Louise Story

New York Times

Louise Story appears in the following:

Justice Dept. Probes Standard & Poor's on Mortgage Crisis

Thursday, August 18, 2011

As we learned last week the decisions of one rating agency can cause a lot of economic volatility. But according to an exclusive piece from our partner The New York Times this morning, the Justice Department is opening an investigation into Standard & Poor's to see if the agency improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities leading up to the financial crisis. The ratings being investigated came long before the downgrade of the U.S., but the probe does raise new questions about the credibility of the nation's largest credit agency and their secretive rating process. 


Government Revises GDP Numbers for the Worse

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Last April the Federal Reserve said that Gross Domestic Product numbers had inched up a respectable 1.8 percent. It was a bright spot in the midst of a bleak economy. The White House touted the news as encouraging, and stocks went up. Now, after a dizzying few weeks of bad news about the economy, the government has revised its numbers, saying the economy really only expanded by 0.4 percent. What happened, and what does this say about the government's understanding of the economy?


Europe Considers Banning Short Sales on Stocks

Thursday, August 11, 2011

European Securities and Market Authority is considering recommending a temporary ban on negative bets against stocks. The ban would be temporary to ease this period of market volatility. This comes on the heels of escalating financial concerns in Europe. The European markets are down this morning in reaction to a report showing Greek unemployment at 16.6 percent and more bad news for French banks.


Fed Keeps Interest Rates Near Zero

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In the wake of Standard and Poor's decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, and an economy still struggling to keep its head above water, the Federal Reserve decided yesterday to keep the nation's interest rate close to zero through 2013. The rate has been static for the past two years. The response on Wall Street seemed mixed. At first stocks took a bit of a dive, but they recovered.  The Dow closed up 429 points yesterday after a late rally.

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Markets Plunge: Should We Be Worried?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Stock markets went into a free-fall yesterday, witnessing drops reminiscent of the great economic collapse of 2008 that the world has still yet to recover from. The S&P 500 saw all of its stock fall and the Dow Jones industrials fell 634.76 points, the sixth worst drop in over a century. How informative is the S&P downgrade? What can we take from their assessment of Washington?

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AIG to Sue Bank of America for $10 Billion in Mortgage Losses

Monday, August 08, 2011

In an exclusive story in The New York Times this morning, Wall Street and finance reporter Louise Story writes that the behemoth insurance company American International Group Inc. is going to sue Bank of America, claiming the banking institution provided false information on mortgage bonds to AIG and ratings agencies, which lead to losses of more than $10 billion.


S&P Downgrade Roils Markets, Worries Consumers

Monday, August 08, 2011

Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the United States' credit rating on Friday, for the first time in history, brought condemnation from government officials, and fears of market turmoil. S&P's managing editor, John Chambers, told ABC News' "This Week" that there was a one in three chance of a further downgrade. He also said that the U.S. could regain its AAA rating, but warned that it may take as long as two decades — if it happens at all.

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Market Slump Reflects Fears of Double-Dip Recession

Friday, August 05, 2011

U.S. markets are opening this morning after their worst day in almost three years. The Dow Jones index of thirty blue-chip stocks closed more than 500 points down, or 4.3 percent, the biggest one-day fall since late 2008. Indexes including the S&P 500 also plunged yesterday. The news reflects fears of a slowdown in global growth, concerns about Europe’s debt crisis, and the prospect of a double dip recession.

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Despite Unemployment Numbers, Seasonal Jobs Go to Foreign Workers

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The federal government plans to release new unemployment figures on Friday. Will July's numbers be as dismal as June's? All week, The Takeaway is speaking with experts, employers, and out-of-work Americans about unemployment-related issues. Today, we're discussing foreign workers. With unemployment hovering around 9.2 percent, why do so many seasonal employers choose to hire workers from outside the U.S.?

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Why Default May Not Be So Bad

Monday, August 01, 2011

While the country anxiously waits to see if lawmakers can raise the debt limit before the August 2 deadline, a few economists and financiers are emphasizing the importance of a long-term financial solution to the deficit, even if that results in a temporary default. They question the lasting effects of a default in terms of investor confidence, citing the reputation and dominance of U.S. currency in financial transactions.


