stethoscope 150Want to pay less for health care? You won’t if certain senators have their way. Slate’s Timonthy Noah follow the threads of some weird and wily arguments about health care today in his “Lemon Economics.” He calls attention to five senate Republicans who are planning to defend the private health insurance industry to the last breath and vow to block the creation of public plans. Noah catches these lawmakers in a specious argument: They are finally owning up to the fact that government health insurance programs like Medicare out-perform their private counterparts both in delivering benefits and in keeping prices down. But get this: The senate Republicans use that as an argument against them…


The piggy bank business is booming in the Recession, according to Reuters. Seems that decimated home prices and ravaged retirement accounts have reinforced the virtue of putting money aside. Piggy banks symbolize the need to save, but they also remind us of just how hard it is to do that right now. This photo of a skinny piggy bank – aka the “gasoline piggy bank” when it appeared during last summer’s gas price hikes – has been hoofing it once again across the Internet

Lynn Parramore looks back on the Great Depression to see the path ahead.


How do consumers save when they make less than ever before?

Sometimes, they take their business underground. Call it the Downturn Hustle. As folks tighten their belts on just about everything, certain bootleg activities are on the rise.

That’s nothing new. When Prohibition went into effect in 1920, bootleggers got busy providing alcohol to speakeasies and thirsty consumers. By 1929, the year of the Great Crash, a vast underground industry of black market booze had arisen, an illegal trade unlike any the US had ever seen. Gangsters got rich, grew violent and became celebrities as newspaper stories and movies covered their exploits…

Bag of money 150In my early 20s, I spent a bunch of months figuring out what I wanted to “do with my life.” My family was helping me out—and not surprisingly, they had lots of opinions about how I spent my time, not to mention their money. It didn’t take me long to get sick of the grilling, and to realize that I could only make my own choices if I made my own way. I stopped taking checks and started scraping together a living.

What does that have to do with the news? Rumor has it that two former Merrill Lynch stars are leaving Bank of America—because they feared that compensation restrictions on banks that accept TARP money would affect their wallets.

Frugal Fitness

by Sara Clemence on March 24, 2009 in Lifestyle,Money

weights-150Maybe you’re finding it hard to justify your expensive gym membership. Or maybe, like me, you’ve lost your sweet corporate discount on said expensive gym membership.

Either way, lots of us are looking for less expensive ways to work out. There are some obvious options, like walking or running outside, doing crunches in front of the television, and taking the stairs. But if they were so effective, you probably wouldn’t have joined a gym in the first place, would you?

We’ve found several ways to get a yoga/cardio/muscle-building fix on the cheap. Our promise: None involve using soup cans for bicep curls.


by the Editors on March 23, 2009 in Culture,Money

barterIn New York, a caterer is offering services for free in exchange for new carpeting for her home. An Alaskan drywall laborer is looking for “what you got you don’t need” in return for his services. In hot, hot Phoenix, an air conditioning contractor is seeking services in auto repair, landscaping or carpet cleaning, for which he will barter his own trade.

Currency isn’t going out of style, but in the Recession, new old ways of trade are coming back…

A daily review of the employment fallout around the country and the world.screws 150

MeadWestvaco Corporation
will close plants in Virginia and Puerto Rico, terminating the jobs of 278 employeesKnapheide Manufacturing, a Quincy, Illinois employer, is rumored to layoff 158 workers starting March 30… Katten Muchin Rosenman gives 69 employees, 23 lawyers and 46 staffers, the axe… Timken Co., a specialty steel manufacturer, will lay off 65 employees by the end of March…

homeMoney’s tight. So every penny counts when you’re on the road…

Maybe the Recession has given you more time to travel, but less cash. How does a rent-free vacay sound? Swap your pad for another in a destination you want to visit and enjoy potentially unlimited savings. Home swapping allows you to travel further and longer than you ever thought possible: We’re talking Italian villas, mountain retreats, and beach bungalows. Plus, you get more space than a hotel could ever offer. It’s even possible to swap vehicles and pet care. The best part is that you get to live like a local and receive tips on what to do and see from your “host”. For a $100 annual membership fee, will guarantee you a swap partner, or you get a year for free…

A daily review of the employment fallout around the country and the world.three medium screws 150

Infosys BPO, the business process outsourcing department of Infosys Technologies, has fired more than 600 staffRoad Home, the Baton Rouge hurricane housing program will be cutting 500 jobs in the coming months… Crain Communications, a business trade publisher, gives 150 employees the boot, along with a 10 percent salary cut…

Screwed: 5,000 at UBS

by Olga Tchoumak on March 17, 2009 in Money,News

screw 150A daily review of the employment fallout around the country and the world.

UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, plans to eliminate up to 5,000 senior and management positions in the coming weeks… Swiss drug maker, Roche, cuts 1,500 New Jersey-based jobs in an effort to relocate operations to California… Cymer announces 130 layoffs in San Diego… Getty Images lays off 110 employees, 5 percent of its global workforce…