Sunday, May 4, 2008

Discoveries for a Sunday Razoo

This week seems to be marked by a heightened interest in the tax rebate stimulus package. Everybody is asking the question, “where’s my check?”

I am not receiving a stimulus check, but I was quite impressed with the efficiency of the IRS in processing my tax return this year. I mailed in my return and check on the 14th and by the 17th, the IRS had pulled funds out of my account! They don’t mess around. If you would like to check the status of your tax refund, the IRS has a website for just that.

While cruising the PF pages, I came across a couple of useful posts this past week on my most recent Internet Razoo.

The best blog posts are those that provide useful, practical info that makes life a little easier. That is exactly what I found here at CashMoneyLife. I went through most of the items on this list to improve PC performance and it does appear to have helped.

Another interesting article offers an explanation for the US Treasury’s I-bond refocusing program. First, the US Treasury Department sharply reduced the annual limit on investments in I-bonds, from $30,000 to $5,000 beginning in 2008 and now, this week, they have zeroed out the guaranteed rate! Just when inflation indexed I-bonds started to look like an attractive investment, the Treasury knocks them out. What’s behind this? If we read between the lines, or just read the article linked above, it is very likely that the Treasury expects higher inflation and wants to limit its future liabilities (payouts).

Another theory concerning the I-bond situation was provided here by Chris Farrell. He postulates that the US Treasury’s actions are meant to bolster Wall Street. By limiting the amount an individual can invest in savings bonds, the US Treasury is forcing those to invest their remaining funds in something else – like the stock market, and in turn helping corporate America.

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