Unless you're a student of history or are planning a Mediterranean vacation, you may never have given the island of Cyprus much thought. Then suddenly, it dominated the headlines. What does a banking crisis in a small and far-off land mean to you?
Thanks to two major X factors -- the fiscal cliff and new bank capitalization standards -- 2013 could be the most eventful period for the banking industry since the crisis years of 2008 and 2009. Here are eight key things to watch.
Trouble with banks was one of the first harbingers of what has become known as the Great Recession, and of the lackluster recovery that has followed. Perhaps an improved banking environment will be an early signal that the economy is finally getting healthy again.
With interest rates scraping along just above zero, it's easy to grow frustrated with savings accounts and other bank deposit products. However, as uninspiring as savings account rates have become, the grass may not be greener anywhere else.
Whether or not there was any wrongdoing, the reasons for the Facebook flop are understandable. In many ways, this is an echo of the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, when emotion triumphed over logic for long enough to drive Internet stocks to prices that could only fall.
Regional and community banks are often recommended as a solution to the low interest rates offered by large banks -- and for good reason. Unfortunately, the viability of this solution may depend on where you live.
With bank rates falling, where should you look to find the most competitive rates? The banks on the above top 10 lists are great places to start, but you should always do some comparison shopping before you make a final decision.
What will be the ripple effects of a setback in stocks? As stock prices have fallen, they've pulled 10-year bond yields back below 2 percent. That's a discouraging sign for CDs, savings accounts and money market accounts
Retirement confidence has taken a beating in recent years. One of the root causes suggested by the survey results is that the difficulty of meeting short-term goals might be so great that people never get around to focusing on long-term goals.
Most parents are more than willing to make sacrifices for their children, and will make accommodations for them when they are in need. However, when young adults return home, it shouldn't be to experience a second childhood.
While the backlash is inevitable, it raises a key question: How much control does the president really have over oil and gasoline prices? How people perceive the answer to that question could well decide the results of the next election.