Glenn's Feed
May 23, 2012

Guessing game begins over next Treasury chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wanted for the Treasury Department: a new boss who can fix trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits, overhaul the tax system and spur a reluctant Europe into fixing its debt crisis.

It’s a tall order, especially when the new Treasury chief also must deal with a fractious Congress – and all for a salary lower than that paid to many junior Wall Street bankers.

May 10, 2012

Bernanke: even worthy borrowers can’t get mortgages

By Glenn Somerville

(Reuters) – Banks have become so restrictive in making mortgages that many worthy home buyers are being frozen out of the U.S. housing market, and lending practices are not likely to loosen any time soon, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday.

Speaking via satellite to a banking conference in Chicago, Bernanke highlighted ongoing problems in mortgage finance availability, even though banks are much healthier now as the 2007-2009 financial crisis has receded.

May 8, 2012

U.S. sees China pushed to let market forces work

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – As China confronts the
prospect of an aging population that will drive up wages,
Beijing will be compelled to let market forces play a larger
role in managing the economy, a senior U.S. Treasury Department
official said on Tuesday.

China faces “an extraordinarily steep demographic cliff”
that will reduce the advantage of a young labor force willing to
work cheaply,” Lael Brainard, the Treasury’s under secretary for
international affairs, told a group of business people,
diplomats and academics

May 7, 2012

Consumer credit jumps in March

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consumers went back to using their credit cards in March to keep spending while student and new-car loans shot up as the value of outstanding consumer credit jumped at the fastest rate since late 2001, data from the Federal Reserve showed on Monday.

Total consumer credit grew by $21.36 billion – more than twice the $9.8 billion rise that Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast. That followed a revised $9.27 billion increase in outstanding credit in February.

May 7, 2012

U.S. consumer credit jumps in March

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – U.S. consumers went back to
using their credit cards in March to keep spending while student
and new-car loans shot up as the value of outstanding consumer
credit jumped at the fastest rate since late 2001, data from the
Federal Reserve showed on Monday.

Total consumer credit grew by $21.36 billion – more than
twice the $9.8 billion rise that Wall Street economists surveyed
by Reuters had forecast. That followed a revised $9.27 billion
increase in outstanding credit in February.

May 2, 2012

US Treasury still mulling floating-rate debt sales

WASHINGTON, May 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department
sees a strong market for floating-rate notes that would give it
a new tool for managing the government’s borrowing needs but is
putting off a decision for now on selling them, a senior
official said on Wednesday.

Financial markets were watching for the Treasury to announce
at a scheduled quarterly refunding press conference that it
would begin issuing floating-rate debt. But it said it was still
analyzing feedback and wouldn’t say when it will decide.

Apr 23, 2012

Without reforms, U.S. retirees to face dwindling funds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Aging baby boomers got some jolting news on Monday when the U.S. government said the Social Security retirement program is on track to go bankrupt three years earlier than expected if reforms are not made.

Unless Washington politicians, who have been at war with each other over government spending priorities and federal budget deficits, can decide how to put Social Security on a sound footing, retirees’ pension checks would start running out in 2033, according to an annual report.

Apr 23, 2012

Europe pressed for action to end debt crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Global finance chiefs pressed Europe in weekend talks to quickly put in place the economic reforms needed to finally extinguish its debt crisis now that newly increased financial buffers have bought some precious time.

A day after advanced and emerging countries agreed to double the firepower of the International Monetary Fund to help contain the crisis, the IMF’s governing panel said on Saturday that the 17-nation euro area must cut government debt burdens further, push bold economic reforms and stabilize financial systems.

Apr 22, 2012

Europe pressed to deliver debt fix

WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) – Global finance chiefs
pressed Europe on Saturday to take advantage of newly increased
financial buffers and make the lasting reforms needed to tackle
its debt crisis, which is threatening the world recovery.

A day after advanced and emerging countries agreed to double
the firepower of the International Monetary Fund to help contain
Europe’s debt crisis, the IMF’s governing panel said the
17-nation euro area must make more cuts to government debt
burdens, push bold economic reforms and stabilize financial
systems.

Apr 21, 2012

IMF presses Europe to contain debt crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Europe was pressed by other world powers on Saturday to take strong measures to fix its debt-heavy economy and restore growth to a level that would lift the cloud hanging over the fragile global recovery.

A day after top economies agreed to lend more money to the International Monetary Fund to help contain Europe’s debt crisis, the IMF’s governing panel said the euro area must cut government debt burdens, make bold economic reforms and stabilize its financial systems to restore growth.