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Eric Reed

Retirement and Investing Expert

Eric Reed is a freelance journalist who specializes in economics, policy and global issues, with substantial coverage of finance and personal finance. He has contributed to outlets including The Street, CNBC, Glassdoor and Consumer Reports. Eric’s work focuses on the human impact of abstract issues, emphasizing analytical journalism that helps readers more fully understand their world and their money. He has reported from more than a dozen countries, with datelines that include Sao Paolo, Brazil; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Athens, Greece. A former attorney, before becoming a journalist Eric worked in securities litigation and white collar criminal defense with a pro bono specialty in human trafficking issues. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and can be found any given Saturday in the fall cheering on his Wolverines.

Posts by Eric Reed:

by Eric Reed Jun 09, 2020

By some estimates, nearly one in four Americans is out of work. A steady stream of bankruptcies has begun, both out loud and quietly, and many businesses have shuttered for good. The full extent of the damage wrought by the coronavirus recession will not become apparent until local economies begin to reopen. But there’s one part of the economy that appears to be going gangbusters: The U.S. stock market, at least as measured by its major indexes. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (which tracks shares of the nation’s 30 largest industrial companies) and the S&P 500 have rebounded more than 40% by the second week of June from their mid-March lows. So why is Wall Street recovering even as Main Street continues to struggle? Read more

by Eric Reed May 20, 2020

At time of writing the United States owed $19.3 trillion in public debt. It owed another $5.9 trillion in debt held by its own agencies. Together, these figures come to a national debt of $25.2 trillion. With substantially more coronavirus spending almost certainly still to come, 2020 will be one of the most expensive years in U.S. history. As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the coronavirus response has already pushed government spending to its highest levels since World War II (the single most expensive event in U.S. history). How is the United States going to pay for all of this? Read more

by Eric Reed May 18, 2020

When the stock market is plunging, or at least stagnant, it may make sense to move your assets out of equity markets and put them into bonds or even cash. These don’t offer much in the way of growth, but they are generally safer than stocks and can protect you from losses. However, under such circumstances, investors have an alternative to bonds or cash – one that not only protects you from market losses, but allows you to profit from them. That alternative is called shorting the market, and it can provide a great hedge against market losses or even let you make big bets on a coming crash. But like any speculative market play, it can burn investors who aren’t careful. Here’s what investors should know about shorting. Read more

by Eric Reed May 12, 2020

Stepped-up basis is a tax provision that allows heirs to reduce their capital gains taxes. When someone inherits property and investments, the IRS resets the market value of these assets to their… Read more

by Eric Reed May 12, 2020

The $2.1 trillion CARES Act, which Congress passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, includes a ban on corporate stock buybacks. Specifically, the law prohibits large corporations that receive… Read more

by Eric Reed Jun 10, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has hammered the U.S. economy and Americans’ incomes. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) said on June 8 that in February 2020 the economy fell into recession,… Read more

by Eric Reed May 05, 2020

Subsidies, which are a kind of economic stimulus, are government payments made to businesses. Subsidies can target either specific companies or an entire industry, and they typically apply in one of… Read more

by Eric Reed May 15, 2020

During a recession the Federal Reserve gets the most headlines for dropping its benchmark interest rates to spur lending, and the spending that lending allows. While that’s the most well-known move… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 30, 2020

State bankruptcies have recently become an open question as the coronavirus pandemic shreds many states’ finances. But before that, the issue emerged in 2017 when the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 29, 2020

The CARES Act includes a temporary change to how companies make use of net operating losses when they file taxes. A company that earns less taxable income than it can claim in deductions can now… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 28, 2020

In Brookline, Mass., Talia Glass runs a local market called Allium Market, an independent specialty foods market selling cheese, baked goods and coffee. Like many such businesses, the market has been… Read more

by Eric Reed Jun 04, 2020

It’s hard to recall a time when market volatility has been as intense as it has been during the coronavirus pandemic. Over the course of March, federal, state and local governments imposed shutdown… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 23, 2020

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a number of programs available for small business owners suffering during the coronavirus pandemic. The most prominent are the Personal Paycheck Program … Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 22, 2020

As the economy remains shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, export businesses have taken a significant hit. With transport links reduced and consumers staying home, global demand for U.S.… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 21, 2020

When markets closed on April 20, 2020, crude oil on the futures market sold for -$37.63 per barrel. That minus sign is not a typo. In fact, the price of crude oil had indeed closed negative, tumbling… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 20, 2020

Investors have gotten surprisingly used to negative interest rates. Originally an extraordinary crutch to help economies recover from the supposedly once-in-a-generation catastrophe of the Great… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 14, 2020

The Small Business Administration’s most significant function is to help small businesses secure funding. Often this comes in the form of startup capital for someone looking to create a business.… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 13, 2020

Deficit spending occurs when the federal government spends more than it collects. This means that the federal budget exceeds both the government’s revenues for the year and any surplus it currently… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 13, 2020

One of the most important functions of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is to help entrepreneurs and small businesses raise funds to open or expand a business. To assist with this, the SBA… Read more

by Eric Reed Jul 10, 2020

The centerpiece of the coronavirus stimulus package, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides forgivable loans to small businesses to help them maintain their payroll. The program’s original… Read more

by Eric Reed Mar 31, 2020

Most people experience government spending through its fiscal policy, which refers to how a government takes money or spends it. The former happens through taxation, while the latter might include… Read more

by Eric Reed Mar 27, 2020

A trade deficit sounds like a very bad thing. A trade deficit is an economics term which indicates the difference a country’s imports and its exports. If the country imports more than it exports, it… Read more

by Eric Reed Mar 25, 2020

When it comes to fixing an economy, the government has two main tools at its disposal: monetary stimulus and fiscal stimulus. This isn’t the limit of what a dedicated government can do, but most… Read more

by Eric Reed Mar 19, 2020

Did you know you can make money in the stock market when shares go down, or in commodity markets when prices fall? In other words, the buy-low-sell-high approach can be reversed and still produce a… Read more

by Eric Reed Jun 03, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has had a number of effects on the U.S. economy, including many recession-like symptoms. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been put in place… Read more