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07 октября, 11:20

Examples of Junk Science: Antitrustworthy Analysis

When multi-billion dollar firms seek to merge, the temptation to use every means possible to attain approval from regulatory authorities and realize tremendous financial gains can lead to some really questionable claims being advanced to achieve that end. Today's example of junk science is our second where pseudoscientific practices have had real world legal implications. In this case, the discussion revolves around the situations that arose when pseudoscientific econometric analysis was presented by firms seeking the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division's approval to merge their businesses, but which was instead detected by the division's staff economists and subsequently challenged by the division's attorneys in legal proceedings. Here are the relevant items that apply from our checklist for detecting junk science that come to play in today's example. How to Distinguish "Good" Science from "Junk" or "Pseudo" Science Aspect Science Pseudoscience Comments Goals The primary goal of science is to achieve a more complete and more unified understanding of the physical world. Pseudosciences are more likely to be driven by ideological, cultural or commercial (money-making) goals. Some examples of pseudosciences include: astrology, UFOlogy, Creation Science and aspects of legitimate fields, such as climate science, nutrition, etc. Inconsistencies Observations or data that are not consistent with current scientific understanding generate intense interest for additional study among scientists. Original observations and data are made accessible to all interested parties to support this effort. Observations of data that are not consistent with established beliefs tend to be ignored or actively suppressed. Original observations and data are often difficult to obtain from pseudoscience practitioners, and is often just anecdotal. Providing access to all available data allows others to independently reproduce and confirm findings. Failing to make all collected data and analysis available for independent review undermines the validity of any claimed finding. Here's a recent example of the misuse of statistics where contradictory data that would have avoided a pseudoscientific conclusion was improperly screened out, which was found after all the data was made available for independent review.

06 октября, 17:11

What You Can Learn From Trump on Taxes

The recent uproar about Donald Trump’s taxes says a lot about the confused times we live in. If you’re an investor... you need to pay attention.

