Keyword: consumers

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Consumers, businesses, and CEOs are all loving life since Trump's election

    12/08/2016 9:39:52 PM PST · by Mr. Mojo · 15 replies
    Business Insider via AOL ^ | Dec 8th 2016 | Bob Bryan
    Americans from all corners of the economy seem to be enjoying the conditions a lot more since the election of Donald Trump. Nearly every measure of consumer, business, or executive confidence has gained in the month since the election according to Michelle Meyer, chief US economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "The data clearly show that consumers, investors, and business CEOs have all become more optimistic since the election," wrote Meyer in a note to clients on Thursday. Everything from regional manufacturing indexes to consumer confidence surveys to investor sentiment have ticked up since November 8. The only survey...
  • Oof: U.S. GDP growth a horrendous 0.5 percent in 2016 1Q

    04/28/2016 8:58:02 AM PDT · by Sean_Anthony · 11 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | 04/28/16 | Dan Calabrese
    The new normal: The economy is not good. The economy has not been good for the entire Obama presidency Businesses aren’t spending money. Neither are consumers. And while the unemployment rate is made to look good, record low labor-force participation tells a different story. The economy is not good. The economy has not been good for the entire Obama presidency. And while Democrats hope we’re getting used to horrendous news like this, we shouldn’t be: The U.S. economy grew at its slowest pace in roughly 2 years, climbing just 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2016.
  • Loving Our Stuff, but Hating the People Who Sell It to Us

    03/20/2016 10:38:54 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 90 replies
    National Review ^ | 03/20/2016 | Kevin Williamson
    There is a popular website called Uncrate, which is the 21st-century version of the old Sears, Roebuck catalogue, i.e., consumer-goods porn, a resource for stylish young men with excess liquid assets who require suggestions for ways of being relieved of that burden. On Friday, the featured product was the Vollebak Baker Miller “relaxation hoodie,” a garment in “Baker Miller Pink,” a color believed to have psychoactive qualities that, according to Uncrate, “activate your parasympathetic nervous system and calm you down.” The hoodie also features “a mesh visor, vents that encourage breathing through your nose, and asymmetrical pockets designed like slings...
  • 10 things to never buy again

    02/16/2016 1:28:44 PM PST · by Responsibility2nd · 107 replies
    Market Watch ^ | 02/16/2016
     1. Cable TVThough cable providers still have plenty of subscribers — roughly 101 million Americans, in 2015, according to research firm IBISWorld — those numbers are declining.2. Name-brand razorbladesAmericans love their Gillette razorblades — so much so that the shaving giant controls nearly 70% of the nearly $13 billion shaving industry ...3. Bottled waterWho would pay $2 for what amounts to a bottle of tap water?4. Credit monitoring services and identity theft insuranceThe year 2015 saw more than 732 data breaches as of Dec. 8, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center — with more than 176 million records...
  • Coal in the cross hairs [ Colorado ]

    07/12/2015 5:36:48 PM PDT · by george76 · 14 replies
    Grand Junction Media ^ | July 11, 2015 | Dennis Webb
    Most of the 1.5 million electricity consumers served by the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association probably don’t think about it. But when they wake up and flip on their light switches each morning, they can thank in significant part Tri-State’s Craig Station power plant in Moffat County, the second largest in Colorado. And that power plant can operate only thanks to hundreds of local workers digging in, not just figuratively at the plant itself, but literally at the two area surface mines — Colowyo and Trapper — that provide the plant’s coal. ... With 220 people working at Colowyo, some...
  • Even Amidst Low Oil Prices, Staying the Course Will Ultimately Benefit Consumers, Producers

    02/11/2015 5:24:48 PM PST · by Kaslin · 1 replies ^ | February 11, 2015 | David Holt
    In less than a decade, the one-time feeble U.S. energy sector has accomplished a record-breaking 180-degree turnaround thanks to advancements in new technologies. In fact, at the current rate, the nation is likely to hit production marks not seen since the 1970s. As such, we now live in a more energy self-sufficient nation, one that is inching closer every day to energy independence. While we utilize roughly 25 percent of the world’s oil on a daily basis, about 40 percent of the petroleum we consume is imported, down from 60 percent not too long ago. Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has...
  • California consumers say duped by Blue Shield´s limited Obamacare plans

