The week is beginning upon a sour notes as oil climbs to $106 a barrel in foreign markets, according to the AP and Bloomberg. Foreign stock markets are falling and gold is at a 2 year high of $1439. The intensifying fighting in Libya is blamed for these results.
Moody's once again cut Greece's credit rating in anticipation of upcoming actions of its European counterparts. The Washington Post, however, claims Greece is up in arms regarding this cut. It believes that having cut its deficit by 6% in the past year and enacting other reforms that this downgrade is not justified.
Despite the fact that the economy added 130,000 jobs last month and the Conference Board report 4.2 million online job postings exist, the hiring process is getting slower, according to the Wall Street Journal. This slowdown is primarily due to the fact that hiring managers believe there are more qualified candidates available in the past so they are more likely to continue to look for better candidates. Generally 5-6 candidates are brought back for a second interview, according to this article, which is double the amount that would receive a second interview in 2007.
The MERS is about to debut as one of the largest issues tangling up the mortgage foreclosure problems, according the to New York Times. MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System) is a company founded by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the large banks during the 1990s. The purpose of the organization was to allow electronic record keeping of mortgages, allowing them to be bundled and sold as securities. No research was done regarding the myriad of real estate laws in the 50 states prior to the development of MERS but it allowed the industry to bypass the slow paper ridden processes of real estate registration that occurred throughout the country. Now as the number of foreclosures continues to climb, it finds that many of the records are tangled up and unclear in the MERS systems. One study found that compared to the old-fashioned record keeping of property completed in most states, MERS accuracy rate was only 30%. Look for this to become an increasing saga as the mortgage foreclosure process continues.
"We are not alone" according to a report soon to run in the Journal of Cosmology. A NASA scientist, as reported by Fox News, has evidence that life exists somewhere out in the universe. The scientist claims to have found evidence of life in the fossils found within a rare type of meteorite.
The cost of an Ivy League education continues to remain worth the average $55,000 per year price tag, according to an article in USA Today. Not only do Ivy League graduates earn a 32% higher average starting salary, ranging from $49,400 to $59,600, but mid-career salaries are higher ranging from $99,000 to $123,000. Not only is the Ivy League diploma considered prestigious during the hiring process, the networking capabilities provided by the colleges are even more valuable. While specific programs at other universities may exceed the Ivy League colleges, as an overall investment, it remains worth the cost.
Those "skinny" jeans are about to become more costly. Fox Business News reports that with the increasing price of cotton, jeans makers are being forced to increase their prices. Many anticipate prices escalating 10-12% by May and overall increases of 20% by year end. This may be the time to invest in new jeans....buy those "back to school" jeans now....don't wait until later in the year!