03 октября, 07:18

How Donald Trump Made A Fortune By Losing A Billion Dollars

It appears that Donald Trump successfully lost $915 million in 1995. We say "successfully" because it allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for up to two decades (at $50 million per year) and it may not have cost him a cent. How does one lose close to a billion dollars in one year? With a flock of accountants and a congress of lawyers. A Billion Dollars THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION The New York Times report that Donald Trump took a tax loss of $916 million dollars in 1995 would seem to indicate that his company fell on hard times that year, right? You'd think it suffered major losses, wouldn't you? Well, it didn't happen. We've uncovered financial reports from Trump AC and Plaza Associates and THCR (Trump Hotels, Casinos, Resorts) from archived Trump Organization websites for 1992 - 1995 and THCR (the successor company) from 1995-1996 that shows relatively consistent losses throughout the period, and one year of modest profit. TRUMP AC AND PLAZA ASSOCIATES 1992 $35,787,000 LOSS 1993 $9,338,000 PROFIT 1994 $8,870,000 LOSS 1995 $11,033,000 LOSS (through June 12) THCR 1995 $1,921,000 LOSS (after June 12, 1005) 1996 $65,677,000 LOSS At worst, then, The Trump Organization showed a combined $12,954,000 LOSS in 1995 if one combines the reporting from both Trump Plaza AC and Associates and THCR. This is a far cry from the yuge $916 million loss claimed on Trump's 1995 tax returns. Comparing these figures to the data on the leaked Trump tax returns, it appears that the THCR loss would be part of the $15,818,562 LOSS on line 11 of the leaked NY State IT-201 form. So what, then, made up the $909,459,915 LOSS on line 13 of the same return? THE PLAZA HOTEL The large loss apparently relates to Trump's sale, in 1995, of New York's legendary Plaza Hotel to Saudi and Asian investors. Trump acquired the hotel in 1988 for $400 million. He sold it in 1995 for $325 million. One of the perks of real estate investing is that temporary tax losses can be generated by depreciation, even of an asset that climbs in value. When the depreciated asset is sold, the depreciation is recaptured and taxes paid, although if like kind real estate is purchased within a short time of the sale, the profits can again be deferred in what is called a 1031 exchange. (Ask your tax accountant) It is unclear how the relatively small sums dealing with the purchase and sale of The Plaza can be spun into a $915 million tax loss, so the answer may be related to financial magic. As it happens, Trump took out loans against The Plaza to purchase the Eastern Air Lines Shuttle (renamed Trump Shuttle) and to finance the construction of the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Indeed, the 1995 purchasers of The Plaza seem to have assumed as much as $440 million in debt along with their purchase at $325 million, making the total purchase price closer to a $765 million value. In addition, it appears the banks that funded the original purchase agreed to write down a part of their loans to facilitate the sale in 1995. Indeed, the NY Times discloses that the Citibank consortium that financed the purchase agreed to write off some interest on the debt. If that is true, then it is possible that Trump should have recognized income on the decrease in his liability, called mortgage relief. Interestingly, among all of these financial machinations, Trump did not own The Plaza. The New York Times notes: "After the Citibank consortium agreed to forgive the past interest payments on debt, Mr. Trump still retained the 51 percent interest on paper, but since he had no equity in the hotel -- having put up no cash when he bought it -- the banks effectively owned the property." So it appears that Donald Trump lost nearly a billion dollars by buying, mortgaging and selling a hotel he didn't invest in and didn't really own. Once Trump booked the loss, he sheltered nearly twenty years' of profits, allowing his fortune to grow, unhindered by the burdens of income taxes that the rest of us have to bear. America. What a country! (If you're rich.) THE SPIN The Trump campaign issued a statement that did not challenge the $916 million loss. It spun the issue as follows: "Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it." But does he have the willingness to fix it? By promising to leave the operation of his business to his children if he is elected, one would have to believe Donald Trump was Father Theresa to believe he'd change one word of the tax code that would work to his children's (or his eventual) detriment. Looking at the Trump/Pence campaign website, it seems like the only "fix" Trump has in mind relates to an arcane concept of "carried interest" by which wall street traders get preferential treatment. Trump, not being a hedge fund type, would not be affected by the change. Trump also promises to lower taxes across the board, but he identifies no real estate tax loopholes he'd close. This of course would all be academic if Trump would do what Hillary Clinton has done, and release 30 years of tax returns. Here's what Trump says about releasing his tax returns: The mystery of Donald Trump's financial affairs is likely to dominate the remainder of the election cycle. Without satisfactory answers, it could doom his campaign. The question the media hasn't yet asked is how the government can operate if neither corporations nor individuals pay any taxes. So next time you're sitting in that little cubicle at H&R Block, wondering what kind of part time job you're going to take so you can come up with that extra $200 to pay your taxes, remember Donald Trump and his Billion Dollar Baby, which he got to write off year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year. photo credits: Plaza Hotel By Paweł Marynowski via Wikimedia Commons A billion dollars By Creator:Michael Marcovici via Wikimedia Commons Magician idris floating currency By By Magicianidris via Wikimedia Commons Other Opinion Pieces by Marty Rudoy Wife to Charlotte Police: 'Don't Shoot Him. He Has No Weapon.' Trump Asks Security Expert, 'If We Have Nukes, Why Can't We Just Use 'Em?' The Only Way for Republicans to Save Their Party Puts Them in a Pickle -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

02 сентября, 16:58

H&R Block (HRB): Time to Dump the Stock from Portfolio?

On Sep 1, Zacks Investment Research downgraded H&R Block Inc. (HRB) to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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01 сентября, 17:10

Company News for September 01, 2016

Companies in the News are: PANW,HRB,AVAV,DB,CBK

01 сентября, 09:06

США: августовские потери положили конец 6-месячной выигрышной череде Dow Jones

В среду, 31 августа, фондовый рынок Соединенных Штатов завершил торговую сессию небольшим снижением, которое, тем не менее, лишило индекс Dow Jones выигрыша за август (индекс по итогам месяца понес потери в размере 0,2% и прервал череду из 6 кряду выигрышных месяцев). Медвежьи настроения вчера преобладали на фоне смешанного характера опубликованной макроэкономической статистики и опять же смешанных комментариев официальных лиц.

