Our Two Cents – Week of 10/31/11

The ghosts and goblins were out in full sight this week, but thankfully they didn’t scare the currency markets. While we nibbled on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, carved Jack-o-Lanterns and even shoveled after a record-breaking snowstorm, we read the world’s top financial headlines.

The biggest treat of the week was the European Union reaching a debt deal. After discussions lasted well into the early hours Oct. 27, eurozone leaders said they had reached an agreement for banks to take voluntary 50 percent losses on Greek bonds. The move is part of a plan aimed at reducing the Greek debt to 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2020 (its GDP is currently at 160 percent). While this is certainly good news for Europe, some financial experts believe leaders have waited too long for this solution as millions of Europeans have been out of work and many countries have been slipping into recession. What could bring a healthy burst of optimism to the world markets is Asia’s stocks. The Asian markets last week flexed their financial muscles with stocks climbing positively. That positivity has leaped the Pacific Ocean to the U.S.: economic forecasts from the government, financial analysts and academics are showing signs that the U.S. economy will be booming by 2020—some good news after recent years of sluggishness. Among the factors for the thrust is housing prices, which will rise sharply. For those who may want to become the next Daddy Warbucks, Forbes has issued some tips that can keep your wallets fat and $1,000 richer in the new year. Instead of surrendering the green stuff for personal expenses left and right as if you’re Hollywood’s elite, pack a lunch instead of buying each day, clip coupons, maximize your credit cards and set—and maintain—budgets.



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