IMF calls on the US and Europe to resolve their debt crisis
The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, called upon Europe and the US to act faster to resolve their debt crisis, blaming their failures on the lack of global growth and creating economic uncertainty. According to Reuters, the IMF cut its global growth forecast earlier this week. While Germany indicates that Europe is now on track, the IMF has been frustrated with the piecemeal approach taken by the European Union. Similarly, the US is hoping to fix its “fiscal cliff” in the short time between the November election and year end. Asian shares are mostly negative on Thursday while European shares are positive. The Dow fell 128 points on Wednesday, closing at 13,344.
US foreclosure filings hit 5 year low in September
The Associated Press indicates that US foreclosure filings dropped to a 5 year low in September as fewer homes were on track to be overtaken by lenders. It was the second consecutive monthly decline although results varied by state. On a national level, foreclosures fell 7 percent from August and 16 percent from September 2011. Foreclosures peaked in April 2009 at around 203,000. The current level is 180,427, well above the 34,000 experienced in May 2005. The biggest drops were in California, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and Texas.
Greece likely to receive more time
CNBC is reporting that the IMF is supportive of Greece receiving additional time to meet its budget goals. The managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said that heavily frontloading Greece with austerity could undermine its reforms and recovery. It is anticipated that Greece’s debt will once again be restructured and perhaps cut. Greece is still in discussions with the IMF, European Union and European Central Bank. Unemployment in Greece is over 25 percent.
Spain’s credit rating cut to near junk
Reuters reports that Standard and Poor’s cut Spain’s sovereign credit rating to BBB minus, just above junk, due to a deepening economic recession that is limiting the government’s policy options. The downgrade comes with a negative outlook. This rating is similar to the Moody’s rating. Unemployment in Spain is close to 25 percent. Failing tax revenues and costs of unemployment benefits are preventing the government from meeting its 2012 debt reduction target of 6.3 percent. Spain said it had not anticipated the downgrade.
Top Fed Reserve official suggests US bank size cap
A top Federal Reserve official overseeing financial regulation has suggested that US lawmakers cap the size of banks based on their borrowings. According to Dan Tarullo, Fed governor, currently US banks can hold no more than 10 percent of the country’s deposits. The Financial Times reports that Tarullo has proposed a cap based upon the bank’s non-deposit liabilities compared to a percentage of US GDP. This would force a break up of the six biggest US banks by assets, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Such a proposal still needs to be passed by Congress.
Girl Scout cookie box updated
The New York Times reports that the Girl Scout Cookie Box is getting a makeover. The box will now tell what the girls learn from selling cookies and what the girl scouts do with the funds from the 214 million cookies sold each year. Last year cookie sales increased 3 percent up to $787 million.The girls actually choose how the money is spent for various activities. The box redesign is part of an effort to refresh the organization’s branding. Girl Scout cookies will be 100 years old in 2017.
Bench seat in cars will become history
When the 2013 Chevrolet Impala goes out of production for the redesigned 2014 Impala this year, it will end the production of bench seats in cars. According to USA Today, the Impala is the last car to offer a bench seat as an option. GM says that only 1 in 10 buyers purchased the bench seat option last year. Bench seats lasted 101 years in Chevrolets. They first appeared in the Series C Classic Six of 1911. They are best known for cuddling up with a date, especially during a drive in movie. While they are gone in cars, bench seats will still be available in pickup trucks and sport utilities.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.