As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

September 2008

Citi Raised My Credit Limit

by Luke Landes

Last week, I received an official-looking notice in the mail. You know the type: the envelope requires you to tear the perforated edges in a specific order and contains security ink so the contents cannot be seen until opened. There is a return address on the envelope but no business name. In my experience, the […]

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Gas Stations Charging Credit Users More Than Cash Users

by Luke Landes

Clark Schinger owns a gas station. Like an increasing number of gas station owners, he is charging his customers who use credit cards a surcharge for every gas purchase. Effectively, there are two tiers of prices: one for customers who use credit cards and one for those who use cash. This is apparently not against […]

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$700 Billion to Bail Out the Financial Industry: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

by Luke Landes

Over the weekend, President Bush asked Congress to grant the United States Treasury Department the authority to purchase $700 billion in assets from troubled financial companies. The government would create a corporation, like 1933’s Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, to buy mortgage-backed securities at a discount and sell them later for a profit. This is by […]

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Why Put Your Money in an Investment Earning 0%?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday I mentioned that the U.S. Treasury was able to raise $40 billion in a one-day auction of 35-day Treasury bills. When you bid for these investments, you could either compete with others by offering to invest at the lowest interest rate you’re willing to accept or bid “non-competitively,” accepting whatever the Treasury Department determines […]

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Where Did the Federal Reserve Get $85 Billion for AIG?

by Luke Landes

When I heard the news that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is making $85 billion available to American International Group in the form of loans, one of my first questions was about the source of the money. Does the Federal Reserve keep an emergency fund available to bail out companies during financial crises […]

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Who Do You Blame When You Lose $6 Million Overnight?

by Luke Landes

The New York Post presented an article about David Shorr, a shareholder of Lehman Brothers, who lost $6 million as the company filed for bankruptcy. David spent many years as an employee of Lehman Brothers, building up compensation in the form of stocks which are now worthless. “What the hell was he thinking?” asked Shorr, […]

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$100 Coupon Code: Bonus for Opening New Chase Checking Account

by Luke Landes

See our update with a new code. Chase is still offering $100 to new account holders who can find a coupon code. I get these in the mail every so often, and I don’t plan on using mine. It expires on September 30, so it must be used fast. There is a catch. In order […]

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HSBC Direct Dropped Rate From 3.50% to 3.25% APY

by Luke Landes

This morning, online bank HSBC Direct ended the extended promotion in which customers were offered a savings account earning interest of 3.50 percent annual percentage yield. This was planned; when the promotion was extended back in July, the company warned that after September 15, the interest rate would return to normal, which it has. The interest […]

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Calming Facts About Identity Theft

by Smithee

If someone successfully applies for a loan or a credit card using your identity, there will be a big mess to clear up. I don’t want to downplay the hassle, there. I would be extremely annoyed if that happened to me. However, what we hear on the news and especially in commercials for services like […]

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Ten Things to Do With $1,000 (Plus 21 More)

by Luke Landes

If you’ve suddenly come upon $1,000 you didn’t have the day before, you may get the urge to celebrate. $1,000 doesn’t open many new opportunities to you these days, but there are a number of options. Kiplinger has published a special with 37 ways to invest $1,000, but I have a few suggestions of my […]

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