Higher Mortgage Rates, Student Loans and Nike

It might seem easy to discount the effect of student loan debt if you don't have someone with outstanding loans in your immediate family ... but this could affect you just the same.While today's report that existing home sales were down gives mention of tight inventory and higher mortgage rates being the culprits ... a separate story tells us that the growing burden of student loans is keeping many young Americans from entering the housing market.I looked up some scary-looking numbers this morning. For example, according to Statista there are around 5.7 existing homes forecasted to be sold in 2019 (though that may be brought down based on this morning's report). But the Federal Reserve is reporting that around 2.7 million people owe more than $100,000 in student loan debt (and the "average" student with a loan owes approximately $30,000). Yikes! So much for that 20% down payment!If the student loan situation worsens ... and there is every indication that it will ... it could filter into other areas of the economy ... leaving many of us to ... unwittingly ... foot the bill for ... the "ridiculous" cost of higher education in our nation.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox for now.

How about the story of the basketball phenom who was injured when his Nike shoe fell apart as he was running down the court ... on national TV no less? Branding is quite important to so many companies ... but it will take quite a PR push by this national brand (which reportedly "owns" over 90% of the basketball shoe market) to make stars (present and future) comfortable that this was an occurrence that won't be repeated.

As Ethel Merman once said ... there's no business like shoe business.

On a final note for today comes the story where a petition has been started to sell the state of Montana to Canada to reduce the national debt. I don't understand why this is such a big deal ... as this has happened before.I fact, Washington has been doing this throughout our country's history.Anyone want to buy a Congressman?... as of 11:15 AM today ...Existing home sales dropped to a 3-year low ... which is interesting, considering the employment situation is reported to be so good ( CNBC)... but it might be as simple ... or not so simple ... as affordability ... as many younger Americans are unable to buy a home due to the overhang of student debt ( Fool)Have trouble sleeping at night? If you try to sleep on your side, you might want to try a new position as those who try to sleep on their side ... are grumpier ... and don't have a restful sleep ( Bustle)Well, it seems that one mammal is now extinct because of climate change ... as rising oceans helped lead to the demise of an entire species ( NationalGeographic)While betting on sports might add to the coffers of New Jersey ... this might be expanded to where gamblers could bet on ... well ... just about everything. A crazy way to help the budget ( NYPost)... but the Federal Debt is much bigger ... and while it will be tough to whittle it down ... some creative ways are being discussed ... such as selling Montana to Canada. But would they want it? ( Time)