Web Wealth: Fed rate cut

Posted: September 23, 2007

How will you spend the Fed's first rate cut since 2003? We sought sites for understanding how the Federal Reserve operates, how to clear debts, and how to spend your disposable income.

Federal Reserve. The Fed's Web site notes that the central bank "provides the nation with a safe, flexible and stable monetary and financial system." We hope so. From the home page, you can go directly to the latest statistical reports, such as those on interest rates, the yield curve and consumer credit, as well as notices on closely watched economic indicators.

A link from the above site to this educational resource may provide you with some help understanding the lingo, policies and history of the Federal Reserve. Part of the site is a self-guided tour through personal-finance issues, and another is for classroom teachers.

Funny money. Comedian Jeff Kreisler provides comic relief on TheStreet.com. A recent dispatch discusses, for example, how the Fed rate cut is likely to "save the average poor homeowner about $1,000 per month on their $4 million mortgage." Another observes, "In Washington, there's an ongoing debate about whether to help homeowners facing default. On the one hand, politicians generally hate people. On the other hand, people vote. Tough call."

Thrifty fun. At this site, where people share ideas for saving money, saving time and solving problems, the latest question posted when we checked in was a plea for help getting out of debt. But looking for advice here will also leave you hunting among posts about the best techniques for gluing seashells to mirror frames and for cleaning a fiberglass tub.

Disposable income. Fun, or depressing - you be the judge. This site purports to tell you how much disposable income you have, and how very long it would really take you to earn such goodies as a Starbucks coffee, or Bill Gates' fortune.


Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 2125-854-5114 or rkanaley@phillynews.com.

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