Economics and Investing:

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Dow slides 391; oil and China drops rattle investors (Warning: Auto-starting video)

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

A Recession Worse Than 2008 is Coming – Don’t pay much attention to the video, as it is not related to article..

Retail Sales in U.S. Decrease to End Weakest Year Since 2009

Bill Gross’ Advice To Traders As Stocks Crash

Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Stocks Get Crushed (Business Insider) U.S. markets will be closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, although we will see additional trading activity in other parts of the world which should offer some insights into what we can expect with the stock exchange reopens on Tuesday. Excerpt: “It’s over. For now. Stocks got slammed again on Friday as the market continues its terrible start to 2016 that is, on a first-10-trading-days basis, the worst start ever. Yes, ever.”

The Rise of the Part-Time and Disposable Employment Army (My Budget 360) It should not need to be said… Human beings should never be considered “disposable”. I have been, and remain, deeply concerned about the decline of the American middle class, the underlying causes of this loss, the implications of this for the country as a whole – and the impact on very real individual people and their families. Excerpt: “Nearly 10 years later after the market started entering into the Great Recession, we find ourselves with no true “middle class” and wealth at the top more disproportionate than ever.”

Despite Economic Crisis Puerto Ricans Spend Record Amount on the Lottery (Fox News Latino) When people do not have the tools and knowledge to build their lives upon solid foundational footing or know how to recover from periods of crisis, they tend to rely on the remote prospect of high risk activities like gambling including big jackpot lottery winnings. In fact, it isn’t just the people of Puerto Rico who are presently pinning their hopes on winning numbers. A report published in 2010 indicates that 40% of Americans with incomes between $25K and $35K thought their best shot at paying for their retirement would be winning the lottery. The numbers probably remain representative today. These people, then and now, stand a much better chance of winning an Academy Award.

Puerto Rico is in the Midst of an Economic Collapse (Yahoo News) Excerpt: “Although there are many ways this crisis could escalate further, it is clear that Puerto Rico is already in the midst of an economic collapse…”

International News

Norway Declares Crisis in Oil Industry as Devaluation Continues (Bloomberg) Excerpt: “The administration is now pegging its hopes to a currency devaluation that has tracked oil’s decline and helped exporters in other industries. It’s also stepping up its reliance on its $805 billion wealth fund – the world’s biggest – to deal with budget holes.”

Narrow Door, Crowded Hall (Contra Corner) Excerpt: ““China has set off a major correction and it’s going to snowball. Equities and credit have become very dangerous, and we have hardly even begun to retrace the ‘Goldlocks love-in’ of the last two years…”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

What is a Middle Class Income in America? (My Budget 360) Spoiler Alert: A lot less than you think… Excerpt: “The typical US household has a median household income of $53,700 according to latest Census figures. And for most households, this means two working people living the two income trap. That income level isn’t much when you actually look at a detailed budget of where this money goes. And the bigger problem of course is that the middle class is now officially a minority for the first time in over a generation…”

10 Tips to Become Debt Free in 2016 (Clark Howard) Excerpt: “The key is persistence – and knowing exactly how to tackle what seems like an insurmountable mountain.”

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