FROM Ben Popken
Who Can We Trust with our Money? News coverage of AIG bonuses, Bernie Madoff, CNBC's Jim Cramer and Treasury secretaries with ties to Wall Street has been relentless. Public confidence in banks, insurance companies, money managers and financial reporters has sunk to an all-time low. Searching for safe, reliable investments -- not dependent on government -- Americans bought 600 tons of gold last year, a 42% increase over the year before. The rest are stuck with a troubling question: who can you trust with the money you have left as the financial bloodbath continues? Is it time for consumers to go it alone?
Predatory Lending and Shrinking Buying Power There may be fewer paper towels in the package than there used to be, but you're still paying the same price. The same is true for dog food and trash bags. "Hidden inflation" in supermarkets is just one sign of how consumers are affected by a troubled economy, even though they don't notice. Bear-Stearns brokerage house was bought up before it collapsed, as was the sub-prime lender Countrywide . Now the Congress and President Bush are protecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . The next bubble to burst may be in the credit-card market. What's next for low-income retirees, recent college graduates and first-time home buyers? If you've got some money, is this the time to invest?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.