World Markets Mixed Awaiting Operation Twist
World markets are mixed on Wednesday as they await announcements from the Federal Reserve Meeting. It is believed that Chairman Ben Bernanke will be announcing a new plan to boost the economy which has been deemed Operation Twist. According to the Associated Press,the plan would shift assets from the $1.7 trillion of short term debt into longer term lower Treasury yields. The action was taken during the 1960s. It is believed that it will not only further lower Treasury yields but will also lower mortgage rates. Critics fear it will lead to increased inflation.
More adults insured than in past
One portion of ObamaCare that is working is an increase in the number of adults ages 18-25 that are insured. Because ObamaCare allows young people to stay on their parents policies until age 26, the number of uninsured adults in the segment of population, which totals about 35 million, went from 28 percent who were uninsured down to 24.2 percent that are currently uninsured, representing about 1 million people.
World Economy Entering Dangerous New Phase
The Chief economist for the International Money Fund, the IMF, indicated on Tuesday that the world is entering a dangerous new phase. The IMF downgraded the economic outlook for the US and Europe. Growth rates for the US, which the IMF had predicted in June, went from 2.5 in 2011 and 2.7 in 2012 to 1.5 in 2011 and 1.8 in 2012. This infers that the US growth rate will increase substantially in the second half of the year. The Eurozone growth rate was lowered to 1.6 in 2011 and 1.1 in 2012, with the belief that the European economy will not be able to absorb the debt crisis. Global growth was predicted at 4% with the strongest economies including China, India and Brazil. The IMF also said that the European banks must improve their capital ratios prior to the 2019 legal requirements.
Greek talks continue
The European markets rallied on Tuesday believing that the Greek debt talks were moving along positively because further examination was moved until next week, according to the Financial Times. Greece is seeking an immediate $11 billion which is part of a total package of $150 billion in loans. These loans, however, are subject to Greece implementing specific austerity measures that are causing riots and protests by its citizens. Apparently the Troika, represented by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, indicated that good progress was being made.
US Markets relatively flat on Tuesday
The Dow remained flat despite the European rally gaining only 7.65 and closing at 11,408. Earlier in the day the Dow had gained as much as 148 points but apparently, according to the Wall Street Journal, the US markets were not as joyous about the ongoing talks regarding Greece, feeling that the issue continues to drag on. Gold forecast to beat $2,000 According to the London Bullion Market Association Conference, gold will rise to $2019 within the next year. This comes from a group that has generally been fairly accurate and conservative, according to the Financial Times.
Gold closed at $1805 on Tuesday
Gold has gained 30% since the beginning of the year. It still is not near the inflation adjusted high in 1980 of $2400.
US Home Construction falls
US home construction fell more than expected in August, reaching the lowest level in 3 months and falling 5% from July to 571,000, according to the Commerce Department. The Wall Street Journal indicates that the biggest drop was in the NorthEast with construction down 30%. The good news is that new construction permits rose 3.2% in August.
Obama Foreclosure Bailout Program Fails to Dole Out Funds By Deadline
More than $1 billion meant to help homeowners in foreclosure will be repaid to the US Treasury on September 30 for failure to effectively administer the program or to legislate reasonable eligibility requirements, according to USA Today. The Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development has until September 30 to commit $1 billion to more than 30,000 homeowners in foreclosure. Unfortunately, the agency did not begin accepting applications until mid-June, and even then, it was not ready in all parts of the country. The program gives $50,000 in a forgivable loan to individuals that took a 15% hit to income due to the recession, or who had a medical condition making them unable to pay their mortgage, or were 90 days delinquent on June 1. HUD indicates that over 100,000 individuals applied but few were eligible. If an individual received a bailout loan and remained current on their mortgage for 5 years, the loan would be forgiven. HUD administered the program in 27 states. Five states administered their own programs and were able to commit some of the funds.
What is the most expensive tollway in America? While many believe it is the Delaware Turnpike, the answer lies farther west. According to Fox News, the most expensive public highway is the Chicago Skyway, a 7.8 mile tollway that costs $.46 per mile. The second most expensive tollway is the express lanes in downtown Denver at $.29 per mile. The most expensive non-interstate highway is the New York Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Parkway at $3.11 per mile.