Money Minute: Microsoft Releases Bug Fix; Rent Is Too Darn High

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After a tense week of waiting by many computer users, Microsoft finally has a fix.

Many of us have been afraid to use Internet Explorer this week after a warning from Homeland Security, but now Microsoft (MSFT) is out with a fix for its Web browser. The company says most computers have automatic updates and the fix has been downloaded and installed without users having to do anything. Microsoft says the fix even applies to its outdated Windows XP software, which the company said it stopped supporting early last month. There are an estimated 300 million computers still using that platform.

The computer security firm FireEye (FEYE) says attacks against Internet Explorer have been aimed at government networks, as well as defense, finance and energy companies. It says the attacks seem to be coming from in or near China.

A growing number of people are spending way too much of their income on rent. According to RealtyTrac, many low income renters in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Miami spend as much as half of their income on rent. That's partly because rents have increased significantly in recent years, as fewer people buy their own homes -- while income has not kept pace with those rising costs. Many financial advisers say you should budget no more than 30 percent of income toward housing.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 22 points yesterday, retreating from Wednesday's record high. But the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 13 points, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) was virtually flat.

Finally, General Motors (GM) is back in bankruptcy court today. It wants the court to enforce a provision of its reorganization plan that would protect GM from class action lawsuits stemming from accidents that occurred before the plan took effect nearly five years ago. That would protect the company from suits stemming from the recall of 2.6 million cars this year due to defective ignition switches. But many potential plaintiffs object, saying the company committed fraud and should not be exempt from lawsuits.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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YourFtr

Obama simply hasn't produced any good jobs in Six ( 6 ) years
and probably won't in the next two ( 2 ) years.
People can no longer afford to get into houses
and/or maintain them;
so naturally rent goes up.
Obama should be "Deeply Troubled" about that if he wants to be deeply troubled about something ........

May 02 2014 at 3:17 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to YourFtr's comment
drbobdez

Help me out here. How does a president create "good jobs?" For the last three plus decades, US corporations have exported well-paying manufacturing jobs, congress has blocked spending, imposed debt limits, and have refused any initiative aimed at increasing revenue. Without the support of industry and congress, what is the "magic bullet" that will create "good jobs?"

May 02 2014 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
drbobdez

It is a system—you cannot just look at one part. A lot of wannabe-big-home-owners were accommodated by a lot of greedy, myopic bankers with subprime loans. When the borrowers defaulted, the banks were stuck with a big inventory of empty houses and the borrowers had to find a place to live. The oversupply of homes crashed the real estate market and the demand for rentals pushed rents upward. Currently, the Case-Shiller housing index reports that home prices have finally returned to mid-2004 price levels. The problem is that median family income (adjusted for inflation) is down 9.4% from 2004 levels. With less income and, perhaps, a mortgage default on their credit records fewer people can buy homes. Concurrently, lenders became extremely picky about to whom they will lend. Since folks have to live somewhere, this put a lot of pressure on the rental market. High demand, coupled with moderate supply means that price is being used to ration the available rental units. Result . . . higher rents.

With respect to the comment below, we do not owe trillions to China. As of February, China held about $1.27 Trillion in Treasury securities (about 21,6% of the total). Japan came in second with $1.21 Trillion. So, about 42.2% of these securities are owned by these two Asian countries. Both countries also rank #1 and #2 on the list of countries with whom we have trade deficits. The deficit with China is about three times that of Japan. Essentially, American imports are funding the Asian debt purchases. Want to reverse the trend? Buy American made products. Now if you feel that domestic products are too pricy or of inferior quality when compared to the imports, you have put your finger on the problem. We do not want the trade deficits (which are added to the national debt), we do not want the foreign ownership of our debt instruments, but we, also, do not want to quit buying imports versus those produced domestically. Cannot have it both ways . . .

May 02 2014 at 3:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
giles121257

oh well

May 02 2014 at 2:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
domegrp

The rent IS too high. Part of the problem is investors who bought at the height of the market before the crisis need to get top dollar for their rentals now. I don't know how this is going to shake out since a great number of the jobs created are low wage. This is not sustainable.

May 02 2014 at 1:01 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
henry.mauch

China knows that the USA will never be able to re-pay the debt we have created from borrowing trillions of dollars.
That is why they created this internet security breech as to be able to recoup some of their monies......fast. I hope they hit the rich people like Microsoft and Gates, Apple CEOs, IE CEO's, .gov, Soros, Boone, Stayer, Hollywooders, Athletes and leave us working people alone.
Is there a browser that's in use that was made by a European country?

May 02 2014 at 12:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
redawngjo

MOZILLA IS A BETTER BROWSER ANYWAYS

May 02 2014 at 11:44 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Al

Gee Big Bill - now I see why you are so rich - 300 million computers that can't be updated to Windows 8 and no support for XP. Who came up with that idea - MS or the computer manufacturers - or both??

May 02 2014 at 11:05 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Al's comment
henry.mauch

Apple

May 02 2014 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom Harrell

Remember, you can always use your Bug Ridden, out of Date Microsoft Computors to hold down the card Board you use for your Custom Housing.
SEE it's not always Hopeless.

May 02 2014 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savannahswithgod

Wonder if we will go to war over a cyber attack someday? Well Microsoft got a big problem with the brains there anyway. That is proven by not making the Picture It Publishing for all versions of their product. That program changed my messing with pictures, once I discovered the transparency. Microsoft get your head out of your ass and wake up, solve the problem and you got any geeks wanting to mess with that send them to the unemployment office. A great program and screwed with.

May 02 2014 at 9:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply