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?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.