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


Were the Recession Era Bail-Outs Worthwhile?

by Luke Landes

The Treasury Department of the United States has released its latest analysis of the various bail-outs enacted during this and the previous Presidential Administration, and not surprisingly, the outlook is good. The government frames the analysis of its own policies in terms of investment return. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) housing programs and the […]

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Tavis Smiley: Poverty Is a Threat to Democracy

by Luke Landes
Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West have been working hard to bring the issue of poverty into the consciousness of the citizens and political discourse of the United States. As a team, Smiley and West have been touring city to city, speaking to audiences concerned about the increasing wealth gap in this country. Their book, […]

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The Next Credit Crunch

by Luke Landes
Captain Credit Crunch

There are signs that the economy might be in more trouble in the near future. One of the symptoms of the recession was the credit crunch. Banks and other lending institutions tightened up their previously loose standards for extending credit, and in order to prop up their own organizations financially, banks held on to the […]

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Government-Reported Inflation

by Luke Landes
Helium balloon inflation

Over the twelve months ending with March 2012, the increase in the consumer price index (CPI-U) as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, often referred to as the inflation rate, is 2.7 percent (2.3 percent if you exclude food and energy). While these numbers are below the historically-cited norm for inflation, 3 percent, the […]

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The End of the Cent (in Canada)

by Luke Landes

In 2011, the United States government lost over $60 million through the minting of pennies. One-cent pieces now cost the government 2.41 cents, each, to produce. When the American cent was introduced in 1793, a typical annual salary for a teacher may have been about $60, so a cent would represent 0.016 percent of this […]

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Taxpayers Earned $25 Billion on Treasury’s Mortgage-Backed Securities Bail-Out

by Luke Landes
United States Treasury

At the height of the recession, President George W. Bush and the congress authorized a bail-out of banks and investment companies headed for failure. In a similar plan to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government authorized the Treasury moved forward with the plan to stabilize the financial industry, and to an extent […]

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How Do You Preserve Your Money?

by Luke Landes
Money Bags

Preservation of capital is an important aspect of any financial plan, but in today’s economy, this is impossible without taking on some risk. At one time, you could confidently place any money you might need within one year in a high-yield savings account and be relatively confident that your money could buy at least as […]

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Three Banks and One Insurer Fail Fed’s Stress Test

by Luke Landes
Citi Checking Account Piggy Bank

After the recession, the Federal Reserve developed a stress test for banks and financial firms too big too fail. The stress test looks at the financial condition of these corporations and simulates a new recession. Under the simulation, based on a worst-case scenario, not an actual economic forecast, banks pass the test if the companies […]

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Streamline Regulations

by Luke Landes

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking suggestions from the public about how the government organization can streamline the variety of regulatory responsibilities they’ve inherited from other oversight groups. leave your comments with the CFPB here. The industry and much of the public are never fans of over-regulation, and the CFPB intends to reduce regulations […]

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Local Currencies to Replace the Dollar in Communities

by Luke Landes
Dollar currency

It may be illegal for states to print money for commerce, but local communities have no such restriction from the federal government. And in some communities, local currencies have been successful, at least in gaining the support of some retailers and consumers. There’s no law of nature that says that an economy functions best when […]

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