Unstructured Finance

Will FHFA opposition to principal reductions boost eminent domain efforts?

August 1, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

There’s nothing surprising about FHFA head Ed DeMarco’s decision to nix the idea of writing down some of the debt owed by cash-strapped homeowners on mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. DeMarco, whose agency regulates Fannie and Freddie, has been a consistent opponent of principal reductions–something we pointed out last October in our story on the need for a “great haircut” on consumer loans and including student and mortgage debt to stimulate the economy.

UF Weekend Reads

April 21, 2012

Nice weather today in NYC. Enjoy it today before Sunday’s deluge. Here’s Sam Forgione’s picks. You can now follow Sam on twitter @samuelforgione

Bad data?

December 3, 2011

By Matthew Goldstein

The jobs situation is still pretty bad in the U.S. and the nation has a long way to go to make up for the millions of jobs lost during the financial crisis. But today’s job’s report and recent revisions point out that maybe things aren’t as bad as everyone feared just a few months ago.

Wall Street protesters just want to be heard

October 4, 2011

Early morning at Occupy Wall Street

Updated Oct. 5

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

There’s been a lot of talk that other than rallying against bankers and corporate greed, the message coming from Occupy Wall Street isn’t a clear one. And many of the college students, artists, unemployed, transients who’ve set-up camp in a concrete plaza in  lower Manhattan wouldn’t disagree with that assessment.

Check Out Line: Consumers beware! Rising prices even at Wal-Mart

August 10, 2010

walmart1Check out rising prices even at Wal-Mart.

Pressures created by rising costs have caused even the world’s largest retailer, known for its ”rollback” discounts, to boost the prices that consumers pay for groceries.
    
Wal-Mart Stores raised average prices on supermarket items by about 6 percent in a month, according to a recent J.P. Morgan study in Virginia that compared the prices of 31-item goods sold at its supercenters, and at supermarket rivals Kroger, Safeway, Harris Teeter and Whole Foods.
    
Specifically, the study found that prices at a supercenter in Virginia rose 5.8 percent, the most significant sequential increase since JP Morgan started price comparisons in January 2009.
    
While the world’s largest retailer remains the cheapest among supermarkets, rivals such as Kroger and Safeway are gaining ground, according to J.P. Morgan.
    
Rising costs of raw materials and oil are pressuring companies to pass on costs to consumers with higher prices.

Check Out Line: Frugality — Part Two?

August 5, 2010

shopCheck out the apparent return of the frugalista.

Worries about stubbornly high U.S. unemployment and a tempermental economic recovery has shoppers reeling in spending on all but the essentials.

Panera’s pick-what-you-pay cafe holds its own

July 28, 2010

panera2Panera Bread’s hometown experiment in altruism appears to be working.

About eight weeks after opening Panera Cares — a nonprofit restaurant that invites customers to take what they need and pay what they can — executives say it appears to be on-track to covering its costs and becoming self-sufficient.

Check Out Line: Have a Coke and a confused looking grin

July 21, 2010

Check out the confused American consumer. COCACOLAENTERPRISES/

Coca-Cola Co actually saw sales volume rise in North America in the second quarter, a rare feat.

Check Out Line: Earnings to quench investors’ thirst

July 20, 2010

pepsi1Check out the latest quarterly earnings for signs of a recovery.

Whirlpool and PepsiCo both reported better-than-expected quarterly profits and pointed to improving trends, lending hope to optimists that the economy is slowly improving.

Check Out Line: Summer job search advice for teens

May 25, 2010

jobfair1Check out tough times for job-seeking teens.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said teens looking for a summer job will need to dedicate themselves full-time to the search, meaning getting a full-time job will be a full-time job. While many employers have filled summer positions, some may need more than expected while others delayed hiring until summer business conditions became clearer, Challenger CEO John Challenger said.