Money Management
construction workers sitting up against a wall taking a break

Unemployment rate and jobs report signal a long, slow recovery

The U.S. unemployment rate rose in April along with job creation, in a bit of statistical hocus pocus that’s not as baffling as it looks. But the phenomenon shows how hard it’s going to be for the unemployment rate to climb out of the deep hole dug by the great recession. The U.S. unemployment rate
Air conditioners in a line

7 easy ways to qualify for 2011 Energy Tax Credits

In 2009 and 2010, taxpayers could qualify for up to $1,500 for making home updates. The Energy Tax Credits for 2011, however, are being significantly reduced. Most homeowners can still qualify for up to $500 in energy tax credits, which can reduce the sting of home update costs. Basics of Energy Tax Credits The Energy

Wireless payment network to debut in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, Utah, will soon begin experimenting with a wireless payment system in conjunction with three wireless networks. The system, called Isis, is set to debut in 2012 and will use cellular phones to wire payments from a person’s credit or debit line with a bank. Cell phone credit card technology takes another step
Piggy bank

Consumer spending report shows improved savings rate

Each month, the federal government releases a report on consumer saving and spending rates. These two rates are seen as indicators of consumer sentiment and economic growth. The January spending report is also being seen as a referendum on the payroll tax cut. January personal income The United States Commerce Department’s monthly report on personal
Timothy Geithner

Possible end in sight for mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie

Mortgage backing companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could become a thing of the past. An upcoming Treasury report will make proposals about what should be done with the two government sponsored enterprises. One proposal is to let them both go under. Proposed cut of Freddie and Fannie would take years The Department of the
Muammar Gaddafi

Oil prices spike as Gadhafi refuses to leave turmoil in Libya

Political turmoil in Libya has led to an increase in worldwide oil prices. Libya is a major exporter of oil, and unrest in that nation could lead to a drop in the output of oil. Despite a growing number of people calling for him to leave, Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi refuses to abdicate his office.
Dictionary defines 'insurance"

Hybrid policies replacing traditional term life insurance

The nature of long-term care and life insurance policies has changed rapidly in these uncertain financial times.  Many consumers are reluctant to put up large amounts of money for future benefits, especially when those  benefits may never become necessary.  The insurance industry has countered this trend by offering combination products that blend long-term-care with traditional

Top 12 Strange College Scholarships

Finding money for college requires creativity Are you or someone you know preparing to go to college? Whether you’re a first time college applicant or a returning student, significant preparation is involved, particularly on the financial level. Payday loans won’t finance your journey through the halls of academia, so you’d do yourself good if you

Two Senate Republicans defect to help pass small business bill

Few who understand Congress expected lawmakers to succeed in passing a small business bill before the November midterm elections. But two Republican senators who are not seeking re-election crossed party lines to give Democrats the votes they needed. After a summer of partisan bickering, the Senate passed a small business bill Thursday. The legislation aims
fcc net neutrality rules

House Republicans seek to defund net neutrality in budget bill

House Republicans voted to block new Federal Communications Commission net neutrality rules, calling them an example of an overreaching federal government. The FCC seeks to implement rules preventing Internet service providers from discriminating against content providers and customers via different fees and connection speeds. The House passed an amendment to a spending bill that would
Fannie Mae corporate Headquarters

Bottom drops out of Fannie Mae losses

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae just announced record losses, and the company is asking for another $8.4 billion from the government to stay afloat. Fannie Mae has been in conservatorship — or possessed by the federal government — for some time.  Its losses have grown almost exponentially, and have posted the 12th consecutive quarterly loss.  Clearly,
Nationald debt clock

National debt ceiling debate affects us all

The U.S. will soon hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling, prompting Congress to vote on again raising the limit. But Congressional Republicans have threatened opposition if the vote does not include budget cuts and long-term debt reduction. If an agreement is not reached by August, it will be an unprecedented situation that will be felt
a turkey vulture with a huge wingspan in flight

Vulture investors move from flippers to landlords in down market

Vulture investors are feasting on the depressed U.S. housing market. Deflating home prices, rock-bottom mortgage rates and a rental market surging with people who have lost their homes are attracting swarms of vulture investors who are after distressed properties. But in this weak U.S. economy, their strategy is changing. In boom times, vulture investors were
A woman in costume at an anti-Blue Shield demonstration.

Blue Shield of California wants 59 percent rate hike

Health insurance premiums have been out of control for years, but apparently someone forgot to send Blue Shield of California the memo. The Los Angeles Times reports that Blue Shield has shocked California policyholders with a proposal to institute insurance premium hikes as high as 59 percent on March 1. The change would affect tens
A man dressed in a 1970s “Battlestar Galactica” Cylon costume. He's pandhandling. His  sign reads “Replaced by CGI. Please help.”

Two-thirds of US men worked in 2010, a record low

A lower percentage of Americans held jobs last year than at any point since 1983, reports USA Today. After a peak of 49.3 percent employment in 2000, only 45.4 percent of Americans were employed. In addition, only 66.8 percent of men were employed in 2010, the lowest figure on record. Challenges to U.S. social programs
Close up of an iPad in a man's hand. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is clearly visible on the touchscreen display.

Jesse Jackson Jr. says iPad is killing publishing, costing jobs

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) was for the iPad before he was against it. Just one month ago, Jackson lauded Apple’s groundbreaking tablet as a revolutionary educational tool. On Friday, however, iPad owner Jackson turned around and exclaimed before Congress that the iPad is a dangerous device that is “probably responsible for eliminating thousands of
US Treasury gets money back from General Motors.

General Motors pays back US Treasury

It was recently announced that General Motors has paid the U.S. Treasury back on a portion of the  loans it received in the auto bailout.  General Motors entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, then set about getting back on track.  It paid off portions of the loans with interest far ahead of schedule, so apparently they