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Bankers See U.S. Recovery Coming
By: Brian O'Connell
Despite a torrent of bad economic news lately — jumps in U.S. unemployment, off-the-cliff drops in new-home sales and 50,000 gallons of black crude pouring into the Gulf of Mexico — bankers have a message for America: the economy is getting better. Read more»
House, Senate Reach Deal on Debit Cards
By: The Associated Press
By Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Limits on the fees banks charge merchants who accept debit cards would not apply to government-issued cards, under a tentative House-Senate deal aimed at easing worries raised by state treasurers. The agreement announced Monday softens a Senate provision in a broad financial regulation bill that requires the Federal Reserve to limit the amount banks collect from merchants for every debit card transaction. Read more»
As religions go, the low-fee religion is a pretty good one, dramatically raising returns for investors who stick with it for decades. But it pays to take a reality check once in a while, else a religion turn into a damaging cult. When it comes to fees, returns, tax rates and other numbers, it is best not to get obsessive over tiny differences. Read more»
FBI agents recently raided an alleged “boiler room” in New York charging the firm had cheated investors out of at least $12 million over 10 years. Compared to the multi-billion dollar Bernie Madoff scam, this one would be small potatoes if it turns out the FBI is right. The targeted company has denied wrongdoing. But the smaller, below-the-radar scams are a big deal for their victims, often the elderly and people of modest means. Read more»
A new Harris survey reveals that more and more Americans say they don’t believe a word of what banks and credit card companies are telling them. The issue is a trust one, and right now, financial consumers are fed up financial institutions — so much so that it will take years, maybe decades, to regain that trust. Read more»
Own BP? Know Your Rights
By: Jeff Brown
BP seems to be softening its resistance to calls that it cancel its dividend because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. That seems like a raw deal for shareholders, who had nothing to do with the spill. But is it? Read more»
A new study out from the National Automated Clearing House Association claims that the more online banking you do, the happier you’re likely to be. It’s all about ridding your world of physical clutter, and psychologists say online banking is a great way to accomplish just that. Read more»
So, Mr. and Ms. Investor, sick of making next to nothing on your bank savings and money market funds? How would you like to make a nice, round 9% over the next 12 months? That’s what you might earn in dividends from one of the world’s best-known corporations. And, of course, there’s a chance of making a gain on the stock price as well. Read more»
Are you a “to” investor or a “through” investor? If that makes no sense, don’t feel bad. It’s a subtle but important question concerning target-date funds, and whether the investor plans to withdraw everything when retirement begins or to draw money out gradually over decades. Read more»
Mark this in the category of things you don’t expect: In February, more employees quit their jobs than were laid off. It’s the first time that has happened since October 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read more»
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