    05/15/2014 7:57:06 PM PDT · by Nachum · 40 replies
    Reuters ^ | 5/15/14 | Terry Baynes
    Consumers who purchased new health plans from Blue Shield of California have sued the insurer, claiming they were misled into thinking the insurance would cover their desired doctors and hospitals. In their complaint filed in California state court on Wednesday, San Francisco residents John Harrington and Alex Talon accused Blue Shield of misrepresenting that their plans, sold on California´s health exchange, would cover the full provider network advertised on the company´s website. They sued on behalf of a class of people who had purchased so-called "preferred provider organization" plans from the insurer only to realize that the doctor and hospital
  • Credit Card Use Is Imprisoning Fewer Americans

    05/02/2014 3:43:59 AM PDT · by Enterprise · 28 replies
    Main St. ^ | May 1, 2014 | Ellen Chang
    NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Americans are relying less on their credit cards now, and more consumers are able to pay their balance in full each month, according to a recent Gallup poll. The poll found that in 2014 48% of Americans always pay the balance of their credit card each month compared to 42% who paid them in full in 2006 and only 43% in 2008 during the Great Recession. Now only 33% of credit card owners say they leave a balance each month, which is a record low since Gallup began measuring these habits in 2001.
  • Consumers Get $10B In Subsidies For Health Coverage, Study Finds

    04/01/2014 1:11:49 PM PDT · by Nachum · 15 replies
    Kaiser Health News ^ | 4/1/14 | Jenny Gold
    Americans have already qualified for about $10 billion in tax credits to help them purchase private health insurance this year through the Affordable Care Act, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) That’s an average of $2,890 for each of the 3.5 million people who qualified for a subsidy as of March 1 — about 83 percent of those who enrolled in an exchange plan. But four of five Americans who could qualify for a subsidy hadn’t applied for coverage by that date. And sign-up rates varied greatly by...
  • Is the Banana Slipping Away?

    03/16/2014 8:50:50 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 31 replies ^ | March 16, 2014 | Steve Chapman
    Some people lie awake nights worrying about terrorist attacks, giant asteroids crashing into the Earth or war with Russia. I can slumber peacefully through those perils. What causes me to wake up screaming is the banana blight. To say I'm favorably inclined toward bananas is like saying Miley Cyrus has overcome her inhibitions. I have an unbroken record of eating two bananas a day that stretches back to the Johnson administration. Two is the bare minimum I regard as necessary to sustain life. I'm not ashamed to say there are days when I've gone through five. After that I stop...
  • Consumers Hit With Surprise Tax in Obamacare Premium

    02/26/2014 6:38:55 PM PST · by markomalley · 21 replies
    Fiscal Times ^ | 2/26/2014 | Brianna Ehley
    Obamacare isn't just impacting the uninsured. Americans who already had health coverage before the Affordable Care Act will likely pay more this year and even more in the years to come. Insurance companies, faced with new Obamacare fees and taxes meant to help fund the law, are planning to pass along the added costs to consumers. This includes the multibillion-dollar annual “Insurance Providers Fee,” which took effect in January and is assessed to each company based on its share of annual premiums collected by the entire industry. This new fee is expected to raise $8 billion this year and more...
  • Is Consumer Spending Hurting From More Than Bad Weather?

    02/25/2014 10:38:20 AM PST · by John W · 22 replies ^ | February 25, 2014 | Meghan Foley
    The weather may have improved across much of the United States last week, but retail sales did not. Following the release of January’s retail sales figure from the Department of Commerce on February 14, the concern was that the frigid weather experienced by much of the country that month depressed consumer spending. Retail sales totaled $427.8 billion last month, a decline of 0.4 percent, while December’s sales figure was downwardly revised from 0.2 percent gain to a 0.1 percent drop, making January the second consecutive month of negative growth. But while many economists have cited the poor weather as the...
  • Giving up on Washington (Salena Zito)

    02/24/2014 9:41:23 AM PST · by neverdem · 12 replies
    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | February 23, 2014 | Salena Zito
    MINGO JUNCTION, Ohio The roar is gone. Five years after Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel's once-thunderous mill went idle, the only sound here is that of the oldest parts of the plant being dismantled. The demolition began about a day or so before a red carpet rolled out at the White House for a state dinner featuring a dress worn by the first lady that cost more than the salary of a police officer in this town. The demolition still was going on last Wednesday, at the same time that Vice President Joe Biden boasted about the positive impact that the American Recovery...
  • Medicare posts hospitals' 'clean and dirty laundry' on Hospital Compare website

