Inflation Threatens and Evictions Loom

Two major issues dominated the news in late July: Inflation – whether it is, is not a problem or is likely to be one; and the prospect that millions of renters would be evicted from their homes as a federal moratorium barring evictions for nonpayment of rent expired. 

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If the economy were a contestant on one of those weight loss reality shows, it would be in terrific shape now. But the economy isn’t a weight loss contestant (though its losses are impressive) and it certainly isn’t in good shape. The challenge for journalists is finding words to describe depths few have seen.

With the blueprint for resuscitating the banking industry, for better or worse, now in place, President Barack Obama has turned his attention to the housing market, announcing a $275 billion government effort to help as many as 9 million homeowners at risk of losing their homes.

Slam, pan, bemoan, disappoint. Praise was nowhere to be found in the headlines reporting reactions to the much-anticipated bank bail-out plan Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced two weeks ago. 

Legislation allowing bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of home mortgages, introduced, as expected, in the early days of the new Congressional session, received an unexpected boost when Citicorp broke ranks with the banking industry and withdrew its opposition to the measure.