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Best of the Exchange: Recession, Oil and College Debt


Minyans make sense of recession.

With the launch of The Exchange, Minyans now have a forum in which to express their viewpoints, comment on articles and meet other like-minded financial souls. Minyanville publishes "A Best of the Exchange" each Friday to highlight the many insightful posts and discussions going on behind the scenes.

Become part of The Exchange and let your voice be heard!

(Editor's Note: Some of the following posts may have been modified slightly from their original form.)

Prof. Depew shared his answer to the question Whom To Believe: Recession by the Numbers, or by the Pain? in his Five Things column, and Minyans were quick to answer.

Minyan Rick:
Well put, Kevin. BTW, did you know U.S. domestic oil production's most recent monthly output peak was in Jan 86 at 283 billion barrels? Since then it has dropped in roughly a straight line to its current level at 148 million barrels (Feb 08).

Minyan Dan: Not only does the money that gets spent on gas come directly out of groceries and other spending, but it disappears into another country's pockets, for the most part (or into a bank in the Caymans). That means it isn't circulating in the local community and creating wealth. As this money disappears from the local banks' savings accounts, it also becomes harder to borrow (on top of the current bubble-caused housing paranoia) from those banks.

Minyan Lloyd: What did we do before the discovery of oil? Now that petroleum products are becoming too expensive, more human energy will be focused on developing alternate sources that work, sources that previously could not compete with cheap oil. And as more knowledge is gained, competition will increase and the cost will go down. This is the history of man's enterprise. Or we can run in circles in the street and shout "The sky is falling".

Prof. Reeves discussed ways to Deal With College Debt, inviting debate and discussion among several readers.

Minyan Brett:
The correct way to manage your money is to pay down any and all debt that is costing you more than you can earn in a savings account (maybe even bake in savings account +risk free return). And pay it down in order from highest rate to lowest rate.

Minyan Vewin: Almost nobody starts out with a salary anymore, just a lucky few. I know several companies that start people out through temporary agencies and pay $10-13 an hour. Where are the good jobs? You spend more than most starting salaries getting the education anymore. The cost of education must come down as we are pricing it out of reach.

Minyan Lee: It is amazing to see that Wall St. has managed to create a young generation who think like the survivors of the Great Depression. They see through the debt traps set by their rapacious banker elders, do not believe the criminals who run most companies and understand that investing in stocks and real estate are RISKY endeavors.
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