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Public Pension Investments: Risky Chase for High Returns

A recent Pew report shows a systematic shift of public pension plans away from fixed-income investments towards equities and alternative investments in the last 30 years. Using investment data on public pensions from 1952 to 2012, Pew found that public plans “significantly increased their reliance on stocks” during the 1980s and 1990s. The data reveal that fixed-income investments and cash constituted nearly 96 percent of public pension assets in 1952. The proportion decreased to 47 percent by...

A Ceasefire in the IRS' War on US Citizens

Around 10 years ago, the United States declared war on a select group of Americans – the nearly 8 million United States persons (citizens and green card holders) living abroad. The IRS quietly and stealthily conducted this war. Its campaign consisted of extortion and intimidation, in an effort to force expats to comply with their US tax obligations. In my adopted country of Panama, IRS agents fanned out across the country, seeking out non-compliant US taxpayers. Some of the agents carried...

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