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Photos of the Last Depression

January 16th, 2009 at 09:44 am

I thought these photos from the Smithsonian collection were very moving.

Text is Photographs of the Great Depression and Link is http://history1900s.about.com/library/photos/blyindexdepression.htm
Photographs of the Great Depression

Seeing kids without shoes, families living in shanties, and driving across country with all of their possessions piled on top of a car is humbling. After listening to the talking heads on TV going bananas over our current state of the economy images like these really put things into perspective.

Profits Up 10% for Walmarts

November 13th, 2008 at 10:02 am

Looks like the recession isn't making people live more simply and buy less. It just makes them buy cheaper Chinese crap.

Text is Wal-Mart's Low Prices Mean Big Profits In Crisis and Link is http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/13/walmarts-low-prices-mean-_n_143494.html
Wal-Mart's Low Prices Mean Big Profits In Crisis

I know it's good for the economy and my portfolio, but a little sad for the soul. I think it's more encouraging reading about people consuming less of the high quality goods rather than buying more of the cheap ones.

How Lenders Lure You To Borrow

October 29th, 2008 at 09:41 am

I know that credit cards are evil, and that I'm paying with snakes. I just love my 3% cash back to give up completely, so articles like this while appalling, are not too surprising:

Text is Banks Mine Data and Woo Troubled Borrowers and Link is http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/business/22target.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin
Banks Mine Data and Woo Troubled Borrowers

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Although I firmly believe that the responsibility for every penny of debt ultimately rests with the borrower, we should all be aware of baits the lenders use to lure us into their traps.

The lenders don't just use existing information about your life to inundate you with custom offers, they use sophisticated predictive models to precisely know who will or will not take the bait. They hone their algorithms, making each pitch more effective, getting more people to borrow and spend.

These companies think they are doing a consumer a service, instead they are contributing to the credit collapse of this country.

The whole "Debt Trap" series which explores the surge in consumer debt and the lenders who made it possible, is an interesting read.