economics

A new poll was released this week by Reader's Digest (I know) that revealed the major causes of stress for people in 16 different countries. The majority of the folks listed money, which I'm assuming means a lack thereof. I doubt if the stress came from having so much money that you couldn't find a place to store it. Malaysia led the way in money stress, with 58 percent of those surveyed listing it as their number one. China and Singapore tied for second place at 55 percent, and the U.S. of A. was third with 48 percent listing money as their main stressor. Russia, France and Italy were at the bottom for money stress at 15, 18 and 19 percent, respectively.

Time Magazine is running a great article at the moment called "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now." Items two through nine are pretty interesting, but what caught my eye was what stood tall in the number one position -- your job may be your biggest asset right now. The author of the piece, Barbara Kiviat, makes an excellent point about how things are now compared to just a couple of years ago. In 2007, it's doubtful that anyone would have listed their job as their number one asset. Your career was just a means to get other assets, even if it meant borrowing beyond your means to get them.

Here at HSW headquarters, we have the Captivate Network, a newsfeed broadcast on little televisions embedded in the elevators, since it's beyond imagination for humans not to be distracted at every possible moment of our lives. I actually made a New Year's resolution not to pay attention to the TVs, but that went the way of disco and this morning I read of a change in the government's stake in Citigroup. CNN Money reports that the Treasury converted its 8 percent holding in the form of Citigroup preferred stock into a 40 percent stake in the form of common stock. At the same time, the bank announced a $9.6 billion goodwill impairment charge. "What the heck's a goodwill impairment charge?" I asked another man in the elevator, figuring he was just some schlub like me. I'm a pretty friendly guy, on the order of Golden Retrievers, just making conversation.