    01/20/2014 4:53:15 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 11 replies
    Post and Courier ^ | 1-20-14 | Lauren Sausser
    Patients can make choices about which hospital they use based on many factors, including advertisements on billboards and signs on the back of city buses. While annual hospital rankings published in magazines like U.S. News & World Report and Consumer Reports offer conflicting advice on the best places to seek treatment, plain-and-simple geography can also matter. So do health insurance networks and recommendations from friends or physicians. “How does the consumer know which to believe?” said Dr. Todd Shuman, vice president and chief quality officer for Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “Should they believe this, or should they believe this? Or...
  • Obamacare warning: Don't be fooled by scammers who want to trick consumers (Congress?)

    09/28/2013 8:59:20 AM PDT · by Libloather · 5 replies
    NJ ^ | 9/26/13 | Karin Price Mueller
    The phone rings. The caller says he's a rep from a government agency. "We need to verify some information to make sure you get the coverage you're entitled to under the Affordable Care Act," the caller says. You know big insurance changes are coming, but they’re not coming like this. **SNIP** “(The fake sites) may contain the actual seal of the real insurance exchanges, but likely simply exist to load malware onto your computer or collect your personal information,” said Emily Peters of Practice Fusion, a San Francisco-based electronic health records company.
  • (European) Commission urged to protect consumers against ‘IP tracking’

    09/07/2013 7:51:17 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 06 September 2013
    MEPs have called on the European Commission to protect consumers’ privacy and personal data online by regulating the so-called “IP-tracking” systems of some commercial Internet sites, a move Brussels has so far abstained from but might be forced to reconsider given the mood in some member states. Holidaymakers looking for cheap flights abroad over the weekend may have noticed that on some websites, the prices tend to go up at each visit. One perfectly legal explanation is that there are fewer seats available. But that is not always the case. As French daily Le Monde’s consumers’ protection blog “SOS Conso”...
  • Killing the Golden Goose

    07/21/2013 12:46:44 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 31 replies ^ | July 21, 2013 | Rich Tucker
    Whether or not you shop at Wal-Mart, you’ve already benefitted from the mega-retailer’s ceaseless efforts to cut prices. A 2005 study found that the nationwide expansion of the store had driven down everyone’s cost for food-at-home, commodities and overall consumer products. Competition among retailers drives down prices for all shoppers. Meanwhile, by one estimate, Wal-Mart saved consumers at its stores a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2006. And that was several dozen price cuts ago. But you need to live near one to benefit directly. And in our nation’s capital, many residents could be denied the opportunity to shop...
  • Labor Dept. to Ask Consumers to Identify Businesses Who Treat 'Their Workers Fairly and Lawfully'

    07/11/2013 2:50:15 PM PDT · by Nachum · 58 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | 7/11/13 | JERYL BIER
    As the Department of Labor (DOL) celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act this year, the department is sponsoring a Smartphone app contest to help consumers identify businesses who treat "their workers fairly and lawfully." The DOL requests [emphasis added] that contestants: develop a smartphone application that will transform the way the public is able to use departmental enforcement data. By providing consumers with information at their fingertips about which businesses have treated their workers fairly and lawfully, the creator of this application will help empower consumers to make informed choices about where to bring their business....
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Collected Your Data & Shared It While You Were Distracted

    06/28/2013 8:06:11 AM PDT · by EXCH54FE · 5 replies
    Freedom Outpost ^ | June 28, 2013 | Suzanne Hamner
    Well America, it has continued to get piled higher and deeper. There was Benghazi – but wait, Congress doesn’t have time to fully investigate to find individuals responsible and hold them accountable; so, it’s swept under the rug. Congress can’t deal with Fast and Furious effectively; it goes the way of the dust on top of the door jamb: you know it’s there but can’t see it so forget about it. While the immigration bill, the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the racially charged Zimmerman case had the focus...
  • Consumer Sentiment Slips in Early June

    06/14/2013 8:43:03 AM PDT · by mykroar ^ | 6/14/2013 | Reuters
    U.S. consumer sentiment retreated this month after reaching its highest in nearly six years in May, a survey released on Friday showed, as household optimism about employment and housing faded slightly. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment fell to 82.7 in June, below a near six-year high of 84.5 in May. Economists polled by Reuters had expected it to hold at 84.5 this month. June's reading, however, was the second highest in the last eight months, suggesting Americans were far from gloomy about their long-term prospects. While the barometer of current economic...
  • JPMORGAN: The 'Slowdown In Consumer Spending Has Arrived'

