The Coming Lawsuit Tsunami [Part III]

In Part I and Part II of this post, I described how economic downturns always lead to people to sue each other out of anger and desperation. I also described some likely targets for litigation.

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The Coming Lawsuit Tsunami [Part II]

In my last post, I described how economic downturns always lead people to sue each other out of anger and desperation.  Both of these emotions are plentiful now, and will become more so as the depression deepens.

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The Coming Lawsuit Tsunami [Part I]

It's bad enough to be in the middle of a global financial panic that could be worse than the Great Depression.  But if you're an American, even if you manage to avoid investment losses, you could be wiped out by the coming "lawsuit tsunami."

Read More The Coming Lawsuit Tsunami [Part I]

Don’t Count on Caller ID Blocking to Protect Your Privacy

One of the prevailing features of the "privacy wars" is a technological game of leapfrog.  A technical innovation that protects privacy (or reduces it) leads to a countermeasure to temporarily restore equilibrium.

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Get Ready for Exchange Controls! [Part II]

In my most recent blog entry, I described how exchange controls—laws restricting private ownership of, or transactions in, foreign currencies and gold—are spreading from third world countries to the industrialized world.

Read More Get Ready for Exchange Controls! [Part II]

Get Ready for Exchange Controls! [Part I]

Exchange controls—laws restricting private ownership of, or transactions in, foreign currencies and gold—are blossoming throughout the world.  Residents of Cuba, Malaysia, Myanmar, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe have long dealt with these restrictions.

Read More Get Ready for Exchange Controls! [Part I]

Hidden Foreign Exchange Fees from Your Offshore Bank—and How to Minimize Them

While offshore banks provide access to many investments you simply can't buy in the United States, or only buy with great difficulty, you'll pay for the privilege. And nowhere is that truer than when you purchase securities denominated in foreign currencies.

Read More Hidden Foreign Exchange Fees from Your Offshore Bank—and How to Minimize Them

Swiss Banking Giant to Close All U.S. Accounts

One of the results of the intensifying IRS anti-offshore is that offshore banks increasingly restrict or even prohibit investments by U.S. clients.

Read More Swiss Banking Giant to Close All U.S. Accounts

Supreme Court Upholds the “‘Barney Fife” Exception to the Constitution [Part I]

Growing up in the 1960s, Deputy Barney Fife was a weekly visitor to my home, courtesy of The Andy Griffith Show.  Overly ambitious and nervous, but also highly inept, Barney—masterfully played by actor Don Knotts—eventually became a symbol of police over-reaction and incompetence.

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You Can Sue for Anything in a Lawsuit

When someone sues you, that person usually wants money.  But not always. In a recent divorce case, Richard Batista, a New York surgeon has asked his estranged wife to return, of all things, the kidney he donated to her in 2001.

Read More You Can Sue for Anything in a Lawsuit

Don’t Get Caught in a War with the Wrong Passport!

As fighting intensified in the Gaza Strip, Israel last Friday began allowing individuals possessing a foreign passport to leave the crowded Palestinian territory. Hundreds left before Israel's ground forces invaded the Gaza Strip the next day.

Read More Don’t Get Caught in a War with the Wrong Passport!

You Have Near-Zero Expectation of Privacy in Your Cell Phone Records [Part I]

If you think that any of the information in your cell phone is private, think again. It's not. The calling records on your cell phone have "no expectation of privacy," according to a court decision issued by a federal court in Kansas.

Read More You Have Near-Zero Expectation of Privacy in Your Cell Phone Records [Part I]

Avoid a Ponzi Scheme—and Get Sued!

The most important lesson of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme is that even the world's most sophisticated investors—not to mention regulators—were asleep at the wheel.

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

If you ever feel compelled to help someone in an emergency situation, I have some free advice: think twice.  You might get sued.

Read More No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Being Anonymous Online is Now a Crime

In today's world of spyware, social networking services, and numerous other technological threats to privacy, it's hard not to leave tracks on the Internet.  But now, trying to use the Internet anonymously may be a crime.

Read More Being Anonymous Online is Now a Crime

Hidden Tax Dangers in Foreign Foundations

In recent years, offshore private interest foundations (OPIFs), mainly formed in Panama, have become popular asset protection and estate planning vehicles. However, if you establish this entity without expert tax advice, you could be in for a rude awakening from the IRS.

Read More Hidden Tax Dangers in Foreign Foundations

Your U.S. Passport: A Terrorist Beacon

There’s no longer any doubt that if you use a U.S. passport to travel internationally, you may well become a terrorist target.

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Why Wasn’t Elliot Spitzer Prosecuted for Money Laundering?

About a year ago, former New York governor Elliot Spitzer made a series of cash withdrawals from his own bank account.  The total amount he withdrew came to more than $15,000.

Read More Why Wasn’t Elliot Spitzer Prosecuted for Money Laundering?

Congress Wants Your Retirement Plan to Bail Out Uncle Sam

Bailing out Wall Street, not to mention paying for promised benefits to Social Security and Medicare recipients isn’t cheap.  Neither is fighting two wars on the other side of the globe.

Read More Congress Wants Your Retirement Plan to Bail Out Uncle Sam