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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 1998
The drop in interest rates has prompted the Palos Verdes Library District to refinance a $16-million bond that was issued in 1991 to pay for the construction of the Peninsula Center Library in Rolling Hills Estates. Library officials said the district has already repaid $2 million of the 25-year bond that was issued and will refinance the remaining $14 million. Officials said capitalizing on the low interest rates will save homeowners an estimated $1.3 million in taxes over the next two
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BUSINESS
April 22, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
The Federal Reserve's low interest rate policies, designed to stimulate the economy, have cost savers about $758 billion since the end of the Great Recession, according to a study released Tuesday. Inflation and low returns on deposits have led bank customers to lose more than $100 billion in purchasing power in each of the last five years, said MoneyRates.com, which provides consumers with information about bank rates, investing and personal finance. The Fed's benchmark short-term rate has been near zero since late 2008 as central bank policymakers tried to battle the financial crisis and Great Recession.
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NEWS
February 20, 1991 | LYNN SIMROSS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Many consumers looking for lower credit-card interest rates are being fooled by a nationwide scam that appears to offer a Visa or MasterCard with a bargain interest rate and/or no annual fee. The pitch comes either by telephone or postcard, according to Bankcard Holders of America, a national, nonprofit credit education and consumer awareness group in Herndon, Va. The group's survey found several dozen companies offering such low-interest-rate plastic to consumers through a network of marketers.
BUSINESS
May 1, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton, Tiffany Hsu and Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
First came the frenzy for iPhones and iPads. Now there's a scramble for iBonds. Apple Inc. sold $17 billion in bonds Tuesday, a gargantuan deal that ranked as the largest in global corporate history. And even though the securities are paying microscopically low interest, investors tripped over themselves to buy in. In the financial equivalent of a line stretching around the block, investors reportedly submitted more than $50 billion in requests, or more than three times the amount available.
OPINION
April 27, 1986 | Charles R. Morris, Charles R. Morris is the author of "The Cost of Good Intentions," an analysis of the New York financial crisis.
Audiences always shed a tear at the best monster movies--when Godzilla crashed into the sea, for instance, or a sad-eyed King Kong finally slid off the Empire State Building. So it is with the early announcements of the death of inflation, however premature they may be. Most economists, like Fay Wray's boyfriend, are ruddily cheerful about the beast's apparent demise, but much of the rest of the country will have decidedly mixed emotions.
BUSINESS
October 9, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke sent a fresh signal that he's in no rush to reverse course and start boosting interest rates. The Fed's key bank lending rate is at a record low near zero and will probably stay there for an "extended period," Bernanke said at a Fed conference in Washington. That echoed the pledge he and his colleagues made at their meeting in late September. The goal: Super-low rates will entice people and businesses to spend more, nurturing the budding recovery.
BUSINESS
November 12, 1988 | From Reuters
Tokyo stock prices soared Friday to close at a record high on optimism over a strong yen and low interest rates, brokers said. The Nikkei 225-share index jumped 323.15 points, or 1.15%, to close at a record high of 28,489.57, surpassing an Aug. 4 record of 28,475.68. The index lost 46.36 points on Thursday. "The market has moved away from concentration in mainly large capital asset stock to some reinvestment, not just trading," said Craig Chudler, a market strategist with Smith New Court.
BUSINESS
March 6, 1993 | From Associated Press
After spending heavily at Christmas, Americans took out their credit cards again in January, boosting their borrowing for the fifth straight month, the government said Friday. Consumer installment credit outstanding rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.5% to $727.6 billion, the Federal Reserve said. That followed a 5.3% increase in December, the best in two years and even better than the 4.1% initially estimated.
BUSINESS
April 7, 1987 | DANIEL AKST, Times Staff Writer
The average price of existing single-family homes in the San Fernando Valley surged to $184,700 in March, up .7% from February and 16% from a year ago, the Valley Board of Realtors reported. Condominium prices, long depressed, also jumped. The average existing condo sold for $113,600, up 1.2% from February and 5.5% for the 12-month period. The board also said the number of homes and condos sold was up 8.5% from a year ago, but the rate of increase has tailed off in recent months.
BUSINESS
September 28, 1992 | From Reuters
Singapore's yuppies are using surplus cash and cheap credit to snap up residential properties, sending prices rocketing upward and sparking concern about the impact of all this property activity on banks. Property analysts said professional couples and singles in their 20s and 30s are withdrawing cash from Singapore's unique government-sponsored savings plan and taking advantage of cheap mortgage rates to buy property.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton
Perhaps Americans aren't so enamored with the stock market. More than three-quarters of individual investors say in a new survey that agonizingly low interest rates are not coaxing them into stocks. According to the study by personal-finance website Bankrate.com, 76% of people are not more inclined to invest in equities because of rock-bottom rates on bank savings accounts and certificates of deposit. That's roughly the same percentage who shied away from stocks in a survey by Bankrate.com last year.