    03/05/2013 11:49:07 AM PST · by blam · 7 replies
    TBI ^ | 3-5-2013 | Matthew Boesler
    JPMORGAN: The 'Slowdown In Consumer Spending Has Arrived' Matthew BoeslerMarch 3, 2013TheRealMichaelMoore / Flickr Last week's release of personal spending data revealed that spending rose 0.2 percent in February, at the same pace as in January. When adjusted for inflation, though, the data are less encouraging. In a note to clients, JPMorgan economist Robert Mellman declares that the "consumer spending slowdown is here," saying consumers are beginning to feel the effects of the payroll tax cut expiry and rising gas prices. Mellman writes: Slowdown in consumer spending has arrived: The first-round effects of the tax increases should mainly affect consumer...
  • 'Obamacare' saves consumers nearly $1.5 billion

    12/05/2012 6:06:24 PM PST · by Nachum · 115 replies
    L.A. Times ^ | 12/5/12
    Washington — Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama´s healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings — an estimated $1.1 billion — came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law. In some cases, insurers passed savings...
  • Does anyone have experience with NeatDesk?

    09/28/2012 7:21:51 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 45 replies
    vanity | 9-28-12 | self
    First of all, I apologize for posting a vanity, but I have a serious question for the technology buffs on FRee Republic. Has anyone here had any experience with the scanner and OCR conversion software called NeatDesk? I am considering buying one of these digital filing devices, to clear the clutter, but I don't know how difficult it will be to actually produce reports for taxes, etc. from this device. How does it find dates, titles, and other data points from a scanned document, especially when they are all so different and the info is found in different places on...
  • Obama's Sneaky, Deadly, Costly Car Tax

    08/29/2012 4:12:23 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 53 replies ^ | August 29, 2012 | Michelle Malkin
    While all eyes were on the Republican National Convention in Tampa and Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast, the White House was quietly jacking up the price of automobiles and putting future drivers at risk. Yes, the same cast of fable-tellers who falsely accused GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of murdering a steelworker's cancer-stricken wife is now directly imposing a draconian environmental regulation that will cost untold American lives. On Tuesday, the administration announced that it had finalized "historic" new fuel efficiency standards. (Everything's "historic" with these narcissists, isn't it?) President Obama took a break from his historic fundraising drives...
  • To Fix Health Care System, Put Consumers in Charge

    07/06/2012 8:46:30 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 7 replies ^ | July 6, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen
    Democrats were riding high in the polls in 2006 and 2008, and one of their big issues was health care. Then, after passing the president's health care law, the politics shifted, and the issue helped sweep the GOP to victory in the 2010 midterm elections. A few months later, Republicans had a 14-point advantage in terms of voter trust on the health care issue. Then, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan introduced his health care plan, and the lead disappeared. Neither party has an advantage on the issue now. President Obama's plan is unpopular, and most want to see it repealed. Ryan's...
  • Retail sales fizzle. Are consumers tapped out?

    07/05/2012 1:23:30 PM PDT · by Signalman · 23 replies
    CFP ^ | 7/5/2012 | Paul R. La Monica
    The annual Macy's 4th of July fireworks show in New York City provided the usual oohs and ahhs. But the pyrotechnics were quickly replaced by a dud of a June sales report from Macy's Thursday morning. Macy's (M) said that sales at stores open at least a year, the most widely watched measure of health in retailing, were up just 1.2% from a year ago. Analysts were expecting so-called same-store sales growth of 2.3% according to But the tone of Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren makes the sales miss even more alarming. In a press release Thursday, Lundgren described the...
  • Eliminate the Mortgage Interest Deduction Now

    06/18/2012 9:48:44 AM PDT · by Shout Bits · 151 replies
    Shout Bits Blog ^ | 06/18/2012 | Shout Bits
    Shout Bits has argued that the Mortgage Interest Deduction is not so helpful to regular Americans, but with interest rates at historic lows, now is the time to eliminate this market distortion. Not only does the MID encourage buying unaffordable homes and promote market bubbles, the primary beneficiaries are wealthy individuals as large banks. Eliminating this deduction would actually help most ordinary homeowners. For 2012, a couple filing jointly can claim an $11,900 standard deduction, even if they have no otherwise deductible expenses like mortgage interest. Therefore, the first $11,900 in mortgage interest paid by such a couple generates no...
  • Consumer Blinks as "Consumer Comfort" Collapses Most In 4 Years

