Lots of experts had been warning we were long overdue for a correction in the stock market, which is defined as a 10 percent drop below a recent high.
Well, it happened.
And it wasn’t pretty.
Then there was hope, only to be dashed.
“U.S. stocks plunged in the last hour of trading Tuesday to wipe out a day-long rally, adding fresh uncertainty to markets that had seemed to be on the rebound,” wrote The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell and Simon Denyer. “The wild swing highlighted investors’ anxieties over an expansive Chinese slowdown and hinted at fault lines in an American economy otherwise seen as strong.”
So now what?
The Post’s Jonnelle Marte offers five points to help you get through the current financial freefall in the markets. Read the tips so you don’t weep.
Or check out my column viewing the roller coaster rides in the stock market through some songs. What songs would you recommend to get through the current market gyrations? Send your song selections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live Chat Today
I’m back live this week and will be answering your financial questions at washingtonpost.com. Following the chat, I’ll be live streaming on Periscope. I’ll recap some of the best questions from the discussion and take some new ones from Periscope users. So if you haven’t signed up, please do, and follow me @MichelleSingletary. I look forward to you joining me.
Ashley Madison Hack Aftermath
People are trying to profit from the hack of spouse cheating Web site Ashley Madison.
“There are confirmed cases of criminals attempting to extort Ashley Madison clients by threatening to expose them unless payment is received, according to Toronto police acting staff Superintendent Bryce Evans, reported Rob Gillies of the Associated Press.
Some U.S. federal employees used their government networks to access and pay membership fees to Ashley Madison, AP reported. Among the workers found to have used the site were “at least two assistant U.S. attorneys; an information technology administrator in the Executive Office of the President; a division chief, an investigator and a trial attorney in the Justice Department; a government hacker at the Homeland Security Department and another DHS employee who indicated he worked on a U.S. counterterrorism response team,” the AP found.
One Justice Department investigator told the AP: “I was doing some things I shouldn’t have been doing. I’ve worked too hard all my life to be a victim of blackmail.”
Could these folks lose their jobs?
“Now that the Ashley Madison hack has outed as many as 15,000 federal employees and active-duty military, government agencies say they’re combing through the e-mail addresses of possible adulterers to see if their extramarital activity on work time amounts to anything punishable,” reported The Post’s Lisa Rein.
As Rein writes, “The rules of the game for morality in federal offices may be straightforward for pornography (watching it can definitely get you fired) — but the kind of skeleton in the closet that showed up in the trove of 36 million users exposed on the cheating Web site presents officials with a murkier problem.”
Color of Money Question of the Week
So, should federal employees lose their jobs for using Ashley Madison accounts on federal computers? Send your comments to email@example.com. Please include your name, city and state. Put “Ashley Madison Hack Aftermath” in the subject line.
The Financial Impact of the Ashley Madison Hack
There continues to be fallout from the Ashley Madison hack, as people mine the information posted to find out who signed up for a dating site created to help people look for partners to have affairs with. Hackers published the personal and financial information for up to 40 million members of the site.
For last week’s Color of Money Question of the Week I asked: Is there such a thing as good hacking?
Stacy Stafford of Virginia wrote: “On the one hand, I would feel bad if something more serious happened to the people affected by the Ashley Madison hack. However, let’s be honest: Cheating is cheating, and these people obviously had no qualms putting up their personal information in order to commit adultery. The point of any public shaming is to help reinforce our social norms and morals, something the law doesn’t usually do (depending on where you live). If we quietly sit back and allow cheaters to hurt their spouses/partners unscathed, then what would say about our American ideals of justice and fair-play?”
Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to washingtonpost.com/business.