Random Roundup (And Some Fun With the Titles)
1. "Golf Cart Stimulus" (or "You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up?") - We thought cash for clunkers was the ultimate waste of taxpayer money, but as usual we were too optimistic. Thanks to the federal tax credit to buy high-mileage cars that was part of President Obama's stimulus plan, Uncle Sam is now paying Americans to buy that great necessity of modern life, the golf cart.
2. "What Happened to Global Warming?" (or "Global Cooling Returns?") This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.
3. "New Tax Cramps Real Estate Market" (or "If You Tax Something, You Get Less of It?") -- A new capital gains tax effective late last month has hit the Ho Chi Minh City property market hard, with many realtors reporting sharp declines in transactions. The number of transactions this month has dropped by 80% from a month ago, a real estate broker said, blaming the business slowdown on the new capital gains tax.
4. "Commercial Real Estate Bounces Back" (or "There's Always a Bull Market Somewhere?") -- Canada's commercial real estate market is on the mend, as an 18-month slump in Toronto has ended. After almost two years of flat or declining activity, industry tracker RealNet Canada said investments in commercial property in the Greater Toronto Area increased by 46% in the third quarter over the second quarter, to $1.31 billion, while the number of transactions increased by 20%.