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Economy

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Director, Richard Cordray

by Luke Landes
Richard Cordray

As many Presidents of the United States have done, President Obama avoided confrontation with Congress by appointing an individual to direct a government organization while lawmakers were on recess. Yesterday, the President appointed former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to the long-delayed position of director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Now that this ... Continue reading this article…

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The 3/50 Project: Help Your Local Economy

by Emily Guy Birken
Bakery

This is a guest article by Emily Guy Birken, author of The SAHMambulust. In this article, Emily explains and reviews the 3/50 Project, a movement designed to boost local economies. The presents have been given out, the wrapping paper has been cleaned up, and Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday from American Express ... Continue reading this article…

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Occupy Wall Street Protests: Money is Power

by Luke Landes
Occupy Wall Street Protest

As every fourth graders knows, the United States Constitution begins, “We the people…” In the years following adoption of the Constitution, there have been movements to include more classes or types of human beings into that “people” represented by the federal government. The basic rights guaranteed by the core philosophy of the government once applied ... Continue reading this article…

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2011 Stimulus Package: American Jobs Act

by Luke Landes
Dollar - 2011 Stimulus Package

Update: The Buffett Rule, if implemented, could help pay for the American Jobs Act. As long as the public holds the general impression that economy isn’t favorable, and that’s certainly the case, for example, when unemployment is high or after a stock market crash, political leaders will propose stimulus plans to help move the country ... Continue reading this article…

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U.S. Will Sue Major Banks Over Mortgages

by Luke Landes
Foreclosure

Imagine you’re shopping for a new high-definition television. You’re looking around the store for the television with the best picture from a brand you trust. You pick the one you like, not the least expensive model but not the most expensive, either. You take it home, plug it in, and all the television can display ... Continue reading this article…

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$1.2 Trillion in Secret Fed Loans

by Luke Landes

We know about TARP, the program that used taxpayer money to lend to the biggest Wall Street banks tin an effort to prevent the collapse of the financial industry. The Federal Reserve loaned more money to Wall Street, however, in secret. The details are only coming out now thanks to the Freedom of Information Act ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Market Improving, Will Economy Follow?

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released their quarterly evaluation of the credit markets, and they are reporting some good news for consumers. Total consumer debt dropped $50 billion since last quarter, ending at $11.4 trillion on June 30. Mortgage balances and home equity credit balances declined, contributing to the overall decrease. Debt not ... Continue reading this article…

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What Happens If The Debt Ceiling Isn’t Raised?

by Luke Landes
Debt Ceiling

Democrats and Republicans in Congress, not to mention the President, are battling over what to do about the debt ceiling, an arbitrary limit of government borrowing set by Congress. The government borrows money from investors in order to pay its expenses, like salaries and Social Security, and if the government is unable to borrow, eventually ... Continue reading this article…

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America’s Lost Decade

by Luke Landes

Larry Summers, former economic adviser to Barack Obama and Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton’s presidency, shared his thoughts on the economy through opinion pieces in the Financial Times and Washington Post. His concern is the possibility that the United States is heading for a “lost decade” similar to Japan’s lost decade in the 1990s. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Federal Reserve’s Secret Bailout Helped Banks Profit During Crisis

by Luke Landes
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While the Federal Reserve was publicly providing money to member banks at interest rates of up to 0.5 percent during the financial meltdown of 2008, a different, less public program bailed out Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and Royal Bank of Scotland with short-term loans with an interest rate of only 0.01 percent. Those banks received the bulk ... Continue reading this article…

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HBO’s Too Big to Fail

by Luke Landes

Last night, HBO premiered Too Big to Fail, a movie based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System — and Themselves, based on the events of the financial meltdown of 2008 starring Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, ... Continue reading this article…

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Government Blocks Merger of H&R Block and TaxACT

by Luke Landes

The Department of Justice filed an anti-trust lawsuit against H&R Block. This second-largest income tax preparation service intended to acquire the company that owns third-largest income tax preparation service, TaxACT. Based on the number of customers who used these companies’ services to self-file 2010 tax returns, the combined company would still be a distant second ... Continue reading this article…

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The Budget Deficit and Debt: Is the Government Like a Household?

by Luke Landes

Financial experts tell families to “spend less than they earn” and “don’t pay interest to borrow money.” The government does the opposite, running a budget deficit and paying billions of taxpayer dollars every year in interest payments. There is no question that deficit spending by the federal government is a problem. Or is there? There’s ... Continue reading this article…

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The Causes of the Financial Collapse

by Luke Landes
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In May 2009, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was created to determine the primary factors that drove the economy to collapse, sparking the Great Recession. Their reports will be released in just a few hours to the public. The committee consists of members from both sides of the political aisle, and opinions within the report ... Continue reading this article…

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Frugality is Bad For the Economy

by Luke Landes
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The concept of frugality has permeated mainstream personal finance in the past few years. That’s understandable, given the state of the economy. For many who have been personally affected, following the loss of income or a job, this frugality is a forced approach. People are looking for ways to save money because they have less ... Continue reading this article…

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A Return to the Gold Standard

by Luke Landes

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, is concerned about the future of our global monetary system. Once upon a time, every dollar in the United States needed to be backed by gold and silver because these metals were said to have intrinsic value. If the world is losing faith in the U.S. dollar as ... Continue reading this article…

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The Worst Investment California Has Seen

by Luke Landes

I wouldn’t gamble more money than I could afford to lose. I also wouldn’t spend my own money in order to win an election, but I’m not, and nor will I ever care to be, a politician. Even those living outside of California have heard, the former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman, spent more than ... Continue reading this article…

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TARP Bailout: It’s a Success and Failure

by Luke Landes

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), created and enacted by President George W. Bush’s administration in 2008 with strong support from Republicans, has been deemed a success for taxpayers by President Obama’s administration on the date of its so-called ending, despite being criticized by opponents both liberal and conservative. Only $386 billion of the original ... Continue reading this article…

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Government to Start Selling Off AIG

by Luke Landes

AIG, the giant global insurance company bailed out by taxpayers during the heat of a financial crisis, still owes the United States government over $100 billion. Part of the bail-out agreement involved the government receiving preferred shares in the company, becoming a significant owner. According to the news today, the company wants to start paying ... Continue reading this article…

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Global Bank Reform: Basel III

by Luke Landes

Until I heard of Basel III yesterday, I didn’t know there was a Basel I or a Basel II. The three Basel accords exist to give banking systems around the world a framework in which they can operate successfully, and the latest of these accords introduces new requirements for managing risk. For the most part, ... Continue reading this article…

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