BBB Tips on Finding a Tax Preparer

Tax season is upon us again and the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is encouraging taxpayers to do some legwork before selecting tax preparation help. Doing your research ahead of time may help you avoid getting hit with fines and fees if your return isn’t correct or filed late.


Negative interest

Modern finance has seen many innovations in the last 20 years. The Black-Scholes-Merton theory promised risk-free investment if it was properly hedged, or insured through market based options. That spawned a whole new category of investment in derivatives, or re-selling of insurance that nearly anything might go wrong.


Debt supercycle

The challenge came in a moment of weakness born of a position of power.  I was up giving a quick talk on the essence of storytelling to a group of students learning about marketing techniques, particularly focused on blog writing.  It’s a hot topic lately, but my approach is, as always, that there is really nothing new about it at all.  Just as the thought-out schtick was winding


Obama's job and yours

Will the economy produce a lot more jobs in 2012, or are we stalled looking at permanent unemployment and a new underclass? It’s an important question because the answer to it predicts the course of the election season far more than anything else. It’s the economy, stupid – really it’s the jobs.


Eating our own farm financial cooking

One winter evening in 1999 I was sitting in on a Farm Beginnings class being held in the southeast Minnesota community of Plainview when a local banker stood up and made a statement that about knocked me out of my chair.


Growing jobs, revisited

Back in October 2010, job creation was at a complete standstill.  The bottom of total employment was hit in February of that year and little had changed since.  A simple analysis came through Barataria from Gary Shilling designed to predict when the turnaround might possibly occur – sometime after the economy (as Gro


Fueling the future

News stories on the economy are full of many subjects that would have seemed strange to American readers just a few years ago – European banking, the developing world, clever financial instruments, and so on.  There is one word that is strangely absent, however – “Recovery”.  This once prominent term has apparently been banished from reporting, possibly because no one believes that th


The water, energy and food nexus

As I flew back from Bonn last week, on my way back from the Bonn 2011 Nexus Conference (16–18 November), one thing was clear to me. Corporate environmentalism is entrenching itself firmly in the corridors of global governance, and challenging its advance will require new strategies.


Where are the jobs?

Since October, most of the financial news has been about Europe and the potential for a global meltdown.  The credit squeeze resulting from this crisis has become painful enough to demand serious action, which in global terms means our own MORE »

Black Friday: Did I just support a bunch of exploitative capitalist powermongers?

I didn't actually buy anything on Black Friday, unless you count a pair of drinks at the Minnesota Centennial Showboat. I did, however, write about Black Friday—and drew a lot of flack for it.

On The Tangential, a creative writing blog I'm among the proprietors of, I published a post titled "Shut the Hell Up About How Stupid Black Friday Is." 

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