No. of Recommendations: 2
When you try to squeeze one end of the balloon, the air just moves to the other end. Of course, if you squeeze hard enough, you can burst it also.

With the fear of increased dividend taxes, at least 170 companies have accelerated dividends forward. Larry Ellison of Oracle accelerated 3 quarters worth so he could get $198 million in dividends at the 15% rate. This will bring extra income into the treasury this quarter, which someone will use to show things are "getting better" or deficits are getting smaller. Don't be fooled. Expect a large decrease in the number of dividend increases as companies hoard cash or buy back stock instead.

In France, there are 2.4 times as many small companies with 49 employees as with 50.

See why there are so many 49 employee companies in France: is easier for the "balloon" to start a second company than hire a 50th person. Can we be far behind?

A number of restaurant companies (e.g. Darden) have announced that they can't afford health care for employees in the cut-throat, low-margin restaurant industry. Solution: cut work hours to 30/week so they are part-time.

The balloon figures it out.
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