On finance: Why Palm Beach beats out Greenwich

  • Florida might get chilly but is better than winters up north -- and it's better from a tax standpoint, too.

    Florida might get chilly but is better than winters up north -- and it's better from a tax standpoint, too. Associated Press

Bloomberg News

Some of what Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil has been reading lately:

Palm Beach, Florida, is a nice place to live and save money.

Not to be confused with West Palm Beach. As the old saying in Palm Beach goes, that's where the servants live and the gas stations are. This DuJour magazine article by Jacqueline Detwiler says "Wall Streeters are making a mass exodus" for Palm Beach. The main reason is obvious. And it's not the weather, although it sure is nicer down there in January than it is in Greenwich, Connecticut: "In Florida, there are no individual income taxes, no estate taxes and no capital gains taxes."

Beware the earnings before bad stuff.

Justin Lahart of The Wall Street Journal has a good Heard on the Street article that takes a skeptical look at the 2014 profit estimates commonly cited by securities analysts and the companies they follow. These aren't projections of real earnings under generally accepted accounting principles. They're estimates of pro forma results that exclude all sorts of ordinary expenses, even before they happen. Don't be fooled.

We have a new billionaire for the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

It's Cheryl Sandberg, the 44-year-old chief operating officer of Facebook Inc. So when is she going to run for political office?

This probably won't be the last we hear of Mohamed A. El- Erian.

The same day Pimco said he was stepping down as its chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer, the always prolific El-Erian had an article published by Project Syndicate. Excerpt: "While the prospect of faster global growth is indeed good news, especially given still-high unemployment in many countries and the associated pressures on social safety nets, it is too early to celebrate. There is a risk that, by tempting policy complacency, this year's economic upturn could end up being counterproductive." We may not be hearing much from El- Erian for a while. But my guess is he'll be back in the public eye before too long. He can't help it. And lots of people still will want to know what's on his mind.

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Do you know New Jersey well enough to get these jokes?

Paul Rudnick of the New Yorker has a delightful faux quiz poking fun at the Garden State. Here's a sample:

"Question 6: The past three elected New Jersey governors have all broken their legs while in office. James McGreevey, the state's proud gay American governor, broke his while strolling on a Cape May beach. How will Chris Christie break his leg?

"(a) Kicking one of his aides.

"(b) Running from a subpoena.

"(c) Putting on his pants."

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