Fed chair Janet Yellen’s speech Wednesday was as interesting for what she didn’t say as what she did, points out FT Alphaville’s Cardiff Garcia.

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Two years after Facebook’s tumultuous IPO the company has found success once more with strong financials and an ever-growing user base. Nearly one-fifth of time Americans spend on their smartphones is spent using Facebook and the company has been successful in its acquisitions of Instagram (for $1 billion), Whatsapp ($19 billion) and virtual reality platform Oculus ($2 billion).

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China’s economy grew by 7.4% in the first quarter of 2014, the slowest rate since September 2012. Economists were forecasting slightly slower growth at 7.3%. The Chinese government has targeted GDP at 7.5% for the year.

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Big Government: The Congressional Budget Office warns of a terrifying, unprecedented level of national debt in the coming decade. That fits nicely with Democrats’ objectives, but not with our nation’s founding principles.
Andrew Jackson, who in 1835 succeeded in paying off the national debt, was famous for considering debt slavery. The current fiscal path the U.S. is on does indeed lead to slavery, but the slave masters of the future will be well-heeled politicians and federal bureaucrats, not plantation owners.
The CBO’s new budget projections contain an eerie warning that we are on path…

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Americans for Tax Fairness claim Walmart and the Walton family received $7.8 billion in government subsidies and tax breaks in 2013. But some who support the report’s overall focus take issue with the specific findings.

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The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task and Lauren Lyster discuss the state of the housing market as the spring buying season starts.

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Tax season is over for all but the greatest procrastinators among us. Two-thirds of taxpayers are celebrating their forthcoming refunds while tens of millions of others have grudgingly written a check to the IRS. Either way, this is the time of year when Americans are most acutely aware of the federal income tax system and all its flaws. Our tax code is extraordinarily difficult to navigate and it sometimes seems that it’s more concerned with advancing social and industrial policy goals than raising the money needed to fund government. The plethora of preferential deductions and credits that…

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Christopher Waldrop, director of the Food Policy Institute of the Consumer Federation of America, discusses what’s causing food prices to rise–especially beef prices–and how consumers are likely to react.

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Where are stocks headed? Yahoo Finance’s Aaron Task and Jeff Macke discuss the markets.

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Leggings and sweatpants, once thought exclusively to be for the gym, have now surpassed jeans as the pants of choice…at least for teens. ‘Athleisure’ wear (an industry term for athletic wear that can be worn away from the gym) now compromises 28% of teen apparel purchases, up from 6% in 2008.

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By Tax Day, April 15, Americans have spent an average of 27 hours filling out their tax returns. Tax collections are at a record high. The government’s numerous encounters with the debt ceiling and a potential default have placed fiscal policy front and center in this year’s midterm elections.Running on a platform of lower taxes, a new crop of candidates is challenging established politicians. A case in point is attorney Grant Lally, running against Representative Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of the Democratic House…

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With the deadline for filing taxes upon us, the only talk of taxes in Washington is approving a bundle of “tax extenders.” These extenders represent an billion package of special “temporary” tax provisions that sunset every few years and require a new vote to re-instate them. While there are a few provisions that benefit individuals, by and large, these extenders represent the work of corporate lobbyists who have carved out benefits in the arcane U.S. tax code. Rather than simply renewing these particular provisions, Congress should turn its attention toward revamping the entire code,…

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For more than 200 years, politicians have tried to spark economic growth through government subsidies. Almost all of them have been expensive and demoralizing disasters. The Heritage Foundation recently estimated that most major corporations have taken federal aid, and that this spending has cost taxpayers $3,000 per second of every day since the year 2000.
One of us (Burton Folsom) has just finished the first historical study of government subsidies. The book, entitled Uncle Sam Can’t Count, is published by HarperCollins and is available April 15. It starts with George Washington’s failed…

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Tim Cook may have wanted to double down on secrecy at Apple, as he said a few yeas ago, but give the company’s size and global scale, it’s proving impossible.

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More bad news ahead for General Motors (GM) as lawmakers sift through documents released last week that highlight the car-maker’s 10-year denial of auto-safety problems.

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