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  • Thu, Jan 3 2013
  • 12:52 PM » Geithner Said to Plan Departure Before Debt Ceiling Deal
    Published Thu, Jan 03 2013 12:52 PM by Bloomberg
    Treasury Secretary plans to leave the administration at the end of January, even if President and congressional Republicans haven’t reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, according to two people familiar with the matter. After giving in to Obama’s previous entreaties to stay as long as needed, Geithner has indicated to White House officials and Wall Street executives that he is unlikely to change his departure plans this time, increasing pressure on the president to name his successor at Treasury, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss the private discussions. Geithner, 51, is the only remaining member of Obama’s original economic team and was a key figure in the taxpayer- funded bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis. He’s also had a principal role in negotiations with Congress on the budget deal and in past deliberations over the debt ceiling.
  • 8:44 AM » Planned layoffs fall in December: Challenger
    Published Thu, Jan 03 2013 8:44 AM by Reuters
    Planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell in December for the first time in four months, while the overall job-cut total in 2012 was the lowest since 1997, a report showed on Thursday. Employers announced 32,556 job cuts last month, the second lowest monthly total of 2012 and down 43 percent from 57,081 in November, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. In 2012, the only month with a lower job-cuts tally was August, with 32,239. During 2012, employers announced 523,362 cuts, down 14 percent from the 606,082 job cuts announced in 2011 and the lowest level since 1997 when employers announced 434,350 cuts.
  • Tue, Jan 1 2013
  • 9:19 PM » Fiscal Cliff Vote: House Republicans Caving, Senate Deal Coming To A Vote
    Published Tue, Jan 01 2013 9:19 PM by The Huffington Post
    WASHINGTON -- Subdued House Republicans Tuesday evening resigned themselves to passing the Senate's "fiscal cliff" bill, backing away from threats earlier in the day to amend the deal with cuts. The GOP called a hearing in the Rules Committee on the Senate measure, which is a precursor to holding a vote. After their second conference meeting of the day, lawmakers said they were likely to punt on launching a fresh showdown with the Democratic-led Senate. Many appeared to concede that the end result would be an up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed fiscal cliff deal without any amendments. At least one lawmaker added his belief that with House Democratic support, the bill would end up making it into law.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • Mon, Dec 10 2012
  • 12:24 PM » White House Seeking New Regulator for Fannie, Freddie
    Published Mon, Dec 10 2012 12:24 PM by blogs.wsj.com
    The White House has begun preparations to nominate a new director to lead the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as soon as early next year, according to people familiar with the discussions. This would pave the way for President Barack Obama to fill what has become one of the most important economic policy positions in Washington. The director the Federal Housing Finance Agency has emerged as a key policymaker because it is the principal gatekeeper to Fannie and Freddie, the mortgage giants that own or guarantee half of all mortgages, at a time when broken mortgage markets have become a top concern of officials at the White House and the Federal Reserve.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: blogs.wsj.com
  • Tue, Dec 4 2012
  • 1:00 PM » Obama says Republican fiscal cliff plan out of balance: Bloomberg TV
    Published Tue, Dec 04 2012 1:00 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - President Barack Obama rejected a Republican proposal to resolve a looming fiscal crisis on Tuesday as "still out of balance" and said any deal must include a rise in income tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Obama told Bloomberg Television that the Republicans' reliance on eliminating tax deductions instead of letting taxes rise on Americans making more than $250,000 a year would not raise enough money to fund the government. Obama pledged to work with House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, to go after what he called excessive healthcare costs in the budget but that a deal was not possible without raising tax rates on the wealthy. (Reporting By Steve Holland, Jeff Mason and Mark Felsenthal)
  • Mon, Dec 3 2012
  • 2:36 PM » Fed's Bullard: replacing "Twist" should not be 1-for-1
    Published Mon, Dec 03 2012 2:36 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve ought not replace on a one-for-one basis its expiring 'Operation Twist' program of $45 billion in purchases of longer-dated Treasuries a month because that may risk inflation, a senior U.S. central banker said on Monday. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said fresh outright bond purchases to replace Twist, in which the Fed sells shorter-dated securities for longer date bonds, would have more impact on inflation and inflation expectations. Operation Twist expires at the end of the year. "If the goal is to keep policy on its present course, the replacement rate should be less than one-for-one," Bullard said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. (Reporting By Alister Bull; Editing by Neil Stempleman)
  • Thu, Aug 30 2012
  • 3:07 PM » ECB's Asmussen: IMF must be involved in conditions for new bond buys
    Published Thu, Aug 30 2012 3:07 PM by CNBC
    POTSDAM, Germany (Reuters) - The European Central Bank should buy sovereign bonds of troubled euro zone states only after those countries ask the euro zone bail out fund to intervene on the primary debt market and if the IMF is also involved, a top ECB policymaker said on Thursday. European Central Bank board member Joerg Asmussen said this would ensure the country embarked on a substantial consolidation program and that the ECB would not pay money without countries doing their part as well.
