Heidi N. Moore
May 31, 2012 A satirical video from political cartoonist Mark Fiore brought down the house at a conference on the risks of debt to the global financial system.
May 31, 2012 I received a large bonus, and I'm going to use it all to pay down credit card debt. I have many cards. They all have about the same outstanding balances and about the same interest rates. At one time, most of the cards were "maxed out," which was bad for my credit score. Should I pay off a couple cards entirely, or should I make larger-than-usual payments to all of them, bringing down the outstanding balances substantially below the credit limits? Thanks. Henry, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2012 With borrowing costs spiking for Spain and Italy, the Obama administration has sent a top treasury official to Europe to encourage European leaders to take decisive action on their financial mess.
May 30, 2012 I returned to graduate school and accrued about $45,000 in federal student loans. The interest rate on these 10-year loans is 6 percent, with repayment beginning in 2013. I also have a 401(k) worth about $100,000 (roughly $60,000 of my contributions and $40,000 of employer contributions). I realize that an early 401(k) withdrawal would result in a 10 percent early-withdrawal penalty and that any withdrawal would be considered taxable income. This would effectively reduce the amount the 401(k) would need to earn in order to be the better investment. Still, it can't be much less than 6 percent, can it? Is there anything about my assumptions that are wrong, or is there anything I am overlooking? Derek, Chicago, IL
Stacey Vanek Smith
May 31, 2012 As investors cope with uncertainty in Europe, the interest on the 10-year Treasury note, the benchmark cost of U.S. debt, hit a record low of 1.6 percent.
May 24, 2012 If Greece ditches its austerity plan and defaults on its loans, how might that play out in the global economy? Follow our flow chart to find out.
May 15, 2012 Political parties in Greece have failed to forge a coalition, meaning a new general election is on the way in Greece. Will the country keep to its budget promises that are a condition of the European bailout?
May 17, 2012 New French President Francois Hollande flew to Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two differ over the eurozone’s best course.
May 10, 2012 As an exodus in the European Union becomes more a sure thing, two of London's largest bookmakers shut down the markets for bets on Greece leaving the E.U. and the existence of the euro in a few years.