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Articles posted in December 2008

Bigger ’09 Paychecks Under Obama’s ‘Make Work Pay’ Tax Plan
December 31, 2008 by Alexis
Americans making less than $75,000 annually should expect to see a slightly larger paycheck every two weeks when Barack Obama takes the presidential office on January 20. While he was once believed to be re-thinking the plan he touted during the election, the President-elect is in fact expected to implement a reduced tax plan. The plan would take effect almost immediately, which could increase individual earnings by $83-$166 per paycheck during the first quarter of the year. It’s Obama’s ...
Home Price Index Hit With 18% Drop In October
December 30, 2008 by Alexis
Homes prices across the country dropped again between September and October, marking the 27th month in a row that the S&P Case-Shiller Index has posted losses. The mean price of homes saw a 2.2% drop, bringing prices back down to where they sat in March of 2004. Altogether, home prices experienced an 18% decrease from last October’s figures. David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, attributes the price drop to the fact that October ...
NASDAQ’s Tech Driven Trading Model Outsmarts the Competition
December 30, 2008 by Admin
Financially, 2008 was a year defined by the plummeting stock market, but Forbes Magazine still thought that no company was more impressive over the four quarters than market mogul NASDAQ OMX. The financial magazine’s Daniel Fisher praised the New York-headquartered company for adapting to recently introduced methods of new business better than competitors. It was CEO Robert Greifeld that caught Forbes' attention with his ability to transform the company from a typical trading floor institution into a company that’...
Drop in Holiday Spending Spells More Trouble for Retailers in ‘09
December 29, 2008 by Alexis
Described by industry analysts as one of the worst holiday season sales periods on record, December’s retail sales figures plummeted 4% from last year’s numbers. Retailers are finally coming to grips with the fact that the American public has gone into a full-on savings mode that wasn’t the norm in recent years. Original forecasts had widely predicted just a 1% drop in sales, though some analysts had actually predicted a 2.2% increase.  It appears to have been wishful thinking ...
Christmas Comes Early for the Auto Industry
December 19, 2008 by Alexis
The debate of whether to bail out the auto industry seems to be coming to a close. President Bush announced this morning that he intends to enact a rescue plan for General Motors and Chrysler LLC that will make $13.4 billion in federal loans available to the two struggling automotive companies. Wondering where those billions will be coming from? The money will be pulled from the $700 billion fund put aside in October to bailout Wall Street firms and banks, and ...
Top 10 Cities Vying for a Piece of Obama's Job Creating Stimulus Plans
December 18, 2008 by Alexis
On December 8, the United States Conference of Mayors met and drew up an 803-page report outlining how their respective cities would use the money President-elect Barack Obama intends to spend on infrastructure projects aimed at improving America’s economic situation by giving the country a face lift. Altogether, the 427 city mayors drew up a list of nearly 11,400 projects, totally $73 billion, they would like to see put into action when Obama presumably signs off on the plan. Miami and Mayor ...
New York Enacts Digital Retail Tax - Is Your State Next?
December 17, 2008 by Alexis
In New York this week, Governor David Patterson announced the state would begin charging a digital retail tax for online purchases. The tax will go into action along with similar plans from Paterson to raise taxes on movie tickets, soft drinks, sweets and snacks, and luxury clothing items among other items. Altogether, Paterson hopes to implement 88 new fees and taxes on what he’s deemed superfluous items and purchases. The move to join the 17 other states and the District ...
States Struggle to Support Their Unemployed
December 17, 2008 by Alexis
As unemployment rates rise nationally, individual states are now facing the challenge of generating enough funds to pay for jobless benefits. The National Association of State Workforce Agency reported this week there are thirty states across the country turning to the federal government for federal aid to solve a crisis that’s seemingly feeding upon itself – less people in the workforce means less state-generated money, which in turn means less funding for the unemployed. When the economy is going ...
Wall Street Investor Bernard Madoff Confesses to Running Pyramid Scheme
December 16, 2008 by Alexis
Longtime Wall Street investor Bernard Madoff confessed last week to running a years-long Ponzi scheme that’s believed to have swindled up to $50 billion in investments from more than thirty high profile individuals and organizations. The New York City based Madoff first told his children that he was deeply involved in a fraud in which he was receiving artificially high returns using money originally put up by investors. Most morally concerning is that Madoff targeted a wide variety of ...
Federal Reserve To Cut Interest Rates to Historic Low
December 16, 2008 by Alexis
The Federal Reserve decided this afternoon to cut a key short-term interest rate to historic lows, making things clear that it will “employ all available tools” in its effort to save the country from its current economic crisis. The Fed announced that it would pull back its target for the federal funds rate to a figure between 0% and .25%, more than .75% lower than the 1% Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Reserve had previously planned to implement. It’s the lowest interest ...
Fannie Mae Foreclosures Won’t Evict Renters – Others Not So Lucky
December 15, 2008 by Alexis
Fannie Mae announced Sunday that renters don’t have to fear eviction if their landlords get foreclosed. The loan association has reworked policies to allow tenants that are up-to-date on their rent to remain in their homes even after the foreclosure is underway. It’s a move that falls in line with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s late November announcement that they would place a holiday moratorium on owner-occupied homes until January 9. Until recently, foreclosures across the country ...