31 августа, 17:10

Company News for August 31, 2016

Companies in the News are: AAPL,HSY,MDLZ,ANF,HRB

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31 августа, 16:36

Shares of H&R Block sink 4.8% to $23.03 to lead S&P 500 decliners in early trade

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

31 августа, 15:33

H&R Block (HRB) Incurs Wider Loss in Q1, Revenues Suffer

H&R Block's (HRB) reported loss from continuing operations of 55 cents per share for fiscal first-quarter 2017 was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 53 cents and the year-ago loss of 35 cents.

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31 августа, 15:08

H&R Block shares down 5% premarket

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

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30 августа, 23:23

H&R Block shares fall 7% after quarterly results miss

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

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30 августа, 23:22

H&R Block Q1 revenue $125.2 mln vs $137.7 mln year ago

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

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30 августа, 23:21

H&R Block Q1 per-share loss 55c vs 35c loss year ago

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

19 августа, 14:00

Calculating the ROI of Customer Engagement

Juan Díaz-Faes for HBR We know that customer engagement matters. Yet much of our thinking about engagement remains simplistic. Most current definitions of engagement are bimodal – someone is either engaged or they’re not. But this is a limited view that hampers our ability to manage engagement in meaningful ways. A more sophisticated understanding of engagement allows community managers to effectively influence and change it, and even to calculate an ROI for engagement. Insight Center Measuring Marketing Insights Sponsored by Google Analytics 360 Suite Turning data into action. Community management is the discipline of building technical and social environments in such a way that individuals can easily organize and collaborate to achieve an objective. And what good community managers have learned is that, first and foremost, all engagement is not the same. There are a number of behaviors within the broader umbrella of engagement that need to be understood and measured in order to impact them. Engagement is a set of behaviors, not a switch. It needs to be calibrated to business goals to be effective. Second, engagement behaviors are progressive. As individuals get more comfortable and connected to the social environment in which they are engaging, they will exhibit more complex engagement behaviors. At The Community Roundtable, we’ve worked to define these engagement behaviors in enough detail so they can be measured and addressed through community management. We call this TheCR’s Work Out Loud framework and it includes the following behaviors: Validate Out Loud includes liking, sharing others’ posts, commenting, bookmarking or responding to posts. This is often the first visible behavior beyond consuming that people exhibit and is the equivalent of dipping their toes in the water to feel how warm it is in order to assess whether the social environment is comfortable. Share Out Loud includes sharing documents, graphics, updates and ideas. People tend to start with sharing content that has been written by someone else or approved and as they feel validated and connected, will start to share their own observations and ideas. Ask and Answer Out Loud includes asking and answering questions. Individuals tend to start with logistical questions (“where can I find x?”) and if they find the culture to be validating, supportive and trustworthy they will evolve to asking deeper questions that expose a gap in their knowledge or confidence (“what is the best way to manage a customer situation?”). Explore Out Loud includes open-ended questions or questions about ambiguous topics where there is no right or known answer. This requires individuals to feel like the community culture is both supportive and challenging, making it a safe space to explore, admit vulnerability and share half-baked ideas. This stage is where rich collaboration and innovation lies. This model helps community managers measure the culture in their community or network and then apply management techniques that prompt and move each segment of their community to adopt more complex engagement behaviors. For example, a customer support community may be getting a lot of views and likes, but very few questions or answers. To address this, the community manager may redesign the home page to highlight a question box and also design a weekly newsletter that highlights unanswered questions. This focus on asking and answering questions will trigger community members to exhibit more of that behavior. By understanding what kind of engagement is in play, community managers can significantly impact both how much the community engages and how much value is generated. In 2006, Nielsen published the still oft-cited 90-9-1 rule of engagement, that says you can expect a community or network to have 90% of its members lurking/reading, 9% contributing and 1% creating. What we’ve found in our research is that while that rule can still be applied to large social networks, it is outdated for well-managed communities. In 2016, the average community is achieving estimated engagement rates of 50% lurkers, 23% contributors, and 27% creators, according to our 2016 State of Community Management research. While all of this is helpful, it still doesn’t define engagement in terms of a quantifiable financial value. To do that, we focus on the engagement behavior that generates the most value – answering questions. While communities are applied to many different, complex use cases, at their core they are about enabling people to connect with a network of peers to get information directly from each other, instead of going through a formal structure. That information sharing is prompted by a question-and-answer dynamic in every community – no matter its use case. This is where we start to formulate a ROI for engagement. When we think about the value of answers there are two categories: Value of the Answers: There is immediate, incremental cost savings of not having to manage and route the question to the appropriate person and assign them to the task of answering (i.e. overhead cost savings) as well as the value of capturing answers that never would have been asked in more formal channels. Networked Value of the Answers: The geometric value of making an answer available to the entire community forever (i.e. cost avoidance, productivity and opportunity identification) To calculate the ROI of engagement, you include the cost of generating that engagement – all of the program expenses (like software, content/programming and staff) related to community management or culture change: One challenge in looking at the ROI of engagement over time is that in new communities and networks, asking and answering does not happen right away. Most individuals need to feel comfortable and connected before they are willing to ask a question that might make them feel vulnerable. This means there is a lot of work for community managers to do to prime the culture of the community so that people do feel comfortable and connected. For this reason, the ROI of engagement is typically negative until the culture supports and rewards regular asking and answering. Once the culture supports asking and answering, the floodgates of value open up and typically the value curve becomes geometric as both more people answer and more people come to the community looking for answers. We’ve seen this firsthand in our work with the H&R Block community. Started as a community of practice — a community focused on sharing expertise and learning — the H&R Block community evolved to a highly effective and widely utilized client self-service resource, where we could calculate in financial terms the geometric growth in value that communities theoretically generate, but is seldom reported. In its first year, the community did not pay for itself yet because membership and activity was just beginning, but the number of members and quantity of accumulated knowledge was growing rapidly. As membership grew and we worked to make the community more supportive and constructive, more people began asking questions — and getting good answers. As more of those discussions and content elements were captured, more and more people were able to find answers by searching rather than asking directly — creating a positive feedback loop of value. Four years in, the community is producing amazing results and has become the go-to resource for people looking for tax support. That helps H&R Block extend its brand presence by offering trusted support and access in a way they never could before. Looking at engagement through its most valuable behavior — asking and answering — can help make cultural maturity more visible. If the culture of your employee community or customer community is not encouraging and rewarding this behavior, you could benefit from a more structured approach to community management.

