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?

Will the Student Loan Industry Be Bailed Out Next?

Will companies that issued derivatives based on bundled student loans be the next financial dominoes that will require a government “bailout”? The country’s long dedication to education makes it a virtual certainty.

The emphasis of the role of government in education predates the establishment of the . . . → Read More: Will the Student Loan Industry Be Bailed Out Next?

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

Wall Street Bailout: The World’s Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund?

More than 20 countries have set up sovereign wealth funds while a dozen more have expressed interest in establishing them. Many of these sovereign wealth funds are picking up stakes in U.S. companies, which is raising concerns about the need for regulating them. Up until the $700 billion bailout, which effectively is a . . . → Read More: Wall Street Bailout: The World’s Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund?

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’

Collapse of Auction Rate Securities Market Under Investigation by Justice Department

An auction rate security generally refers to a debt instrument with a long-term nominal maturity for which the interest rate is regularly reset through periodic auctions. It allows issuers to borrow for the long-term but at lower, short-term interest rates.

The auction-rate securities market involved investors buying and selling instruments that resembled corporate debt whose interest rates . . . → Read More: Collapse of Auction Rate Securities Market Under Investigation by Justice Department

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

AIG, Wall Street Bailouts: Is the Federal Reserve’s Independence at Risk?

The Federal Reserve was created 95 years ago to prevent banking crises as an independent agency whose Washington-based governors are appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. Its officials usually steer clear of the most heated political debates in a bid to protect their freedom to make . . . → Read More: AIG, Wall Street Bailouts: Is the Federal Reserve’s Independence at Risk?