It’s Comparable, Comparable, Comparable

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they will be loosening the penalties they impose on mortgage originators. A deluge of mortgages defaulted during the great recession, resulting in the current regulations designed to help resist a repeat.  Much of the tougher rules govern percent of market value that can be mortgaged, income to debt […]

The Looming Retirement Income Debacle

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Many Americans are anxious as they contemplate retirement. While we might hope with optimism, reality paints a gloomy picture.  The average Social Security retirement benefit is $1,301 per month, basically the poverty level, and it is too small for a comfortable retirement. Relatively few Americans will retire with an employer pension, and some pension promises […]

War Games on Banking Cyber Attacks

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The US and the UK announced that they will conduct a banking war games exercise right after the International Monetary Fund annual meeting that just concluded.  Banking regulators are seeking confirmation that they have implemented adequate safeguards to prevent another “too big to fail” dilemma.  Their resolve is fostered by the painful and costly bailouts […]

NC Needs to Do a Better Job of Protecting Foster Parents

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Foster parents provide their time and love to protect the most vulnerable in our state. It is time for the General Assembly to help protect the foster parents. To read or print the entire op-ed, visit the Raleigh News and Observer.  For more information, contact us at info@theamericanconsumer.org.  

High Expectations for Mobile Wallet

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Consumers have a love-hate relationship with credit cards. We love not having to walk around with a brick of dollars to cover purchases we often didn’t know we needed.  But we hate having to make a minimum payment or clear the balance on the credit card billing statement.  In the background there’s concern that the […]

What’s Behind Declining Labor Force Participation?

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Since employment declined dramatically in 2008, there has been acute interest in the so-called labor force “participation rate.” When employment began climbing out of the Great Recession trough in 2010, that progress seemed to be sabotaged by troubling decreases in the rate. Many questioned aloud why American workers were leaving the labor force. A cluster […]

Growing Market of Last Resort

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The Ferguson riots and resulting damage are a sad reminder of the race riots in the 1960s.  Once the rioting and destruction subsides, the difficult process of rebuilding begins.  Following the riots in the 1960s, property owners in urban regions had trouble obtaining financing to rebuild due to the lack of insurance.  Insurance companies were […]

More Price Regulations = More Costs for Consumers

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Becki Gray of the John Locke Institute, the leading think tank in North Carolina, just posted an interesting piece that discusses an analysis that ACI did some years ago.  The analysis shows that as automobile insurance price regulation increases so do the costs that consumers pay.  That irony should give us pause and resolve in knowing […]

Before the Financial Plan for Retirement

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Much of the discussion on retirement comes in publications that focus on the best tools, investments and advisors for managing your retirement nest egg.  Those are important, but more important as a first step is to establish your choices on what you want to do during retirement and when retirement should start. For most, a […]

Navigating the Maze of Homeowner Insurance

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Approximately 40% of the US population lives in a coastal county, and that percentage is expected to continue to increase over the next decade.  Their homes are often high value and face greater risks than properties further inland. According to the recent Storm Surge Report by CoreLogic, over 6.5 million homes along the Atlantic and […]