Financial News

The New Overdraft Fee Rules

As you may have heard on the news, the Federal Reserve released new rules restricting overdraft fees yesterday. Unfortunately, the rules aren’t quite as comprehensive as we would probably like. Congress is considering even stronger regulations, but there’s no telling when or if they will be passed. Here’s what you need to know about the current rules. When Do the Overdraft Fee Rules Apply? As with all Federal Reserve rules,…
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Are We Headed for a Major Economic Depression?

If you saw much of the news this weekend, then you heard the drumbeat of depression fears. Politicians, economists, and reporters are calling this the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. They are NOT saying we are in a depression. They’re not even saying we’re definitely going to have one. But they are saying things will be tough for a while. To calm your depression fears, here’s…
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Which is Easier to Fix: California’s Budget or Yours?

In case you haven’t heard, California is headed for disaster. No, not the Big One, an economic disaster. Because voters rejected some taxes and cuts that would have resolved our budget issues for this year, the governor is making draconian cuts to try to shore up our collapsing budget. Basically, we’re broke and the voters didn’t want to fix it. That’s just how we roll. Play the Budget…
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Will the New Frugality Last?

On the first anniversary of the “official” start of the financial crisis (even though it was creeping up on us well before then), several articles have argued that the crisis resulted in a “new frugality” that has permanently altered the spending behavior and attitudes of an entire generation, similar to what happened after the Great Depression. I call BS. This Recession and a Great Depression Are Not the…
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Six Tips for Staying Sane in this Economy

I entered what I call “bad news fatigue” a few weeks ago. That means I no longer slap my forehead quite as hard when I see news of more financial idiocy. I just shake my head when I hear news of government screw-ups or rate cuts. If you haven’t yet reached the point where you no longer care about the latest financial news, your 401K balance, or the…
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The Senate Passes the Stimulus Package

After a few days of tousling over a much larger package, the Senate has passed the economic stimulus bill passed by the House. There are a few differences that will be ironed out over the next few days and then the bill will be sent to the President for his signature. He’s already said he’ll sign it. Previously, the IRS said it would take them several weeks to…
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The Recession Is Over – So What Now?

Much has been made this week by the Fed’s announcement that the first signs of economic recovery are appearing. The news has left many people wondering – if the economy is getting better, why doesn’t it seem like it? There’s a simple reason – economists have a different metric than the rest of us. Official Definition of Recession and Its End Officially, a recession is two quarters of…
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That Makes Me Stabby: Black Friday Starts Now

As I write this, I’m waiting for the election results, and it’s put me in a mood to vent. So, today we have another “that makes me stabby” post. Today’s topic: the early arrival of Black Friday. You know, the day after Thanksgiving when everyone is supposed to go shopping? Some retailers have decided to turn that day into a season, and it started on Halloween. Do you…
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That Makes Me Stabby: The 2009 Housing Rescue Plan

I’m not sure I have the strength to be stabby anymore, but I’ll give it a go with this year’s housing rescue plan. I say this year’s, because last year we saw the Barney Frank plan and apparently a whopping 35 households have taken advantage of it. That’s right, 35. So now we have this new plan, and it puts cash on the table for lenders. We’ll see if…
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It’s Official: The Recession Ended Last Year

This morning, several news sources reported that economists have final declared the end date of the recession – June, 2009. You may be thinking – huh? It’s simple – the formal definition of recession is defined as a certain period of negative growth. When that ends, the recession ends, even if your personal situation doesn’t greatly improve. This was the longest recession since WWII, lasting from December, 2007 to…
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