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What We’re Reading: August 3 – August 9

You may think you’re spending less, but the data says otherwise

If you missed President Obama’s town hall speech on housing, the Washington Post has a nice recap. Main points: Wind down Fannie and Freddie, protect 30-year mortgage, re-jiggle regulation a bit, but not too much, and help blighted communities and the poor.

American consumers claim that they’re not spending as much money this year on restaurants, bar tabs, home purchases, and other key categories. The actual consumer spending data tells a different story. Spending is up across the board and across income levels. Researchers think part of the answer lies in consumers only buying when things are ‘on sale’. They think they’re saving off the full retail price, when actually they are just buying more than in the past.

Post-Superstorm Sandy, many north Atlantic communities are re-evaluating their level of flood and tide vulnerability. Maybe none more so than Highlands, NJ, which is considering raising its entire waterfront downtown by 11 feet. If the $200-million cost can be funded, the town will rise in sections with residents temporarily relocated. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently studying the feasibility of the scheme.

Admit it, you are addicted to Candy Crush Saga.  You play it at stoplights, on the couch and in the doctor’s waiting room.  But don’t feel too bad. Playing Candy Crush can teach you some financial lessons, says Money Q and A. Like how to learn to think ahead, cultivate patience, ask for help when you need it, and much more. And I would add: that those Facebook credits can add up fast!

Dave

Senior Information Specialist

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