  • Mon, Aug 6 2012
  • 9:56 AM » The housing market: Pulling its weight at last
    Published Mon, Aug 06 2012 9:56 AM by www.economist.com
    STEVE SCHMITZ surveys the street outside his newly bought four-bedroom house and enthuses over what he sees. Stucco houses with tidy gardens, just like his, line the road. A minivan is parked outside one, an SUV sits in the driveway of another. An elementary school is just a few blocks away. It is as idyllic as a new homeowner could wish in this western suburb of Phoenix. Mr Schmitz, however, is no ordinary homeowner. The house is just one of more than 1,000 which his company, American Residential Properties, has acquired since 2008 in Phoenix, Las Vegas and California. ARP bought the house for roughly half its peak selling price of more than $300,000 in a "short sale": in essence, a sale forced on the owner to avoid foreclosure. After carpet cleaning and repainting it was quickly rented for $1,300 a month, about half what the original owner had been paying for a mortgage.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.economist.com
  • Fri, Aug 3 2012
  • 1:02 PM » EFSF requests bank proposals for loan facilities
    Published Fri, Aug 03 2012 1:02 PM by Reuters
    The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) has contacted members of its banking group for proposals on a series of credit facilities, the euro rescue fund said. Banks confirmed they had received a request on Friday for a repurchase facility, following earlier requests for uncommitted unsecured and committed secured loans over the last weeks. An EFSF spoksperson said the credit facility would create a short-term liquidity buffer. An official at one bank which received the request said the EFSF did not give indication of size or terms. Given banks' funding costs, loan facilities bear a much higher cost than funding in the capital markets.
  • Wed, Aug 1 2012
  • 9:10 AM » 'We're More Important': German Bundesbank Chief Warns Draghi Over ECB Bond Buying
    Published Wed, Aug 01 2012 9:10 AM by www.ibtimes.com
    Bundesbank head Jens Weidmann has warned that Germany's central bank is "more important" than other European institutions, as tensions continue to rise between Berlin and Brussels over how to save the euro. The warning comes after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said last week he would do "whatever it takes" to save the common currency, prompting speculation the ECB was poised to buy bonds from debt-ridden nations in a bid to lower borrowing costs and prop up their economies. The move, according to Weidmann, would violate the ECB's charter which prohibitis it from funding government debt.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.ibtimes.com
  • 8:54 AM » Fed to signal more easing but stop short of big steps
    Published Wed, Aug 01 2012 8:54 AM by Reuters
    The Federal Reserve is likely to show on Wednesday that it is ready to act against a weakening economy but stop short of aggressive measures for now. Economists say the central bank could well push back its guidance for when it sees the need for an eventual rate hike into 2015 from the current Fed consensus of late-2014, a move that could signal the depth of the central bank's concerns about the economy and hint at new measures ahead. Wall Street is braced for another round of Fed bond purchases, and some see an off chance that it might even come this afternoon. But analysts believe policymakers will wait until at least September, giving them more time to lay out the case for their preferred method for easing policy in speeches between now and then. "We do not expect any new initiative from the Fed," said Eric Green, economist at TD Securities. "A dovish statement signaling willingness to do more will manage frustrated expectations for more (monetary easing)." Fed officials will hint at their intent to deliver further stimulus in part through what most analysts envision as a substantially weaker outlook on the U.S. economy than that delivered in June.
