Reading List for July 18-20

Jul 17, 2020
Current Events, Personal Finance, Investing, Economics

Personal Finance/Managing Credit

  • How many of you actually balance your checkbook these days? Emily Guy Birken wrote an article for Forbes explaining how to and why you should balance your checkbook in this digital age.
  • The CFPB examines “credit builder loans” and determines them to be a good way to help consumers build credit. (My Ches Co)
  • FICO unveils a new “resilience score,” which looks at different elements of a person’s credit history (beyond the credit score) that are better indicators of how well someone would handle debt in a downturn. (ABC)



  • Three of the largest US banks (JP Morgan Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo) took a second quarter earnings hit as they set aside $25 billion in reserve for anticipated coronavirus-related loan losses. (NYT)
  • Robinhood traders went all in on Tesla on Monday! (Bloomberg-subscription)
  • Ed Yardini discusses the six stocks that dominate the S&P 500, most of which seem to be Covid-proof.
  • Chief Investment Officer looks at ESG (environment, social and governmental) funds performance during the pandemic. (They have done pretty well!)

FYI - author and WSJ columnist Jason Zweig has his own blog on investing….no subscription required.



  • Forbes explains how long you need to keep your tax returns, in case your you are doing a pandemic purge and need to know.



  • Unemployment numbers this week show a seasonally adjusted 1.3 million new claims, slightly down from the previous week’s number. Continuing claims were at 17.4 million. However, unadjusted new claims ROSE for the first time since April. (Yahoo Finance)
  • Given that about 50% of Americans get their health insurance through their employer, it may not surprise you that an Urban Institute report estimated that 10 million Americans will lose their health insurance coverage between April and December, 2020. Some will move to other coverage, but it is expected that 3.5 million will be left without coverage. (Yahoo Finance)
  • Retail Sales jumped 7.5% in June from May, and are up 1.1% year-over-year, but early indications are that this uptick may not be sustained as Covid 19 rages across the country. Also note below which sectors are (and are not) experiencing growth. AP News


  • Research from JP Morgan Chase suggests retail spending may be getting a boost from the $600 being paid weekly in unemployment benefits, which has driven the spending of the unemployed UP by 10%, not down as those who are employed.
  • But the buying is not happening IN the stores themselves. Brick and mortar store closures are on track to hit 25,000 this year, more than double last year’s 9000+ (USA Today)
  • Back to the dark side, according to weekly Census Bureau data, 12 million Americans were uanable able to pay rent last month, and 23 million feel they won’t be able to make the next payment. They can now face eviction again when the Federal moratorium is lifted at the end of July, just as the $600 unemployment payments end. WSJ (subscription)
  • It is not just the medical experts urging us to wear masks, economists (Dallas Fed President Kaplan, in this case) argue that wearing masks is the way to save the economy. (Fox Business)



  • Need some advice on how to talk to your kids about the current financial situation (aka the Recession?) Bottom line, don’t over share and make your kids anxious. Money


Fun Fact

  • Amazon celebrated its 21st birthday this week! What did its home page look like when it launched? Quartz

About the Author

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an M.B.A. in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducting student workshops, and developing finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.