Money Matters - Simplified


Economic Outlook: The new bad

President Barack Obama at a college near Albany, N.Y., assailed large banks for protecting a student loan subsidy Congress has voted to discontinue.

The bill, which is headed to the Senate, would save $80 billion in federal subsidies given to banks each year to provide loans to students, Obama said.

"The thing is the government also guarantees the loans in case the students don't repay. So, we're subsidizing banks to take on the risk of lending money to students even though the taxpayers are absorbing the risk, anyway," Obama said at the Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y.

Consumer credit tumbles by a record amount in July

Washington, September 9 -- Indicating that a recovery from the unrelenting economic recession may still be a distant dream, Federal Reserve’s data revealed that consumers in the United States borrowed a record $21.6 billion less from financial institutions in the month of July.

Giving China the Silent Treatment

Things continue to worsen in the relationship between Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto (NYSE: RTP) and the big Chinese steelmakers. The relationship has descended to a cessation of negotiations concerning prices for iron ore -- a key element in the manufacture of steel. The round of negotiations began months ago and now appears to have been brought to a screeching halt.

USEC Recoils After Loan Falls Through

In late March, I called out USEC (NYSE: USU) for running some "fluff" PR proclaiming that customers like Exelon (NYSE: EXC)
were just itching to take planned uranium fuel production off the
enricher's hands. Standing in the way of this rosy future, however, was
an uncertain $2 billion loan application with the Department of Energy.

As Loans Shrink, Which Banks Are Winning?

Last week, an audit by the TARP program's government watchdog suggested
that a wide majority (83%) of banks that have received TARP investments
had, in fact, put some of the funds to work by lending them out. That
may well be true, but recently released second-quarter results show
that the amount of total loans at the largest banks -- all TARP
recipients -- fell during the period:

Meet the Dividend Achievers

If you're looking for dividend-paying stocks, you need to know the Dividend Achievers.

Fool Poll: Best Smartphone Investment

If you haven't checked into the world of cellular gadgets since buying that Motorola (NYSE: MOT) RAZR, you've fallen a bit behind.

ESPN Makes Disney Look Cheap

The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won a record 72 games during their 82-game season, completely dominating their league. As an investor, I'm searching for companies that own their markets as thoroughly as the Bulls conquered the NBA. In the business world, Disney (NYSE: DIS) subsidiary ESPN might just be a valid parallel to that mighty Michael Jordan-led dynasty.

The RIAA's Win Is Yet Another Loss

It's another pyrrhic victory for the music industry.

7 Stocks That Could Cause Permanent Losses

In a recent research note to clients, Societe Generale investment strategist James Montier identified 42 stocks worldwide that he believes threaten investors with a permanent loss of capital.