  • Mon, Jul 30 2012
  • 9:03 AM » German Coalition Member Urges "Unusual" Legal Action vs ECB
    Published Mon, Jul 30 2012 9:03 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - A member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's junior coalition partner said the German government should consider the "unusual step" of taking legal action against the European Central Bank over bond purchases. Joerg-Uwe Hahn, a regional leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), is an outsider in his party and often critical of its leaders but his comments highlight growing German unease about the costs of fighting the euro zone debt crisis. "The European treaties allow member states to sue the ECB," Hahn, a member of the ruling centre-right coalition in the state of Hesse, told Monday's edition of Die Welt newspaper, adding that Berlin should consider opening a lawsuit against the bank via the European Court of Justice.
  • Wed, Jul 25 2012
  • 2:26 PM » Fitch cuts CMG Mortgage Insurance IFS rating to 'BBB-'
    Published Wed, Jul 25 2012 2:26 PM by Reuters
    July 25 - Fitch Ratings has downgraded CMG Mortgage Insurance Company's (CMG MI) Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating to 'BBB-' from 'BBB'. The Rating Outlook remains Negative. Today's rating action is driven primarily by increased operational risk and increased senior management turnover at CMG MI over the past year. In Fitch's view, the operational risks facing the company have increased with the receivership of PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. (PMI) by the Arizona Department of Insurance. PMI is a 50% shareholder in CMG MI and a provider of key operational functions. Conversely, the recent positive trends in operating performance and CMG MI's insured portfolio help counterbalance some of the negative developments.
  • Fri, Jun 29 2012
  • 2:16 AM » Euro area agrees bond support for Italy, Spain
    Published Fri, Jun 29 2012 2:16 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Euro zone leaders agreed on Friday to take emergency action to bring down Italy's and Spain's spiraling borrowing costs and to create a single supervisory body for euro zone banks by the end of this year, a first step towards a European banking union. Responding to pleas from Spanish and Italian leaders, a midnight summit of the 17-nation currency area agreed that euro area rescue funds could be used to stabilize bond markets without forcing countries that comply with EU budget rules to adopt extra austerity measures or economic reforms. After hours of argument, they also agreed that the bloc's future permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, would be able to lend directly to recapitalize banks without increasing a country's budget deficit, and without preferential seniority status. "The process was tough, the outcome was good," Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti told reporters, adding that Italy did not intend "at this time" to apply for the emergency support.
  • Fri, Jun 8 2012
  • 10:28 AM » Housing Agency to Sell More Troubled Loans
    Published Fri, Jun 08 2012 10:28 AM by WSJ
    The Federal Housing Administration, struggling to manage a growing glut of delinquent home mortgages, plans to ramp up sales of the loans to investors, a move that could stave off foreclosure for thousands of homeowners. The government agency, which is expected to announce the bulk sale program Friday, has more than 700,000 loans in default, amounting to more than 9% of the $1 trillion in loans it insures. Bulk loan sales are one way the FHA could reduce the backlog of potential foreclosed properties it will have to take back and resell.
  • 9:03 AM » Hopes for Higher Home Values Ease Pessimism: Survey
    Published Fri, Jun 08 2012 9:03 AM by CNBC
    The 49 percent of Americans saying the economy is poor has fallen to its lowest level since the recession began in 2008, though it remains high. The result has been a rise those saying the economy is “only fair” while just 10 percent of the public combines to say the economy is good or excellent. Behind the decline in extreme pessimism, Americans’ expectations for the value of their home prices in the next 12 months turned positive for the first time since 2007 even while it is just barely positive at 0.4 percent.
