The facts behind the mountain of student debt: 13 percent of students owe more than $50,000 and nearly 4 percent owe more than $100,000. Student debt grew by 284 percent from 2004 to 2013.
Many Americans view a college education as a way to build a better life. College is seen as an avenue for better prosperity and the ability to pull yourself up beyond your current circumstances. In fact, after World War II programs like the G.I. Bill allowed many Americans the opportunity to pursue a college degree. [...]
Federal Reserve ZIRP has essentially destroyed household income growth: Households headed by those 45 to 54 see their real household income growth drop by 16 percent from 1999.
The Federal Reserve has pursued a zero interest rate policy as a mechanism for pulling the US out of the financial crisis. Interestingly enough low rates and heavy speculation were part of the cocktail that led us into the crisis in the first place. Ben Bernanke recently mentioned a bit of concern that speculation is [...]
What does it mean to be retired in the United States? The age of disappearing pensions, dependence on Social Security, and stock market speculation.
A few days ago the stock market experienced a mini panic as someone hacked a reputable news source Twitter account and posted a sensational headline. The markets quickly reacted to this news. What was troubling is many algorithm-based trading systems are setup to scour internet information for these kinds of dramatic changes. Many of the [...]
Feeling rich through debt: Modern banking has replaced real economic prosperity with massive levels of debt. Housing affordability reaches multi-decade highs while household incomes retreat to 1990s levels.
One of the biggest headlines right now is how the housing market is pulling the entire market up. Housing prices are soaring while the stock market is making record highs. Yet a large portion of the housing run-up is being caused by easy money that has been created by the Federal Reserve. Banks are out-bidding [...]
Inflation in the most important things: Inflation hitting housing, tuition, and medical services. Is the Fed reinventing another debt based bubble?
Household income is a vital measure of the overall well-being for most Americans. This is why it is important to try to understand why overall household incomes are back to levels last seen in 1995. This is a critical barometer that measures the health of the US middle class. Yet we continually see the argument [...]
The young, educated, and massively in debt college generation: Total student debt outstanding approaches $1.1 trillion. 65 percent of all outstanding student debt held by those 39 and younger.
It is interesting to hear older politicians take the podium and wax and wane poetically how young Americans are not working hard enough or need to take responsibility for their actions in the current economy. The reality of the situation is the recent recession has punished the young disproportionately. The young have seen their net [...]
The $10 trillion question. The ever expanding central bank balance sheets: What does $10 trillion buy you in the market today?
The Federal Reserve has waded deep into uncharted territory. The Fed has concocted new ways of monetizing debt and allowing banks to essentially expand their balance sheets with no real repercussions to the financial sector. Of course the shrinking middle class might have something to say about this or the 47.77 million Americans on food [...]
One of the common views regarding the labor participation rate declining is that many baby boomers are retiring and leaving the work force. Unfortunately many are finding that retirement is a myth when you are broke and many will be working deep into their later years. So when we examine the numbers we actually find [...]
United States of Food Stamps: Food stamp usage has grown by 30,000,000 people since 2000. The economics of a food stamp recovery.
I was working through a few pages of Excel data regarding food stamp usage and a troubling milestone has now been breached. Since 2000, we have now added over 30,000,000 Americans to the food stamp program now labeled SNAP. What is even more difficult to understand is this number has moved up nearly unabated since [...]
The incredibly uneven recovery: Net worth of bottom 93 percent declines by $0.6 trillion while top 7 percent net worth increases by $5.6 trillion. Why? Most Americans don’t own a sizable amount of stocks and bonds.
One unique signature of this economic recovery is how narrow it is. When we look at actual wealth, the net worth figures of Americans, we see some dismal numbers. In fact, what we find really isn’t a recovery at all if we look at 93 percent of the country. Then again, with most of Congress [...]