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Social Change Coming: From Gas Prices to Rent Prices and Beyond

Cash in a Chest

Some social changes are afoot.

You’re likely to hear more about the “fiscal cliff” in upcoming months, especially as the presidential election gears up: If Congress doesn’t do anything, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts will take effect in January, hitting defense spending and lots of other areas like education.

Some economists say that if this “cliff” isn’t dealt with, it could actually cause another recession.

Meanwhile, more data on our changing social landscape: A Wall Street Journal analysis revealed that upper-middle-income families—those with households of annual incomes between $94,535 and $205,335—are actually the ones suffering most under the burden of student loans. This finding is ushering in more speculation that the student loan system is broken.

In other trends news, gas prices keep on rising, with the national average soaring to $3.66 a gallon. At least experts predict that prices will drop again by autumn.

Meanwhile, Gen Y is not buying cars: Could that be why? The trend is so pronounced some industry experts wonder whether the face of car ownership in America will change as a result.

This week, we’ll talk about the paradox of rising rents—although the housing market is still weak, the price to rent a home is increasing. We also crunch the numbers on something fun: the Olympics.

Will the Olympics Be Good or Bad for London’s Economy?

Cities compete viciously to host the Olympics, but does the world’s greatest sporting event help or hurt the economy?

Rents Are Rising: What Should You Do?

Despite a potentially stagnant housing market, renting is becoming more and more expensive. Find out why, and what you can do about it.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 3.90% up 3.84%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 2.89% up 2.87%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.21% up 4.19%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.12% up 3.02%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.43% dw 3.65%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.62% up 4.44%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.04% -- 4.04%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.55% -- 4.55%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.16% dw 4.17%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.16% dw 4.17%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 3.09% up 3.08%  
36 M Used Graph 3.31% up 3.30%  
48 M New Graph 3.17% up 3.16%  
48 M Used Graph 2.86% up 2.85%  
60 M New Graph 3.11% up 3.10%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.37% up 0.36%  
1 yr Graph 0.61% up 0.61%  
5 yr Graph 1.46% -- 1.46%