fall, according to recent figures from the College Board.

What college presidents do? Should their salary freeze?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy

Remark of President Bush:

2:11 P.M. EST

PRESIDENT BUSH: Welcome. Good afternoon. We just had a very productive summit meeting. Thinking about three weeks ago, when I was talking to President Sarkozy and Barroso at Camp David -- some of you were there -- I don't think we could have predicted then how productive and how successful this meeting would have been.

The first decision I had to make was who was coming to the meeting. And obviously I decided that we ought to have the G20 nations, as opposed to the G8 or the G13. But once you make the decision to have the G20, then the fundamental question is, with that many nations, from six different continents, who all represent different stages of economic development -- would it be possible to reach agreements, and not only agreements, would it be possible to reach agreements that were substantive? And I'm pleased to report the answer to that question was, absolutely.

One of the things we did, we spent time talking about the actions that we have taken. The United States has taken some extraordinary measures. Those of you who have followed my career know that I'm a free market person -- until you're told that if you don't take decisive measures then it's conceivable that our country could go into a depression greater than the Great Depression’s. So my administration has taken significant measures to deal with a credit crisis. And then we worked with Congress to deal with the credit crisis, as well.

We're beginning to see some positive results. One of the things people around the table were interested in is, are you beginning to see the results of your actions? And our credit markets are beginning to thaw, having been severely frozen; businesses are beginning to get access to short-term credit. It's going to take more time for the measures we have put in place to take hold. No question about that. As a matter of fact, we just started, for example, on the $700 billion fund to start getting money out to our banks. So it's going to take more time.

But I was pleased to tell the folks around the table that the significant actions we've taken are beginning to work. All of us committed to continue to work on pro-growth economic policies. It's phrased different ways -- fiscal plans -- but the whole point was, was that we recognize that, on the one hand, there's been a severe credit crisis, and on the other hand, our economies are being hit very hard. And so there was a common understanding that all of us should promote pro-growth economic policy.

We also talked about broader reforms -- so in other words, the discussions were focused on today and what we're doing about it, but what are we going to do to make sure it doesn't happen tomorrow.

One of the key achievements was to establish certain principles and take certain actions for adapting our financial systems to the realities of the 21st century. Part of the regulatory structures that are in place were 20th century regulatory structures. And obviously, you know, the financial industry went way beyond them. And the question is, how do we establish good regulatory structure without destroying the incentive to innovate, without destroying the marketplace.

Our nations agree that we must make the markets -- the financial markets more transparent and accountable. Transparency is very important so that investors and regulators are able to know the truth -- considered improving accounting rules, so that investors can understand the true value of the assets they purchase. We agree that we need to improve our regulations and to ensure that markets, firms, and financial products are subject to proper regulation and oversight.

For example, credit default swaps -- financial products that ensure against potential losses -- should be processed through centralized clearinghouses. That's a significant reform. Heretofore, the credit default swaps were traded in over-the-counter, unregulated markets.

Yesterday the Working Group on Financial Markets, which is -- which is obviously associated with the White House, announced an initiative to create these kinds of clearing houses. And I know that other nations are working on them as well. This process will help expedite credit default swaps and other types of instruments not being traded in unregulated, over-the-counter markets.

By bringing greater stability to this important sector, we will help with liquidity, but also mitigate risk.

Third, we agreed that we must enhance the integrity of the financial markets. For example, authorities in every nation should take a fresh look at the rules governing market manipulation and fraud to make sure that investors in all our countries are properly protected. We agree that we must strengthen cooperation among the world's financial authorities. There was a lot of discussion about the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, for example.

Leading nations should make regulations consistent. As well, we should reform the international financial institutions. Again, these institutions have been very important -- the World Bank, IMF -- but they were based on an economic order of 1944. And so to better -- we agreed that to better reflect the realities of today's global economy, both IMF and World Bank should modernize their governance structures. They ought to consider extending greater voting power and representation to developing nations, particularly those who have increased their contributions to the institutions.

All this is an important first step -- in other words, this is a beginning of a series of meetings. People say, well, why don't you have one meeting and, you know, call it Bretton Woods II. Well, Bretton Woods I took two years to prepare. I don't know what you want to call this one, but whatever name comes from this meeting, it took three weeks to prepare. And so it makes sense to come out of here with a firm action plan -- which we have.

