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Arbitrage Strategy for HELOCs

arbitrage Real estate values continue to do a big cannonball in the deep end, and some lenders are trimming their exposure to home equity by shutting down idle lines of credit on their books.

What the Sam Hill is a Credit Default Swap?

If you’re paying attention at all to our current economic crisis, then you’ve probably heard the term “credit default swap (CDS)” enough to at least make you wonder what it is. Most recently, credit default swaps played a vital role in the federal government’s decision to bail out AIG, since they determined that a huge chain of failures across the international financial system might occur if AIG were to fail and default on the swaps it sold. Must be a big deal, right? They are.

What Will Become of the Old "Zip-Zap" Machine?

In yet another effort to cut the cost of card issuance and increase consumer activation and usage, Visa announced last week "it will begin supporting the issuance of unembossed credit cards in the U.S. for Visa consumer debit, business debit, and consumer credit cards." I'm not sure what the world will be like without textured credit cards, but I suspect things will not change too much.

Economic Crisis: Perspective Is Everything

Having worked at the World Trade Center, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, and one of the country’s largest insurance firms, I feel very connected to many of the institutions and events that are in the news every day. I never could have imagined the changes the financial industry has experienced over the last seven years, and, with this most recent economic crisis, I know that many are wondering, “What in the world is going on” and “How does it affect me?” Let me first say that despite what the media would have you believe, we have seen this before and we will get through it.

Pain at the Gas Pump

Filling up at the gas pump hurts me. I mean, I literally feel like throwing up as I stand there watching the dollars roll on by as gas trickles into my tank. I remember when I was 16 and I could fill up my tank for less than $15. No wonder so many 16-year-olds nowadays would rather have their parents chauffeur them around than get their licenses and be responsible for their own gas!

Can a Prepaid Debit Card Really Help Me Build Credit?

The answer is no… but also yes! So are you confused yet? Read on...

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