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06 августа, 15:00

Trailing Stops: Prevent Small Losses From Becoming Unacceptable Losses

We’ve seen incredible volatility in the stock market recently. But if you employed trailing stops, you could have saved yourself a lot of heartache.

05 августа, 18:01

Thoughts on the 97F August Prairie...

The Missouri side of Kansas City produces a great deal in the form of service exports that flow outside of the lower Missouri Valley to the larger world There are the design and marketing services of Hallmark, there is H&R Block, there is Cerner. The Kansas side of Kansas City...

02 августа, 20:24

Trump touts tax cuts and massive spending plans

Donald Trump on Tuesday boasted about his plan to lower taxes for American families and businesses but also floated an infrastructure fund that would cost a half a trillion dollars — or double what Hillary Clinton is proposing. Clinton’s campaign has proposed a five year, $275 billion infrastructure plan that “would create good-paying jobs” and “drive up wages,” paid for through business tax reform.Asked about his plan during a phone interview Tuesday on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Company,” Trump questioned where Clinton “has been for the last 30 years on jobs” and focused on reducing taxes.“Hillary’s gonna raise taxes very, very substantially. She’s gonna have one of the biggest tax increases ever,” Trump said. “And I’m doing the biggest tax decrease. So of all of the people running, including Republicans and Democrats, mine is the biggest.”Trump insisted that his plan would “spur "tremendous growth” and simplify the tax code so that “people making not even a lot of money” won’t spend hundreds of dollars at H&R Block.And he said he will bring taxes “way down” and rebuild the country’s infrastructure.“Her number is a fraction of what we’re talking about,” Trump said, referring to Clinton’s $275 billion rebuilding plan. “We need much more money than that to rebuild our infrastructure. I would say at least double her numbers and you’re gonna really need more than that. We have bridges that are falling down. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the warning charts, but we have many, many bridges that are in danger of falling. They’re old. They haven’t been fixed.”Asked how he would pay for that, he proposed a fund that everyday people and investors will pour money into.“We’ll get a fund. We’ll make a phenomenal deal with a low interest rate and we’re gonna have to rebuild our infrastructure and we have no choice,” Trump said. “And we will rebuild our infrastructure with that fund and it’ll be a great investment, and it’s gonna put a lot of people to work. And we need jobs because, if you look — you know, the real number’s not 5 percent. It’s probably closer to 20 percent because people have given up looking for jobs. We need jobs.”He added that there would be bonds, explaining that “these would be bonds and these would be sold as bonds. So we’d do infrastructure bonds from the country, from the United States. We would do infrastructure bonds. We have to fix our infrastructure.”

