Monthly Archives: September 2008

House Votes Down Bailout Bill… For Now

The House of Representative has voted against the $700 billion dollar bailout bill… for now.  207 members voted yea and 226 voted nae.  The bill, however isn’t dead, just yet.  The voting has remained opened, tabled for a time.

It’s amazing to see who is for and who is against the bill.  Personally, I never wanted the bill to pass, because I believe in small government, but I know others, who don’t mind government intervention, who oppose the bill for completely different reasons.

It’s going to be very interesting to see if a different version of the bill passes.

Later today, I’ll check the U.S. Congress Votes Database, over at the Washington Post, to see how my representatives voted.

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Hello Citigroup, Goodbye Wachovia?

In August of 2000, I opened a checking account with SouthTrust bank.  In 2004, SouthTrust was purchased by Wachovia.  Today, as I opened my browser to check my fantasy football scores, I was met with the news that Citigroup is now buying Wachovia.

I can’t say that I’m surprised, but I will say that I’m disappointed.  This didn’t have to happen.  Quoting from this story about the acquisition -

Wachovia’s problems stem largely from its acquisition of mortgage lender Golden West Financial Corp. in 2006 for roughly $25 billion at the height of the nation’s housing boom. With that purchase, Wachovia inherited a deteriorating $122 billion portfolio of Pick-A-Payment loans, Golden West’s specialty, which let borrowers skip some payments. (Emphasis mine.)

Now, it appears, that Wachovia, at least in its current form, will go away.  I’ll have to make a choice about whether to stay with the new company, Citigroup, or find another bank.

I’m getting sick and tired of reading about government bailouts, mortgage defaults, and bank failures.  All of this could have been avoided if companies had followed solid lending practices and consumers had followed solid borrowing practices.  Instead, companies and consumers fell in love with exotic lending and borrowing schemes, and now every tax payer will pay for their, combined, foolishness.

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Debt Reduction Blogs That Inspire

When I started writing about debt reduction, three years ago, there were only a handful of blogs about debt reduction.  Now, there are literally hundreds (thousands?).  It’s exciting to see so many people getting out of debt and sharing their stories!

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite debt reduction blogs.  These sites, and the people who author them, inspire me, and I’m sure they’ll inspire you, too.

Blogging Away Debt – Tricia’s been blogging about debt for more than two years.  I really dig her posts.  She does a great job of chronically the ups and downs of debt reduction – and life!  I still kick myself for not naming my blog Blogging Away Debt!

Blunt Money – Every time I read an article from Blunt Money, I think, “Why didn’t I write that post?”  Honest, real, concise, on point, Blunt Money is a daily must-read.

Paid Twice – The queen of snowflaking – Paid Twice rocks!  She’s been writing about debt reduction for just over a year, and each post is informative, helpful, and well-thought-out.

Clever Dude – Clever Dude is a dude… and he’s clever.  I like the site layout and I’m always intrigued by what he has to say.  I like the fact that he writes about debt reduction, but he also writes about other areas of personal finance.

Like I wrote, I wanted to share a few of my favorite blogs.  If you are looking for a complete list of the debt reduction blogs that I read, check out my other site, No Credit Needed Network, and this list of members’ sites.  You’ll be amazed by the shear number of sites dedicated to getting out of debt!

What about you?  Do you have a favorite debt reduction blog?  Do you write about debt reduction?  Leave a comment and share a link to your favorite site.  Spam comments will be deleted!

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Debt Reduction Gurus: Clark Howard

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at a few of the most popular debt reduction gurus.  Today, I’ll take a look at radio and television personality, Clark Howard.

Where can you listen to his radio program, The Clark Howard Show?

Stream his show live, Monday through Friday, on his website, or listen live on one of these radio affiliates.  You can also listen to and download archived episodes.

Where can you see him on Television?

Clark produces segments for WSB Television in Atlanta.  In fact, last year, I was featured in a segment he produced!  Most of these segments focus on consumer information.

What does he say about debit cards, credit cards, and debt reduction?

Credit CardsCredit cards are okay if you use them for safety or convenience.

Debit CardsI am not a fan of these “fake” Visa and Master Card cards, as you may know. But if you must use them, you need to use them correctly.

Debt ReductionPaying off several thousand dollars or more in credit card debt takes time, so you must discipline yourself.

What books has he written?

Get Clark Smart: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Rich from America’s Money-Saving Expert

Clark’s Big Book of Bargains : Clark Howard Teaches You How to Get the Best Deals

Clark Smart Real Estate: The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Selling Real Estate

Clark Smart Parents, Clark Smart Kids: Teaching Kids of Every Age the Value of Money

My thoughts about Clark’s thoughts -

I really like Clarks radio program.  He focuses much more on consumer information and consumer awareness.  He does, however, talk ab out debt reduction, from time to time.  Listening to Clark, I’ve been encouraged to pay attention to my finances, look our for scams, and search for opportunities to spend less money.  Unlike Clark, I like debit cards, and I don’t use credit cards.  But, for those who do like to use credit cards, his advice is solid.  Clark is a bit more business-like than many other radio personalities, and he does a great job of staying on topic and on message.  He promotes personal responsibility and fights to keep corporations honest.

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