  • Tue, Mar 20 2012
  • 9:32 AM » WaMu Emerges From Bankruptcy Protection
    Published Tue, Mar 20 2012 9:32 AM by CNBC
    WaMu Emerges From Bankruptcy Protection<br/>http://www.cnbc.com//id/46793926
  • Wed, Dec 28 2011
  • 9:14 AM » BRIC Decade Ends With Record Fund Outflows
    Published Wed, Dec 28 2011 9:14 AM by Bloomberg
    In the past decade, mutual funds poured almost $70 billion into , Russia, India and , stocks more than quadrupled gains in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the economies grew four times faster than America's. Now , which coined the term BRIC, says the best is over for the largest emerging markets. BRIC funds recorded $15 billion of outflows this year as the MSCI BRIC Index sank 24 percent, EPFR Global data show. The gauge, which beat the S&P 500 by 390 percentage points from November 2001 through September 2010, has trailed the measure for five straight quarters, the longest stretch since Goldman Sachs forecast the countries would join the U.S. and Japan as the top economies by 2050. "In emerging markets, we're waiting for things to get worse before they get better," said , the chairman of Marketfield Asset Management in who predicted in February that developing-nation stocks would fall this year. The $845 million Marketfield has topped 97 percent of peers in 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
  • 8:48 AM » Euro Seen Having Another Bumpy Ride in 2012
    Published Wed, Dec 28 2011 8:48 AM by CNBC
    2011 was the most dramatic year for the euro in the decade since the single currency was launched. Countries such as Ireland and Greece had to be bailed out after the cost of their debt soared as the euro zone debt crisis engulfed the region. Italy and Spain-the region's third- and fourth-largest economies, respectively-looked in danger of needing to seek a bailout. There has even been speculation that the currency itself will not survive this crisis, which would have been almost unthinkable a year earlier. While it seems secure for now, experts predict that the value of the euro is likely to fall against the dollar next year. "The problems with the euro will express themselves most clearly against the dollar," Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist, BNY Mellon, told CNBC.com. "I thought we would bottom out towards the end of this year, but that looks optimistic now." He believes the euro will finish 2012 in the low 1.20 range against the dollar. The euro, which closed 2010 at 1.3385 against the dollar, has ranged between 1.2950 and 1.4247 this year. It looks set to close down slightly on the year despite market turbulence throughout 2011.
  • 8:45 AM » Italy short-term debt costs halve at auction
    Published Wed, Dec 28 2011 8:45 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Italy's short-term debt costs halved at auction Wednesday as a new package of budget austerity and an injection of cheap long-term money from the European Central Bank won Rome some respite in thin year-end markets. Analysts warned market nerves could easily reignite and pointed to a tougher test Thursday when Italy will sell up to 8.5 billion euros ($11.1 bln) of longer-term bonds, including three- and ten-year paper. But the lowest six-month auction yield and strongest bid-to-cover ratio since September added to a sense that some of the tension around the countries now at the center of Europe's debt problems had eased for a moment. European stocks .EU rose and the euro edged up in response. "This is the first piece of good news for Italy's bond market since the crisis erupted (for Rome) in July," said Nicholas Spiro of Spiro Sovereign Strategy.
  • Tue, Dec 20 2011
  • 10:44 AM » Bank Failures Cost U.S. $88 Billion
    Published Tue, Dec 20 2011 10:44 AM by Bloomberg
    More than 400 bank failures since 2007 have cost the fund, which is fed by banks and backstopped by taxpayers, an estimated $88 billion. That volume shows the need for more transparency in bank regulation, which is largely conducted in the dark, said Paul Atkins, a former Republican commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission. More than 400 such failures since 2007 have cost the fund, which is fed by banks and backstopped by taxpayers, an estimated $88 billion. That volume shows the need for more transparency in bank regulation, which is largely conducted in the dark, said Paul Atkins, a former Republican commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • 10:06 AM » Italian, Spanish Bonds Rally Before 3-yr ECB Tender
    Published Tue, Dec 20 2011 10:06 AM by Reuters
    Italian and Spanish bond yields fell on Tuesday, with investors hoping banks will borrow a large amount of three-year funds from the European Central Bank later this week and spend some of the money on peripheral debt. A sharp fall in one-week borrowing from the ECB and a large one-day loan take-up on Tuesday supported the view, as the figures reflected banks were managing their cash to better position for Wednesday's three-year injection. Volumes in bond markets were thin, however, with many reluctant to join the rally on the view that banks, under pressure to deleverage, will use the money to roll over their own debt rather then buy bonds that could eventually generate mark-to-market losses. Demand from banks at the three-year tender is expected to be around 250 billion euros, according to a Reuters poll, although forecasts ranged from 50 to 450 billion, indicating a high degree of uncertainty. "The expectations are massive," one trader said. "A higher take-up is going to give the periphery some support, but we're possibly setting ourselves up for a fall. It's not guaranteed that they're going to buy (peripheral bonds)."
