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Best columns: Money securities, Job searching
With money market funds holding Fannie and Freddie debt, says Charles Jaffe in <em>The Baltimore Sun</em>, you&rsquo;re more likely to lose your nerve than any money. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics&rsquo; job projection
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annie and Freddie and your money market fund

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s troubles pose a threat to the credit markets, says Charles Jaffe in The Baltimore Sun, but they’re “not actually a big worry for investors in money market funds,” even those significantly invested in the two mortgage giants. “Money market funds are ultra-safe investments,” and the Fannie and Freddie securities their fund managers buy are implicitly backed by the U.S. government. Besides, no “big retail fund” has ever dipped below the baseline $1 level, and “no fund firm that wants to stay in business” would allow one of its money market firms to “break the buck” in that way. There are no guarantees, but you’re more likely to lose your nerve than any money in these funds.

The government’s fallible guidance counsellor

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projections of U.S. occupations, says Jacob Leibenluft in Slate, are “almost certainly the most influential economic statistics you’ve never heard of.” Job-search Web sites, guidance counsellors, and state governments all use the BLS list to predict what “the hot jobs” will be in the next 10 years. “The only problem is that projecting exactly which jobs will grow and which will shrink is a nearly impossible task. And, sure enough, the BLS is often wrong.” So for students looking for a bright future or anxious adults looking “to ’recession-proof’ their jobs,” the answers may not be on a fallible official government list, but in finding “what you are good at” or enjoy doing.

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