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Finance Report 2023


This page offers some general information about the state of the economy, personal finance, and investing. Stories below are listed in chronological order with the source and date used for each entry heading. For news about the job market, read “Labor Report 2023.”


CNBC (14 Jul 2023)

“Why Citibank Branches Are Closing Around The World” — After the company’s collapse during the 2008 recession, Citi’s stock has continuously struggled. Shares of the company saw more than a 30% drop over the last 5 years. In 2021, CEO Jane Fraser announced a bold shift in the company strategy, exiting 14 consumer markets outside of the U.S. and instead doubling down on wealth management. It’s a tactical move that several other major banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo have adopted in recent years. So will Citi’s bet pay off and can the company return to its former glory? [Source]

CBS (26 May 2023)

“U.S. consumers have $986 billion in credit card debt” — Americans now carry a record $986 billion worth of credit card debt, according to numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. CBS News MoneyWatch reporter Megan Cerullo explained the reasons behind the staggering number, and shared tips for reducing your debt. [Source]

CNBC (23 May 2023)

“Who Actually Pays For Credit Card Rewards?” — About 90% of all credit card spending is on rewards cards like Delta SkyMiles, Chase Sapphire Preferred or American Express Platinum. And these cards are hugely popular for a reason: you can earn cash back, upgrades on flights and many other perks. In 2019, about $35 billion in rewards was handed out to customers around the country. But how are banks paying for it all? A majority comes from interest earned from low-income consumers who revolve balances on a monthly basis. The rest is from merchant fees and things like annual, over-the-limit or foreign transaction fees. Some economists claim there’s an annual redistribution of more than $15 billion from less to more educated, poorer to richer and high to low minority areas – widening existing disparities. [Source]

NBC News (24 Apr 2023)

“How to prepare for a possible government default” — With just over a week until the U.S. is expected to hit its debt ceiling, a Democratic official is accusing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of “refusing to compromise” with President Biden. NBC News’ Brian Cheung breaks down how the U.S.’s potential first ever default could impact the economy. [View]

Deutsche Welle (21 Apr 2023)

“The financial crisis no one is fixing” — As our world grows older, governments can’t afford to pay for the retirement promises made to previous generations. Now, shortfalls in public finances are threatening to upend the way our societies are organized. Many worry that retirement could soon be a thing of the past. In this video, we will look at how the retirement crisis will make our post-work lives harder. We will speak to those who warn that the social contract will be rewritten. And we will ask: why wasn’t this prevented? [Source]

CBS News (21 Apr 2023)

“Millions of older Americans unprepared for retirement” — A new survey shows an alarming number of older Americans are not financially prepared for retirement. CBS MoneyWatch associate managing editor Aimee Picchi joins CBS News’ Meg Oliver and Elaine Quijano to discuss. [Source]

CNBC (21 Apr 2023)

“Teaching personal finance to teachers can lead to a stronger economy: Rebecca Patterson” — CNBC’s Melissa Lee and the Fast Money Traders discuss an Op-ed by Rebecca Patterson, chair of the board of the Council for Economic Education, on teaching financial literacy in schools. [Source]

CNET (21 Apr 2023)

“Apple Savings Account May Bite Into Big Banks” — As Apple launches a new savings account for Apple Card holders, we look at the company’s growing financial products and the state of Apple Pay today. Big banks may have reasons to be worried about Apple’s finance moves — but Apple hasn’t conquered the wallet just yet. [Source]

CNBC (30 Mar 2023)

“Why Tipping Is So Out Of Control In The U.S.” — Tipping in the United States is on the rise and experts are calling it tipflation. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the number of tips provided at full-service restaurants grew by 17% from the fourth quarter of 2021. Meanwhile the tip frequency at quick-service restaurants rose 16% during the same time period. Experts say that’s because of the newer and sleeker-looking Point-of-Sale, or POS, systems by tech companies like Square, Toast and Clover, who also have increased their sales as a result. The pressure to tip well in front of the tip receiver, before a service is completed, or in front of other customers makes a difference for many. After customers swipe their credit card, they’re typically prompted with three large tipping options on a screen. While businesses can opt out of the tipping feature, most aren’t. In fact, even Starbucks started prompting customers for tips in stores in September 2022. With Americans being pressured to tip higher percentages and for more services, the question is, where is the tipping point? [Source]

The Economist (7 Mar 2023)

“Is it worth having kids?” — Fertility rates are falling across the rich world, as more and more people are weighing up whether to have children. Raising them can be stressful and cost a fortune, but they might bring you a lot of joy. So all things considered, on International Women’s Day, is it worth having kids? [Source]

CBS (3 Mar 2023)

“Economic struggles force some retirees to move in with family” — Home shortages and inflation have forced many retirees to move in with family members. The trend has also contributed to the growing popularity of housing options such as accessory dwelling units. Carter Evans has more. [Source]

CBS (1 Mar 2023)

“Millions of Americans nearing retirement without savings” — About half of all Americans ages 55 to 66 have no retirement savings, according to U.S. Census data. Janet Shamlian examines the financial struggles many face as they near retirement in the CBS News series “Retirement Ready.” [Source]

CBS (27 Feb 2023)

“Older Americans struggle to save for retirement” — Saving for retirement is one of the biggest challenges for many Americans. In the series “Retirement Ready,” Mark Strassmann takes a look at some of the struggles facing older Americans. [Source]

CNBC (20 Jan 2023)

“Why Americans Feel So Poor” — The middle class was once a symbol of the American dream. It meant financial security and an opportunity for a better future. But that portrait of the American middle class is quite different today. A survey in 2018 found that a third of middle-income adults don’t have as much as $400 to cover an unexpected expense. And while the middle-class lifestyle grows more expensive and uncertain, it’s also moving beyond the reach of younger generations. [Source]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com