FROM Eric Tyson
The Personal Pinch of a Troubled Economy The Great Recession wreaked havoc with the economy, and the slow recovery is producing headlines about a possible "double-dip." Americans have a right to be worried, and they are. How potent is psychology as a force for making things better or worse?
Economics and High Anxiety The debt-ceiling debate , S&P downgrade , trouble in Europe, wild stock-market gyrations and warnings about a double-dip recession or worse… The grinding reality of long-term unemployment is taking a heavy toll, and it's a looming threat in workplaces around the country. What are consumers, investors and middle class people to think? How can they look past all the bad news and make rational economic decisions? What's the impact of the prolonged anxiety on individuals, families, neighborhoods and the economy itself?
Plan Encourages Main Street to Invest in Toxic Assets Bank bailouts with taxpayer money have been a source of populist outrage. In need of public support for the massive spending it wants to stimulate the economy, the Obama Administration wants to establish a way for small investors to get in on the deal, to let Main Street sit at the table with Wall Street. We hear about the benefits and the risks. Eric Tyson, author of Investing for Dummies , formerly worked as a management consultant to Fortune 500 financial service firms.
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?
Who Will Gain from the Fed's Interest Rate Cut? In the wake of the sub-prime lending crisis, Ben Bernanke's Federal Reserve revived the stock markets this week by cutting interest rates . The move was reminiscent of Alan Greenspan, who was accused of creating "bubbles" by bailing out unwise investors all too often. Meantime, at his news conference today, President Bush was asked about a recession. Although he conceded there are problems, he affirmed that the economy is strong because of his tax cuts—with low inflation and unemployment, strong profits and steady markets. What will the cuts mean for middle class people who want to buy homes or hold on to the ones they have? What about the economy?
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?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.