Unexpectedly Intriguing!
03 December 2008

Carnival Midway from The Jerk Welcome to the kit and caboodle version of the 66th edition of the Cavalcade of Risk and also to Political Calculations!

For those of you who are regular blog carnival goers, but perhaps haven't encountered us previously, we're the permanent home of On the Moneyed Midways. Each week, usually on either Friday or Saturday, we present the best posts we find in the best of each week's money and business-related blog carnivals, selecting one as being The Best Post of the Week, Anywhere! The best way to think of OMM is as being your one-stop access point for all worthwhile business and money-related blog carnival reading!

In short, we have lots of experience in reviewing and rating hundreds of blog posts on a weekly basis. In fact, just for the Cavalcade of Risk, we've created a carnival blog post rating guide to distinguish the good contributions from the okay ones and especially from the just plain awful ones. The table below presents the system we came up with, which is pretty similar to those bond rating systems used to communicate financial risk to investors:

Blog Post Rating System for Blog Carnivals
[Capital Letter]
Information Quality
[Small Letter]
A - Fully On Topic
B - Related Topic
C - Way Off Topic
D - Spam
a - Makes You Smarter
b - Makes You Informed
c - Makes You Stupider
1 - Highly Readable
2 - Average Quality
3 - Potentially Painful

So, in using this system, a post with the ranking Aa1 is one that is fully on topic, will make you smarter and is highly readable. By contrast, reading a post with the ranking Dc3 would be like splashing acid in your eyes and then rubbing them with sandpaper, but less pleasant. As a quick aside, we do know that "c" should say "Makes you more stupid," but we figure that if you read enough of those kind of posts that your language processing skills will be shot anyway.

This is the kit and caboodle version of the 66th edition of the Cavalcade of Risk, in which we've incorporated all the blog posts submitted for consideration. If you'd like to just cut through the noise and get to the best stuff, you have two options. First, you could just click on the "investment grade" version of the 66th edition of the Cavalcade of Risk, in which we edited the number of posts down from 48 to 17.

Or you can exploit our dynamic table technology and sort the entries in the table below just by clicking the appropriate column heading. Go ahead, try it out, and enjoy either version of the 66th edition of the Cavalcade of Risk!