The Recession Moves Into the Realm of Sports
December 12, 2008 by Alexis
With their multi-million dollar corporate sponsorships, state-of-the-art stadiums, and record-breaking contracts, it’s easy to understand why there’s the misconception that the major sports leagues of America – namely Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Football Association – have built up a sort of immunity towards the recession that’s affecting so many other industries. It may not be as apparent on the surface, since the business side of major sports gets masked by its mass ...
Obama Plans a Roadblock to Stop Unemployment Rate Escalation
December 11, 2008 by Alexis
CNN Money has published reports that the national unemployment rate continues to climb. Currently the figure stands at 6.7%, and there’s no sign of greener pastures in the coming months. The announced loss of 553,000 jobs in the month of November alone comes along just as America faces the longest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and estimates have this particular recession extending far longer with effects far greater than that of the 1980s. Global Insight has predicted ...
Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Arrested For Plans to Sell Obama Senate Seat
December 10, 2008 by Admin
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested early Tuesday morning on charges that he had conspired to profit from Barack Obama’s recent presidential election, among other charges. He’s being held in custody with his chief of staff, John Harris, who faces similar charges. A news briefing held by U.S. Attorney General Patrick Fitzgerald and the FBI’s Robert Grant was held today at 12 pm EST to discuss their investigation and findings. Fitzgerald said today was “a sad ...
Mortgage Loan Delinquency Rate Sees Dramatic Raise
December 8, 2008 by Alexis
A TransUnion report published Monday revealed that 53% of homeowners whose interest rates were modified earlier this year ended up defaulting within six months regardless of the adjustment. The report findings come from a surveyed 60% of those with primary mortgages, a tally that covers over 35 million homes worth a total of $6 trillion. This is the 7th consecutive quarter in which mortgage loan delinquency has risen, and this quarter’s hit was especially hard. Delinquency rates in the third quarter of ...
Will Alternative Energy Save the American Economy?
December 7, 2008 by Alexis
The development of alternative energy was a large part of every candidate's platform in the recent US election. The arguments from the candidates, both Democrat and Republic, were similar: we need to gain energy independence from Middle Eastern oil producers; we need to stop polluting the environment by burning fossil fuels; and we need to build a new, robust alternative energy in the United States. While the entire debate seems like a giant political echo chamber on the surface, ...
Is Your State Asking for Government Aid?
December 6, 2008 by Alexis
It seems as though everyone is looking for a bailout, whether it’s financial institutions, insurance companies, or the auto industry. When the governor of your state is lobbying for money from congressional leaders and the Administration, well, that’s a different story. That’s because strengthening the economy during the current financial crisis starts at the state level. Leaders of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) met at Congress Hall in ...
Unemployment - Double Edge Sword of the Faltering Economy
December 5, 2008 by Alexis
One of the things that is not being talked about nearly enough in these tough economic times is both a cause and a byproduct of the financial crisis. While everyone spends their time focusing on the shrinking credit market and people write articles about how bad the stock market is faltering, few people have mentioned unemployment. In many areas of the country, unemployment is as high right now as it has ever been. The national unemployment rate is rising, ...
How Influential is the Auto Industry to Our Economy?
December 4, 2008 by Alexis
What Does It Mean When the U.S. Automakers Fail? Was your reluctance to buy a car from one of the three major U.S. automakers, General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., or Chrysler LLC, the cause of their imminent collapse? The Big Three automakers are asking Congress to pass legislation for government-backed loans. They may just get half of what they’re asking – up to $17 million as opposed to $34 million. What the automakers want Americans to know is ...
Did Black Friday Do Enough for the Economy?
December 3, 2008 by Alexis
What is Black Friday? Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, the unofficial start of the Christmas season and one of the biggest retail shopping days of the year. Since Thanksgiving always occurs on the last Thursday in November, Black Friday takes place between the 23rd and the 29th of November each year. While Black Friday is not an official holiday in its own right, it is generally included in the Thanksgiving holiday. Many retail analysts look to Black ...
Using the Economic Downturn to Teach Kids About Saving
December 2, 2008 by Alexis
During the economic downturn, saving money is important and teaching kids to save is even more important. There is a theory that perhaps part of the reason we are struggling through a recession is due to the fact that money has been spent so unwisely over the years with little to no money in savings. Parents may not know how to approach the topic of finances with their children. They may feel it is a personal matter better left ...
Easy Ways To Save Money During The Holidays
December 1, 2008 by Alexis
The holiday season, while joyous, can be stressful for shoppers. With economic conditions weakening, financial situations in homes across America have decreased substantially. With a few helpful tips, there are easy ways to save money during the holidays that way you can enjoy the spirit of gift giving while sparing your wallet at the same time. It is possible to save money without skimping out on your loved ones. All that is needed is a little creativity, thoughtful thinking ...