November 21, 2007
Consider an armchair Black Friday
There are a lot of good reasons “to fill a virtual shopping cart instead of a real one” for your holiday shopping, says Amy Hoak in MarketWatch. There are no crowds, you don’t waste gas, and you can easily compare prices. But if you’re not careful, you may spend just as much. So make a list, and “map out purchases in advance” so you can take advantage of free shipping deals. Buy from a “trusted” retailer, or at least ones with good “customer reviews.” And if the Web address doesn’t begin with “https” when you go to pay, click away. Also, use a credit card to pay, not a debit card: you’ll have more protection, and you may get a gift yourself in “airline miles” or other perks.
A more visible Fed may be seen, not heard
The Federal Reserve issued the first of its new quarterly economic projections yesterday, says John Berry in Bloomberg, and investors and analysts heard what they wanted. Many of them took the Fed’s lowered growth forecast “as evidence the Fed needs to cut rates more”—even though “the Fed’s collective message” suggested otherwise. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is making good on his promise to draw back the policy curtain, especially regarding inflation. But “even good communications—and what the Fed did yesterday certainly qualified as that—aren’t always going to accomplish what the Fed intends.”