  • Mon, Dec 19 2011
  • 9:28 AM » Payroll tax: Congress on vexing path
    Published Mon, Dec 19 2011 9:28 AM by CNN
    What a mess. Once again, Congress is going down to the wire on a "must-pass" bill that lawmakers have been debating for months. The centerpiece of this one -- the soon-to-expire payroll tax cut -- affects more than . And it looks like lawmakers' hyper-politicized grudge match will continue for at least several more days. So much for Silent Night. To review: Last week, House Republicans passed a one-year extension of the tax cut as well as long-term emergency federal unemployment benefits and the "doc fix," which would prevent a scheduled pay cut to Medicare physicians. This weekend, unable to negotiate a more palatable deal, the Senate passed a mere two-month extension of all three measures, and in large part by requiring that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge mortgage lenders higher fees, a measure with bipartisan support.
  • 9:21 AM » ECB President Draghi Warns on Euro Zone Break-Up
    Published Mon, Dec 19 2011 9:21 AM by CNBC
    Mario Draghi has warned of the costs of a eurozone break-up, breaching a taboo for a president of the European Central Bank, even as he sought to play down market expectations about the ECB's role in combating the sovereign debt crisis. Mr Draghi's willingness to discuss a scenario for Europe's 13-year old monetary union that his predecessor, Jean-Claude Trichet, simply described as "absurd," highlights the high stakes in the eurozone debt crisis, which has rattled global financial markets. In his first interview since becoming ECB president on November 1, Mr Draghi said struggling eurozone countries that quit the currency bloc would face still greater economic pain. For remaining members, European Union law would have been broken and "you never know how it ends really," he said.
  • 9:18 AM » Investigators Say 4 Reps Got Discounted Loans
    Published Mon, Dec 19 2011 9:18 AM by CNBC
    WASHINGTON - Congressional investigators said Monday that four House members received VIP discounted loans from the former Countrywide Financial Corp., the lender whose subprime mortgages was largely responsible for the nation's foreclosure crisis. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, declined to name the four but wrote the House Ethics Committee that it should investigate the lawmakers. Issa, in a letter dated Friday and released Monday, said there could be additional lawmakers who received discounted loans. The most favored customers of Countrywide were known as "Friends of Angelo," who were given discounts in a VIP section under control of the company's CEO Angelo Mozilo. However, Issa said his investigators discovered that other sections of Countrywide also processed VIP loans to public officials and others in position to help the company.
  • Fri, Dec 16 2011
  • 2:47 PM » Euro Zone Ministers to Discuss Draft Compact Next Week
    Published Fri, Dec 16 2011 2:47 PM by Reuters
    Dec 16 (Reuters) - Euro zone ministers are likely to discuss next week, possibly on Tuesday, the draft text of the euro zone fiscal compact and bilateral loans to the International Monetary Fund, officials said on Friday. Neither the exact date nor the form which the discussions of the ministers will take has been decided yet, the officials said. Minister may meet in person or hold a teleconference. A draft text of the rules on tighter fiscal intergation, that is to become an intergovernmental treaty in March, was circulated among EU countries on Friday afternoon. EU leaders set Dec. 19 as the deadline for EU countries to declare if they would lend to the IMF and if so, how much.
  • Tue, Dec 13 2011
  • 10:58 AM » Euro Skids to 11-Month Low Against US Dollar on Report Merkel Rejected Increasing European Bailout Fund
    Published Tue, Dec 13 2011 10:58 AM by CNBC
    Euro Skids to 11-Month Low Against US Dollar on Report Merkel Rejected Increasing European Bailout Fund - Euro Skids to 11-Month Low Against US Dollar on Report Merkel Rejected Increasing European Bailout Fund - Euro Skids to 11-Month Low Against US Dollar on Report Merkel Rejected Increasing European Bailout Fund - Euro Skids to 11-Month Low Against US Dollar on Report Merkel Rejected Increasing European Bailout Fund - Euro Skids to 11-Month Low Against US Dollar on Report Merkel Rejected Increasing European Bailout Fund -Euro Skids to 11-Month Low Against US Dollar on Report Merkel Rejected Increasing European Bailout Fund
  • Fri, Dec 9 2011
  • 9:57 AM » Latest EU Deal Still More Can-Kicking: Analysts
    Published Fri, Dec 09 2011 9:57 AM by CNBC
    The European Union deal announced early Friday morning is yet another small step along the road to solving the euro zone debt crisis rather than a conclusive solution, analysts and economists told CNBC Friday. EU leaders have secured new rules on tougher budget discipline but failed to agree on a treaty change to enshrine the rules, making it more likely that the 17 euro zone states will reach a deal separately. British Prime Minister David Cameron was the most high-profile dissenter from the proposals to grant the EU greater powers. "This is another stage down the road towards fiscal union and also marks progress in terms of the EFSF and IMF. Obviously, this is not the end station," Jens Larsen, Chief European Economist, RBC, told CNBC.
