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October 7, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - One is a former Texas talk-radio host who had never held public office until he won a seat in Congress in the 2010 tea party wave. Another is an MIT-educated inventor who has all but shelved his scientific pursuits to reinvent government. Others are back-bench, right-wing lawmakers who have served in Congress for years but suddenly find their once far-afield views have more currency within their party. These are the House Republicans who have convinced Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio)
October 2, 2013 | Jim Puzzanghera and Andrew Tangel
WASHINGTON - To Wall Street, the partial government shutdown is another unfortunate economic speed bump caused by partisan political fighting. Failure to raise the debt limit, triggering a first-ever federal default, would be a brick wall on the road to recovery. "There's precedent for a government shutdown. There's no precedent for default," Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein told reporters after he and 14 other financial industry executives met with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
September 30, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Standard & Poor's said Monday that the current impasse over funding the federal government and raising the debt limit probably would not lead to another downgrade of the U.S. credit rating -- as long as the stalemate didn't last long. But a failure to raise the nation's borrowing ceiling in time to avoid a first-ever federal government default would cause S&P to reassess its AA+ rating for the U.S., the company said in a report. The Treasury Department has said the debt limit must be raised by Oct. 17 or the nation risks not having enough money to pay its bills on any given day. S&P, one of the three leading credit-rating firms, downgraded the U.S. credit rating in 2011 after a last-minute deal ended a bitter stalemate over raising the debt limit.
September 29, 2013 | By Michelle N. Meyer and Christopher Chabris
News came last month that the Obama administration, following the lead of British Prime Minister David Cameron and his government's so-called Nudge Unit, is recruiting behavioral scientists to help shape regulatory policy. Nudges are ways of offering choices that make people more likely to choose a particular option but preserve their ability to make a different choice. This usage of "nudge" was coined in 2008 by economist Richard Thaler and legal scholar Cass Sunstein, but the concept was first studied more than a decade ago by economist Brigitte Madrian and insurance executive Dennis Shea.
September 27, 2013
Re "Debt ceiling baloney," Editorial, Sept. 25 During the two terms of President George W. Bush's administration, Republicans voted seven times to raise the U.S. debt limit without demanding any cuts in federal spending. Now, GOP lawmakers should continue this responsible tradition that was endorsed by their last president. In 1983, President Reagan issued this warning to Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.): "The full consequences of a default by the United States - or even the serious prospect of a default - by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate.
August 23, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger
Argentina's long slugfest with Wall Street over its sovereign debt default - the largest ever - has left the South American nation unbowed after losing another round in U.S. courts. A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Argentina must pay a group of bond investors more than $1.3 billion, the full amount of principal and interest, if it wants to continue making discounted payments that other creditors have agreed to accept. Argentina has publicly vowed to never pay face value on those notes, so the unanimous decision by the three-judge panel of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals could force a default on the country's other debts.
August 9, 2013 | By Wendy Wood and David Neal
On a recent doctor's visit, a compelling health video was looping in the reception room. It incorporated many of the accepted rules for achieving a healthy weight. The motivational video, tailored to the doctor's clientele, illustrated simple ways to eat more fruits and vegetables and get exercise. It was striking, however, that many of the nursing staff, who must have heard this video a thousand times, didn't seem to have taken it to heart. Nurses, as a national study revealed, are just as likely to overeat as the rest of the population.
August 1, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Facebook said secure browsing is now a default option for all users, making it safer for them to connect to the 1-billion member social network. Now, all users will see "https" instead of "http" at the front of the Web address when they go to Facebook on their browsers. Using HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, directs users' browsers to a secure connection, Facebook said in a blog post announcing the change.  Using HTTPS encrypts data transferred between your device and the website you are connecting to. That makes it harder for anyone to intercept or make sense of what you are sending or receiving.
July 23, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
New California foreclosure filings rose considerably in the first quarter over the second but were still down 53% from the same period a year prior and held to their second-lowest level in seven years. Notices of default shot up 39% in the second quarter, according to a report by the real estate firm DataQuick. Lenders filed 25,747 notices of default during the three-month period that ended June 30.  Nevertheless, it was the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2005. The big increase came after notices of default plunged during the early months of 2013 after the so-called “Homeowner Bill of Rights” went into effect.
July 4, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Without a proposed $2.2-billion bond sale to refinance its debt, a major Orange County tollway could eventually default on its bond payments, according to a report released Wednesday. The analysis by the state treasurer's office supports plans by the Transportation Corridor Agencies to restructure the debt at lower interest on the Foothill-Eastern toll road, which is failing to live up to ridership and revenue projections. "We are pleased with the outcome of the study," said Lisa Telles, communications director for the corridor agency.
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