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Inflation is bad, making things more expensive.  Except that it can also be good, when it brings you a raise or makes it easier to pay your debts. So which is it? The chief economist at the International Monetary Fund argues in a recent paper that, well, maybe the Federal Reserve should aim to keep inflation at 4% instead of 2%, the current target. Read more»
In a largely symbolic move, the Federal Reserve increased the discount rate to banks by .25% on Thursday, sending the message to financial institutions that their ride on Easy Street could be coming to a dead end (the discount rate is the rate at which banks can borrow money from the government in an emergency). Read more»
A new study shows large banks have a growing problem on their hands — customers are losing trust in out-of-touch banks and see larger institutions as becoming more selfish. The February study of 50 U.S. financial service companies from Forrester Research says that customers are so fed up that they’re more than willing to take a walk and that banks need to wake up before they lose them for good. Read more»
Cell Phones: The New Local Bank?
By: Brian O'Connell
There’s no doubt that mobile banking is increasing in popularity, with numerous studies indicating more users are handling their finances via their cell phones. But is mobile banking getting so pervasive that we can think the once unthinkable — the end of the bank branch office? Read more»
Deals of the Week: Feb. 10
By: Brian O'Connell
Despite a burst of lousy economic news in the past week (more lost jobs, more Americans behind on their mortgage payments and more debt incurred by the federal government in the form of a proposed new $80 billion stimulus bill), there are surprisingly good deals out there in the bank deposit market. Read more»
Savvy investors know that selecting the right mix of stocks, bonds and cash is key to meeting long-term goals. At least, that’s what we’ve been told — over and over and over. But how have different combinations actually performed? Read more»
As part of the White House budget released in January, the federal government claims it has a coin problem. Specifically, it cost too much to make them – especially nickels and pennies. But it's looking for ways to fix the problem. Read more»
Exchange-traded funds have been soaring in popularity, except with one group: people who invest small sums in strategies using dollar-cost averaging. Read more»
Ask a pro for investing help and you can expect to pay for it. Sounds simple enough, but practices have changed over the years. Read more»
Big bank stocks are taking a beating on Wall Street these days, and the future looks, in a word, “iffy” for behemoth financial institutions, thanks to bank reforms proposed by the White House. But vacuums don’t last for long. Regional banks are well positioned to fill the void left by big bank uncertainty. Read more»
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