BUSINESS
December 13, 2012 | By Andrew Tangel, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - Low interest rates pushed down by the Federal Reserve have opened a spigot of easy money to companies with less than sterling credit. The Fed, which signaled Wednesday that it would aggressively keep rates low until unemployment fell below 6.5%, has been pumping billions of dollars into the economy. And the historic rate drops are nudging investors into riskier investments. One place that has attracted investors is the debt of companies with non-investment-grade, or "junk," credit ratings.
BUSINESS
October 18, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details
City National Corp. reported a 44% surge in third-quarter profit, beating Wall Street's expectations by a wide margin as deposits and loan balances both grew at a double-digit pace. Measures of loan problems declined at the parent of City National Bank, which said it expects continued growth in loans, deposits and net income amid “modest” economic growth  and low interest rates for the rest of the year. “New loan production reached a record level for the third quarter in a row,” City National Chief Executive Russell Goldsmith said in announcing the results Thursday afternoon.
BUSINESS
September 18, 2012 | By Andrew Tangel
Stocks opened lower on Wall Street on Tuesday after FedEx Corp. reported a drop in earnings amid a global economic slowdown. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 4 points, essentially flat, at 13,549, shortly after the opening bell. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1,458. The Nasdaq was off 5 points, or 0.2%, to 3,174. FedEx posted $459 million, or $1.45 a share, in profits in its fiscal first quarter, down 1% from $464 million, or $1.46, for the same period a year ago. FedEx, whose performance is seen as a harbinger for the broader economy, lowered its forecast profits for fiscal 2013.
BUSINESS
September 18, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
U.S. interest rates are at rock-bottom levels, but that's not helping most Americans with mortgages. And those high-cost loans remain a big drag on the economy, experts say. Roughly 69% of American homeowners with mortgages at the end of the second quarter had rates of 5% or higher and about 33% of them had rates above 6%, according to detailed mortgage data provided to The Times by Santa Ana research firm CoreLogic. Meanwhile, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 4% every week but one this year, and the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular among buyers looking to refinance, has been below 3% since the last week in May, according to Freddie Mac. Several factors may be keeping homeowners from securing lower mortgage rates, economists said, including battered credit, insufficient income, stricter lending standards and the costs of refinancing.
BUSINESS
September 17, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
The Federal Reserve announced big new steps last week to further push down mortgage interest rates and spur housing. But the vast majority of Americans with mortgages have rates higher than those rock-bottom ones already being offered by the big lenders, indicating that many people are unable to take advantage of the historic drops in loan costs when it could be helping them the most. Several factors may be keeping homeowners from securing lower mortgage rates, economists said, including battered credit, insufficient income, stricter lending standards and the cost of refinancing.
BUSINESS
November 23, 1993 | ANNE MICHAUD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Saying that it is losing money on low-interest-rate home-loan refinancing, Plaza Home Mortgage Corp. revised its third-quarter results on Monday to include a write-down of $15.9 million. The change means that the fast-expanding home loan company took a loss of $4.9 million, or 44 cents a share, for the quarter. Plaza is one of a handful of publicly traded mortgage lenders nationwide that have announced such write-downs during the past few months.
BUSINESS
March 30, 1993 | JAMES S. GRANELLI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Buoyed by a runaway refinancing market, Orange County's savings and loan industry ended a decade-long drought by posting a profit of $302.1 million for 1992. In previous years, local thrifts' earnings have been dragged down by losses at failed S&Ls that regulators seized but continued to operate. Last year, such failures among the county's 22 thrifts didn't damage earnings much. The same S&Ls earned a profit for 1991, but the industry as a whole lost $20.
OPINION
September 7, 2012
Re "Don't blame the deficit," Opinion, Sept. 5 Michael Kinsley is correct that current deficit spending is necessary to avoid further job losses and economic contraction, but he is wrong that the debt needs to be paid back to avoid massive inflation in the future. Inflation results from excessively loose monetary or fiscal policy (low interest rates or high deficits) in aiming for full employment. Once the economy is rolling, all we need to do is cut the deficit, not pay back any actual debt.
BUSINESS
July 20, 2012 | E. Scott Reckard
Southern California's regional banks have put many of their loan problems behind them and are reporting solid results for the second quarter despite the sluggish economy and record low interest rates that are pinching lending profits. The latest positive surprise arrived Thursday, when City National Bancorp reported net income of $54.8 million, or $1.01 per share, up 15% from $47.5 million, or 88 cents, a year earlier. Even excluding one-time gains, the results beat Wall Street's expectations of 88 cents.
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