Ilyce Glink WSB Radio Show Notes – August 15, 2010

Unemployment, Foreclosures Up, Stock Market and Mortgage Interest Rates Down

This was another wacky week in the world of financial news:

First-time filings for unemployment rose to a level not seen since February, surprising many analysts. People are still losing their jobs, which just goes to prove that the economy isn’t close to healing.

Bernanke & Company admitted as much this week, as the Federal Reserve said it would begin buying back Treasuries using the cash generated from the mortgage-backed securities it already holds. so, instead of shrinking its balance sheet from $2.3 trillion, the Fed will sustain it.

That news spooked Wall Street, and stocks dropped 3.5 percent this week, down 350 points as investors wondered whether the U.S actually was in a recovery or not. The Fed went out on a limb and suggested that the recovery is more “modest” than expected and would continue at an extremely “modest” pace.

What’s with the word modest? Really, second quarter GDP growth was downgraded to somewhere around 1.3 percent, from 2.4 percent, which is anemic. And, now economists are suggesting we might see a contraction in this third quarter. That’s not modest, that’s the beginning of a double-dip recession. And, it would explain why more people are being laid off, causing the unemployment numbers to rise.

I said this morning on the air that it seems as though the Federal Reserve decided its policy should be to just tell everyone that things are fine. If you work on the consumer psyche, the thinking must go, and you can get people to feel more positively about themselves, their prospects, and the economy, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That might work for awhile, and then pretty soon folks begin to realize they don’t have a job, they’ve lost income, they’re losing benefits, their companies that they retired from are going out of business and the health insurance benefits they earned from a lifetime of working are going up in smoke.

In other words, it’s hard to feel positive about the economy when you’re choosing between putting food on the table, paying the electric bill, or buying the medicine you need to stay alive.

If these are your choices, and truly there are millions of Americans in this exact circumstance right now (no matter what the Fed says), you know that the recovery isn’t just modest – it isn’t there at all.

You can’t just have a recovery on Wall Street, and if President Obama hasn’t figured out yet that Wall Street financial institutions don’t vote – the folks who live on Main Street do, he’ll find out in November.

Please leave your comments on the Blog.

Scroll down for today’s calls and show notes.

How To Profit From Foreclosures and Other Real Estate Investments

On the flip side of the coin, for every house that goes into foreclosure, there’s a real estate investor waiting to scoop it up and turn it around for profit. That’s why we’re holding our next event, How to Profit from Foreclosures, this fall. Atlanta is one of the top cities for foreclosures in the nation, and prices are dropping. If you’ve ever thought about investing in real estate (single family homes, condos, townhomes, office buildings, strip centers, warehouses, etc.), now will probably be the best time in a generation.

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We have some terrific people signed up as speakers and sponsors, including:

WSB’s Wes Moss

The Georgia Association of Enrolled Agents

Real Estate Attorney Eric Weiss

RE/MAX of Greater Atlanta

Top Atlanta Financial Planner Kay Shirley

…and others

We’ll be announcing new speakers and sponsors in the coming week. Check out the blog at to read Q&As with our speakers for this exciting event.

Come ready to learn about buying and profiting from foreclosures.

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Here are the links to this week’s posts on the Equifax Personal Finance Blog

Tax Tips for Commercial Real Estate Owners

Can Equifax Decline My Credit Application?

6 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes You Can Make

Insurance Agents vs. Insurance Websites: Where Will You Get The Better Buy?

Is Now The Right Time To Buy A Vacation Home Along The Gulf of Mexico?


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Today’s Show Notes

Ann is the executor of her mom’s estate. Her mom basically owned a lovely, historic house in a nice neighborhood of Atlanta and nothing else. Ann is thinking about hiring an auction company and wanted to know the pros and cons.

I’ve written quite a bit about auction companies. Auctioning a house can work very well, because it concentrates the attention on a particular piece of real estate at a particular point in time. Click here to get to the ThinkGlink topic page on Auctions. And, here are links to other stories on auctions:

How to Auction off Your Home

Real Estate: Buying Property At Auctions

All stories on Auctions

Several callers wanted more information about credit card debts and paying down their debts. The place I always recommend you go is Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta, which is now known by the name