The Eurozone Crisis is Starting to Affect US Lending

This is a guest post from

The Eurozone money crisis currently affecting Europe has started to impact US bank lending. This news comes after the latest survey of 50 loan officers at the Federal Reserve. How could this affect overall debt in the US?

As the economy begins a slow recovery, credit conditions improved for awhile. That has come to a dramatic halt, with only five of the domestic banks (out of 50 surveyed) reporting relaxed standards for lending to large companies. Two domestic banks out of the 50 have tightened their conditions on lending.

US branches of foreign banks have shown a sharp reduction in lending, with nearly a quarter of them tightening their terms and raising interest rates. They have also cut back on the amount and length of time that they are willing to lend money.

This is because they are seeing the weaker economic outlook as it relates to their immediate future. They are not willing to take the risk of lending money as this weakens their own liquidity.

The survey highlights one of a few ways in which the Eurozone crisis could affect the US. At present, it is only affecting businesses and banks, but if it spreads to personal banking, debts may rise.

In the survey, US banks were asked if they had put any special conditions on lending to European banks and companies - a whopping 56% said that they had. The flipside of this is that the European banks and companies will not be able to afford loans, or would face heavy restrictions on the terms of any that they could secure.

If the economic crisis in the Eurozone worsens, we may see the bankruptcy of multiple companies as they begin to struggle. Obviously bankruptcy is the final straw for any business, and it would consider this only after possible buyouts, redundancies, or layoffs and that ultimately affects the people.

This may not happen, of course, as there have been rumors that the Chinese are set to help the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF – the euro area’s bailout fund), but so far this has not come to fruition.

What would be the outcome if China were to bail out the Eurozone?

  • More representation at the IMF?
  • More market economy status?
  • Commercial investment?

The Eurozone cannot afford to be seen “selling” such things so openly, but what options do they have right now?

And how would that affect the US?

For an awesome infographic that explains the Eurozone Crisis, visit the Payplan blog.

I Don’t Mind Staying Single. Really.

this may be me in 20 years


One of the worst aspects of being a single mom is the world’s insistence that I need to “hurry up and find someone.” My friends and family can’t stand the fact that I’ve been divorced nearly 2 whole years and haven’t been in a relationship yet. They try to “help” me figure out the underlying issues that are preventing me from entering a world of re-wedded bliss. Usually by insisting they know “the nicest guy” who is a perfect match for me in every way.


There was a short time in 2010 when dating seemed very important. About six months after my divorce was final, I desperately needed to prove to myself that I was still dateable, that guys wouldn’t run away screaming. I dabbled in the online dating world and even allowed a few friends to set me up on dates. Let’s review those exciting experiences.

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Are You Adequately Covered?



On top of the existing drama at my job, I recently found out that I’ll be losing all my benefits in May 2012. I can’t express how excited I was (sarcasm) to find out that there is yet ANOTHER downside to what I thought would be the best job in the universe. Honestly, I’m surprised we had benefits at all since we’re technically working as contractors. I hope to be long gone by next May, but I thought it would be worth my time to figure out what I need to replace and/or maintain if I can’t find another job before my benefits end.

Health insurance: I feel like I really haven’t had health coverage since I started with my current agency. The plans they offer have VERY high deductibles, limited coverage, and high copays. Luckily I have no health problems. However, as I learned when my dad needed open heart surgery unexpectedly at age 40, years of perfect health can disappear with one trip to the doctor. It’s important for me to maintain coverage just in case - a gap could leave me uninsurable in the future.

Car insurance: This isn’t related to my job, but it’s also important to keep adequate car insurance to protect myself in the event of an accident. A few years ago, I hit a deer going 40 mph - shouldn’t have been a big deal. Yet I ended up rolled over in a ditch with a totaled car. Which I was still making payments on. If I hadn’t been insured, I would have been stuck making payments on a ruined vehicle.

Renter’s insurance: Again, not tied to my job, but one payment I definitely don’t want to miss! So many renters fail to obtain coverage for their personal belongings, thinking the landlord’s homeowners policy will replace their stuff. As I learned from reading my dad’s policy on my house, though, that’s not the case. I have my own policy that will replace the major stuff I own, along with standard allowances for things like clothing. And the premium is only like $25 a month.

Disability insurance: I’ve noticed that a lot of young workers ignore short- and long-term disability when they choose benefits. These are SO important - if you are unable to work, these policies will pay a percentage of your income until you’re able to return. My employer provides long-term disability at no cost to us, but I am responsible for short-term. Again, my dad’s heart surgery taught me the value of being prepared for the unexpected.

Life insurance: My current policy sucks. It will pay out 2x my annual salary if I kick the bucket. Which, given the recent paycheck situation, probably wouldn’t be enough to pay for my burial. Whether or not I find another job, I need to get a life insurance quote to find additional coverage. That way I know my son will be provided for if anything happens to me.

Dental insurance: A few years ago, a dental cleaning revealed cavities for the first time in my life. Apparently I’ve been brushing too hard for years - so much that I brushed some of the enamel off my teeth, leaving them more vulnerable to cavities. I’m almost done with all my dental work, but I don’t want to risk having issues later and having them dismissed as preexisting.

Are you covered in case of emergency? What types of insurance have saved your butt in the past?

This post contains sponsored links. Please see my Disclosures page for more information.

4 Finance Lessons from AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

Yeah, yeah, this should have been a Halloween post. Oh well. It’s not really Halloween-related anyway.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (and if not, why not?), you probably know I’m obsessed with a huge fan of The Walking Dead. It is literally the only show I watch on TV. Ever. For those of you who haven’t seen it, basically a zombie apocalypse has swept the United States, and the show chronicles a group of survivors trying to figure out what comes next.

When the first season aired last fall, I was completely uninterested. I’m not really into the whole zombie/vampire thing that seems to be so popular right now. But my son asked me to watch the marathon leading up to the finale with him, so I agreed. And I was shocked to find that I LOVED the show. It’s not about the zombies (or “walkers” as the characters refer to them); it’s about the people who are trying so hard to cling to a “normal” life when everything has changed.

Anyway, last night I was gearing up for the latest episode when I realized I can totally talk about personal finance AND my fave show at the same time! (After all, finance can be compared to anything. Don’t believe me? Check out how it relates to cross dressing.) Here are a few elements of The Walking Dead that can teach us some great financial lessons.

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