It also makes sense to say to people that there is more work to be done and there will be further meetings, sending a clear signal that a meeting is not going to solve the world's problems. A meeting will help begin a process so that we can say over time that we will have a regulatory structure in place that will make this less likely to happen in the future.

And so we've directed our finance ministers to work with other experts and consult with officials in other economies and then report back to the leaders with detailed recommendations. Whatever we do, whatever reforms are recommended, we need to be guided by this simple fact: that the best way to solve our problems and solve the people's problems is for there to be economic growth. And the surest path to that growth is free market capitalism.

Leaders at this summit agreed on some other matters of importance. One is to reject protectionism and refrain from erecting new trade barriers. This is a very important part of this summit. The temptation in times of economic stress will be to say, oh, trade isn't worth it, let's just throw up protective barriers. And yet that attitude was rejected, thankfully. And matter of fact, not only rejected, there is a determined effort to see if we can't complete the modalities for Doha by the end of December.

One of the things I stressed as well is that the United States, in the midst of this financial crisis, will not abandon our commitments to people in the developing world; that the HIV/AIDS initiative, known as PEPFAR, will remain strong and vibrant; that our deep desire to significantly reduce malaria deaths in countries on the continent of Africa will not be diminished; that our obligation to help feed the hungry will not stop; that in the midst of all this turmoil and financial crisis, we will meet our obligations. These obligations are in our national security interests and our economic security interests and they in -- are in our moral interests.

And so I will tell you that I thought this was a very successful summit. And they're going to meet again. I keep saying "they" because some of you may not have heard yet, but I am retiring. But I told the leaders this: that President-Elect Obama's transition team has been fully briefed on what we intended to do here at this meeting. I told them that we will work tirelessly to make sure the transition between my administration and his administration is seamless. And I told them that I hope he succeeds, that it's good for our country that people see a peaceful transfer of power. And I hope it was good for them to hear that even though we're from different political parties, that I believe it's in our country's interest that he succeed.

So I want to thank you for giving me a chance to come and visit with you. Thanks for covering this summit. Goodbye.

END 2:23 P.M. EST

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gan 2 trieu Viet kieu co the duoc mua nha trong nuoc

Gần 2 triệu Việt kiều có thể được mua nhà trong nước

Những người không còn quốc tịch Việt Nam nhưng có vợ (chồng) sinh sống trong nước, hoặc có trình độ đại học trở lên và đang làm việc trong các lĩnh vực kinh tế - xã hội có thể được mua nhà với số lượng không hạn chế.

Đây là quy định mới trong Luật Nhà ở mà Bộ Xây dựng và Tư pháp mới đề nghị Thủ tướng cho phép trình Quốc hội sửa đổi để tạo điều kiện cho thêm nhiều người Việt Nam ở nước ngoài mua nhà trong nước.

Theo đó, Luật Nhà ở sửa đổi sẽ chia Việt kiều thành 3 nhóm được mua nhà, nhóm thứ nhất gồm những người còn quốc tịch Việt Nam.

Trong trường hợp là người gốc Việt, nhưng không còn quốc tịch, và thuộc một trong các diện - về đầu tư trực tiếp tại Việt Nam; đã kết hôn với người Việt Nam sống trong nước; người có công với đất nước, hoặc có trình độ đại học trở lên đang làm việc trong lĩnh vực kinh tế-xã hội - Việt kiều sẽ có quyền sở hữu nhà như người sống trong nước.

Cả hai nhóm đối tượng trên được phép mua số lượng nhà theo mong muốn.

Nhóm thứ ba là những người gốc Việt không thuộc các diện như trên, nhưng được phép cư trú tại Việt Nam từ 6 tháng trở lên hoặc được cấp giấy miễn thị thực, thì được sở hữu một căn nhà.
Nếu Luật Nhà ở được sửa đổi theo hướng Bộ Xây dựng đề xuất, gần 2 triệu Việt kiều sẽ đủ điều kiện mua nhà trong nước. Ảnh: Hoàng Hà

Theo ước tính của ban soạn thảo, trong 3 triệu người Việt Nam ở nước ngoài hiện nay, sẽ có gần 2 triệu người đủ điều kiện mua nhà trong nước nếu Luật Nhà ở được sửa đổi theo hướng này. Tuy nhiên, một thành viên ban soạn thảo cho rằng, trước mắt, số lượng Việt kiều có nhu cầu mua nhà vào khoảng vài chục nghìn người.

