Friday Movie Night - Retirement Impending Disaster

Retirement is something most of us don't like to think about.  It is not due to aging and fear of death.  Instead, most of us are just scraping by, if that, and our retirement funds do not exist.  Out of sight, out of mind is a way to deal with the deathly fear of having absolutely no money to take care of ourselves with in old age.

Happy Bank Transfer Day!

Happy Bank Transfer Day!

bank transfer day
Otherwise known as - you're charging me 22% credit card interest when I have a FICO score above 750 and no missed payments? Seriously?

Today has been declared bank transfer day. A nationwide consumer call to action to pull money from Too Big To Fail, derivative ridden, foreclosure fraud laden, fee crazed, bail out happy, offshore outsourcing our jobs, banks.

Credit Unions are rejoicing and celebrating the event. From a Credit Union National Association, press release:

At least 650,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions in the past four weeks

This represents $4.5 billion in deposit transfers to credit unions. The online banks and smaller banks probably have similar amounts in transfers.

The Federal Reserve statistics on money stocks show fed up customers have a long way to go to make a serious dent on commercial banks. Savings deposits at commercial banks are about $5 trillion whereas credit unions, thrifts are about a trillion. Checking accounts and the like are a little more even, with about $237 billion at commercial banks and $177 billion at credit unions, savings and loans. Growing the credit unions, smaller financial institutions that actually give the consumer a good deal, loan, invest in the real U.S. economy and hire Americans ....well, let's just say ya gotta start somewhere.

The State of the Economy, Independence Day 2009 (I.)

ABC News reported an interview with with Paul Krugman last week his opinions that:

"I would not be surprised if the official end of the U.S. recession ends up being, in retrospect, dated sometime this summer," he said June 8 during a lecture in London.

However, Krugman argues people didn't listen to his entire speech, which included dire predictions about lingering unemployment. "There's a big difference between the end of a recession, which is really only when some things start to turn up, and the return to prosperity," Krugman told ABC News. "I think what people don't get is the difference between the end of a recession in a technical sense and actual recovery, which matters to people."

In my opinion, Krugman is exactly correct. In this four-part "Big Picture" look at the economy as of Independence Day 2009, I will argue that: