On Sunday, President Obama went on the offensive against the carried interest tax rate. In a nutshell, this tax break allows super-rich hedge fund managers to sidestep a large portion of their tax bills with Wall Street slight of hand.
In recent years, with low interest rates devastating the returns on conservative investment options, income-hungry investors have turned more and more to dividend stocks. And had there not been a fiscal cliff deal, even that last refuge for income investors could have disappeared.
Internet radio giant Pandora and giant discounter Big Lots report their earnings; in entertainment, Disney is opening a huge new expansion, while Nintendo is thinking small; and some companies just can give money away fast enough -- as dividends.
Furniture retailer Ethan Allen Interiors this week became the latest company to move its dividend distribution up to December -- a shift that will help shareholders avoid the tax increases on such payouts that are coming in 2013. Is that good business, or bad corporate citizenship?