  • Thu, Dec 8 2011
  • 1:04 PM » European Central Bank Chief Offers No 'Bazooka' for Markets
    Published Thu, Dec 08 2011 1:04 PM by CNBC
    European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has almost completely closed-off the prospect of aggressive bond buying from the European Central Bank or the prospect of "quantitative easing". Not only did he say that he was surprised that some media outlets had inferred from his comments to the European Parliament last week that "other elements" might follow a sequence of events from Europe's politicians, he said that there was "no high probability of deflation" in the Euro Zone. The risks of deflation might have given him legal cover for such an action. Draghi added that the ECB [cnbc explains] would not circumvent Article 123, which prohibits it from supporting individual member states.
  • Mon, Dec 5 2011
  • 4:39 PM » Prosecuting Wall Street, pt. 1
    Published Mon, Dec 05 2011 4:39 PM by www.cbsnews.com
    Two high-ranking financial whistleblowers say they tried to warn their superiors about defective and even fraudulent mortgages. So why haven't the companies or their executives been prosecuted? Steve Kroft reports. Two high-ranking financial whistleblowers say they tried to warn their superiors about defective and even fraudulent mortgages. So why haven't the companies or their executives been prosecuted? Steve Kroft reports. Two high-ranking financial whistleblowers say they tried to warn their superiors about defective and even fraudulent mortgages. So why haven't the companies or their executives been prosecuted? Steve Kroft reports.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cbsnews.com
  • 4:38 PM » Justice Department running out of excuses about Wall Street
    Published Mon, Dec 05 2011 4:38 PM by www.cbsnews.com
    (MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY The Justice Department has shuttered investigations into Countrywide Financial, IndyMac, New Century Financial and Washington Mutual without filing a single criminal charge. This raises a key question: Is the Justice Department corrupt or incompetent? These four banks -- and there are many others -- systematically forged mortgage documents and then swore they were telling the truth before selling those mortgages to other companies. That is a fact, not an allegation. The proof can be found by looking, pretty much randomly, at a few of the mortgages issued by these companies between 2005 and 2007. In most cases they're not even good forgeries. Names are photocopied from one document to another, handwriting doesn't match. Finding evidence of the fraud is about as tough as finding a millionaire in the U.S. Senate.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cbsnews.com
  • 4:25 PM » S&P Is Examining All 17 Euro Zone Countries' Credit Ratings
    Published Mon, Dec 05 2011 4:25 PM by CNBC
    Standard & Poor's is examining the credit rating of all 17 euro zone countries for a possible downgrade — not just the top six — as the continent's debt crisis lingers, a person familiar with the matter said. S&P is likely to make an announcement on putting the euro countries on "credit watch" after the closing of markets in the U.S. on Monday, the person said. The person was speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The threat to downgrade all 17 euro zone countries — including the ones that enjoy the stellar triple-A-rating — comes ahead of a crucial summit of EU leaders later this week.
  • 3:58 PM » Buy a US House, Get a 3-Year Visa: Sen. Schumer
    Published Mon, Dec 05 2011 3:58 PM by CNBC
    A new Senate bill would help spur demand in U.S. housing by offering foreign investors a three-year "homeowners visa" if they invest half a million dollars cash and stay in the house for 180 days, co-sponsor Sen. Charles Schumer told CNBC Monday. "We all know housing is dragging down our economy and the problem is basic supply and demand," said the New York Democrat. The bill, co-sponsored with Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, "simply increases the demand. There are literally millions of people around the world, many of them retirees, some not, who would like to live here in America." The residency requirement will force these investors to pay federal and property taxes, Schumer pointed out, and is intended to allay immigration concerns.
