recession watch

As Our Lives And The Economy Got Worse, We Really Liked Playing Zombie

As Our Lives And The Economy Got Worse, We Really Liked Playing Zombie

Think our current cultural fixation on zombies is just part of the zeitgeist? A Clemson University literature professor says that it’s not that simple. Focusing on the zombie walks occurring in many cities, she points out that people have become more interested in playing zombie over the last decade as we feel powerless, penniless, and disenfranchised.  [CBS Charlotte] [More]


Feds Now Letting Big Banks Review Their Own Foreclosures For Errors

Pre-recession banks turned a blind eye to problems with the mortgages they handed out, bundled, sold and securitized. When that bubble burst, these same banks put the foreclosure process on auto-pilot, allowing anyone with a pulse to sign legal documents. So who better to review all those foreclosures for errors than the institutions that didn’t care in the first place? [More]

(The Joy of the Mundane)

Pipe-Pilfering Has Doubled Number Of U.S. Homes Without Complete Plumbing

According to the 1990 census, only around 1% of all homes in the U.S. lacked a complete set of plumbing facilities, down from 45% in 1950. But a new report claims that recent rashes of thievery have resulted in significantly more homes without proper plumbing. [More]


Is Virginia Really Trying To Mint Its Own Money?

Earlier this week, the Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that would fund a study to investigate “whether the Commonwealth should adopt an alternate medium of commerce or currency to serve as an alternative” to the dollar “in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System.” [More]

How did we ever make it out of 2009?

Dow Peeks Its Head Above 14,000 For First Time Since 2007

Following a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 14,000 threshold for the first time since October of 2007, when the world was a care-free place where you could get a $500,000 mortgage just by pinky-swearing you’d pay the money back. [More]


Senators Call Out Attorney General For Treating Banks Like They Are “Too Big To Jail”

Like many Americans, Senators Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) think federal investigators have given banks a mere slap on the wrists for their part in the economic collapse and other misdeeds. So in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the pair wonder if banks are being viewed by the DOJ as “too big to jail.” [More]

Frontline's "The Untouchables" investigates the lack of criminal prosecutions against Wall Street.

Interview: Frontline’s Martin Smith Talks About The DOJ’s Failure To Prosecute Wall Street

Last week, PBS’ Frontline dedicated an entire hour to the Justice Dept.’s failure to prosecute a single high-ranking bank executive involved in the financial crisis of 2008. Consumerist recently got the chance to discuss the topic with the show’s producer/writer Martin Smith. [More]

The Morgan Stanley exec who came up with this list of names is now working for JPMorgan Chase.

‘Nuclear Holocaust’ & ‘Sh!tBag’ Among Clever Names Morgan Stanley Bankers Gave To Toxic Mortgage-Backed Security

Federal prosecutor Lanny Breuer insists he has yet to find enough evidence to bring an indictment against a single Wall Street executive over the 2008 mortgage meltdown, yet lawyers in private lawsuits against the banks continue to turn up some gems — like this one from the Morgan Stanley e-mail vault. [More]

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer has been accused by some of being overly fearful of prosecuting big banks.

10 Highlights From Frontline Report On Why No Wall Street Execs Are In Jail Over Mortgage Mess

Last night, PBS’ Frontline looked at a question many Americans have asked — Why have no top Wall Street executives been prosecuted for their part in the 2008 financial crisis? — and took it right to man at the Justice Dept. who isn’t bringing those charges. [More]

Spencerian College, with two campuses in Kentucky, has been sued by the state's Attorney General's office.

Kentucky Sues For-Profit College Over Misleading Job-Placement Stats

If you’re comparing college programs and see job-placement rates of anywhere from 80% to 100%, that might sound pretty appealing. But what if the real numbers are not so rosy? [More]


Report: U.S. Home Prices Up 7.4% Over A Year Ago

If the price of your home took a beating when the housing bubble burst, or if you bought a home in recent years and have been waiting for prices to trend upward, the data on one new report should be good news. [More]


Here’s A Bunch Of Stuff That Might Actually Be Cheaper In The Months To Come

For lots of things you buy, the general trend is for prices to increase over time. But there are some things that forward-looking folks claim will drop in price — at least for a bit — in this, the year 2013 CE. [More]


Downsizing Your Home Might Not Make Retirement Any Easier

If you’re at or nearing retirement age and living in a house with rooms you don’t use, it would seem to make sense that you could save by downsizing to a smaller abode. But unless you have significant equity on your home and are willing to make big changes, that might not be the case. [More]

(Ninja M.)

As Economy Recovers, Americans Are Drinking More Alcohol

It looks like Americans’ spirits are up — or at least the sales of spirits to Americans are up, as a new survey shows that people are buying more beer, wine and liquor when they go out to eat. [More]


Study: Women Earning Less Than Men Immediately After Graduating College

For anyone who thinks that the pay gap between men and women is something that doesn’t begin until later in their careers, or that this salary disparity is a disappearing relic of a bygone era, a new study claims that within one year of graduating from college, women are only earning 82% of what their male counterparts are making. [More]


6 Everyday Food Items That Have Soared In Price

We all know about the huge recent price increases in bigger-ticket expenses like education, health insurance, and gasoline, but what about those items in your fridge and pantry that are chiseling away at your checking account? [More]


Georgia Counties Sue HSBC, Say Bank’s Prejudiced Loans Cost Them Millions

Three counties in Georgia have filed suit against HSBC, claiming the bank pushed minority borrowers into expensive, subprime mortgages. But these banks aren’t suing on behalf of the wronged borrowers. Instead, they allege that the predatory practices ultimately resulted in lost tax revenue, decreased property values and other damages. [More]


Target To Hire Fewer Seasonal Workers This Year

Target is in the middle of ramping up for the all-important holiday shopping season by hiring a slew of folks to slip on a red shirt for a few weeks, but the retailer says it expects to hire 2,000-12,000 fewer seasonal employees this year than it did in 2011. Target also says this shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. [More]