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avatar You are viewing an archive of articles by Luke Landes. Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View 's Google Profile.

Luke Landes

Personal Balance Sheet, October 2008 ($164,209, -6.1%)

by Luke Landes

Following the end of each month, I publicly review my personal financial condition. This is the primary reason I do not use my full name on this blog; I’d like to be able to continue sharing the specific details of my finances without providing people who know my in “real life” the ability to search ... Continue reading this article…

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November News for Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary Community Over the weekend, I created the Consumerism Commentary Community, or C3, a forum or message board for discussions with other Consumerism Commentary readers. This blog has a large number of regular readers, and the new Community website is an oft-requested feature. Please stop by and add to the discussion. In order to ... Continue reading this article…

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Alternative to Credit Cards: Layaway Programs

by Luke Landes

It must be a sign of the times. This year I’ve seen at least one commercial advertising a retailer’s layaway plan. These have been out of style for at least as long as I’ve been an adult consumer. The theory is that rather than paying up front for a large item, a Christmas gift for ... Continue reading this article…

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Fed Cuts Two Rates: Federal Funds Target Rate and Discount Rate

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve Board responded to the economy yesterday by lowering the target for the federal funds rate to 1 percent and the discount rate to 1.25 percent. The first number is the rate usually in the news. The federal funds rate is the interest rate that banks charge to lend their balances to one another. If ... Continue reading this article…

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Should the Bailout Money Be Used to Forgive Credit Card Debt?

by Luke Landes

The Financial Services Roundtable and the Consumer Federation of America asked the Department of the Treasury today for a piece of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act money, the bailout money, to help banks and card issuers reduce the credit card balances for borrowers who don’t qualify for other government assistance like repayment plans. So far, ... Continue reading this article…

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Cleaning Carpets Again and Daily Links

by Luke Landes

Four months ago, I purchased a Hoover SteamVac and used the device to clean the carpets in my apartment. I was impressed then. In order to prepare for some company this coming weekend, I cleaned the carpets again this past weekend. The results were just as great. I have a cat, and even though you ... Continue reading this article…

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How Five Banks Post Your Deposits and Withdrawals: Do They Trap You Into Overdraft Fees?

by Luke Landes

Update: Bank of America settled a lawsuit for $410 million concerning this issue below. In his documentary film Overdrawn!, Karney Hatch mentions that banks often post your deposits and withdrawals to your bank account in such a way that they maximize the possibility of overdrafts. Even if you believe you have a large enough balance ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Avoid Overdraft Fees, and Quicken Premier 2009 Giveaway

by Luke Landes

The giveaway to receive one of two free copies of Quicken Premier 2009 has ended. As I mentioned earlier today, overdraft fees (also known as NSF fees, insufficient funds fees, etc.) are basically interest paid for the privilege of using a bank’s money for a short period of time, a loan. There are ways to ... Continue reading this article…

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Overdrawn!: A Documentary About Bank Fees, Screening Tonight

by Luke Landes

If you are in the area of the University of California, Berkeley, stop by Mulford Hall tonight to see a screening of Overdrawn!, a documentary film by Karney Hatch. In the film, Karney takes a hard look at practices by big banks, primarily overdraft fees. The documentary follows the writer/director as he talks to bankers, ... Continue reading this article…

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All New ING Direct $25 Bonus Links Available

by Luke Landes

As of today, ING Direct is offering a 2.75 percent APY on the online bank’s Orange Savings Account. They are also offering $25 account opening bonuses to new customers with an initial deposit of $250 to qualify. This bonus is based on a customer referral; existing customers receive a $10 bonus for referring a new customer ... Continue reading this article…

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