Posts Tagged ‘assets’

Yellow orange cheese Some changes made for use...

“We are the 99 percent” is a false frame for several reasons, including that there is nothing inherently wrong with being in the top one percent of wealth holders.

This becomes obvious with the simple example of 100 individuals, ranging in assets from $1 to $100 each, incrementing by one dollar in each case, from person 1 to person 100.

It is also a false frame because there is no distinction between those in the top one percent who acquired their wealth legally and without special government privileges, and those who didn’t.

It also doesn’t distinguish between those in the 99 percent who acquired their wealth legally and without special government privileges, and those who didn’t.

There is no consideration given to those in the one percent who give much in charity, whether publicly or privately, than those who give hardly any, or just enough to meet their social expectations.

For me, the valid frame is, “we are those who uphold each other’s rights.”

However, you won’t be hearing that frame anytime soon, and not because it’s not as catchy as the “we are the 99 percent,” but because it doesn’t serve the agenda of those who seek to divide us in order to conquer us.

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Front plaza of Scotiabank Place on Draft night.

Scotia iTRADE, a so-called discount brokerage, announced that they will be raising their per-trade fee on October 27, 2011, from $19.99 to $24.99, on those customers with less than 50,000 in combined cash/equity assets.

As a Scotia iTRADE customer, I found out about this change through a letter that was mailed to me.

On June 8, 2010, I documented how Scotia iTRADE was charging more for Canadian equity trades than U.S. trades, despite U.S. trades presumably being more costly for the Canadian brokerage. At the time, there was no 2-cent fee per share over 1000 shares on a U.S. equity trade compared to a Canadian equity trade.

They subsequently eliminated the difference by making the per-trade fee the same in both cases, as you may have expected.

In addition to the new $24.99 per-trade fee for all equity trades for customers with less than $50,000 in combined cash/equity assets, they are increasing their per share trading fee for more than 1000 shares by 50% — from two cents per share to three.

Without a significant independent Canadian discount brokerage — as Scotia iTRADE’s predecessor, E*TRADE Canada, used to be, I would expect that the brokerages of the other four major Canadian banks will follow suit in increasing their prices, due to Canada’s government-enforced banking oligopoly.

For insight into E*TRADE’s average customer profile, see how they assume an annual income of $200+k and a net worth of $1+ million when you open a new account.

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New York stock market index

When I applied for a pre-approved mortgage at the height of the financial crisis in early 2009, the bank asked for the current market value of my assets.

At the same time, many U.S. banks were marking their assets to model, meaning they could decide what to value them at based on a model they created.

While the very banks that marked their assets up based on pre-crash levels  to sell mortgages to customers on the basis of having the collateral, they expected something different from their customers. Namely, the current market value of their assets, which were mostly highly depreciated relative to a year prior.

The world’s richest man as of the end of 2010, Warren Buffett, before he turned his back on his principles, wrote in 2002:

In extreme cases, mark-to-model degenerates into what I would call mark-to-myth.

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Scotia iTRADE, formerly E*TRADE Canada, is a Canadian subsidiary of the Canadian public corporation, the Bank of Nova Scotia.

You’d think that being a Canadian company, it would be no more expensive to trade stocks on Canadian exchanges than U.S. exchanges.

However, as their pricing chart shows, if you have combined assets of less than $50,000 CAD and you made fewer than 30 trades in the past quarter, their commission for Canadian equities over $1.00 is $19.99 CAD, up to 1000 shares, and two cents per share thereafter. For U.S. equities, it’s $19.99 regardless of the amount of shares purchased.

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reports the following information as of April 7, 2010:

FDIC-insured institutions: 7953 (as of April 1, 2010) – down by 331 or 4% since the end of 2008
Total assets: $13,132,190,000,000 (as of December 31, 2009) – down by $773.769 billion or 5.6%
Total deposits: $9,242,378,000,000 (as of December 31, 2009) – up by $173.192 billion or 1.9%

Here are their numbers for 2008.

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reports the following information as of March 7, 2009:

FDIC-insured institutions: 8284 (as of March 5, 2009)
Total assets: $13,905,959,000,000 (as of December 31, 2008)
Total deposits: $9,069,186,000,000 (as of December 31, 2008)


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