TFB’s Stumbles: Week Ending March 7, 2008

Here are some of the interesting articles I came across this week.

Gore Invests $35 Million for Hedge Funds With EBay Billionaire (Bloomberg) – Entrepreneur Al Gore increased his networth by at least 30 fold in 8 years (from $3 million to over $100 million). What about you?

Carlyle Fund Misses Margin Calls (New York Times) – A $21 billion hedge fund with 99 percent of AAA-rated US agency mortgage securities could not meet $37 million margin calls. That’s what happens when you invest with borrowed money.

Study: Mortgage Intervention Programs Distribute Costs Unfairly ( – Wharton professor writes about the inequality of the mortgage intervention programs. No good deeds go unpunished.

A Great Bargain or a Big Rip-off? Consumers Perceptions of Price Fairness in the U.S. and China (Knowledge@Wharton) – Are you upset if you find out others paid a lower price than you did for the same purchase? Charging different prices to different customers for the same thing and still keep all of them happy is an art.

Series I Savings Bonds vs the stock market (Savings Bond Advisor) – An equal amount invested monthly into I-Bonds in the last 10 years beats the same investment into S&P 500. Surprised?

Banking Fees Are Rising And Often Undisclosed (Washington Post) – Undercover agents from the Government Accounting Office posing as customers couldn’t get all the info on fees from the banks. Nor are the fees on many banks’ web sites. The banks said the agents spoke to the wrong people.

Knee Deep in Turbid Tax (The Financial Engineer) – Blogger Kristin raised doubts over Obama’s proposal to have the IRS fill out the tax forms for you. Who fills out the tax form isn’t the problem. The problem is with the complex rules. Politicians either don’t think or don’t bother thinking about the details.

Have a great weekend!