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Laurence Kotlikoff Next Guest on Dennis Tubbergen's Radio Show

Professor and Author to speak on radio show.


Grand Rapids, MI -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/27/2013 -- When financial advisor Dennis Tubbergen isn't busy helping his own clients, you can find him writing his Moving Markets newsletter or interviewing a guest expert for his weekly radio show.

Professor Laurence Kotlikoff is Tubbergen's next guest. Kotlikoff is a William Fairfield Warren Professor at Boson University and a Professor of Economics at Boston University.

Kotlikoff is the author of 14 books and has served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Banks of Italy, Japan and England, to name a few. He has also provided expert testimony on numerous occasions to committees of Congress.

Tubbergen, who is an author, radio show host, and CEO of PLP Advisors, LLC, spends a lot of time giving his opinions on the economy in his weekly newsletter at and in his online financial blog. On February 20, 2013 his blog was titled Wal-Mart Sales Slumping - Worst Monthly Start in Seven Years.

"Bloomberg reported that Wal-Mart has experienced the worst start to a month in seven years," began Tubbergen. "This decline in retail sales was predictable given an already weak economy and the increase in payroll taxes that every American experienced at the beginning of the year."

Tubbergen quotes from the February 16, 2013 article, "Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.

"In case you haven't seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster," Jerry Murray, Wal-Mart's vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. "The worst start to a month I have seen in my 7 years with the company."

Wal-Mart and discounters such as Family Dollar Stores, Inc. are bracing for a rise in the payroll tax to take a bigger bite from the paychecks of shoppers already dealing with elevated unemployment. The world's largest retailers struggles come after executives expected a strong start to February because of the Super Bowl, milder weather and paycheck cycles, according to the minutes of a Feb. 1 officers' meeting Bloomberg obtained.

Murray's comments about February sales follow disappointing results from January, a month that Cameron Geiger, senior vice president of Wal-Mart U.S. Replenishment, said he was relieved to see end, according to a separate internal e-mail obtained by Bloomberg News.

"Have you ever had one of those weeks where your best-prepared plans weren't good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do?" Geiger asked in a Feb. 1 e-mail to executives. "Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Wal-Mart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where's their money?"

"Figuring this out does not take a Ph.D in economics," explains Tubbergen. "A married couple each earning $40,000 per year has seen their household take-home pay reduced by between $30 and $31 per week. That's about $1,600 per year, resulting in a significant reduction in discretionary income."

Tubbergen goes on to state that consumer confidence is one the wane, unemployment is high and those who are working have less money to spend due to the payroll tax increase. Those factors combined spell bad news for retailers.

"While there may be a slight bump in the retail sales of discount stores when tax return refunds hit the street, I don't look for this declining trend to change course anytime soon," concluded Tubbergen. "With the first quarter of official economic contraction in the U.S. last quarter, I expect that when the second quarter numbers are released or revised that the country is once again in an official recession."

To read the blog in its entirety go to and select his February 20, 2013 entry.

Tubbergen’s syndicated radio show can be heard on metro Michigan stations WTKG 1230 AM and WOOD Newsradio1300 AM and 106.9 FM.

About Dennis Tubbergen
Dennis Tubbergen has been in the financial industry for over 25 years and has his corporate offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tubbergen is CEO of PLP Advisors, LLC and has an online blog that can be read at To view Tubbergen’s latest Moving Markets? newsletter, go to

The opinions expressed herein are those of the writer and not necessarily those of USA Wealth Management, LLC. This update may contain forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements as to future events that involve various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those that were forecasted. Therefore, no forecast should be construed as a guarantee. Prior to making any investment decision, individuals should consult a professional to determine the risks, costs, benefits and fees associated with a particular investment. Information obtained from third party resources is believed to be reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed.