Tag Archives: Economic Crisis

Surviving the Financial Crisis

Despite the apparent bounce back of the Dow Jones industrial average which recently reached 10,000 points for the first time in a year, many individuals are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn. Foreclosures in the United States were up 5% from summer to fall with 938,000 foreclosures from July to September alone. The unemployment rate in the U.S. is at a 26 year high of 9.8% and is expected to continue to increase through mid 2010, Associated Press.

Some tips to help weather the downturn:

Check your eligibility for the government’s mortgage refinancing and modification programs at MakingHomeAffordable.gov.

Should you buy a foreclosed home?, SmartMoney, 2007. Pros and cons of buying a foreclosed home, Nolo. How to pick out a good foreclosure, Wall Street Journal.

How to survive work when everyone’s getting laid off, Lifehacker and Fortune.

A cheat sheet for living frugally, Lifehacker and Frugalist.

A concise, easy to understand explanation of how irresponsible lending sparked a global financial crisis is provided by the radio program, This American Life, show #355 “the Giant Pool of Money,” transcript and episode link (free streaming).

Under the category of “should have known better” Edmund Andrews, an economic reporter for the New York Times, tells the story of the part he played in the housing bubble in his book “Busted:Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown.” Excerpt, New York Times Magazine. Book review, Salon. More information on Andrews’ story, including financial information he left out, The Business Insider.

Arthur M. Schack, a judge in Brooklyn is being hailed for his insistence that mortgage lenders who wish to foreclose on homeowners have all of the necessary paperwork when they come to court. Schack says he began to see a rise in foreclosure proceedings in 2007. He has thrown out 46 of the 102 foreclosure cases that have come before him in the past two years, New York Times. Homeowners facing foreclosure should check to be sure the foreclosing bank actually holds the mortgage.

Using analysis from real estate website Zillow, the Wall Street Journal finds that foreclosures are increasing among wealthy homeowners. The study, which broke homes into three tiers based on value, found that homes in the top tier accounted for 30 of foreclosures, up from 16% earlier in the year, Wall Street Journal.

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Dow Jones Sees 53 Percent Gain This Year

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10015.86 today, reaching 10,000 for the first time since October of 2008. The boost was thanks to a better-than-expected profit from bank JP Morgan Chase. That marks a 53 percent gain in only seven months, Wall Street Journal.

Confusion has erupted over whether an agreement has been reached in Honduras between the ousted government and coup leaders. Negotiators for ousted President Manuel Zelaya have said an “unified text” has been agree upon, but representatives of interim leader Roberto Micheletti deny this. Talks are likely to resume again tomorrow, BBC News.

The Iraqi government has estimated that 85,000 citizens were violently killed during the 2004 to 2008 American occupation. The estimate does not include foreigners or insurgents. Past reports have placed the number anywhere between 100,000 to over half a million, BBC News.

European officials have criticized Turkey over threats to freedom of expression in the country. This comes after controversy about a $3.9 billion fine against Dogan Yayin, Turkey’s largest media conglomerate, who have been critical of the current government, New York Times.

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Obama to Call for Regulation on 1st Anniversary of Collapse of Lehman Bros.

One year after the collapse Lehman Brothers, the tipping point that led to the collapse of the financial market, U.S. President Barack Obama will address the world’s economic situation today. He is expected to call for more regulation, BBC News. Aftershock: complete coverage of the financial collapse, BBC News.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel debated Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier last night. 40% of Germans are unsure which party they will vote for in the upcoming September 27 election, Associated Press.

Venezula has made a deal to buy a significant quantity of military equipment from Russia, including 92 T-72 tanks and sophisticated air defense system components. Venezula has spent more than $4 billion on Russian military equipment in the past several years.  Russia is also helping Venezula  develop a nuclear energy program, Christian Science Monitor.

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden released a new audio message on September 13, two days after the eighth anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., New York Times.

18 women and children were killed in a stampede yesterday as they waited for flour and other supplies in Karachi, Pakistan, Reuters.

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Ford Sales Up From Last Year; GM Down

Ford Motor Co. reports that their sales in August increased 17 percent over their sales in August of last year. Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai also posted increases, but General Motors saw a 19.9 percent decline, Washington Post.

Mexico has evacuated thousands of people from Los Cabos ahead of Hurricane Jimena reaching land. The hurricane has weakened to a category 3, but Los Cabos is still expected to get heavy rain and wind, AP.

Hot Topic: Life in Beslan After School Siege.

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U.N. General Says Darfur War Is Over

A California woman who was kidnapped in 1991 when she was 11 has been found alive. Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted 18 years ago at a bus stop, and police say she lived with her abductors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, this whole time. Phillip Garrido is a convicted sex offender and was imprisoned for rape. Police say Garrido fathered two children with Jaycee, with the first being born when she was only 14. Garrido also apparently kept Jaycee and her children hidden in tents in his backyard, Reuters.

The UN’s military commander in Darfur says the war in the region is over. Gen. Martin Agwai insists the violence between the government and rebel groups is over and the remaining violence and crime is due to “banditry, localized issues, people trying to resolve issues over water and land at a local level. But real war as such, I think we are over that.” Gen Agwai believes the current problems in the country are political, and many in the country are agreeing with him, BBC News.

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S.’ envoy to Afghanistan, and current President Hamid Karzai reportedly had an “explosive” meeting on August 21 in which Holbrooke questioned the president about election fraud in last Thursday’s elections. Holbrooke raised the possibility of a second round run-off to legitimize the results, after which Karzai become angry and ended the meeting early, BBC News.

Japan’s unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent last month, which is a record for the country, Bloomberg.

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Violence and Election Controversy in Afghanistan

According to current election returns, current President Hamid Karzai and main opponent Abdullah Abdullah are about even in the Afghan presidential race. Only 10 percent of votes are in, and there are already 50 complaints of election fraud, but many believe a runoff election will be needed, AP.

More than 4o people have been killed in a car bomb blast in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The city is a stronghold of the Taliban, though no one has yet claimed responsibility. 60 people were injured. Four U.S. soldiers were also killed in the country while patrolling, but a NATO spokesman would not reveal where in the country the troops were located, BBC News.

The White House is predicting that over the next decade, America will rack up a $9 trillion debt – more than the history of American debt combined. The economy is also predicted to shrink 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year. However, President Obama pointed out that there are signs that the U.S. will come out of the recession soon, such as the success of the cash for clunkers program, which ended yesterday, AP.

NASA will attempt to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery early Wednesday morning at 1:10 am. The shuttle attempted to take off today, but thunderstorms prevented the launch. Discovery will take a 13-day journey to link up with the International Space Station, SPACE. You can follow @Astro_Jose, crew member Jose Hernandez, on Twitter for updates.

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U.S. Prosecutor to Invstigate CIA Detainee Abuse

Four people are being sought in the murder of a Texas doctor. Dr. Jorge Mario Gonzalez, 56, was shot and killed when he arrived home to find his home being burglarized. His wife and young son were with him, but hid in a closet and were not harmed. Authorities say they do not know if the home was targeted or if it was a random act, CNN.

U.S. prosecutor John Durham has been selected to investigate CIA detainee abuse. This comes on the heels of a new report that claims CIA agents “threatened to kill a key terror suspect’s children and sexually assault another’s mother,” BBC News.

Michael Jackson’s death has reportedly been ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. An anonymous official told the AP that lethal levels of the anesthetic propofol were found in Jackson’s system, Sky News.

Paleontologists say Angola “holds a ‘museum in the ground’ of rare fossils – some actually jutting from the earth – waiting to be discovered.” Bones were found in the 1960s, but three decades of war took hold of the country, making it impossible for paleontologists to excavate, AFP.

Breaking: President Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term, aides report, New York Times.

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Japan Out of Recession With Second Quarter Growth

The tropical storm Claudette is expected to hit the Florida panhandle tonight. Thre are some flood warnings issued for counties along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. There is also the possibility of tornadoes in northern Florida, CNN.

Japan has officially exited the recession after reporting second quarter growth. The economy grew .9% from April to June and a recent stimulus package is said to be the cause. Germany, France, and Hong Kong have also recently shown growth, BBC News.

Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record today with a time of 9.58 seconds at the World Championships in Berlin. The runner won three gold medals in last year’s Olympics and set world records in each of those wins, BBC Sport.

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck off of Okinawa, Japan about an hour ago, but so far there are no reports of any damage. Tsunami warnings were issued as a precaution, BNO News.

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