Hey, Does Anyone Have a Better Idea?

Sales of Ford Motor Company’s trademark pick-up trucks and SUVs were down 28% for the month of June, sending the DOW plunging into bear territory again, along with news of the worst inflation yet this year and oil prices today nipping at $143 per barrel. It’s sad really, but also more than a bit . . . → Read More: Hey, Does Anyone Have a Better Idea?

Whose Fault Is It? Assigning Blame for Tough Times at Home

With the recent turnaround in the stock market, happy days are here again, at least for a minute. And yet, if you are very, very still, you will a hear a faint rustling in the background, like something scary sneaking up on a rabbit.

That rustling you hear is everybody sneaking around looking . . . → Read More: Whose Fault Is It? Assigning Blame for Tough Times at Home

Ford, GM, Chrysler Announce Losses; Can the American Middle Class Survive a Big Three Meltdown?

Can the U.S. economy possibly get any scarier or more complicated?

The short answer is yes, it can. The longer, more complicated answer is that the looming (potential) failures of Ford, GM, and Chrysler present long term sustainability problems for a middle class that is already clamoring for short term, emergency . . . → Read More: Ford, GM, Chrysler Announce Losses; Can the American Middle Class Survive a Big Three Meltdown?

Thanks VIX, But I Don’t Need Your ‘Fear Index’ to Tell Me People Are Nervous About the Economy

Why, oh why, did the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression have to hit during a presidential election year?

The ‘Fear Index’, also known as the VIX (or, officially, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index) is a financial tool that measures market swings or volatility. The higher the VIX goes, the scarier . . . → Read More: Thanks VIX, But I Don’t Need Your ‘Fear Index’ to Tell Me People Are Nervous About the Economy

Warren Buffet’s Appeal to Our Dead Consumer Culture: ‘Buy American’

In an op-ed piece of October 17’s New York Times world-famous entrepreneur and financier Warren Buffet urged American investors to return to the stock market and bet on the long term future success of the United States. “Buy American,” Buffett’s headline reads. “I am.”

The essay was a vote of confidence from a successful . . . → Read More: Warren Buffet’s Appeal to Our Dead Consumer Culture: ‘Buy American’

Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud Mushroom in the Wake of Housing Bubble

A recent article splashed across the front page of the mid-size mid-western city where I live tells a surprisingly unfamiliar story about how ordinary people have pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars by investing in subprime real estate. Though the current financial crisis has brought about intense discussion about the moral hazard of borrowing . . . → Read More: Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud Mushroom in the Wake of Housing Bubble

Did the Community Reinvestment Act Lead to the Present Financial Crisis?

With the U.S. credit crunch gone global and the $700 billion bailout package now looking like a small drop of water in a tidal wave of woe, the question of blame is now all over the media.

Who caused this mess?

If you read the Wall Street Journal you could easily come away thinking . . . → Read More: Did the Community Reinvestment Act Lead to the Present Financial Crisis?

Economists Finally Agree: We’ve Been in a Recession Since January

For at least a year now, ordinary people in the United States (people the press has been referring to as “Main Street”) have known that the economy was starting to slow down at the same time that prices were rising uncomfortably fast.

Now, some economists are finally starting to admit that, yes, the U.S. . . . → Read More: Economists Finally Agree: We’ve Been in a Recession Since January

Credit Crunch Hits Consumer Credit Cards with American Express’ New Policy

On October 7, American Express revealed that they will begin limiting their customers’ access to credit based on both where they shop and which bank holds their primary mortgage. While there is nothing in the law that prevents American Express (or any other credit card company) from doing this, the announcement is noteworthy coming . . . → Read More: Credit Crunch Hits Consumer Credit Cards with American Express’ New Policy

What’s a Credit Crunch and Why Should We Care?

The U.S. stock market has been nothing if not volatile this year, especially over the course of the past few weeks. As the current credit crisis tightened and the world watched in horror, what most people saw was the stock market spiking and plummeting, often on mere rumor and speculation, and sometimes on . . . → Read More: What’s a Credit Crunch and Why Should We Care?