Is a college cap and gown a financial ball and chain?
The cost of a college education continues to rise.The Project on Student Debt estimates that a typical 2009 college graduate accumulated $24,000 in student loan debt. Is a college degree worth the cost? Read the August 2011 Newsletter for the latest data on college versus high school graduates' earnings and employment prospects.
A new trend for U.S. household spending
Holiday sales are expected to be weak again this year even though the economy and financial markets are improving. Shoppers are especially reluctant to use credit cards for holiday purchases. According to the National Retail Federation's 2009 Consumer Intentions and Action Survey, only 28.3 percent of holiday shoppers will use credit cards; this is 10.6 percent lower than one year ago. Why are shoppers so hesitant to use their credit cards this year? Many factors are involved. Read the January 2010 Newsletter for the answers.
Time inconsistency: today’s actions = tomorrow’s regrets
Have you ever bought something you really couldn?t afford? You simply swipe your credit card and leave the store with something shiny and new. That instant gratification overpowers any thought of the regret you?ll have when you must start paying off your accumulated debt. Economists call this phenomenon time inconsistency. Read the September 2011 newsletter for some ideas on how to prevent time inconsistency for yourself and your government.
What’s under the TARP?
The new economic terms and programs?from TARP to TALF to COP?are important, but trying to keep track of it all can make your head spin. Read the March 2009 Newsletter for a clear, concise explanation of the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program designed to help alleviate the nation?s financial crisis.
U.S. farm subsidies
Why should the average American care about the 2008 Farm Bill and farm subsidies? Farm subsidies can affect the price of food and can influence the amount of taxes we pay. This month's Liber8 newsletter explains why farm subsidies were originally used, spotlights the debate about their continued use, and points out some changes to the 2008 Farm Bill.
What do financial market indicators tell us?
To those unfamiliar with financial and economic lingo, the terms bandied about in the news can sometimes make no sense. The January 2012 Liber8 Newsletter, "What Do Financial Market Indicators Tell Us?" offers some help with explanations of common terms. The essay is accompanied by a table of terms, definitions, and the significance of each to the broader economy.
Early childhood education
Which public investment offers greater returns?a subsidy for a sports stadium or early childhood education? It might surprise some, but the answer is an investment in early childhood education. A research study from the Federal Reserve found a 16 percent return on such an investment, with 80 percent of the return going to the general public. The October 2009 Newsletter explains the lifelong benefits of early childhood education.
Ethanol: is corn the golden fuel?
With oil prices well over $100 per barrel, policymakers are considering everything from new fuel efficiency standards to biomass in an effort to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption. High oil prices, global warming, and the vitality of the American farm have introduced words such as ?ethanol,? ?E85?, and ?flexible-fuel vehicle? to American households. However, the potential costs and benefits of ethanol production should be considered objectively. This month's newsletter explores the costs and benefits of America's golden fuel?ethanol.
Exploiting exportation: why foreign exchange rates matter
The emphasis on global economics is here to stay, but how does it affect the average citizen? The April 2010 Newsletter examines the links between foreign exchange rates and global trade and explains the effect on U.S. prices and import/export trading.
What does foreclosure entail?
The FDIC estimates that an additional 4 to 5 million mortgages could enter foreclosure over the next two years. How did this happen, and what can be done to improve the situation? The April 2009 Newsletter offers some insights and further resources on the foreclosure situation.