October 29, 2008
Re "Mortgage plan may cut costs for 395,000," Oct. 24 Rampant foreclosures have dropped the median home price in the Southland by 39% from its peak last year, and yet The Times reported that only 15% of L.A. residents could afford the median home price in the second quarter of this year. This can only mean that housing prices are still overinflated. Continued foreclosures are the necessary, and sole, corrective measure to this market -- not the windfall "Hope for Homeowners" program created as part of the federal bailout.
April 8, 2009 |
Hawaii has suffered one of the worst winters for tourism in recent years and has appealed to the state's most famous native son -- President Obama -- to help turn its fortunes around. Hotel occupancy rates in the winter were the lowest in at least five years, and in February -- traditionally the state's busiest month -- the rate dropped to 75%. That was the lowest level since 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, when it fell to 69.7%, according to Smith Travel Research.
December 14, 2008
Regarding the consumer column "Double standard for two bailouts?" (Dec. 7): It is inequitable that union auto workers have to give pay concessions in order that the Big Three firms receive a federal bailout, while nonunion workers at financial firms do not. That is only half the story. The problem facing ailing financial firms involves a reduced value of their mortgage-related assets. A one-shot infusion of federal money fixes their balance sheets. They don't have a labor cost problem.
January 15, 2010
Wall Street executives aren't famous for their humility, but they reached a new level of tone-deaf hubris in their recovery from the collapse of 2008. A number of top banks and investment firms have racked up outsized profits in recent months, sending their bonus checks through the roof. Goldman Sachs, for example, set aside $16.7 billion billion for employee compensation -- and that's just for the first nine months of 2009. This despite the fact that many of the same companies were in danger of going under just a year and a half ago, only to be rescued by federal bailout dollars and extraordinarily generous credit terms from the Federal Reserve.
September 10, 2012 |
Is General Motors losing $49,000 on every Chevrolet Volt electric car it sells? If so, it could be bad news for taxpayers who helped bail out GM and now own a third of an automaker that has seen its shares plunge 30% since it went public in 2010. A Reuters report Monday said GM's plug-in hybrid was a big money-loser. GM, though, disputed the contention, saying Reuters' research "is grossly wrong" and accusing the news agency of bad math. The automaker said the news agency incorrectly "allocated product development costs across the number of Volts sold instead of allocating across the lifetime volume of the program, which is how business operates.” The debate over the cost of the Volt is highlighting how much of a lightning rod GM -- and the Volt -- have become since the automaker's federal bailout in 2009 and as the presidential election approaches, analysts said.
July 21, 2009 |
The seizure of the St. Regis Monarch Beach, where American International Group Inc. sponsored a luxury retreat just days after accepting a federal bailout, is the most dramatic sign yet of the deep troubles in the market for high-end hotels. Citigroup Inc. took over the Dana Point hotel and golf course Monday after months of negotiations over a $70-million loan that was in default.