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My Note –
Why do experts and news commentators / producers tell the public that everything is fine (macro-economically) when all the numbers say something else? Durable goods orders are down because? Unemployment, layoffs and underemployed numbers are still up and possibly even rising, if we were able to see the true numbers. Companies are going out of business and bankruptcy courts are filled with filings across a broad spectrum of businesses. Commercial real estate loans are an accident waiting to happen and foreclosures of people’s homes continue to be in the stratosphere with many loans still expected to reset through the end of this year and next.

The number of homeless have increased to the point of devastation in communities across the US and everybody is watching to see if the durn stock market numbers mean something about a “rebound” – those numbers aren’t real. The shifts in value among stocks, commodities and financial derivatives are coming from huge players managing other people’s money – what do they know besides a guess considering they make their money whether they win or lose?

We have a population who does not know how to survive unless all the conditions are known quantities arranged in a certain order and progress along a recipe which doesn’t now exist for them. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to engage that with the real facts, some measure of truth, candid honest appraisals of where things stand now and a set of skills for “thinking on your feet,” resourcefulness and “flying by the seat of the pants” successfully?

Thanks, Ali – for your efforts and for all of the CNN team, but we really are getting to the hardest part now, when everyone is tired of the bad news and no jobs and it isn’t going to get better soon nor go back to the old way that it was, regardless.

– cricketdiane, 07-29-09

A Note to Ali Velshi – CNN Financial Reporting and Economics


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New York gives homeless one-way tickets
Published: July 29, 2009 at 10:35 AM

[ . . . ]

City officials say there is no limit to where a family can be sent.

So far, the program has provided flights to 54 states and five continents, most often to Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

One family with 10 children accepted an offer to go to Puerto Rico while another family moved to France with their three children.

New York spends $500,000 a year on the program which employs a local travel agency to book the one-way flights. (for more than 550 families)

“We want to divert as many families as we can that need assistance,” says Vida Chavez-Downes, who heads the program.



The Republican / Bush Legacy –

LOS ANGELES, July 29 (UPI) — Seven percent of U.S. fifth-graders and their families have experienced homelessness — 11 percent for blacks — and it takes a toll, researchers say. (from 2004 – 2006)

[ . . . ]

Dr. Tumaini R. Coker of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and the Rand Corp. and colleagues analyzed data from a study of 5,147 fifth-grade students. Interviews of students and parents were conducted during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years and included children from Birmingham, Ala.; Houston and Los Angeles.

“It was unexpected to see such a high prevalence of family homelessness in this sample of fifth-grade students, were literally homeless — staying in places like shelters, cars or on the streets,” Coker, the lead author, said in a statement.



Economic Outlook: Knocking on closed doors

By ANTHONY HALL, United Press International Published: July 29, 2009 at 8:18 AM

U.S. home prices and mortgage news have crept back into the headlines, as government officials took another swipe at helping homeowners Tuesday.

Officials from the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development sat down with bank executives in Washington to review the Make Homes Affordable program, which aims to help troubled homeowners with loan modifications.

It is a program with a goal of helping 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure that has, to date, been frequently touted as underwhelming at best. Only 200,000 loans have been modified since March, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

[ . . . ]

The problem, in a nutshell, is profits. After weeding out homeowners behind on their payments who may be able to catch up on their own, without assistance, and those who would fail to keep up payments even with a modified loan, there are few well-intended homeowners left, the Boston Federal Reserve Bank said in a study of the nation’s housing predicament.



Alan White, a professor at Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana, said lenders could cut down on the number of borrowers who end up defaulting again by giving them more help in the first place. He said too many modified loans don’t result in low enough payments. Also, he said, there may be fewer borrowers who can get out of trouble on their own because of continuing difficulties in the economy.

“The servicers are making assumptions that are much too anti-modification,’’ White said. “The servicers have the authority’’ to help borrowers, “they just don’t want to use it.’’

The study, coauthored by Manuel Adelino and Kristopher Gerardi, also rebuts a widely held suspicion that the holdup in modifying loans is because of investors who control them through mortgage-backed securities. The Fed found no difference in the rate of aid between investor-controlled loans and those that lenders own directly.

[ . . . ]

The number of foreclosure proceedings increased to 844,389 during the first quarter of 2009, up 73 percent from the first quarter of 2008, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“You have more money going to the banks and the servicers than you do to the homeowners,’’ he said. “It would make more sense to just give money to the borrowers.’’

Jenifer McKim can be reached at jmckim@globe.com.



Durable goods orders drop 2.5 percent in June
2 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket durable goods plunged in June by the largest amount in five months, reflecting the continuing troubles in the auto industry and a steep drop in demand for commercial aircraft.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for durable goods fell 2.5 percent last month, much larger than the 0.6 percent decline that economists had expected. It was the biggest setback since a 7.8 percent fall in January.




This is life in America –

Mass. woman killed, fetus removed from womb
2 hours ago

WORCESTER, Mass. — A pregnant woman was found dead in her apartment with her fetus cut from her womb, and police on Wednesday were trying to find the missing baby, which they said could have survived.

Authorities said 23-year-old Darlene Haynes was about eight months pregnant and the child would have needed immediate medical attention to survive.

Officials say Haynes also has a 1-year-old daughter who is safe with relatives.

Police said Tuesday that they had interviewed the father of Haynes daughter, Roberto Rodriguez.

Haynes had a restraining order against Rodriguez, who allegedly pushed her into a glass table in June and cut her arm, then grabbed her by the throat and slapped her, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reported, citing court records.

Court records also showed Rodriguez was charged with hitting Haynes in 2008 in a case that was continued without a finding.

[ . . . ]


My Note –

That is the life experiences of America which awaits our daughters, our women, our children, our day-to-day living with what really happens in the United States for women every single day, every moment of every year . . .

And, from one of the UPI articles above, a hidden set of information about the oil speculators (it shouldn’t have been buried in another article, if they wanted anybody to read about it – )

Regulators also took a first swipe at curbing speculation in the oil market Tuesday with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission holding the first of three hearings to explore moves to limit large bets that could manipulate prices.

Oil prices rose sharply in the summer of 2008, provoking concern that speculators were making fast gains at the public’s expense. Following a humbling fall in prices last fall, prices moved forward again this year, gaining about 50 percent since January.

In August, the CFTC will issue a report documenting the size of oil positions and the number of firms participating, which could shed light on the speculative nature of oil investments, the Post reported.

Asian markets were mixed Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.26 percent, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.37 percent. The Singapore Straits Times index dropped 0.76 percent. The S&P/ASX in Australia dropped 0.64 percent.

In midday trading in Europe, the FTSE 100 index rose 0.81 percent. The DAX 30 in Frankfurt rose 1.79 percent. In France, the CAC 40 gained 1.43 percent, while the broader DJStoxx600 rose 0.76 percent.


Lenders avoid redoing loans, Fed concludes
Study cites lack of profit in aiding the distressed

By Jenifer B. McKim
Globe Staff / July 7, 2009

Mortgage lenders don’t try to rework most home loans held by borrowers facing foreclosure because it would probably mean losing money, a study released yesterday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston concludes.


Officials from Hope Now, the private-sector alliance of mortgage servicers and investors, were unavailable for comment yesterday.

The Fed’s study found that only 3 percent of seriously delinquent borrowers – those more than 60 days behind – had their loans modified to lower monthly payments; about 5.5 percent received loan modifications that did not result in lower payments.

[ . .  .]