October 17, 2013 |
Fixed mortgage rates rose early this week amid the debt crisis, Freddie Mac's latest survey showed, with lenders offering the 30-year home loan at an average of 4.28%, up from 4.23% a week earlier. The offering rate for 15-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.33%, according to the survey, up from 3.31% last week. The survey was conducted Monday through Wednesday morning, a period when it was uncertain if Congress would lift the maximum amount of debt the government can shoulder.
September 23, 2013 |
LONDON -- Fresh from her party's best election showing in more than 20 years, German Chancellor Angela Merkel started the tricky task Monday of forming a new government after her preferred coalition partner was ousted from parliament in a shocking result. Merkel's jubilation over winning a third term as chancellor, which would extend her time in power to 12 years, gave way to the political reality that she still needs to find a junior party with which to govern. Despite garnering far more votes than that of any other group, Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union fell five seats short of a majority in the Bundestag.
September 20, 2013 |
BERLIN - Her necklace made more of a statement during a televised debate than she did, with beads the colors of the German flag. Even her supporters admit she's no soaring orator. A giant campaign billboard features a close-up of her hands, not her face. But the owner of that patriotic jewelry and those hands with their fingertips pressed together looks poised to renew her claim as the world's most powerful woman. Germans go to the polls Sunday, and almost all indications are that Chancellor Angela Merkel will emerge with a third term as leader of Europe's most populous nation and its biggest economy.
July 26, 2013 |
NEW YORK -- What's the deal with Wall Streeters penning songs as the housing market collapsed? Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs employee on trial for alleged securities fraud in a high-profile case from the financial crisis, is the latest contributor to this little-known genre. It was a Saturday afternoon in February 2007, and Tourre -- nicknamed "Fabulous Fab" -- wrote a song parody in his native French. Translated: In the trading rooms A few of us Were looking for glory Although we were sad To have an empty P&L We could not help but keep on hoping And when a few clients Took a credit-linked note In exchange of a good fresh P&L We narrated verses Gathered around the stove Forgetting about the crisis Tourre's lyrical talents emerged in his civil trial over a case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. PHOTO GALLERY: The costliest bank failures The regulator trotted out the song -- contained in an email labeled Plaintiff's Exhibit PX-148 -- during Tourre's testimony Thursday in a federal courtroom in Manhattan.
July 3, 2013 |
LONDON -- After lying relatively dormant for months, Europe's debt crisis threatened to flare up again as political instability spread through some of the continent's most financially troubled nations Wednesday. The Portuguese government teetered on the brink of collapse over internal disagreements regarding the country's tough austerity program, which Lisbon was forced to implement to qualify for an international bailout in 2011. Two Cabinet members resigned this week, including the finance minister, who said that political and public support for his fiscal crackdown had evaporated.
June 15, 2013 |
After years of unrelenting austerity, Europe seems to have turned a corner on its debt crisis -- right into a dead-end street. Since the turmoil erupted in 2009, countries from Ireland to Greece have focused almost exclusively on slashing budget deficits and debt as the road back to economic health. Prodded by Germany and its insistence on fiscal virtue, governments elsewhere have fired workers, chopped welfare benefits and shelved big-ticket projects, turning the continent into what some call one giant "Austerity-land.