    05/17/2012 7:42:36 AM PDT · by Jim from C-Town · 9 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | May, 17, 2012 | Tyler Durden
    We have seen three very loud and very clear messages this week on the state of the US consumer's mind. After a few months of extravagance, on the back of what can only be described as depression-fatigue, reality is biting once again. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index just missed expectations by its greatest amount in three years and has plunged over the last 5 weeks by the most in four years - dropping back to four-month lows. Do these two messages explain the catastrophe that is JCP's results this quarter? We suspect so as the outlook for the economy (sub-index)...
  • Zoning the ocean

    04/17/2012 8:10:48 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 17 replies
    Human Events ^ | 4-17-12 | Audrey Hudson
    President Barack Obama has an ambitious plan for Washington bureaucrats to take command of the oceans—and with it control over much of the nation’s energy, fisheries, even recreation in a move described by lawmakers as the ultimate power grab to zone the seas. The massive undertaking also includes control over key inland waterways and rivers that reach hundreds of miles upstream, and began with little fanfare when Obama signed an executive order in 2010 to protect the aquatic environment. “This one to me could be the sleeping power grab that Americans will wake up to one day and wonder what...
  • ‘Karma’: $107k plug-in hybrid dies on test track, automaker got $528m US loan guarantee

    03/11/2012 4:13:44 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 35 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 3-9-12 | David Martosko
    The Fisker Karma is a plug-in hybrid car that seems to have everything the rich and famous — and environmentally correct — look for in a set of wheels. Sleek silhouette? Check. Green cred? Check. Six-figure price tag? Check. Reliable battery? Not so fast. In a test conducted Wednesday by Consumer Reports magazine, the niche-market $107,850 sports car conked out completely, after a short ride at 65 miles per hour on a Connecticut test track. “Our Fisker Karma … is super sleek, high-tech — and now it’s broken,” Consumer Reports wrote on its website late Thursday. “We have owned our...
  • Shining A Light on Crony Capitalism

    12/22/2011 3:08:38 AM PST · by IBD editorial writer · 3 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 12/21/11 | IBD Editorials
    When Republicans suspended the 100-watt-light-bulb ban, they said they were trying to protect consumer choice. But they also managed to show how regulations help big business at the expense of the little guy.
  • Triple Lutz Report--Black Friday Unrest Escalates

    11/27/2011 6:23:59 AM PST · by appeal2 · 17 replies ^ | 11-27-11 | Kerry Lutz
    Record numbers of Americans found themselves stuck in Black Friday mob scenes across the country. There were reports of shootings, pepper sprayings, riots and a lot of bad behavior. As said, "Look what's happening when people are trying to save $20, can you imagine what it will be like when millions of people don't know where their next meal is coming from?" This orgy of consumerism seems to bring out the worst in people. Understanding why is beyond the scope of this report, however, it seems to be indicative of a larger problem that is confronting the country and...
  • U.S. retail sales jump 1.1% in September

    10/14/2011 6:02:04 AM PDT · by Free Vulcan · 11 replies
    Markewatch ^ | 10.14.11 | Jeffry Bartash
    ...Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 1.1% last month, the Commerce Department said. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected an increase of 0.8%... Excluding the auto sector, sales rose 0.6%, but that was still higher than market expectations of a 0.4% increase...
  • America, the Needy-ful

    08/18/2011 7:53:12 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 11 replies ^ | August 18, 2011 | Kathy Fettke
    “How can the government help me?” This seems to be a growing sentiment among the American middle class. “The land of opportunity” is quickly becoming the “nation of the needy.” Here’s a question I received from a reader just last week: “I am not happy with how things are going since the Bush Administration allowed tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy. These cuts were supposed to end for those who just keep earning more off the middle class. My question is: I am told that investors can invest as little as $1000.00 in real estate, and make a living...
  • US consumers buy fewer cars in May, forcing retail sales down; wholesale prices moderate

    06/14/2011 10:03:12 AM PDT · by Son House · 14 replies
    Star Tribune ^ | June 14, 2011 | CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER and MARTIN CRUTSINGER
    <p>The drop in auto sales was 2.9 percent, the sharpest drop in 15 months. But it was due, in large part, to temporary factors: Buyers received fewer dealer incentives, and dealers ran short on popular fuel-efficient models. The natural disasters in Japan disrupted shipments of cars and component parts to the United States.</p>
  • Chu Pimps Your Budget at the Pump

