FIRE Economy | timiacono.com

More Retirees at Risk

Via this Marketwatch story detailing the latest U.S. retirement survey data comes the chart below depicting how less than half of U.S. retirees will be able to maintain their standard of living after they pick up their golden watch and their last paycheck.

Of course, one easy solution to this worsening problem is to lower your standard of living (i.e., spend less) while you’re working so that the transition into your golden years is much easier, but that’s kind of an un-American thing to do.

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A Dovish Fed? The Same, Just Different

I’m still catching up on what happened today at the Fed meeting that resulted in stocks turning in their best day of the year. Apparently, stock traders liked what they said.

After looking at the photo above from this Marketwatch story, clearly, a lot of people have placed a lot of trust in a lot of white-haired economists at the Fed.

UPDATE: OK, I’ve read a bit about what went on today and this WSJ item does a good job of detailing the tortured semantics that necessitated a title change above.

Wither Russia? Oo-Yeh!

John McCain’s quip that Russia is “a gas station masquerading as a country” appears to be more true every day as a failed attempt to prop up the ruble with a rate hike from 10.5 percent to 17 percent is now seen by FOREX markets as sign of desperation rather than strength, leading to more selling of the ruble as the oil price continues to move lower.

This Washington Post story put the two side-by-side as shown below (does anyone care about Ukraine anymore?) as they detailed how doomed the Russian economy is.

According to this Moscow Times report, the Russian people may already be adapting to the new currency realities – as they did in the 1990s – via the reintroduction of:

the u.e. — which stands for the Russian words “uslovnaya yedinitsa,” or “conditional unit” and is pronounced “oo-yeh”

This is a currency unit pegged to the dollar aimed at keeping retailers from having to replace price tags on a daily (if not hourly) basis. About the only thing that seems certain at this point is that this will probably get worse before it gets better.

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And … the Big Banks Win Again

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) details the ongoing, outsized influence that big Wall Street banks have on the Washington D.C. sausage factory as another last-minute provision favoring said big banks is inserted into a “must-pass” spending bill last week.

Also see Matt Taibbi’s take on the further dilution of the Dodd-Frank financial market reform (a.k.a. the “Citigroup provision”) and Ms. Warren at Rolling Stone.

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