Credit card companies are jacking up interest rates, lowering credit limits, and closing accounts - and people who have made timely payments are not exempt. So even if you pay off your balance - and that's tough when interest rates are insanely high - there's a good chance your credit limit will be slashed, and that will hurt your FICO score.
The Fed should make a clear commitment to stable money to reduce the swings in interest rates and inflation. Instead, it champions and flaunts unstable money. This encourages momentum trading and the growth of derivatives. Meanwhile, layers of financial regulation make Washington bigger and more powerful but don't fix the underlying problems.
The reality is that business and investment spending are the true leading indicators of the economy and the stock market. If you want to know where the stock market is headed, forget about consumer spending and retail sales figures. Look to business spending, price inflation, interest rates, and productivity gains.