Tuesday, November 9, 2010
91,000 people in South Jersey are hungry. 35,000 of those are children. You can help. Support our food drive for the Food Bank of South Jersey. Drop off your non-perishable food items at any GCF branch from November 15th to 19th and help make a difference. Most needed food items: peanut butter, jelly, macaroni & cheese, tuna, breakfast cereal, canned vegetables, canned fruits & pasta.
Our Current Rates:
For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates,click here.
New GCFBank.Com To Debut Next Week
Our web site, GCFBank.com, is getting more than a facelift. The entire site is getting a complete makeover. We think you'll love the results as much as we do.
Most important to know is that the migration to our new site will require some downtime. This affects GCF Online Banker as well. Our web site will be temporarily unavailable next Monday, November 15th between 11:00 AM and Noon. Please plan your banking needs accordingly.
Our new web site has a clean, crisp look. You're here to learn something specific about GCF Bank, not be overwhelmed by information overload or entertained by flashy displays.
The new navigation will be the tab-style you're already familiar with in your web browser. Roll your mouse over any tab to find links to the pages within that section.
We've expanded our Security Center. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America today. And we give you the tips and tools to avoid becoming a victim. We also provide resources for those who have had their identity stolen.
But we don't stop there. We've devoted a page to nothing but Security Alerts. And yet another page with highlights of security-related articles that have appeared in GCFlash.
You'll find fresh content throughout the entire site. New articles appear inside dedicated sections and new images everywhere.
If you've ever applied for a mortgage online, you already know what a tedious, time-consuming chore it can be. We've changed all that. With our new application format, applying for a mortgage or home equity product online has never been simpler.
The younger set will still journey through the solar system at GCKids. But their ride will be in a next-generation spacecraft rather than the aged, retired shuttle vehicle.
Back issues of GCFlash will be added shortly. If an article you're looking for isn't yet online, you can always find it in our Knowledge Base.
Site enhancements won't stop with our new design next week. You'll soon be able to search for keywords within our entire site as easily as you can Google the entire Internet.
All these new offerings - plus the features you've come to know on our present site will remain. You'll still be able to logon to GCF Online Banker from every page on our site except for GCKids. Deposit and loan information will still be at your fingertips. You'll still find more financial planning calculators than any other bank offers. You'll still find every GCF Bank product term, disclosure and regulation online. You'll still find our rates, banking locations and hours, or assets for sale with a single click.
Our new site is best viewed with Internet Explorer version 7 and above. We've identified issues with older browsers. So has Microsoft. For your security, we strongly encourage you to upgrade your browser if you are using an older version.
Those of you surfing the 'net via Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera should not experience any problems.
As with all projects of this magnitude, you may encounter a few bugs that still need to be worked out. Please let us know of any you find before we do by dropping an email to our Webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there's anything you have a hard time finding or want us to add, let us know that too. And by all means, let us know if you like the change as well. Every comment received helps make us not only Your Choice for a Better Community Bank but Your Choice for a Better Web Site as well.
It's Made Where?
Trivia Time... Here's where members of the flower power generation will outshine their Gen X counterparts. Substitute one word to make which Pete Seeger song, made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary, fit today's employment crisis?
Hint: Change the word "flowers" for "jobs."
If you guessed Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, it's true what they say. As you age, it's easier to remember things long past than it is what just happened yesterday.That is, unless the manufacturing firm you worked for until yesterday just closed down. The fact that someone overseas is now performing your job and earning your salary is something you'll long remember. Their salary is likely far below what you earned, but that doesn't help you when the mortgage becomes due.
Politicians can rally for Fair Trade Agreements with foreign countries. But if we're not manufacturing goods to exchange, we'll continue to end up on the short end of the stick.
A country's wealth is typically measured by its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country's borders in a year.
While the United States was still ranked number one as of fiscal year ending September 2009, our GDP fell by $200 million that year. Only two other times in the history of this index has it done so; once in 1930 - 1933 during the Great Depression and again in 1946 as we were involved in World War II. Neither instance saw such a steep decline.
