Our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, looks at the chances that Congress will reach an agreement on a health care bill this week. Then Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times, looks at what's next on Congress' agenda: reforming regulations on the financial sector.
The White House announced this week that its $787 billion economic stimulus package has saved or created more than 1 million jobs since it was enacted in February. To help us parse these and other economic indicators, we talk with Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, a market analysis company in New York. We also speak with Louise Story, a Wall Street and finance reporter with the New York Times, about what financial troubles at Harvard and Yale mean for higher education and the economy as a whole.
Americans paid off $21.6 billion in credit card debt and other consumer loans in July. That is the biggest decline in consumer debt since 1943, when the Federal Reserve started keeping track. The Takeaway's business contributor, Louise Story, a finance reporter for the New York Times, says the economy will fundamentally change if Americans take on a new attitude about spending money they don’t have.
All week long we are reviewing the year that was: the year that marked the beginning of the financial meltdown and the recession that we continue to live through. Today we are focusing on the $600 billion collapse of Lehman Brothers — the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. It’s a moment that many believe sent the global economy into crisis. To get a sense of the forces leading up to that day we speak with a Lehman Brothers’ insider, former vice president of distressed debt and convertible securities at Lehman Brothers, Lawrence McDonald. He's the author of the new book, A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers.
We also talk to our contributor Louise Story, finance reporter for the New York Times, about the collapse of Lehmann and the ensuing global financial crisis. Louise also tells us about the new spate of corporate mergers that could indicate the nation's economy is making the slow turn towards recovery.
Unemployment numbers last week showed the U.S. jobless rate at 9.7 percent: the highest since 1983. This number may be misleadingly low, however; the official unemployment rate counts only those who are actively looking for work, not those who have given up on the job search. When positive economic signs tempt those folks back into the job market, the official unemployment rate could actually go up. Louise Story is a Wall Street and finance reporter for our partners The New York Times -- she joins us to tell us more.
Our partners at The New York Times reported that profits collected from eight of the biggest bailed-out banks have fully repaid their debts to the U.S. government. Even though the $4 billion paid back still only represents a small percentage of the $700 billion the government doled out to help stabilize wobbly banks, it could point to brighter financial days on the horizon. We talk to New York Times reporter Louise Story about the significance of these quick paybacks and their impact on the economy.
The National Association of Realtors will release their numbers on pending home sales later this morning; those numbers are predicted to be up for the sixth consecutive month. Louise Story, The New York Times reporter, explains the report.
Just a year ago, the government stepped in and took over struggling mortgage and loan security giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were the first major companies deemed "too big to fail," although they would not be the last. One year after the takeover, both Fannie and Freddie are reporting huge profits. The times, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, might just be a-changin'.
Joining us to tell us where these gains are coming from and what we've learned in our year of nationalized mortgage lending is Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for the New York Times.
The FDIC, the body that insures the money we put into our bank accounts, is currently supporting 416 failed and "problem" banks. Is all that strain on our nation's banking backbone a cause for alarm? We speak to Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times, to ask her if we should start stuffing money under our mattresses.
After long negotiations, the Swiss bank UBS announced yesterday that it had reached a deal with the Internal Revenue Service. Part of the deal requires the bank to give the I.R.S. the names attached to 4,500 previously secret accounts. Swiss banks have long been valued for their secrecy and discretion; the I.R.S. suspects the bank may be harboring billions of taxable U.S. dollars in accounts owned by Americans.
Now that UBS is bowing to pressure from the U.S., the burning question is: where-oh-where will the fabulously wealthy go to hide their money now? For that and more, we check in with Louise Story, the Wall Street and finance reporter for the New York Times.
Louise Story, finance reporter for the New York Times, joins The Takeaway to help parse the latest economic data. The Consumer Price Index remained flat in July, making for an annual decline of 2.1 percent — the largest in 60 years. Industrial production, however, rose in July for only the second time since the recession officially began in December 2007. Story says that the minimal change in inflation is a good sign, which will allow the Fed to keep on its current monetary strategy.
General Motors is trying something new: it's letting consumers buy new cars on the auction site eBay. Will it work? Approximately three million used cars have been sold online in the past, but to-date, no car dealer has sold new cars this way. Louise Story, financial writer for The New York Times, takes a look. We're also joined by John McEleney, chairman of the National Association of Automobile Dealers, as he explains what the GM-eBay partnership means for private dealers across the country.
The Fed meets today to consider raising interest rates. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, helps us forecast the possible results if and when the Fed does change rates.