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from MacroScope:

Fed on guard over low U.S. savings rate

As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered what may have been his last testimony on monetary policy before Congress, most of the world’s attention was focused on what hints he might give about the timing of an eventual reduction in the pace of asset purchases.

Tucked in the actual semi-annual monetary policy report Bernanke delivered to lawmakers on Capitol Hill was a little-noticed reference to growing worries about the potential for an extended period of low savings, associated in part with long-stagnant wages, to thwart long-run economic progress.

Total U.S. net national saving – that is, the saving of U.S. households, businesses, and governments, net of depreciation charges – remains extremely low by historical standards.

In the third quarter of last year, net national saving as a percent of nominal GDP was close to zero. The relative flatness of the national saving rate over the past few years reflects the offsetting effects of a narrowing in the federal budget deficit as a share of nominal GDP and a downward movement in the private saving rate.

from Global Investing:

Asia’s credit explosion

Whatever is happening to all those Asian savers? Apparently they are turning into big time borrowers.

RBS contends in a note today that in a swathe of Asian countries (they exclude China and South Korea) bank deposits are not keeping pace with credit which has expanded in the past three years by up to 40 percent.

from Global Investing:

Three snapshots for Friday

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The correlation between individual country equity indices is rising again:

U.S. consumer spending jumps in February but income growth tepid.

Apple vs. RIM market value:

from Reuters Money:

Searching for yield? Think savings bonds

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Yields on certificates of deposit, Treasury bonds, and other interest-bearing securities have gotten so low that a mundane investment usually associated with birthdays and bar mitzvahs looks enticing by comparison.

But if you’re thinking of buying Series I savings bonds you might want to do it soon, since new regulations set to take effect next year will limit purchase amounts and make them harder for many people to buy.

from Reuters Money:

Want to put your kid on road to Millionaire Row by 21? Here’s how

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While some youngsters long to become rock stars or Hollywood heavyweights, others now gravitate towards another stripe of pop-cultural celebrity: the whiz kid who becomes a millionaire before age 21.

That's not hard to fathom now, given the likes of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and other tech hotshots. But for Susan Beacham — founder of Money Savvy Generation — steady strokes and ingrained habits set kids on the course to riches. And Beacham should know: She practices what she preaches with her two teenage daughters, Allison, 19, and Amanda, 17.

from Reuters Money:

Gen”Why?”: Balancing your finances with boomerang kids

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Fred Amrein has three children in their early 20s: the youngest lives in college dorms, the middle lives at home and the oldest -- soon to be married -- recently moved out.

The "boomerang generation"-- young adults who live at home with their parents -- are increasingly turning to mom and dad for further financial support. But will caring for your adult children jeopardize your retirement security?

from Reuters Money:

Financial independence day: 5 ways to get there

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No fireworks will explode if you can pull off financial independence, but it sure beats working for the man. How do you do it? Do you have to live like a monk? Give up chocolate? Move to a tent? Stop watching the Cartoon Network?

While it helps if you were an investment banker, CEO, professional athlete, movie star or inherited a ton of money, there are other ways to get there. Here are some favorite, little-heralded ways.

from Reuters Money:

Is the American Dream dead?

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The American Dream lures people from all over the world, and it’s because of this possibility: If you come here and work hard, your kids will have a better life than you.

What if that weren’t true anymore?

Record debt, persistent joblessness, millions of underwater mortgages and a stock market that hasn’t gone anywhere in 10 years: For today’s kids who are entering the job market, it’s hardly a recipe for future success.

from Reuters Money:

From books to homes: Swap your way to big savings

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Sometimes a gift is more like a curse. Self-described "cheap" booklover and avid library user Alyssa Lester wasn't over the moon when she found a new ereader under the Christmas tree last year. "I love my Kindle, but didn’t want to buy one because I would have to start buying books and I don’t have a lot of extra money in my budget for that," she says.

While searching online for ebook alternatives, Lester stumbled upon the recently-launched website eBookFling.com, which allows readers to lend Kindle and Nook ebooks for a free, two-week period, acting as a secondary media market for literary lovers.

from Reuters Money:

Easter hunt: How to save cash as cocoa rises

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Chocolate easter bunnies are pictured at the Hauswirth confectioner factory in Kittsee, some 60 km (37 miles) east of Vienna, March 24, 2011.  REUTERS/Lisi Niesner Is the money you've socked away for Easter treats not stretching as far this year? You've likely experienced sticker shock as commodity prices continue to soar, sending the cost of that cavity-inducing chocolate bunny ever higher.

Cocoa futures continue on a wave of volatility thanks to political turmoil in Ivory Coast -- the world's top cocoa exporter. And research from the World Bank shows sugar prices are up 21 percent from last year. But, it's not just the sweet stuff that's affected. Instability in Africa and the Middle East has driven overall global food prices up 36 percent over last year, according to the latest edition of the World Bank's Food Price Watch.

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