Will the Fed or won’t the Fed?

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Ms. Janet Yellen indicated in testimony before Congress on November 4, that an interest rate increase could come in December 2015. But she added that no decision had been made. Questions: 1. When was the last time that the Fed raised interest rates? 2. Where has the benchmark interest rate been since Dec. 16, 2008?… Read more »

Ouch! This may sting a little.

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According to the New York Times, officials are saying that short-term pain is necessary to put the European economy back on track. Regulators in the United States forced a similar catharsis on American banks in 2009, helping set the stage for the current recovery. Questions: 1. What was the result of the timid approach taken… Read more »

Warning about Emails

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Four former leaders of the law firm, Dewey & LeBoeuf, were charged by New York prosecutors with orchestrating a nearly four-year scheme to manipulate the firm’s books during the financial crisis. In emails they talked openly about “fake income,” “accounting tricks” and their ability to fool the firm’s “clueless auditor.” Questions: 1. Explain the role… Read more »

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

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Even though Dodd-Frank legislation is suppose to keep our financial system safe from another crisis like the one that happened in 2008, a newly released Senate report disproves this. Questions: 1. According to the report detailing the trading fiasco, what are some of the signs that this could happen again? 2. What was the trend… Read more »

Movie with a Happy Ending?

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When the Treasury Department bailed out AIG and said two years ago that it was likely to lose only about $5 billion on the bailout, Neil Barofsky, a former official of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) declared that the number was “manipulated” as part of a “publicity campaign” to boost the positive aspects ahead… Read more »

Debt for Life?

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Here are the facts. Four-year college graduates’ pay advantage over high school grads has doubled over the past 30 years. However, in 2010, student debt exceeded credit-card debt for the first time and in 2011, it surpassed auto loans. In March 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that student debt had passed $1 trillion… Read more »

Financial Crisis in Greece

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While banks and European leaders hold abstract talks in foreign capitals about the impact of a potential Greek default on the euro and the world economy, something frighteningly concrete is under way in Greece: the dismantling of a middle-class welfare state in real time — with nothing to replace it. Since 2010, the government has… Read more »