There is good news in that fiscal year 2010 showed a 4 percent increase. The bad news is that nearly 70 percent of this output represents services rather than goods produced.
But at the current rate of jobs shifting overseas, just how long we can continue that trend remains to be seen.
Many of the products long recognized as U.S. institutions have closed their doors in search of finding better value elsewhere. While it's every country's pursuit to better the standard of living for its citizens, we as Americans may want to take a good look at ourselves and wonder why large business has chosen to find their betterment elsewhere.
Mattel Toys was the largest toy company in the world. Their headquarters remain in California. But they closed their last factory here in 2002. As of August 2007, 65 percent of their products were made in China.
Levi Strauss & Co. outsourced all production to Latin America and Asia in December 2003. The company was an American icon for 150 years.
Radio Flyer began making their little red wagons in Chicago over 90 years ago. Their web site still describes their wagons as true icons of Americana. But it became too expensive. Their last production date here was March of 2004. Their product is now all made in China.
As of October 2004, there are ZERO televisions made in America. The same with cell phones.
Dell computers ceased production in its last U.S. plant in January 2010. Their hesitation to close the North Carolina facility left them scrambling to catch up with the rest of the industry.
These are just a few examples of jobs lost in America. Maytag and Fruit of the Loom are among those that saw the steepest decline. In total, we've lost about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October of 2000.
The June 10, 2008 GCFlash featured an article explaining how the country of origin is defined. It isn't as clear cut as you might think, with a company's headquarters being in one country and different product components manufactured elsewhere. Assembly can be in a separate country all together. Read more.
We haven't completely closed our production doors, you just have to look harder to find those items that keep your friends, family and neighbors off the unemployment line.
Necco Wafers and those Valentine's Day favorite Conversation Hearts are still made here. Snack on some Cracker Jacks or Blue Bell ice cream. Choose Jack Daniels or Jim Beam for cocktail hour. Munch on Cabot Creamery cheese, a collective of 1,350 farms from Northeastern states.
Warm up under a Woolrich blanket. Splash Benjamin Moore Paints on your house. Wash up with Ivory soap, or kick back in a La-Z-Boy chair.
Don a Stetson cowboy hat, paired up with Frye Boots.
Keep America working.
The Federal Reserve announced last week that it will start buying long-term bonds in order to shape monetary policy. This step is intended to spur growth, reduce unemployment and avoid deflation. The flow of $600 billion into the long-term bonds will cause the cost to go up, lowering the yield. This will have the effect of decreasing long term interest rates.
To date, the Fed has lowered their interest rate to .25% and bought $1.7 trillion in securities. These actions have not lowered unemployment rates that are near a 26-year high. There is not agreement among the deciding individuals as to the best solution. The statement we can all agree on is that these are unprecedented times!
China said that the Fed's measure will fuel inflation, while the German Finance Minister called the U.S. plan "clueless." International concern for the U.S. Federal Reserve actions is supporting Japan's decision to hold off easing their monetary policy. Leaders from the Group of 20 nations are meeting in South Korea with the global economy high on the discussion list.
In the meantime, we continue to have mixed economic data, as the unemployment report shows solid job creation for the last three months. Private-sector jobs increased, but were offset by cuts in government payroll. The hope is that the private sector job growth will continue showing net jobs growth in the fourth quarter of the year. Certainly holiday hires and sales will add to this growth for the quarter.
The other positive news is that forecasts for corporate profits are showing overall increases. Bloomberg reported that 197 companies raised profit estimates while 130 cut them. This net increase indeed should fuel the increase in creation of jobs!
GCFlash is a weekly e-mail sent only to its listed customers and associates free of charge. GCFlash informs customers of special product offerings which may be of interest, current interest rates on both deposit and loan products, selected financial news and other financial tidbits. GCFlash is intended to supplement the more comprehensive information listed on the GCF Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com.
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