Diversified Financials Consumer Finance

More

  • The canvass of investment planning has been subject to a variety of hues absent from the traditional 24 color Crayola box. Industries evolve, rules of thumb lose their grip on what’s considered suitable and unannounced complexities require a different brand of expertise from those providing advice.

  • Bargain hunters shop for discounted merchandise at Macy's on 'Black Friday' on November 25, 2011 in New York City.

    With Europe in despair and the U.S. economy still sputtering, consumers rolled their eyes like dice, wagering family budgets on Black Friday. Sales increased by 6.6 percent the day after giving thanks for what we already have, an indication that Congress isn't the only house with a spending problem.

  • ira_401k_200.jpg

    In a matter of just 25 years, defined contribution plans have become the predominant retirement tool available to American workers, many of whom have little investment experience. Nevertheless, the novelty could be wearing off, as 401(k) plans may be ill-suited for the current economic environment.

  • Credit card and cash

    Small business owners who use credit cards for business funding can garner debt stability never before possible, says guest columnist Odysseas Papadimitriou.

  • european_union_cracked_200.jpg

    Europe’s recent attempt to manage the persistent debt crisis still remains a source of great concern. Naturally, the issue is magnified by the constructs of the European Union, overwhelmed by healthy egos and very little money.

  • Phone bill cramming

    The next time you get your cell phone bill, check the total amount due. If it’s a little higher than usual, you may have fallen prey to "cramming."

  • Wall Street sign

    As volatile markets and economic uncertainty keep investors on edge, companies are folding their plans to go public in record numbers.

  • toilet_globe_200.jpg

    Two market crashes and a couple of recessions later, 25 percent of all boomers don’t have anything saved for retirement and now find themselves in dire need of government services and potential bailouts of math defying pension plans.

  • debt_collections_200.jpg

    As Americans struggle to pay off underwater mortgages and student loan debt, some experts say simple changes to bankruptcy law could provide many with financial relief and potentially help the economy.

  • Gold Bars

    Lending money to a European Investment Banks who form a Special Purpose Vehicle who issues bonds guaranteed by broke countries to use as collateral to borrow more money to buy more bad debt? That's their plan? No thank you; I'm still buying gold.

  • Texas Governor Rick Perry

    Gov. Rick Perry has been lionized for calling social security a Ponzi scheme, rebuked for using the foul language of common sense that most Americans understand.

  • capitol_buidling_1_200.jpg

    It would appear that capitalism has a developed a terrible dependency issue, turning hostile and violent when there’s nothing left in the punch bowl. Unfortunately, new fears of a double dip recession have emerged, the caked residue of weak economic growth and a soft job market. On the heels of a 30-year spending spree and the party of our lifetime, we find ourselves searching for our equilibrium once again.

  • US Capitol Building with cash

    The list of things we never thought we’d see continues to grow, like a tumor. Our republic has finally reached a midlife crisis, having lost the pejorative AAA credit rating from an agency that considers yesterday’s sub-prime CDO a safer bet than today’s Uncle Sam. The American economy is stuck in a classic catch-22, that as we solve one problem, it is quickly replaced by a greater concern.

  • Tea Party activists, 44 percent of whom are on Medicare or have an immediate family member receiving benefits, could not be consoled by the fact that their health-care costs are largely responsible for the distended federal budget. But they have a point.

  • Gold

    Investors are justifiably concerned about being hoodwinked three times in ten years. Without question, extravagant returns enjoyed by the precious metal are well received, but the potential hangover from yet another bubble deprived of air, and the associated shame, would take several years to subside.

  • bank_owned1_200.jpg

    Many distressed homeowners have spent years wondering when they’re going to get kicked out. But the backlog of foreclosures has provided a reprieve. In New York, for example, it would take 62 years to process them all.

  • house_yard_200.jpg

    The nation’s two biggest providers of reverse mortgages are no longer offering the loans, as the economics of the business have come under pressure.

  • Job Search

    Analysts have been feverishly revising down their growth projections. Much depends on the effectiveness of policies and, critically, whether there will finally be a more coherent and sustained policy response in systemically important countries, especially the US and Europe.

  • Interview_man_200.jpg

    Our beloved two party political system is currently negotiating an increase to the debt ceiling, all in the name of fiscal responsibility.

  • capitol_building_2_AP.jpg

    President Obama’s gyroscopic legislative endeavors helped the nation survive the worst financial crisis since the 1930’s. It would have been unfathomable to risk America’s image of economic invincibility and allow the free markets to punish bad behavior. Instead, the Federal Reserve printed money to inflate the stock market and promote economic growth, all courtesy of a low interest rate environment. Now Congress is faced with yet another debt ceiling, and sure enough, they’re scrambling for the next fiscal stunt.