    06/01/2011 9:20:20 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 16 replies ^ | June 1, 2011 | Bob Beauprez
    Memorial Day normally kicks off the summer vacation and heavy driving season, but with gas prices at the pump more than twice as expensive as they were two years ago, American families are being forced to stay close to home and pull back on normal family expenses.   The cost to fill up the tank is consuming 40% more of the family budget than it did last summer.  According to AAA, 17 cents of every consumer dollar is spent at the pump, up from 12 cents one year ago.  That has consequences, of course.  "Dining, shopping, museums, and gambling are taking...
  • Obama Administration Moratorium on Oil Drilling Hurts Consumers, Report Says

    04/28/2011 4:43:56 AM PDT · by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid! · 29 replies ^ | April 28, 2011 | Penny Starr
    ( – Although the Obama administration officially lifted the six-month ban on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in October 2010, a new report finds that the “de facto” moratorium still in place is harming American consumers and the budgets of local and state governments. Since October, the Department of the Interior has approved only a handful of deepwater drilling permits in the wake of last year’s BP well explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The report, issued by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), said increasing offshore drilling production could add nearly $5...
  • The Stimulus, Not Oil Prices, Is Hammering Consumers

    02/23/2011 8:14:31 AM PST · by JohnRLott · 8 replies
    Fox News ^ | February 23, 2011 | John R. Lott Jr.
    .S. crude oil prices soared by 8.5 percent Tuesday, stunning financial markets. The financial media fretted that the oil price shock from the Middle East turmoil would slow or stop the fragile economic recovery. Crude oil prices soared even though gas prices at the pump are already the highest in any February since 1990. The reaction was swift, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 178 points (1.4 percent) and NASDAQ and S&P 500 both also falling by more than 2 percent. This morning, with Libya teetering on the brink of civil war, gas prices continued rising. While...
  • Your Apps Are Watching You

    12/18/2010 5:23:18 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 28 replies · 2+ views
    A WSJ Investigation finds that iPhone and Android apps are breaching the privacy of smartphone usersFew devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner's real name—even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off. These phones don't keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps"—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users'...
  • September consumer spending weak while incomes dip

    11/01/2010 7:39:09 AM PDT · by Qbert · 6 replies
    AP via Yahoo Finance ^ | 11/1/2010 | Martin Crutsinger
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans slowed their spending in September to the weakest pace in three months and their incomes fell for the first time in 14 months. Personal spending rose at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in September, the Commerce Department said Monday. That's below the 0.5 percent gains recorded in July and August. Incomes fell 0.1 percent in September, following a 0.4 percent rise in August that had been pushed higher by the return of extended unemployment benefits. The drop in incomes was the first decline since incomes fell 0.3 percent in July 2009. The August gain had...
  • Consumer Sentiment Dips

    10/29/2010 7:58:07 AM PDT · by Qbert · 5 replies
    Reuters via Fox Business ^ | 10/29/2010 | Reuters
    U.S. consumer sentiment worsened more than expected in October, hitting its weakest level since November, with concern about the economy high leading into next week's election, a survey showed on Friday. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final October reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 67.7, down from 68.2 in September and below the 68.0 median forecast among economists polled by Reuters. Tuesday's congressional elections are expected to result in losses for the Democratic Party, at least partly because of high unemployment and consumers' views on how Democratic President Barack Obama is handling the economy. Earlier...
  • Why Is Congress So Afraid of Mail Order Wine?

    10/02/2010 8:57:42 AM PDT · by LUV W · 51 replies ^ | September 29, 2010 | Angela Logomasini
    The quest by wine and beer wholesalers to maintain their “middleman” role within the liquor industry is simply bad news. A bill making its way through the House (H.R. 5034) sponsored by Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) supports wholesalers' promises to limit consumer choice and disadvantage retailers, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and importers.
  • Science Kit Makers Battle Feds Over Safety Tests on Paper Clips

    10/02/2010 8:22:36 AM PDT · by LUV W · 69 replies ^ | October 1, 2010 | Judson Berger
    Federal regulators are hard at work making the world a safer place for kids -- starting with the threat posed by toxic paper clips. Never heard of a toxic paper clip? Neither have the manufacturers of science kits for classrooms across the country.
  • This Is How You Get "Zero Inflation"

