Pallavi Gogoi's Beat for DailyFinance: How Wall Street Affects Your Street

Wall Street vs. Main Street: It almost became a catchphrase last year, as America suffered through the throes of the Great Recession -- the $18 billion in bonuses doled out to financial fat cats standing in sharp contrast to the 7 million Americans who had lost their jobs. And those same hurting taxpayers were bailing out the banks that were at the epicenter of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.In my new role at DailyFinance, I hope to capture the crosscurrents between the two worlds, and show how high finance on Wall Street affects the people on Main Street. The nation's financial system is in flux: Banks are reluctant to lend, new laws are being written in Washington to protect consumers, and financial institutions are making decisions that will dramatically affect how Americans will live their daily lives.

I believe my last two jobs have prepared me uniquely for my new role. In the past year, I wrote about the nation's financial crisis for USA Today. Following the government bailouts of AIG, Citigroup and Bank of America, I covered the rage of the American public.

Prior to that, I wrote for BusinessWeek for eight years, covering among other things Americans and their shifting shopping habits, and wrote about such trends as the dramatic deaths of several electronic retailers after a strategic marketing move by the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart.

Today, the way Americans use money and credit in their lives is changing. Credit is the vital engine of our economy -- it figures into almost every transaction we make, from paying for something as basic as a cup of coffee, to larger financial decisions about buying a house or a car, paying for college, or running a business.

Your individual stories are extremely important to understanding and documenting the changes in America's personal financial culture. For instance, how difficult is it for you to get a cash advance to keep your fledgling business alive, to pay your medical bills, your college fees, or your basic needs? What are you doing to get cash? Have you signed over the title of your car, or sold jewelry? Maybe you are in the process of a foreclosure prevention and mitigation process with your bank or service provider. What do you think of the process? Are you being treated fairly? Has a recent overdraft fee changed how you behave financially?

I want to hear about the things that are affecting your life in a tangible way, from the latest law to a new decision at your local bank. If you would like to share your stories, please write to me at

I am truly excited about writing for you and about you.

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