Valentine's day is creeping closer…a big day to celebrate abiding love or seal the deal on a new one with a diamond engagement ring. And now for the wet blanket: diamond debt. You know that whole two months salary for an engagement ring calculus? It’s tradition, right? Not really. Diamonds were not associated with romance until the Debeers Diamond Company began marketing them for engagement rings in the 1930s. Debeer’s "Diamonds Are Forever" campaign remains one of the most successful of the 20th century. So, young men still march into jewelry shops prepared to spend…and retailers have plenty of financing available for those who don’t have money up front. Gerri Detweiler, is the director of consumer education for Credit.com, and she recently wrote a blog post about the common credit traps diamond buyers fall into.
When the recession began, Americans started pinching their pennies and repaying debt, causing some to speculate that consumers might permanently abandon their free-spending ways. But now, Americans are again loosening their purse-strings. We’ll look at how and why our saving habits change and how these variations affect the larger economy.
We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn't always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money.
Until this week, New Yorker Andrew Schiff's personal finances were his own personal business. That changed last Wednesday when Schiff — communications and marketing director at the Wall Street brokerage firm Euro Pacific Capital — was featured in a Bloomberg article about how smaller bonuses are leaving Wall Street workers strapped for cash.
We talk to the author of a new book who says that Americans spend too much, save too little and borrow excessively and that we might look to countries in Europe and East Asia, where governments encourage thrift and saving rates are much higher. We’ll examine the financial habits of people on three continents over two centuries and what we might learn from it.
Sheldon Garon - Professor of History at Princeton University and author of “Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves”
Turn on the news on any given day, and you're likely to hear about the Dow Jones industrial average. It is the most frequently checked, and cited, proxy of U.S. economic health. But a lot of people — maybe most — don't even know what it is. It's just the stock prices of 30 big companies, summed up and roughly averaged. That's it.
And what does the daily movement of this number have to do with the lives of most Americans? Not much.