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  • Johnson: The True Cost of Holiday Shopping Tuesday, 29 Nov 2011 | 11:42 AM ET
    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.

  • Johnson: Is Your 401(k) Plan a Trap? Tuesday, 15 Nov 2011 | 11:19 AM ET

    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.

  • Personal Credit Cards Give a Boost to Small Business Friday, 11 Nov 2011 | 12:29 PM ET
    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.

  • Johnson: Is the European Union too Complicated to Fix? Tuesday, 1 Nov 2011 | 10:49 AM ET

    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.

  • How to Avoid Getting 'Crammed' Friday, 21 Oct 2011 | 2:52 PM ET
    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."

  • IPO Withdrawals Are at Highest Level Since 2008 Tuesday, 18 Oct 2011 | 9:49 PM ET
    Wall Street sign

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

  • Johnson: Whatever Happened to Personal Responsibility? Tuesday, 18 Oct 2011 | 11:41 AM ET

    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.

  • 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.

  • Johnson: I'm Still Buying Gold Tuesday, 4 Oct 2011 | 12:05 PM ET
    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.

  • Johnson: Rick Perry, Social Security and Ponzi Schemes Monday, 19 Sep 2011 | 10:59 AM ET
    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.

  • Johnson: All Job Growth is Local Wednesday, 7 Sep 2011 | 9:47 AM ET

    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.

  • Johnson: America’s Math Problem Tuesday, 16 Aug 2011 | 10:20 AM ET
    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.

  • Johnson: Hats off to the Tea Party...for Now Tuesday, 2 Aug 2011 | 12:04 PM ET

    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.

  • Johnson: Why Gold Is Not a Bubble Monday, 18 Jul 2011 | 10:46 AM ET
    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.

  • Backlog of Cases Gives a Reprieve on Foreclosures Sunday, 19 Jun 2011 | 11:13 AM ET

    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.

  • Two Big Banks Exit Reverse-Mortgage Business Saturday, 18 Jun 2011 | 10:30 AM ET

    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.

  • Johnson: How to Create Jobs in America Wednesday, 8 Jun 2011 | 12:20 PM ET

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

  • Johnson: Debt Ceiling Invites More Gimmicks Tuesday, 24 May 2011 | 9:14 AM ET

    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.

  • No Need to Fear a Property Bubble in China: Analyst Tuesday, 10 May 2011 | 7:45 PM ET
    Beijing, China

    In the past 8 months housing prices have risen 30 percent while sales volumes have dropped 70 percent.  In other words, people buying homes can afford them. There is no panic selling like in the US or Dubai because rules in place for years have prevented the kind of speculation that was rampant in America, where people bought multiple homes with zero down.