Cavalcade of Risk #66: Kit and Caboodle Version
Date Contributed Post Blog Rating Remark
2008-11-17 Finding Consensus (and Defining It) The Sentinel Effect Cb3 Richard Eskow discusses whether or not he has a "heated agreement" with Bob Laszewski regarding whether a white paper on health care produced by Senator Max Baucus will produce some sort of consensus. Highly boring.
2008-11-19 Buy Term and Invest the Difference KCLau's Money Tips Cb2 KC Lau discusses the advantages and disadvantages of buying term or whole life insurance in Malaysia.
2008-11-20 This Risk Register Has Sharp Edges. DO NOT TOUCH THE EDGES OF THIS RISK REGISTER Scope Crêpe Ab2 Rich Maltzmann highlights the value of the Risk Register as a practical tool for reducing the variability in the way risks are communicated.
2008-11-20 How to Lose $602,999 in Thirty Seconds Blueprint for Financial Prosperity Bb1 Jim watches the game show Deal or No Deal and is amazed that a recent contestant would reject $603,999 for the chance to win $1 million, or nothing (which is what they walked away with.)
2008-11-23 101 Ways to Magnetize Money How I Save Money Cb2 LuLuGal reviews Matt Furey's book 101 Ways to Magnetize Money, offering her experiences with several of the tips, which fans of the "path to wealth" through positive affirmation and feelings outlined in The Secret will recognize.
2008-11-23 Open Enrollment and Our Flexible Spending Account Five Cent Nickel Bb2 nickel shares his plans to max out his FSA contribution for 2009 to cover the cost of what he expects will be a very expensive year for health care for his family.
2008-11-23 Read Financial Footnotes, Invest Wisely Qovax Ba2 Qovax explains how to read the footnotes in financial documents to identify potential red flags.
2008-11-23 Seeing the Unseen Early Retirement Extreme Bb2 Jacob philosophises over the nature of convergent and divergent problems in life and how to deal with unknowns, and even incorporates a variation of the Monty Hall problem in his discussion.
2008-11-23 If Either One of the Joint-Account Holders Die, Who Gets the Money? KCLau's Money Tips Cb2 KC Lau provides another Malaysian perspective on the possibilities that a joint-account holder will encounter when surviving the other named account holder.
2008-11-24 Types of Insurance Policies That You Shouldn't Buy Insurance Toolbox Db2 The Insurance Toolbox identifies six kinds of insurance that just don't make sense for a lot of people.
2008-11-26 Bear Market Mutual Funds The Fund Investor Cb2 The Fund Investor finds a number of inverse mutual funds and ETFs are making money hand over fist in 2008's bear market.
2008-11-27 Great News for First Time Homebuyers in Florida Real Estate Tallahassee Real Estate Db2 Joe Manausa describes a number of loan programs aimed at first time homebuyers in Florida.
2008-11-28 Margin Loan | Types of Loan - Types of Loans Types of Loans Bb2 Lawrence T. notes that margin loans, or rather, loans backed by the value of stocks in your investment portfolio, can be used for just about anything and often feature low interest rates. But if stocks fall in value, your loan may be called in.
2008-11-28 Credit Card Offers for People with Bad Credit or Poor Credit History Money Blue Book Bb2 Raymond delivers a well-researched post looking into the best credit card options available for those who have distressed credit ratings.
2008-11-28 How to Prepare for a Financial Apocalypse: 100 Tips and Tools to Secure What's Yours e-Justice Blog Dc3 Alisa Miller presents a hundred item long laundry list for modern day survivalists.
2008-11-28 Economic Update: Take That Fat Cats! Canadian Personal Finance Cb2 The Big Cajun Man is looking forward to government spending cuts in Canada, as the finance minister there is seeking to avoid deficit financing of government activities.
2008-11-28 Buying Life Insurance from Your Employer Free Money Finance Cb2 FMF links to a Consumer Reports article pointing out the potential risks of purchasing life insurance above and beyond what your employer provides as a basic benefit.
2008-11-28 Mind-Numbingly Stupid Industry Tricks InsureBlog Aa2 Hank Stern uses recent statements made by a health insurance lobbying group to launch into a no-holds barred rant on the presumptuousness of "Big Health Insurance."
2008-11-29 Financial Risk and Medical Care: U.S. vs Canada Healthcare Economist Ab2 Jason Shafrin contrasts the differences of how poor economic times affect individuals in the U.S. and Canada given how each nation divides up the financial risk of paying for health care.
2008-11-29 Considering a Short Sale? Think Again! Debt Free Destiny Bb2 Tisha (Kulak) Tolar goes through the basic ins and outs of selling your home through a short sale and what doing that can do to your credit rating.
2008-11-29 Who Here Hates the Junk Mail and Why It Can Be Dangerous Credit Cards Blog Bb2 The potential for damage through identity theft is a primary reason you might use to take action to stop the flood of credit offer junk mail to your mailbox.
2008-11-29 Health Insurance To-Do's When You Lose Your Job American Consumer News Bb2 Tisha (Kulak) Tolar provides a list of things to do to make sure you have health insurance coverage if you lose your job.
2008-11-29 How to Spot Debt Relief Commercial Scams Discover Debt Freedom Bb2 Toi Simpkins is fed up with the debt relief programs and infomercials contaminating the public airwaves. Here, Toi points out how to recognize a scam and spells out what might go wrong if you fall for one of these scams.
2008-11-29 Guide to Life Insurance Insurance Toolbox Db2 Do you need life insurance? Do you want to get life insurance? Or do you want to get rid of it? Insurance Toolbox covers the bases. Blandly.
2008-11-29 Survive a Recession, Think Long Term Digerati Life Ba1 The Silicon Valley Blogger has an eleven point list for making it through an economic recession in good shape. Survival tip number one? "Spread your risk, be diversified!"
2008-11-29 President Bush Should Pardon the Wal-Mart Shoppers Jon Swift Cb2 Jon Swift sarcastically argues that the shoppers who trampled a security guard to death on the Friday following Thanksgiving this year should be pardoned.
2008-11-29 Save Up for College with Freshman Fund's 529 College Savings Plan Gift Registry Savings Toolbox Dc3 Savings Toolbox (no relation to "Insurance Toolbox," we're sure….) pumps a 529 plan where a child's parents can direct their friends and family to contribute money for their child's college instead of giving gifts to the child.
