interest rate rises

4 Fiscal Steps to Take Right Now

It's been a week of dreadful financial news in the U.S. Many people's instincts will tell them not to make any moves until the trouble blows over. But the best opportunity to significantly improve your financial footing often comes during the worst of the turmoil. Here are four areas in which even small steps, taken now, will help.

How the Debt Downgrade Will Trickle Down

By itself, the S&P downgrade doesn't mean much to the average citizen. The real risk to the public is devaluation, due to the printing of dollars to make servicing the debt easier. Such a course of action by the government could lead to higher interest rates and greater costs of imported goods.

Despite Pressure, the Fed Is Low on Options

Home sales are way down, unemployment is still high, and investors are waiting for the Federal Reserve to take action. But while passions run high about what the Fed should do next, its ability to move the needle on GDP growth or unemployment may be more limited than most assume.