Marty Allen, American comedian, holding wallet with six cards extended in accordion fashion. Visible from top to bottom are "Diner's Club", "Hilton", "American Express", and "Biltmore/Barkley" credit cards; Social Security card, and "American Federation of Television and Radio Artists" union card.

US credit card debt is up or down, depending upon media source

If you’ve ever felt like you’re getting mixed messages from the media when it comes to how the U.S. is handling its consumer debt, you aren’t alone. Bankrate cites a recent report by CreditKarma.com that notes that U.S. consumer credit card debt was down 8 percent from December 2011 to January 2012. Yet according to
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit at the 2012 Davos World Economic Forum.

Fed reveals Citigroup, three other banks failed stress test

Results are in on the latest round of bank stress tests conducted by the Federal Reserve. According to the Associated Press, 15 of 19 large banks subjected to the most recent stress test passed. That means that four major U.S. banks – Citigroup, SunTrust, MetLife and Ally Financial – failed to amass enough capital to

Unnecessary medical tests costing Americans billions

The cost of health care and the struggle to improve the nation’s health care infrastructure has been central to a lot of turmoil over the past couple of years. Part of the problem is that people could be paying for unnecessary medical tests to the tune of billions per year. Hospitals giving out testing on
A male toddler is at the playground, wearing a black-and-white Misfits band T-shirt.

How to cheaply entertain a toddler or a small gaggle of toddlers

Providing stimulating and frugal toddler entertainment can be a challenge for any parent. Creativity is a must, but sometimes, it pays to have a bag of tricks for those days when nothing else is working. The key is to always keep them busy so they don’t have time to get in trouble — it is
Fragment of an ancient Icelandic tapestry depicting two men carrying a funeral casket.

Icelandic Revolution the US has not the balls to cover or follow

When financial disaster struck the U.S. economy in 2008, the entire country of Iceland went bankrupt. Since 2008, however, Iceland has bounced back in a big way, while America continues to wallow in its financial industry’s own greed-laden filth. Unlike any protest movement in the U.S., the Icelandic Revolution appears to have affected lasting change.
Same sex marriage

Same sex marriage could help boost the economy

President Obama made history Wednesday afternoon when he announced that his attitude on same-sex marriage had “evolved” into support. While the legalization of gay marriage is the domain of the individual states at this time, should it be adopted nationally it could, according to some experts, do much to boost the sluggishly recovering economy. Potential
help wanted ads

Decoding the jargon in help wanted ads

Have you ever read a job ad that didn’t use one of the following phrases: “out of the box,” “fast-paced work environment,” “detail-oriented,” “self starter” or “team player”? A recent Fortune piece offers straightforward, if somewhat cynical, interpretations of those shop-worn phrases to alert job-seekers to red flags about potential employers. Jargon can mean mean
Dave Camp

IRS over-taxed to juggle healthcare, GOP says

The Supreme Court’s decision last month to uphold nearly all of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Health Care Act will task the Internal Revenue Service beyond its normal duties of tax collection. Starting in 2014, it will be responsible for collecting proofs of insurance, as well as penalizing those who choose not to acquire it. Largest
Today these imitation guns are forbidden in Germany. This one shoots small white bullets (about 2mm in diameter). It doesn't necessarily hurt when you are hit from a shot, but it's not completely non dangerous. There's a special sarcasm in this picture: The text on the paper below the weapon says "Hints for successful working at the upper stage school."

South Dakota to allow teachers with guns

The public outcry over school shootings has remained at a fever pitch since the Dec. 14, 2012, tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Increased gun control has been on the minds of many, but South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard appears to have something else in mind. On Friday, Daugaard signed into law a
Iceberg

Take mortgage rate reports with mountain of salt

There are continuous reports in the news about a new average mortgage rate, usually once or twice a week and so on. Some people might think “oh my gosh, I gotta go out and buy a house now because loans are cheaper” but it is nowhere near that simple. New mortgage rate report out There’s
Gold

Government fraud investigations prompts major gold buyer to close

About two months after a major investigative report by CBS news, a major gold buyer has shut its doors after passing bad checks among other bad behavior. The gold buyer in question, THR and Associates, is under investigation by state and federal authorities for fraud. All that glitters is not a gold buyer In the
The Last Picture Show

Does digital technology The Last Picture Show for movie theaters?

I have heard and read that movie theaters are hearing their death-knell  a multiplex worth of times. The general argument is that DVDs, Blu-Rays, Redbox and especially streaming video, will put them all out of business once and for all. However, they still remain, and I believe they will be around as long as people
Foreclosure sign

Tax liens costing people homes for small amounts of back taxes

A number of people nationwide are losing their homes to tax liens, held against their homes for owed property taxes. A recent report by the National Consumer Law Center found some people are getting evicted for owing as little as a few hundred dollars. NCLC finds tax liens getting homeowners unfairly foreclosed on It is
Complaints

New CFPB website lets consumers name names

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, nearly a year old now, has from the start cited transparency as one of its goals for the financial services industry. Tuesday, amid much protest from the finance industry, it launched a tell-all site where consumers can post their complaints. Credit cards targeted first At first, the Consumer Complaint Database
Southwest

Should airlines be able to tell travelers what to wear?

Air travelers has been forced to jump through a variety of unpleasant hoops in recent years. Fist, it was the beefed-up security following 911, leading to shoe inspections, controversial x-ray screenings and the like. Then the proliferation of nagging, undisclosed added fees. Now, apparently, you’d better make sure what you are wearing passes muster, too,
An auction sign in the window of a house after foreclosure

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac foreclosures cost tax payers billions

Fannie Mae foreclosures are swamping the nation’s largest mortgage buyer. Fannie Mae reported an $11.5 billion loss in the first quarter of 2010. Fannie Mae stock has been in freefall. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae’s little brother, lost more than $6.7 billion. Monday, Fannie Mae asked the U.S. Treasury for an infusion of $8.4 billion. Together,