Theo quy định hiện hành, Việt kiều muốn mua nhà trong nước cần được xác nhận là người gốc Việt Nam, và là một trong 4 đối tượng, gồm người đầu tư lâu dài tại Việt Nam; người có công đóng góp với đất nước; nhà văn hóa, nhà khoa học có nhu cầu về hoạt động thường xuyên tại Việt Nam và người có nhu cầu về sống ổn định tại Việt Nam.

Nếu không thuộc 4 nhóm trên, họ cần cư trú tại Việt Nam trong 6 tháng/năm trở lên. Nay với nhóm này, Việt kiều chỉ cần có giấy miễn thị thực. Các quy định cũng chưa nói rõ các loại giấy tờ cần thiết để chứng minh nguồn gốc Việt Nam và thuộc nhóm đối tượng nào, nên khó khăn cho người muốn mua nhà.

Tính đến nay, số lượng Việt kiều mua được nhà tại Việt Nam vẫn rất hạn chế, trong đó ở TP HCM có không quá 100 trường hợp, trong khi tại Hà Nội hàng năm nay không nhận được hồ sơ. Các trung tâm môi giới nhà đất cho hay, thực tế khá nhiều Việt kiều đã mua nhà, nhưng đều nhờ người thân ở trong nước đứng tên, vì các thủ tục thường mất thời gian.

Theo Bộ Xây dựng, quy định mới mở rộng hơn rất nhiều, đặc biệt là những người có kỹ năng đặc biệt mà Việt Nam có nhu cầu. Cũng theo cơ quan quản lý xây dựng và nhà ở, quy định này tạo thêm sự bình đẳng về quyền sở hữu nhà ở tại Việt Nam giữa công dân trong nước và người Việt Nam ở nước ngoài.

Hiện Bộ Xây dựng đã lấy ý kiến các Bộ, ngành liên quan như Bộ Tư pháp, Tài chính, Ngoại giao, Công an. Các cơ quan cũng đều đồng ý với hướng sửa đổi này.

Ngọc Châu

Friday, November 14, 2008

Berkshire Hathaway Shares Fall Below $100,000

Excerpt from
Berkshire Hathaway shares have dropped back to five-digit territory for the first time in just over two years.

The Class A shares fell as low as $99,400 each in the last few minutes this morning (Thursday.)

Opportunity to buy premium stock at discount?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sarah Palin leaves door open to future campaigns

"Show me where the open door is. Even if it's cracked up a little bit, maybe I'll plow right on through that and maybe prematurely plow through it, but don't let me miss an open door," Palin said in an interview on Fox News' "On The Record" program. She did not specify which office she might be interested in seeking.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cramer’s 100-Day Plan for Obama

I like Cramer's plan.

Excerpt from CNBC Mad Money:
Day 1. Make Cramer Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, Federal Reserve chairman and Treasury secretary. He could do a far better job than the guys in those positions now.
Day 2. Fix the auto industry.
Day 3. Solve the energy crisis/create jobs.
Day 4. Stop immigrant deportation.
Day 5. This one isn’t your typical suggestion, so watch the video to get Cramer’s explanation.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Five reasons to vote against Obama

Excerpt from

1. He wants to tax working Americans back to the Stone Age. He lies when he says he will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. You know its nonsense because they can’t keep their numbers straight from hour to hour. Obama claims everyone making under $250,000 is safe, or is it $200,000 (the infomercial) or $150,000 (Joe Biden)? On Friday, Gov. Bill Richardson cut it to $120,000.

Oh what a tangled web we weave. The fact is, the wealth-spreaders have vowed to do away with the Bush tax cuts. So everybody who pays any income taxes is going to take a hit. Plus, the friends of ACORN also plan to get rid of the cap on Social Security withholding taxes. That means everyone who makes over $102,700 will be slaughtered. I don’t have room to talk about capital gains.

2. The federal courts ...
3. Teach the Obama-worshipping bumkisser media a lesson ...
4. The character of Barack Obama ...
5. ... Where the heck was Barack Obama really born? ...