Main Street

Banks Made Less on Overdraft Fees Last Year

The average fee for overdrafting your bank account rose again last year, but evidently, more Americans are doing a better of job managing their checking accounts, because the amount paid in overdraft fees dropped by $2.5 billion in 2011, after a $3 billion drop in 2010.

Another Brokerage Bites the Dust: Is Wall St. In Trouble?

Over the past couple of weeks, with little fanfare, three small brokerages bit the dust due to a dearth of trading activity on the stock markets and a lack of capital in-house. This may not matter much, but it could be the beginning of a wave of failures on Wall Street.

Why J.C. Penney Will Never Be Great Again

J.C. Penney's new CEO plans to remake the tired old department store chain a la the Apple Store and Target, and his fresh ideas are earning him applause. But as investors and industry watchers cheer Ron Johnson's turnaround concepts, they're ignoring some big potholes on the road ahead.

How J.C. Penney Just Might Transform the Way We Shop

New CEO Ron Johnson's plan to revamp J.C. Penney is seriously ambitious. No more coupons, almost no more sales, and a complete rethink of the department store model. So why does think he can pull it off -- and with a chain that has lagged its rivals? Because maybe he can. Here's why:

How a Debit Card Fee Cut Backfired on Merchants

Washington's efforts at financial reform keep having strange and unintended consequences. In response to a law that was meant to lower excessive debit card transaction fees on merchants, Visa and Mastercard found a way to raise the fees on a host of small businesses.

Lean Bonus Season Ahead for Wall Street Bankers

With unemployment still high, late mortgage payments rising, and the number of Americans in poverty at record levels, it seems that Main Street is headed for a hard, cold holiday season. But, somewhat surprisingly, so too are the fat cats of Wall Street -- relatively speaking.

Online Banks Booming as People Flee Wall St. Giants

While thousands of Americans unleash their anger at big banks in protests around the country, many more are registering their dissatisfaction from their keyboards. In the wake of last week's news that Bank of America is adding a new $5 fee for debit card use, online-only banks saw waves of new customers coming through their virtual doors.

Bank Fees Push More Americans to Credit Unions

Big Wall Street banks haven't been winning many fans lately with their new fees and constant search for loopholes in the Obama administration's consumer protection laws. Bank of America's new fees on debit cards could be the last straw for some. The alternative many Americans are turning to: credit unions.

Runway to Retail: Big Chains Size Up Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week is over, but the work is just getting started at the nation's big chain retailers. With the Web putting savvy customers instantly in the loop, those hoping to catch the fashion wave have to move fast. We asked fashion and trend directors at Macy's, J.C. Penney and Banana Republic what we'll be seeing this spring.

Holly Petraeus, Servicemembers' Financial Advocate

The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is there to guard all of us being taken advantage of financially. Turns out, one group that needs extra protection in that arena: those who protect our whole nation -- U.S. service members and their families. And Holly Petraeus is going to make sure they get it.

The Financial Landscape: An Economic Spilt Personality

Is the American recovery fast or slow? Depends on who you ask. The Wall Street Journal sees corporate America merrily rolling along while Main Street suffers. The New York Times warns that Wall Street is about to feel the pinch too. But nobody is all that optimistic about Greece today.

Black Friday: Boutique Shopping




If you think only massive stores offer Black Friday shopping deals, think again. Small shops, boutiques and mom and pops, offer ways to save and...

Main Street Doesn't Buy Wall Street's 'Recovery'

If stocks are rising, many Wall Street gurus take it as evidence that the economy is improving. Yet even though the S&P 500 has soared 80% from its March 2009 lows, 70% of Americans don't believe the recession is over. Is Main Street's grasp on reality firmer than Wall Street's? Let's look at the data:

Coupons Come to the Rescue for Main Street

The average value of a coupon for consumer package goods in 2009 was $1.37, according to new report by NCH Marketing Services. And consumers redeemed 23% more coupons last year, for the first time in 17 years. That created $3.5 billion in savings for coupon-clippers.