Category Archives: Economics

Equal Credit Card Opportunity for Stay-At-Home Spouses

Do you know the rules for getting a credit card if you rely on a spouse for the income to cover the debt you incur? Since the CARD Act in 2009 stay-at-home spouses have been generally unable to qualify for consumer credit cards. However, it looks like that is all going to change with updated regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Cyprus financial crisis boosts demand for digital dollars

They won’t make a sound no matter how many of them you try to toss in a bucket, and you can’t pitch them in a fountain and wish for good luck. But make no mistake, bitcoins are getting big.

The online alternative currency, previously little more than a curiosity in financial markets since its 2009 inception, has zoomed in trading value since the Cyprus banking crisis erupted two weeks ago.

Read more at NBC News…

Jobless claims drop for third consecutive week

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell again last week, offering further evidence that the U.S. job market seems to be improving.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000 in the week ended March 9, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Read more at Medill Reports…

Sudden Rise in Home Demand Takes Builders by Surprise

After six years of waiting on the sidelines, newly eager home buyers across the country are discovering that there are not enough houses for sale to accommodate the recent flush of demand.

“In my 27 years I’ve never seen inventories this low,” said Kurt K. Colgan, a broker with Lyon Real Estate in the Sacramento metropolitan area, where the share of homes on the market has plummeted by one of the largest amounts in the nation. “I’ve also never seen a market turn so quickly.”

Read more at The NY Times…

U.S. Companies Stashing More Cash Abroad As Stockpiles Hit Record $1.45T

Corporate America has dramatically increased its cash piles over the past few years, stashing more and more Benjamins every year since 2007.  In 2012, U.S. non-financial companies filled their coffers with an additional $130 billion, taking their total cash to a record $1.45 trillion as the economy has stagnated and the labor market has moved sideways.  At the same time, a prohibitive corporate tax scheme coupled with emerging market growth have pushed U.S. firms to keep 58% of their cash, or $840 billion, overseas.

Read more at Forbes…

Fed is expected this week to stick to low-rate policies

The U.S. economy is strengthening on the fuel of more job growth, rising home prices and solid retail sales. Just don’t expect the Federal Reserve to let up in its drive to keep stimulating the economy with record-low interest rates.

Not yet, anyway.

Read more at The Washington Post…

Volatile gas prices drove the CPI up sharply last month

The Labor Department reported on Friday that consumer prices rose in February by the fastest rate since 2009. Last month, the consumer price index grew by 0.7 percent. That’s up from zero-percent price growth in both January and December.

Read more at US News…

Rising Gas Prices Deliver Another Blow to Consumers

Will the average family have anything left to spend on extras?  For many, the return of the 2 percent payroll tax was enough of a setback.  Now, with gas topping $4 a gallon in some areas, consumers are scrambling to pay the pump…and the rest of their bills.

After 32 straight days of increases, gas prices could scuttle more than a household budget— they could sink the fragile economic recovery.

Read more at The Fiscal Times…

Penny Wise: Time to Kill the One-Cent Coin?

President Obama dropped a bombshell in an online “Fireside Chat” Thursday that could reverberate — and shatter piggy banks — across the nation. Our commander-in-chief, it seems, wants to do away with the penny. Each one-cent piece costs 2.4 cents to mint and distribute, so the U.S. government loses money every time it puts one into circulation. The savings from eliminating the copper and zinc coins won’t result in huge savings for the government, but it still makes sense, Obama says, as “anytime we’re spending more money on something that people don’t actually use, that’s an example of something we should probably change.”

Read more at The Fiscal Times…

Moody’s Gives Negative Outlook to All U.S. Universities

Moody’s Investors Service now has a negative outlook for the entire U.S. higher education sector, the rating agency said on Wednesday, citing “mounting fiscal pressure on all key university revenue sources.”

Since 2009, Moody’s had had a stable outlook for market-leading, research-driven colleges and universities and a negative outlook for the rest of the higher education sector.

Read more at The Fiscal Times…

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