Archive for the ‘Economic Perspective’ Category

Negative interest rates

Normally we think of interest rates being a positive number. That is, if we borrow some money, we have to pay some interest rate on the loan — meaning we’ll pay back more than we borrowed. Or if we invest, we expect to earn money — that is, interest on my funds. But a new investment recently offered a negative interest rate. N.C. Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden explains.

Shifts in shopping

This recession has been especially hard on consumers by reducing their income and wealth. How has this double blow affected how consumers spend? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

Fixing foreclosures

Home foreclosures are numbering in the millions today, with more likely coming. Why don’t the banks who own the mortgage on the home simply reduce or forgive a certain amount of the loan? Would reducing the payments to a level the homeowner could afford be a simple way out for everybody involved? N.C. State University extension economist Mike Walden weighs in.

New tobacco uses

At one time tobacco was the dominant industry in North Carolina. It is still significant, but certainly less so than in the past. N.C. Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden says that as smoking rates have declined, tobacco producers shifting to new uses for their products.

World housing prices

A recent report indicated housing prices are still falling in the United States. But are we alone? What have housing prices been doing in other countries? N.C. State University extension economist Mike Walden responds.

Grain is gold

Some key farm prices are at lofty levels. What’s bringing this good news to the farmers? N.C. State University extension economist Mike Walden responds.

Pluses and minuses of low interest rates

Interest rates are at a generation low today, and some think they will even go lower. What kind of impacts do those low rates have? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

North Carolina reaches jobs milestone

The latest N.C. jobs report shows that the state’s unemployment rate finally reached the national unemployment rate of 9.6 percent. This is the first time in more than two years that the state’s jobless rate hasn’t been higher than the national rate. But N.C. State University extension economist Mike Walden says it isn’t necessarily time to celebrate.

What makes Germany tick?

Germany suffered through the recession like most countries, but its recovery has been stronger. Years ago Germany was thought of as being noncompetitive because of high labor costs and sluggish production. N.C. State University extension economist Mike Walden takes a look at what changed.

Buying cars using the Internet

Everyone likes to save money when buying something, and the way we do this has changed. Many people think using the Internet is a way to lower the price of what we are buying. Is there any evidence to support this belief? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden weighs in.

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