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What We Read Today 12 January 2015

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Europe Stocks Gain, Asia Falls as Oil Slide, US Jobs Weighed (Joe McDonald, AP, abc News)  Asia stocks slid lower as has oil so far to start this week, but European stocks are trading higher, as are U.S. stock futures.  The U.S. dollar has strengthened against the Japanese yen and the euro.  This article was posted at 4:17 am EST (New York time).   


Survey: Minimum card payments rising (Karen Haywood Queen and Marissa Fajt, CreditCards.com)  In 2014 minimum required payments on many credit cards increased.  A new typical formula was 1% of the balance plus interest and fees or $25, whichever was larger.  In other cases the alternative minimum payment when larger was still as low as $10.  Before 2014 flat $10 minimum payments were available on some cards which kept cardholders using the minimum in perpetual, and in many cases rapidly growing, debt.


Most Americans are one paycheck away from the street (Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch)  Hat tip to Reverse Engineer, Doomstead Diner. Here is a list of polling results Fottrell has collected:

  • Approximately 62% of Americans have no emergency savings for an unexpected $500 expense.
  • These 62 of a hundred would said they most likely reduce spending elsewhere (26%) or borrow (28%). 
  • In another survey 61% could not cover 3 months of expenses (rainy day fund).
  • 52% could not cover a $400 emergency without selling something or borrowing.
  • 82% now try to keepo a household budget, up from 60% in 2012.
  • 40% report they are poorer today than in 2007.

What kind of loans are available to these people with no money?  If they can get any credit it is likely using a credit card.  See also next article.  The following table shows current credit card rates:

credit-card-rates-2015-jan-07


How long will it take to pay off credit cards? (Bankrate.com)  Using the calculator provided here Econintersect calculated how long and how much it would take to repay a  $1,000 emergency loan for one of the folks with no other means to manage an emergency.

At 15% rate and 1% minimum balance repayment per month ($15 monthly minimum when qualified), the repayment time was 12 years with total repayments of $2,163.43.

At 23% rate and 2.5% minimum balance repayment per month (and $25 monthly minimum when qualified), the repayment time was 13 years, seven months and the total repayments would be $2,864.09.

Talk about debt slavery!


Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world

France

Eurozone

Greece

AirAsia Flight 8501

Nigeria

India

Japan


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