2008-11-29 Safe Places to invest Your Money in a Bad Economy Money Smart Life Dc3 A review of US News' article on "the best places for your money during these tough economic times."
2008-11-29 Risk Board Scope Crêpe Bb2 Rich Maltzmann points to an online version of the classic board game Risk and his upcoming book on the topic of risk management, while suggesting that dealing with uncertainty is what makes being a project manager (not to mention risk) fun.
2008-11-30 How to Protect Yourself Against the Economic Crisis The Smarter Wallet Bb2 Jacques Sprenger lists four things you can do to survive the financial crisis, three of which apply to most people.
2008-11-30 This Just In: The Hidden Cost of a Buyout Wisdom from Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket Cb3 Wenchy simply links to a Wall Street Journal article discussing how job buyouts are also cutting out health benefits for those who take them. Don't bother visiting her post -there's nothing meatier there than the link to the WSJ!
2008-11-30 I Won't Follow This Advice #4 - Uninsured by Choice My Wealth Builder Ab2 The Super Saver reflects on an MSN Money article in which he observes that some people are marginalizing the risks associated with not having health insurance in choosing to go without it.
2008-11-30 Starting Early and Saving Often I'm in Debt Cb2 Debbie Dragon takes us through her thought process and actual actions in setting up 529 plans for her kids.
2008-11-30 Guest Post: Protect Yourself from Financial Loss LivingAlmostLarge Ac3 In this case, "guest post" means nobody wanted to put their name on the disjointed ruminations that kind of center on discussing liability coverage for auto insurance. Total waste of time. Hurts to read. Will make you stupider. Don't say you weren't warned.
2008-11-30 Stock Delistings - How to Cope Qovax Bb2 Qovax answers the question of what you should do if stock you own is at risk of being delisted.
2008-11-30 Why Life Insurance Is More Popular Than Disability Insurance moneyblog Aa2 Insurance claims ratios suggest that insurance customers have it backwards when it comes to how much life and disability insurance coverage they buy. Brian Lenehan uses the work of Milton Friedman and George Szpiro to explain why.
2008-11-30 Florida - The End of the Happy Times Managed Care Matters Aa2 Joe Paduda takes on Florida's three member panel that oversees the state's workers compensation system, who would appear to have substituted their own judgment for sound risk management principles.
2008-11-30 [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday My Investing Blog Cc2 Jessie is "mirked" (our invented word for "mirthily irked') by T. Rowe Price's recent promotional mail asking if she's checked her account lately.
2008-11-30 Weight, Older Women and Breast Cancer Risk Straight from the Doc Ab2 Gloria Gamat discusses a new study linking breast cancer risk and weight.
2008-11-30 Stay a Healthy Weight to Slash Alzheimer's Risk DietBlog Aa2 Ali Hale has news on how gender and being either overweight or underweight during middle age may increase one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
2008-11-30 The 3 Laws of Risk, and Their Implications for an Inter-connected Financial System Rogue Economist Rants Ab2 The Rogue Economist discusses the impact the "three laws of risk," loosely patterned after a hodgepodge of Newton's laws of motion and the laws of thermodynamics, have upon global banking, especially credit.
2008-11-30 Love Handles Increase Death Risk: Study Everything Livia Ab2 Everything Livia reports that those cute "love handles" may actually be indicators of increased risk for an early demise.
2008-11-30 Prostate Cancer Risk Factors Cancer Knowledge Ab2 Although we don't know what exactly causes prostate cancer, Cancer Knowledge 6 identifies a number of factors that may increase one's risk of developing it.
2008-12-01 Mandatory and Guaranteed Health Insurance Colorado Health Insurance Insider Aa2 Louise picks up the arguments favoring the health insurance industry associations' recent advocacy for mandating health insurance coverage.
2008-12-01 How Trickle Down Affects You Recession Money Matters Bb2 Should you be smug now that you see the wealthy effectively reduced to begging for aid and assistance from the government? Recession Money Matters considers what means for the little people…
2008-12-01 Top Money Tips for Malaysian Book Review KCLau's Money Tips Db2 KC Lau points to two reviews of his new book Top Money Tips for Malaysians, which we presume is now available in fine Malaysian bookstores everywhere!
2008-12-01 Eight Reasons Why the Health Insurers Are Agreeing to Community Rating & What It Means to Disease Management Disease Management Care Aa1 Jaan Siderov explains why "Big Health Insurance" wants mandated health insurance coverage and spells out the resulting impact. A very strong candidate for The Best Post of the Week, Anywhere! for this week's edition of On the Moneyed Midways. Tune in this weekend to find out for sure!
2008-12-02 Should You Stop to Put Gas in the Car? Political Calculations Ab2 The latest tool at Political Calculations helps find your threshold for risk in driving on a nearly empty fuel tank!

More About Political Calculations

In addition to being the home of On the Moneyed Midways, we're also the blogosphere's tool chest. We frequently present tools that you can use to answer a variety of questions. We can tell you things like the odds of the U.S. going into recession a year from now, or find the rate of return for an investment in the S&P 500 between any two months of its history, or even how long your marriage might last.

Beyond that, we occasionally explain things like the real connection between dividends and stock prices, what's driving teenagers out of the job market and also why a seemingly simple solution that might eliminate the disparity in racial health outcomes in the U.S. isn't quite as simple as it sounds.

Basically, we ask questions we don't already know the answers to, then answer them. The bottom line: We solve problems.

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About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations

Thanks in advance!

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