Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance.
I was out of town all week, so I’ve got a very brief espresso edition of Black Coffee for you today. I promise I’ll be back next week with a full-sized mug.
Okay, off we go …
Credits and Debits
Debit: This week the Nasdaq joined the Dow and S&P 500 by falling into the red for 2015. Apparently the Plunge Protection Team has decided that misery loves company. Well … either that or there are only so many balls they can juggle at one time.
Credit: Then again, although the Nasdaq was red at Friday’s closing bell, the other two benchmarks finished in positive territory. Reuters claims that’s because the Dow and S&P were buoyed by news that the Fed still expects to hike interest rates by the end of the year. Huh?
Debit: Yes, yes — not too long ago, we were told that stocks were falling because investors were afraid that the Fed was going to … wait for it … raise rates a measly 25 basis points. I wish the mainstream media would make up their mind.
Credit: Of course, when markets are largely based upon central planning and the whims of a handful of banking apparatchiks at the Fed — rather than honest and transparent price discovery between legitimate buyers and sellers — the economic narrative can change on a dime. It’s all fiction, folks — and only ignorance keeps it going.
Credit: The good news is, more people are waking up: With the unholy trinity of mainstream media, government, and bankers so tightly-coupled today, it’s not surprising that a new Gallup poll found that 75% of Americans now believe government corruption is widespread. Ya think?
Debit: Finally … You know our monetary system is in real trouble when Australia’s largest investment bank is openly calling for central banks to directly fund fiscal spending — even though they admit that it will lead to Weimar-style hyperinflation. No, really.
Credit: If you still think the world’s current economic struggle is simply due to a typical cyclical downturn, you better think again. The signs of desperation are growing in both frequency and magnitude — and the time for paying the piper is fast approaching.
By the Numbers
This week it seems like the entire news cycle was fixated on the pope’s visit to America — so here are some numbers behind the story:
78 Age of Pope Francis.
265 The number of popes who reigned prior to Francis.
3,000 Number of portable toilets set up to handle the pope’s visit to Philadelphia.
18 Times the pope is scheduled to make public remarks during his trip.
30 Number of people in the pope’s entourage.
93,143 People who entered a lottery to win a pair of tickets to the pope’s procession through New York’s Central Park.
Source: NBC News
The Question of the Week
Last Week’s Poll Results
What is the best age for a person to get their first credit card?
- 18 – 19 (28%)
- 24 or older (27%)
- 22 – 23 (17%)
- 20 – 21 (16%)
- 17 or younger (12%)
More than 500 people responded to last week’s question and the results were split. Although there was no clear cut consensus on the proper age one should be before they get their first credit card, 6 out of 10 people think that it’s best to wait until one reaches the milestone age of 20. As for me, I think it all depends on how fiscally responsible you are — as long as you are an adult; I see no reason why an 18 year-old shouldn’t own a credit card if they can control their spending. What do you think?
Other Useless News
Here are the top 5 articles viewed by my 7437 RSS feed and weekly email subscribers over the past 30 days (excluding Black Coffee posts):
- How I Saved $36,000 in 12 Years by Doing This Simple Trick
- Sorry: Pizza Delivery Fees are Here to Stay (and It’s Your Fault)
- 7 Tips for Earning a Living with Rental Properties
- 14 Ways to Help Prepare Your Kid for the Real World
- 5 Signs That Your Spending Is Out of Control!
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Letters, I Get Letters
Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment — assuming I get one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not! You can reach out to me at: Len@LenPenzo.com
Sometimes I get the strangest email questions, like this one from Mr. Wonderful:
You got change for a hundy?
A $100 bill? Hmm. If you’re so wonderful, then why aren’t you married?
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.
Photo Credit: brendan-