  • 3:54 PM » S&P Issues Ratings Warning to Top Euro Zone Nations
    Published Mon, Dec 05 2011 3:54 PM by CNBC
    Standard and Poor’s has warned Germany and the five other triple-A members of the euro zone that they risk having their top-notch ratings downgraded as a result of deepening economic and political turmoil in the single currency bloc. The US ratings agency is poised to announce later on Monday that it is putting Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, and Luxembourg on “credit-watch negative”, meaning there is a one-in-two chance of a downgrade within 90 days. It warned all six governments that their ratings could be lowered to AA+ if the credit-watch review failed to convince its experts. Markets have been braced for a potential downgrade of France but few expected Germany’s top rating to be called into question.
  • Tue, Nov 29 2011
  • 10:10 AM » Mr. Romney on Foreclosures
    Published Tue, Nov 29 2011 10:10 AM by www.nytimes.com
    Since the housing bubble began to burst six years ago, prices nationwide have fallen by a third. Nearly $7 trillion of home equity has been wiped out. Currently, some 14.7 million homeowners owe $700 billion more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Going forward, prices are likely to fall further as banks put a backlog of foreclosed properties on the market. As home prices fall and more homeowners sink underwater, there will be more foreclosures and more price declines. So what is Mitt Romney’s response? Bring it on. In interviews and in the Republican presidential debates, Mr. Romney has said that the cure for foreclosures is for the government to get out of the way and let the process run its course. Once prices hit bottom, investors and want-to-be homeowners would presumably swoop in and prices would stabilize...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.nytimes.com
  • Fri, Nov 18 2011
  • 4:48 PM » Balanced-budget amendment falls short in US House
    Published Fri, Nov 18 2011 4:48 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - A measure that would amend the U.S. Constitution to require the government to balance its books each year fell short in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday. By a vote of 261 to 165, largely along party lines, the bill fell short of the two-thirds majority that constitutional amendments need to pass the House and Senate. Despite its defeat, the measure will give Republicans a handy talking point in the 2012 elections as they portray Democrats as insufficiently committed to getting the United States' $15 trillion debt under control.
  • 1:16 PM » California AG subpoenas Fannie, Freddie: report
    Published Fri, Nov 18 2011 1:16 PM by Reuters
    The California attorney general's office has sent subpoenas to Fannie Ma e and Freddie Mac in a wide-reaching probe into the government-backed mortgage giants' lending and foreclosure practices, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. The subpoenas are seeking information about how Fannie and Freddie are handling thousands of foreclosed properties, as well as details about their mortgage-servicing and home-repossession practices, the LA Times reported, citing sources families with the matter...
  • 11:26 AM » Treasurys slip, watching Congress, Europe
    Published Fri, Nov 18 2011 11:26 AM by Market Watch
    Treasury prices drifted down Friday, pushing yields up for the first day in three, retracing part of the prior day’s rally and focused on news out of Europe. Analysts also note concern that the committee in Congress charged with coming up with a deficit-reduction plan is reportedly at an impasse. Yields on 10-year notes 10_YEAR +2.34% , which move inversely to prices, rose 2 basis points to 1.99%. A basis point is one one-hundredth of a percentage point Yields on 30-year bonds 30_YEAR +0.81% added 1 basis point to 2.99%...
  • 11:24 AM » All eyes on Europe's 7 percent yields
    Published Fri, Nov 18 2011 11:24 AM by Reuters
    Yields on the bonds of two of the currency bloc's largest economies -- Italy and Spain -- were either at or within a whisker of 7 percent in the past week, creating huge concern about future funding and prompting a selloff in riskier assets. Widely considered the level at which funding costs become too high to be sustainable, extended periods of 7 percent yields have previously prompted bailouts for Ireland and Portugal. Italy and Spain are too big for this, particularly combined, so it is almost certain that the coming week will be dominated by investors watching to see whether this can reverse or at least be contained.
  • 11:22 AM » Euro Zone Woes Squeeze Bank Funding
    Published Fri, Nov 18 2011 11:22 AM by CNBC
    Fear over European banks' exposure to risky government debt stalked markets and harried bank executives on Friday, as unsecured lending between banks evaporated and the cost of secured loans rose. Dwindling trust between the banks is forcing them to rely more and more heavily on the European Central Bank (ECB) to fund their activities, which in turn is spooking investors concerned about the health of the countries funding the ECB. Various indicators of money market stress spiked in signs investors were increasingly concerned about preserving their cash.
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