    09/30/2010 9:10:42 PM PDT · by blam · 22 replies
    Market Skeptics ^ | 9-21-2010 | Eric deCarbonnel
    This Is How You Get "Zero Inflation" by: Eric deCarbonnel Tuesday, September 21, 2010 Inflation Lies - From The Consumer End This is how you get "zero inflation" reported by the government lie office: Your ass will never know the difference if the toilet paper is 3/4" narrower, right? Pull the other one guys.
  • Consumer Confidence Plunges In September

    09/28/2010 7:29:49 AM PDT · by blam · 7 replies
    The Business Insider ^ | 9-28-2010 | Gregory White
    Consumer Confidence Plunges In September Gregory White Sep. 28, 2010, 10:01 AM Consumer confidence fell to 48.5 in September, a big drop over August's 53.5. August's numbers were a surprising improvement, rising over July's 51. Markets are sliding on the data: Dow down 0.64% NASDAQ down 1.16% S&P 500 down 0.86% Click here for 20 signs the American consumer is completely tapped out >[snip]
  • Another day, another Obama czar

    09/16/2010 9:05:00 AM PDT · by Nachum · 24 replies ^ | 9/16/10 | michelle malkin
    “Special adviser” is the new czar. Facing stiff opposition and pointed questions about the left-wing, anti-business advocate that he wanted to nominate as chairman of the new federal consumer financial protection bureau, President Obama once again circumvented the Senate’ constitutional advice and consent role and installed Elizabeth Warren with a wave of his hand: Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren will help set up a powerful new watchdog agency policing the financial marketplace on behalf of ordinary borrowers and savers, a Democratic official said Wednesday. But it’s unclear whether the Harvard University law professor will end up running the Consumer Financial Protection...
  • 20 Signs That The American Consumer Is Now Completely Tapped Out

    09/15/2010 7:57:46 AM PDT · by blam · 40 replies
    The Business Insider ^ | 9-15-2010 | Michael Snyder
    20 Signs That The American Consumer Is Now Completely Tapped Out Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Sep. 15, 2010, 10:09 AM Many economists have been mystified that even though the recession is "over", American consumers have not opened their wallets and started spending again like they normally do at the end of a recession. News report after news report has encouraged Americans to grab their credit cards and to head out to the stores and start spending again, but it just is not happening. Click here to see the signs > So why are things different this time? Well, for...
  • Consumer Spending Across All Income Groups Down in August

    09/12/2010 12:01:46 PM PDT · by blam · 10 replies
    Gallup ^ | 9-9-2010 | Dennis Jacobe
    Consumer Spending Across All Income Groups Down in August by Dennis Jacobe, Chief EconomistSeptember 9, 2010AugustYear-over-year self-reported spending is down compared with July 2010 and August 2009 PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' self-reported average daily spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online averaged $63 per day during August -- down $5 from July, and down $2 compared with August 2009. Consumer discretionary year-over-year spending is thus running just slightly below the depressed "new normal" rate of a year ago.[snip]
  • Roubini: Get Used To It, The Miserable US Consumer Will Drag The World Down

    09/03/2010 3:57:45 AM PDT · by blam · 11 replies
    The Business Insider ^ | 9-3-2010 | Joe Weisenthal
    Roubini: Get Used To It, The Miserable US Consumer Will Drag The World Down Joe Weisenthal Sep. 3, 2010, 6:34 AM(Dr Doom)Nouriel Roubini is at an economic conference on beautiful Lake Como Italy, where he predicted that more than 400 banks on the US problem bank list are eventually going to fail. And he warned about the sorry state of the US consumer. CNBC: Roubini said he believes hopes of decoupling will be dashed as the slowdown in the US impacts China, Japan and the euro zone. "In Europe, Germany is strong but the rest of the continent is pretty...
  • EDITORIAL: The red tape stimulus--Safety bureaucrats need a lesson in economic reality

    08/16/2010 5:29:08 PM PDT · by jazusamo · 2 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | August 16, 2010 | Editorial
    The latest dictates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will drive up the cost of manufacturing products intended for children. The agency adopted a pair of new rules in July and August implementing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, but as drafted, these regulations will force companies to waste time and money on redundant testing programs solely for the entertainment of bureaucratic busybodies. Anne Northup, one of the agency's five commissioners, has waged an often lonely fight in favor of common sense on this issue. She opposed the requirement for third-party testing of mattresses, carpets and other...