Friday July 25, 2008 | Americans and Saving

July 24, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 2 Comments

Join us for a discussion about Americans and how they save money. Especially during these turbulent economic times, many don’t think they have enough money to save, or don’t have any “extra” money to put away. But now, one group is saying that even members of the “working poor” classification can find a way to save and improve their economic situation. We’ll talk to a Federal Reserve Economist, a Wachovia Savings
Director and a representative from a non-profit program called America Saves about what anyone who wants to save can do to increase their wealth. Since this is an encore presentation, we won’t be able to include your comments.
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  1. I know this is a rebroadcast but just in case anyone looks at the comments, the claim that banks encourage people to put money into CD’s instead of savings accounts is not primarily about relationship building, it is about making money for the bank. When you put your money in a CD the bank knows it can count on having that money to loan out to others for a specified amount of time. The same amount in a regualar savings account can be withdrawn at any time so the bank cannot loan out nearly as much of that amount. (They have to keep money in reserve to cover withdrawals.) That is why they pay you more for your money if it is in a CD – the longer time period, the more you get paid in interest.

    People need to think of money as just another commodity that people can buy and sell – or in this case rent and loan. When people exchange dollars for other currencies, they are in effect buying that currency and vice versa. If you want to buy European stocks, you first must buy Euros with dollars. Right now foreigners do not have faith in our markets – suprise – so they do not want to buy our stocks and demand for dollars has plummeted, which has made the price of the dollar go down. When people are eager to invest here, the demand for dollars soars as does the price of dollars in other currencies – that is, the exchange rate goes up.
    This works just like cars or any other commodity. If a model is popular, more people demand it and the company can raise the price. You can also loan and borrow cars, just like we loan and borrow money.

  2. This was a good program — saving money is extremely important yet is now mostly ignored in America’s consumerist culture.

    However, inflation wasn’t talked about very much in the program. People can save but if the price of basic goods (like housing, food, and energy) keeps increasing quickly far beyond the interest rate that many savings accounts or even CDs offer, you are actually losing money by saving it instead of spending it before prices increase even more.

    It’s a terrible truth of many economies around the world (both capitalist and communist/socialist), but inflation is like a hidden tax that penalizes savers.


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