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29 июня, 03:47

IRS Stopped $1.1 Billion In Fraudulent Refunds In 2016 Due To Increased Focus On Security

From January through April 2016, the IRS stopped $1.1 billion in fraudulent refunds claimed by identity thieves on more than 171,000 tax returns, a nearly 50% boost from last year's dollars, announced IRS Commissioner John Koskinen today at a Security Summit update. The update featured appearances by Security Summit partners, including H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb; Intuit CEO Brad Smith; and GreenDot CEO Steve Streit.

05 октября 2012, 17:02

Покинутый город. Детройд

 Покинутый городМичиганский центральный железнодорожный вокзалВо время Октябрьской войны 1973 года между арабскими странами и Израилем Организация арабских стран-экспортёров нефти заявила о прекращение своих поставок в страны, поддерживающие Израиль. В результате этого в США разразился нефтяной кризис, из-за которого обанкротились многие американские автомобилестроители. Больше всех досталось Детройту, где были сосредоточены крупнейшие заводы страны — Ford, General Motors и Chrysler. Отток населения, начавшийся ещё в 1950-х, превратился в тотальное бегство из города. Наиболее состоятельное население продавало свою недвижимость и переезжало в пригород. За ними потянулись банкиры, врачи и владельцы магазинов. В итоге в городе остались только безработные, живущие на пособие, или низкооплачиваемые рабочие, в основном негры. Стремительно начала процветать чёрная преступность.Каким стал город? Ответ ниже.Некогда самый высокий железнодорожной вокзал. Полностью прекратил функционировать в 1988 году. Власти города вроде как всё собираются его снести, но общественность бастует. Достопримечательность как-никак. Скоро ему будет 100 лет.ОтельОтель "Fort Shelby". Закрылся в самом начале нефтяного кризиса. В 1983 году его здание было включено в Национальный реестр исторических мест США. В конце 2008 года отель снова открылся.Отель "American Hotel". Закрылся в начале 1990-х.Отель "Lee Plaza". В 1981 году его здание было включено в Национальный реестр исторических мест США. Перед закрытием вначале 1990-х, в здании были жилые квартиры.David Whitney Building. В начале 2011 года были разговоры о ремонте здания.Farwell Building. В 1976 году включено в Национальный реестр исторических мест США.Farwell Building, 2009 год.Национальный театр, находящийся в Monroe Block.Объединенный театр искусствПресвитерианская церковь. С 1982 года в Национальном реестре исторических мест США.Методистская церковьБаптистская церковьЗаброшенный жилой дом "Rich-Dex".Дома в историческом районе "Brush Park". Все местные здания славились своей стилистикой, пока не были заброшены. Ныне их стараются восстанавливать.Дом Уильяма Ливингстона (март, 2007)Отделение Национального банка ДетройтаПолицейский участок в Highland ParkПубличная библиотекаШкола Уилбура РайтаШкола Св. Маргариты МарииКомпания по производству чернил "General Printing" (2005 год).Металлургический завод "McLouth Steel"Заброшенный завод "Packard Motor Car Company"Здание завода "Fisher Body".Здание завода "Fisher Body", 2008 год.Заводское помещение компании "Fisher Body", которая долгое время являлась подразделением "General Motors" и была расформирована в 1984 году.Результат кризиса - пустая парковка у здания "General Motors" (сентябрь, 1980).Пожалуй, только центр Детройта ныне является пригодным для жизни, хотя и там до сих пор высокая преступность. Недавно, например, трёмя неграми была избита американская актриса Жаклин Стрез со своим парнем. О этнопреступности тамошние СМИ говорить не любят. Так что, не смотря на всякие попытки властей возродить город, вряд ли это получиться у них без белого населения.