Commentaries

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Are you feeling the TALF love yet?

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The Federal Reserve has released the latest on TALF loan applications – $6.9 billion, up slightly from last month’s $5.4 billion. This is the consumer-related ABS round (though it also includes things like bonds backed by equipment leases, small business loans and auto floor plans), which has been gaining some traction since it was launched earlier this year.

But here’s my question. Is anyone out there seeing this translate into lower consumer financing charges? I’m particularly interested in credit card charges. A good portion of the collateral put forward to get these loans has been for bonds backed by credit card debt. In the latest round it was $2.6 billion. Now ostensibly the program is supposed to have the knock-on effect of lowering financing costs for you and me. But last month, I discovered that one of my credit cards had jacked up my rate by 10 percentage points to 17%. They said it was because of the poor economic climate and through no fault of my own.

Now, I understand that my experience is anecdotal and it may take time for this to filter through but would be interested to hear what others are seeing.

Banks must brace for creditcard pile-up

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Credit card delinquency figures bring to mind the rock classic “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”

Ever after today’s record report — delinquencies jumped to 6.6 percent of all card debt in the first quarter from 5.52 percent — the peak may still be far off.

Job losses still ginormous

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ADP this morning came out with its survey of joblessess, reporting that private sector nonfarm payrolls dropped by 473K in June, but noted that losses originally reported in May and April were slightly less than had been originally reported.

Some may take this as a reason to celebrate since -473K marks another month showing a slowdown in job losses since they hit their peak at -736K in March. But 473K jobs lost in a single month, especially given the blood letting we’ve seen since the nosedive in financial markets in September, is still impressive, and worrying.

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