Employment Cooling, Housing Slipping as Fed Continues to Combat Inflation

The nation’s red hot labor market cooled a bit in August, indicating that the Federal Reserve’s inflation-fighting efforts may be having the desired effect. But Fed officials aren’t declaring victory yet. Far from it.

Read More

The new credit card regulations finalized last month have brought bankers an early, bracing blast of the frostier regulatory climate they are expecting with Democrats once again controlling the White House and holding majorities in both the House and Senate. 

Any sighs of relief following the announcement of a contingency government rescue plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were premature. After easing initially, market pressures on the government services enterprises (GSEs), cornerstones of the secondary mortgage market, have intensified again, fueling speculation that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson may have to provide the direct government assistance he proposed in the hope that offering the aid would ensure that it would not be needed.

For years, if not decades, economists have been wringing their hands over the nation’s anemic, and sometimes negative, savings rate.

Federal programs promising to help hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure are falling painfully short of their goals. Policy makers, as a result, are tweaking existing initiatives and considering new ones as pressure builds for more aggressive – and more effective – strategies to forestall a foreclosure tide that threatens to further damage an already battered economy.