HELOC Cuts, The Hows And Whys

HELOC Cuts, The Hows And Whys

Did your Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) suddenly trail off in the forest recently? Here’s some straight-talk on why, and what, if anything, you can do about it. [Examiner.com] (Photo: Getty)

What The Hell Is Leveraging?

What The Hell Is Leveraging?

Leverage leverage leverage. Everyone’s talking about it, but what does it mean?

Video: How Credit Cards Become Bonds

Video: How Credit Cards Become Bonds

We’ve heard lots about how mortgages get turned into tradeable securities, but they’re not the only thing. No no no, there was far too much Chinese money not able to earn anything on T-bonds for us to let them lie. Credit cards can become asset-backed bonds too. Marketplace’s Paddy Hirsch is back with his whiteboard and dry-erase markers to explain how it works. Video inside.

Why Was Gas So Expensive?

Why Was Gas So Expensive?

Did you know that gas price gouging almost never occurs as prices rise? Rather, it’s most often when dealers keep prices artificially high even as their costs fall. As gas costs were near $5 a gallon until falling and oil companies earn around $100 billion each year, it’s a good time to question what really goes into the price of gas. The numbers on the gas station sign hide a complex set of transactions. Before gas can power your car, it must be discovered as crude oil, traverse three markets, and be refined from crude into gas. Inside, we’ll explain the three markets, walk you through the role of refineries, and show how oil companies use creative tactics to manipulate gas prices…

What Are "Collateralized Debt Obligations?" Watch These Champagne Glasses.

What Are "Collateralized Debt Obligations?" Watch These Champagne Glasses.

There’s a lot of funky financial terms getting thrown as we try to explain how the money meltdown started in the first place, and one of the funkiest is a CDO or “collateralized debt obligation.” Luckily, Paddy Hirsch from Marketplace is here to explain it using just champagne glasses, a whiteboard, and a sexy British accent..

Blame The Subprime Meltdown On The Repeal Of Glass-Steagall

Blame The Subprime Meltdown On The Repeal Of Glass-Steagall

A lot of blame has sloshed around for the sub-prime meltdown, from greedy borrowers to greedy mortgage brokers to Alan Greenspan, but if you want the real culprit, it was the repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act. On November 12, 1999, the champagne must have been shooting from the walls at Citigroup, which had worked behind the scenes for over 30 years to get the act overturned. After recovering from their hangover, they and their banking buddies went on a sub-prime lending orgy. But what was Glass-Steagall and how did it use to protect us?

Stimulus Checks Will Not Cut Into Your Rebate

Stimulus Checks Will Not Cut Into Your Rebate

False reports have circulated that the stimulus checks are an advance on your tax rebate and were going to cut into your tax rebate. That’s not the whole story. Yes, it’s an advance, but it’s an advance on an additional credit Congress passed for your 2008 earned income. It’s too late to do that for 2007, seeing as it’s already over. “So the government is making me borrow from myself?!?!?” No. Congress is giving your 2009 self a $600 credit, and is sending that $600 back in time by one year.

What Is Minimum Advertised Price?

What Is Minimum Advertised Price?

Minimum Advertised Price is an agreement between suppliers and retailers stipulating the lowest price an item is allowed to be advertised at. If you’ve ever tried to shop around and keep nosing up against the same number, you may have just discovered that good’s MAP. This is why sometimes you see signs that say “price too low to advertise!” Or why when shopping online, sometimes the price doesn’t show up until further in the transaction process. Retailers can incur sizable fines and/or penalties from their suppliers for violating MAP contracts.

Why Stores Love To Force You To Show Your Receipts

Why Stores Love To Force You To Show Your Receipts

A former Best Buy employee and Consumerist tipster in good standing shared some insider insights about why store employees are so zealous in checking your receipt, and so zealously underinformed as to how they have no legal right to make you show it.

Where Does IKEA Get Its Funny Names?

Where Does IKEA Get Its Funny Names?

GRA TV unit with casters. It turns out IKEA actually has funky a system based on names of stuff from its native lands, says ahundredmonkeys.com.

How ESCos Are Supposed To Work

How ESCos Are Supposed To Work

While we’re talking about IDT Energy and Con Ed and Midtown Promotions and DS-MAX, let’s learn about another acronym, ESCos, which stands for “energy service companies” (the kind of company IDT Energy is).

What Is "Tare," And How Does It Impact Everything In The Supermarket?

What Is "Tare," And How Does It Impact Everything In The Supermarket?

“Tare” or “tare weight” is the weight of an empty container. Tare is not included in a goods’ net weight. So, for instance, 32-oz jar of mayo on the supermarket shelf should actually weight more than two pounds.

Why Is Gas So Freakin' Expensive?

Why Is Gas So Freakin' Expensive?

Did you know that gas price gouging almost never occurs as prices rise? Rather, it’s most often when dealers keep prices artificially high even as their costs fall.

How Companies Collude With Reporters To Control When Stories Get Published: Embargoed Press Releases

How Companies Collude With Reporters To Control When Stories Get Published: Embargoed Press Releases

Have you ever noticed how a new product comes out and a well-developed article with multiple quotes and sources appears in all the major papers? Are reporters just so Olympian in their competitiveness, performing at levels differing only by a few milliseconds? If only. Often, this shows an “embargoed” story, a technique corporations use to control the media and public perception. Here’s how it works.

What Is Dollar-Cost Averaging And Why Is It Bunk?

What Is Dollar-Cost Averaging And Why Is It Bunk?

Dollar cost averaging (DCA) is a method of investing whereby you spend a fixed amount on a stock per month, regardless of price.

What Is A Chargeback?

What Is A Chargeback?

A chargeback is when the credit card company withdraws the money for a transaction from a merchant’s account and deposited in a consumer’s following a dispute.

How TJMaxx Hackers Stole 45.7 Million Credit Cards

How TJMaxx Hackers Stole 45.7 Million Credit Cards

TJMaxx computer system intruders who stole 45.7 million credit cards siphoned off customer data using a program they implanted on the company’s servers, recent regulatory filings reveal.