We had a good question regarding the role credit agencies have played in creating this financial mess. By “credit agency” we don’t mean Experian, Equifax or Transunion which I wrote about earlier this week. While those focus on consumer credit profiles and scores, there are a few more “agencies” that had a direct impact in fueling this crisis and they are household names: Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
As people gather for holiday and end of year events, talk of the economy, bailouts and the stock market will likely replace political talk. Want to bet how many times you hear “It’s the government/regulator’s fault” or “It’s too much regulation” or “bailout/don’t bailout GM” or “they should let all the banks fail” accompanied by all sorts of wrong reasoning? This is not only a perfect time to dispel myths, but also a great opportunity to spread TLRB’s word. If you like what you read here, please recommend us to your friends and family. Our goal is to demystify economics and finance and turn a skeptical eye to all things monetary. A corollary to that goal is to continue growth in readership and impact as many people as possible.
So please spread the word. Even invite them to submit a question.
(If anyone is interested in a free bumper sticker, shoot us an email. I’ve been working on them.)
Enjoy the holiday. Thanks for reading.
Sing it with me, you know the words:
“F-R-E-E that spells free, credit report dot com, baby…”
The commercials are catchy, quirky and make a good point- check your credit reports or you won’t discover things that may negatively impact your score. So is freecreditreport.com the place to do this?
Some of the most common questions and comments we get concern inflation and the money supply. Many feel that a fixed or tightly controlled supply of money would prevent inflation. One email predicted chaos due to rampant “double digit” inflation “sure” to come next year because of the Fed and Treasury’s recent actions. There is a hidden danger to a lack of inflation that is not readily apparent. Read more »
I wish Hank [Paulson] would just shut up. It seems every time he does a press conference, the market sells off. It could be a coincidence, but maybe not. Regardless, his press appearances are not helping things. I bring this up because many, many people are being hard on Hank right now. Few commentators seem to approve of anything he does, says or proposes. Read more »
Time for bit of a rant on General Motors since they are all over the news this week. The issue at hand is whether the government ought to save GM by providing at least $25 billion in low cost loans to the automaker. As expected, there is vigorous debate on the subject and it is rife with emotional arguments. Read more »
I was helping my friend Roseanne move and she had an old box that brought back memories. It was for a bottled water product called “Spirit Water”. Yahrens ago my friend and I worked at a software company where the president always seemed to have some side business on the go. One year he was trying to bring a bottled water local to British Columbia to Ontario.
Now, I’ve always been partial to tap water (and the evidence backs me up) and I’ve long found buying bottled water somewhat ridiculous (save for “value added” water in the form of a pint of Guinness or a can of Vernors). While living in Seoul I did make an exception. The Korean tap water was actually perfectly healthy. And given Koreans were living to ripe old ages, I wasn’t particularly worried about anything deadly in Korean water. The only thing was I didn’t like the taste. Whatever the Seoul Water Utility did to the tap water it added a weird metallic taste. Now, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that bad. I cooked with it, made coffee with it, and brushed my teeth with it but I just didn’t drink it straight as I found drinking water with a twist of aluminum salts not fully refreshing. Fortunately, filtered water coolers are nearly universal in Korea and it wasn’t hard to discreetly fill up several water bottles to meet your potable drinking water needs through the week. Read more »
Our goal here is to bring critical thinking and rational analysis to the world of economics and finance. One way to accomplish this is the highlight how others use the language of economics to promote ideology instead of honest assessment of ideas. My hope is to enable people to strip out facts from opinion. Read more »
Politics. Yep, the election is worrying me. Reports of issues at the polls are always troubling, but more so today. Why? What am I afraid of? Read more »
We hear a lot of rhetoric about executive compensation, the majority of it is critical of CEO pay. Yet CEO pay continues to climb and little seems to be done about it. Is exec pay out of control and if so, why has it not been curtailed?
The issue is complicated, so lets begin with some background. Read more »
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