Boehner Delays Vote on His Plan As Deadline Nears

Friday, July 29, 2011

Political negotiations on the debt ceiling are coming down to the wire. With just four days until the August 2 deadline, by which Congress must agree on a budget plan or default, House Speaker John Boehner delayed a vote on his debt ceiling legislation last night, after a long day of vote counting and arm-twisting failed to secure immediate support for his plan from conservative Republicans. The delay surprised the Democrats, who were expecting to kill the plan in the Senate, and move ahead with their own proposal.

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As Debt Deadline Looms, States Could Be Biggest Loser of Them All

Thursday, July 28, 2011

As the deadline for increasing the nation's debt ceiling inches closer, individual states are getting ready for the possibility that the Treasury will run out of cash. According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, 35 percent of state budgets rely upon federal funding to keep programs like unemployment, Medicaid, transportation projects and highways running.

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Contingency Plans Underway As Debt Deadline Nears

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Despite plenty of drama and public rhetoric in the battle over the U.S. debt ceiling, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have not yet reached a compromise. The deadline is looming as is the possibility the country will have to default on its $14.3 trillion of debt. As time marches on, analysts are starting to think seriously about what would happen if no deal can be reached. A vote was expected today in the House on Boehner’s last bid to increase the debt limit and cut spending — but that all fell apart last night when Tea Party Republicans refused to vote for it.

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Over 450,000 Expecting Checks From Countrywide Settlement

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners who took out loans with Countrywide, and were overcharged for their loans when they fell behind on their payments can expect some money back soon. It's taken over a year for the Federal Trade Commission to figure out who will get parts of a $108 million settlement reached last summer with Countrywide. Countrywide will begin mailing checks today. Wells Fargo, the largest U.S. home lender, has also agreed to a steep fine of $85 million, for roping borrowers into costlier-than-necessary loans.

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Debt: Obama Praises Gang of Six Plan; Five States May Face Credit Downgrade

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, called it correctly on yesterday's show, saying that the Gang of Six — a bipartisan group of senators who have been trying to formulate a deficit-reduction plan for months — would make a comeback. President Obama praised praised the group's proposal yesterday, calling it a "very significant step" toward a budget negotiation.

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Do We Need a Debt Limit?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We’re exactly two weeks away from the August 2 deadline for lawmakers to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.  If Congress can’t come to an agreement by then, the U.S. may default on its loans, and that could likely mean losing our Aaa bond rating. But with debt ceiling negotiations seemingly at a standstill, Moody’s Investor Service has suggested eliminating the debt ceiling altogether.

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China Weighs in on Debt Debate; Anyone Can Be a 'Budget Hero'

Friday, July 15, 2011

China is weighing in on U.S. lawmakers' failure to make any meaningful progress on the government debt limit, during increasingly tense budget talks in the White House. China holds more than $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury securities, and a failure to reach a debt agreement would result in a credit downgrade for the United States, and devalue China’s holdings.


As Debt Talks Falter, Moody's Places U.S. Credit Rating Under Review

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Responding to concerns that lawmakers in Washington will fail to reach an agreement on raising the country's debt threshold, credit ratings agency Moody's placed the U.S.'s credit rating under review for the first time since the federal government shutdown in 1995. The U.S. still risks losing the Aaa rating it has had since 1917, even if lawmakers come to a last minute agreement before the August 2 deadline.

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Online Retailers Battle to Avoid Sales Tax

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The online retailer Amazon is getting into the ballot initiative business. The company is pushing for a referendum in California that would eliminate sales tax for online retailers that have a limited physical presence in the state.


The Debt Limit Debate Continues

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another shot has been fired in the ongoing negotiations between President Obama and Republican Congressional leaders to raise the nation's debt limit before the August 2 deadline. Obama challenged Republicans in a press conference on Monday, saying that it was time for the GOP to back up rhetoric about tackling the country's long-term debt problems. Republicans leaders have said they will seek a smaller deal with more cuts to social program and no tax increases on the wealthy. Lawmakers will return to the White House for more negotiations this afternoon.

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