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Posted by on Jun 5, 2009 in WATCHING THE MONEY | 0 comments

Finding the fiscal facts in these times of change

On the Money From the  June 5, 2009 print edition It’s tough to recall a time with so much overlap between government and private business enterprise. Government monetary and fiscal activities are drawing more attention than ever. Relationships that previously were devoutly separate have begun to merge. For example, auto union workers are being transformed into shareholders, and banks now plead to return money to the government rather than accept it. The terms “public” and “private” are becoming hard to distinguish. Witness the most recent initiative by the U.S. Department of the Treasury – the Public Private Partnership Investment Program (PPPIP). A new word, “privblic,” may enter the financial glossary. As government’s commercial activities become more integral to private business, they reach down into everyone’s daily life to a greater degree than ever. It may not be enough to rely only upon the media to provide a meaningful synthesis of these new and untested activities and relationships. Access to information at its source is critical to finding clarity. Here are some...

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2008 in WATCHING THE MONEY | 0 comments

SEC wants to replace Edgar with an updated system

On the Money From the December 5, 2008 print edition Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce?” That time certainly isn’t today. Money is scarcer than ever, and it seems every new financial decision is harder than the last. In the face of difficult decisions, it’s natural to search for additional and more meaningful information. Good decisions flow from good, truthful and complete information. For investors, the search for good information begins with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Most individual investors access company information using third-party services, such as Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, etc., rather than the SEC’s Edgar system. The Edgar system presents massive amounts of data, but isn’t an effective distiller of information. Therefore, in June, the SEC announced it eventually would replace Edgar with a new interactive “company file system.” The plan is to improve how it acquires information from public companies, mutual funds, brokers and other regulated entities, and how it makes that information available to investors...

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