Weekly Review: Jobs, Letterman, 401ks & Gold!

  • What did you miss?

    It can be hard to keep track of all the week's top financial news stories. Uncle Sam considered a job creation tax credit, consumers reduced their debt, Burger King got a face-lift, and the dollar went on a ride! MainStreet reminds you of the week's top stories, right here, right now. Photo Credit: pingu1963
    When Banks Call, Government Listens?
  • When Banks Call, Government Listens?

    Is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at "the beck and call" of the major banks? As the Huffington Post noted, Bill Moyers asked on his show: "Treasury Secretary Geithner is on the phone several times a day with a select group of very powerful Wall Street bankers, especially Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs. He will talk to them when Members of Congress have to leave a message on the answering machine. And these are the bankers who helped bring on this calamity and who are now benefiting from it. What does that say to you?"Photo Credit: Sam Ruaat
    Consumers reduced debt
  • Consumers reduced debt

    The Associated Press reported that "U.S. consumers reduced their borrowing for the seventh straight month in August, as households worked to pay off debt and banks reduced credit card limits." Keep paying down those credit card balances. Great work, America! High-five. Photo Credit: thetruthabout
    Housing market still falling?
  • Housing market still falling?

    Reuters reported that "doomsday" economist Nouriel Roubini sees tough times still ahead for the U.S. housing market. Why do we care what he thinks? Because he was one of the few leading economists who actually predicted the economic meltdown... always impressive to get something right! "U.S. housing prices may still fall more than 10 percent," according to the story. Photo Credit: jsome1
    The King gets classy
  • The King gets classy

    Consumerist reported on Burger King's (Stock Quote: BKC) brand make-over plan: "In its latest effort to take the burger experience to a higher level — and win back consumers who've migrated to 'fast casual' restaurants — Burger King is remodeling more of its eateries to include what His Highness describes as a 'contemporary industrial palette of metallic and black accents, complemented by finishes that resemble brick and concrete.' But will the fancy new look, which was relaunched this week in Amsterdam, get customers to eat more Whoppers?" Contemporary industrial palette? You're trying too hard. Just send me a Whopper discount coupon and I'm there. Photo Credit: Burger King Corporation
    Dollar gets slammed, gold up
  • Dollar gets slammed, gold up

    Bloomberg reported that the dollar has dropped to its lowest level since August 2008. But that is good news for gold investors: gold rocketed to record highs this week, going above $1,060-an-ounce at one point. Photo Credit: Photos8.com
    Dollar recovers!
  • Dollar recovers!

    Things change! So fast they do, young Padawan. Even though the media was obsessively focused on the "decline" of the dollar, this morning a number of stories came out talking about how the dollar is already clawing its way back. The Associated Press reported that "the dollar edged up against other currencies" and "recovered some of its recent losses." So maybe you shouldn't trade in for Euros just yet. Photo Credit: redjar
    Amazon lowers Kindle pricing
  • Amazon lowers Kindle pricing

    Amazon.com (Stock Quote: AMZN) lowered the price for its e-book reader, the Kindle, earlier this week. You can now get one for the low, low price of $259. Will consumers bite? Maybe so: PC World reports the price cut "will help boost sales of eBook readers significantly for 2009, according to a new study by Forrester Research." Photo Credit: ezola
    David Letterman's advertisers staying
  • David Letterman's advertisers staying

    We've all heard about late-night talk show host David Letterman's recent "sextortion" problems. Regardless of what individual viewers may think of the situation, the show's sponsors are not fleeing, according to The New York Times. The story notes that the Walt Disney Company (Stock Quote: DIS) is still advertising its parks and resorts on the program: "If so squeaky clean a marketer seemingly has no qualms about wishing upon a star like Mr. Letterman after last week’s events, it is unlikely other advertisers would — barring, agency executives and media experts say, any disturbing or scandalous additional disclosures." Photo Credit: Sultancillo
    401(k) portfolios battered, but not dead
  • 401(k) portfolios battered, but not dead

    American workers' 401(k) accounts took a hit last year. The Wall Street Journal reported that the "average balance dropped 24% in 2008, according to a study of accounts held by six million workers who consistently participated in a 401(k) plan from 2003 through 2008, by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute." Photo Credit: bluemodern
    Government looking to spur job creation
  • Government looking to spur job creation

    "The idea of a tax credit for companies that create new jobs, something the federal government has not tried since the 1970s, is gaining support among economists and Washington officials grappling with the highest unemployment in a generation," The New York Times reported. The story says that this plan has some bi-partisan support; politicians on both sides of the aisle want to get voters back to work, as soon as possible. Elections coming up, after all... Tick-tock. Photo Credit: walkadog
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