Today on the Ilyce Glink Show, we’re discussing the following:
Consumer Confidence Rose Again
US. Consumers’ mood is the strongest in 9 months. Consumer confidence rose to a nine-month high, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. The preliminary index of confidence for June rose to 69.0 from May’s 68.7. But that was slightly below expectations. The polling also showed that price increases (think gas, food, and other basic necessities) could slow the country’s recovery from the longest recession since the Great Depression.
With a barrel of oil now costing more than $71, the pain at the pump has returned. I filled up my car yesterday, and it cost me more than $50. Granted, I was nearly on empty, but $50 is still $50. And I don’t even drive that much. My heart goes out to those who are bellying-up to the gas station bar one or two times each week just to get to work.
Is Your Bank As Strong As You Think? New Analysis Shows Most Banks Getting Weaker
According to a new analysis by msnbc.com and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, bad real estate loans (commercial, residential and industrial) continue to weigh down the recovery of the banking industry. The 10 largest banks reporting $10.2 billion in earnings (most of which came from securities trades, not banking, which is what Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis said during hearings on Capital Hill this week) during the first quarter of 2009, but the remaining 8245 banks together lost $2.6 billion. Four large banks accounted for more than $5 billion in losses: Huntingdown National Bank of Columbus, OH, lost $2.46 billion. FIA Card Services of Wilmington, Del., lost $1.47 billion. SunTrust Bank of Atlanta lost $783 million. Sovereign Bank of Syomissing, Pa., lost $764 billion, according to the study. Three percent of banks show signs of severe stress.
Just remember, even if your bank fails, no depositor has lost a dime from an FDIC-insured bank since the FDIC was created in 1945. The $250,000 limit on depositor accounts has been extended through December 13, 2013.
Searching For Scams: What You Search For Can Make You A More Likely Victim of Cyber-Fraud
According to Consumer Reports’ new 2009 “State of the Net” Survey, one in five Americans who go online said they were victimized by cybercrooks in the past two years. Consumer Reports figures that amounts to somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 billion in fraud.
The most dangerous search terms include: lyrics, free, web, gear, gadgets, games, Olympics, videos, celebrities, music, and news. If you search these terms and download something from the net, you could also be downloading a Trojan Horse virus, spyware, or malware.
How can you protect yourself? Your computer should have spyware protection and security software that updates automatically every day. Download only from knwn sites. Use a safe search plug-in. Also, make sure that whatever site you plan to buy something at has high-tech security (look for https:// at the beginning of the URL). You may wish to use a single-shop number available online from your credit card company. It’s good for one purchase only, which can be a pain for a shopper but will provide you with excellent protection from having that number stolen.
Foreclosures Up 18 Percent Over Last Year
I’ve said over and over again, we can’t fix the economy until we get people working again. And, we won’t end the foreclosure explosion until people have the means to start paying their mortgages on time.
Economists believe the world works like this: If you have a job, you’ll pay your mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, credit card bills and other bills. If you lose your job, you’ll bleed your other assets to get enough money to make your payments, and when that runs out, you’ll stop.
So, jobs are a critical issue when it comes to foreclosures.
In May, 2009, California, Nevada, and Florida were the top 3 states in terms of the number of foreclosures. We report the rest of RealtyTrac’s foreclosure numbers here.
I’ll be on the air to discuss the Cash-For-Clunkers legislation and why you may want to contact your Congressman or Congresswoman if you can’t get your lender on the phone.
Hope you can tune in 11a to 1p for the show. Call us at (888) WSB-TALK or 404-872-0750.
Energy Efficiency Tax Credits
Sandy called to ask about which energy efficiency tax credits she qualifies for. Here’s a link to the IRS Guidelines on energy tax credits.