Archive for the Economy Category

British Protester

Posted in Culture, Economy on April 7, 2009 by gyma

The Brits know how to protest, don’t they?


For the uninitiated, Fred Goodwin is/was the head of the Royal Bank of Scotland (Epic Fail).   Sir Goodwin is scheduled to get £703,000/year in pension.  The Brits aren’t taking the news sitting down.


I Feel Old

Posted in Economy, Finances on April 3, 2009 by gyma


I decided a few weeks ago that we’d spend locally the money we’re getting due to the recent tax cuts.  It’s about $66/month, so it won’t go all that far.  Tonight we went to one of the local Chinese restaurants for dinner, something we rarely do because I’d rather fix my own food.  We had 2 orders of Almond Chicken, which was a small amount of chicken and LOTS of celery served with a mound of steamed white rice plus 2 beers.   So why do I feel old?

Because the bill came to $30, which seems outrageous to me.  One of the reasons it feels outrageous is because wages have not kept up with the cost of living.  I’m earning less than $5/hour more now, after earning a B.S. and master’s degree, than I was making in the early 80s as a temporary word processor!  Granted we were living in the SF Bay area at the time, but still.  Even before moving to SF, it felt that we could afford to eat out, drive to the mountains for a day of skiing, see a movie or show, all while earning the going salary.  Gasoline was under $1/gallon, rent for a 2-bedroom apartment was $300, and utilities were $30/month.  Life was good.

Not so much now, and if I’m to believe what I’m hearing on the news, it won’t be changing any time soon.  How depressing.

Good Luck With That, America

Posted in Economy, Politics on March 20, 2009 by gyma

cartman_pissed_offMatt Taibbi posted a new article yesterday on Rolling Stone’s website and it’s probably the best article on the global financial meltdown we are currently facing.  If after reading this, you aren’t pissed off and rummaging around in your garden shed for a pitchfork, then you aren’t paying attention.

I had been willing to give Tim Geithner a bit more time to sort out the mess he inherited, but no mas.  I now believe Geithner knows exactly what he’s doing and it isn’t being done to benefit the rubes living in the sticks.  He’ll be in government for only a short time, so his loyalties have to be with the Wall Street Wizards who got us in this mess in the first place, because that is where he’ll return to make his fortune after helping himself to the country’s coffers.  In this regard he’s no different from that creep, Hank Paulson.

Just go read what Taibbi discovered.  It will leave you speechless.

If You Can…

Posted in Culture, Economy on March 18, 2009 by gyma


I’m a holiday giver.  What I mean is I save my money all year long and at the end of the year I donate as much as possible to my favorite charities.  I rarely make any donations at any other time of the year regardless of the number of requests I receive in the mail.

I’m in the process of preparing a special report at work on the state of nonprofit organizations in the county where I live and work.  The unemployment rate here is about one percentage point less than the state and still below the national average.  That doesn’t mean the residents of the county aren’t hurting, however.  One of the heart wrenching things I’m hearing repeatedly is that nonprofits are seeing many clients for the first time who have never in their lives had to ask for help.  And they are hurt and anxious by having to ask for it.  The nonprofit employees tell me they feel horrible knowing they have jobs because others are hurting.

I’m also being told that agencies are seeing an increase in demand for services between 25% and 225%.  So if you have a favorite local nonprofit and can throw them a few bucks to get through the tough times, I know the money would be greatly appreciated and go to good use.

No Incentive

Posted in Economy on March 17, 2009 by gyma

bondsNo wonder people in this country aren’t saving any money.  The financial institutions aren’t giving us much incentive to do so.

It’s been a very long time since any bank, savings and loan, or credit union gave gifts for opening up accounts, but I’m just old enough to remember that, once upon a time, they did just that.

We had a CD mature over the weekend and I’m debating what to do with it.  The renewal interest rate is more than 1% less than what we’ve been getting, and I thought the original rate was pitiful.  Why in the world should I allow a bank to have access to my money for less than 2.5% interest?!

We’ve decided to put the bulk of this money in Series I Savings Bonds because they are currently earning 5.64% interest if held for 5 years.  If you cash them in prior to the 5-year mark, you forfeit 3 months of interest.  The other benefit is that the interest is exempt from state income tax.

Where are you parking your money these days?


Posted in Economy on March 14, 2009 by gyma

dollar-signI’m pretty sure my getting an additional $66.66 per month from Obama’s tax cuts, is a clear sign of the devil.  That being the case, I’m wondering how to spend it?

I’m a saver by nature, but I’m thinking it would be helpful if I found ways to spend this extra money locally.   I don’t necessarily want to buy things but would consider using the money for experiences.  Like a massage or pedicure or maybe additional tai chi lessons.  Or maybe going out to breakfast or lunch more often.  Spread it around a bit to help locally owned business get through the downturn.

Stimulus Package Made Simple

Posted in Economy, Politics on March 12, 2009 by gyma