In a 78-17 bipartisan vote, lawmakers approved Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Moscow is pouring in billions in an effort to make Crimea a showcase of development. But Crimea has a deeply entrenched reputation for organized crime, which already taints some of its new leaders.
After hundreds of children's bodies were found at an old church-run facility, a group of government officials met to discuss possible investigations into former homes for unwed mothers.
A U-haul truck is parked in front of a home in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The Tampa area has more underwater mortgages than anywhere else in America: roughly 30 percent. But even there, things are getting better fast. That’s down from nearly 41 percent this time last year, according to CoreLogic.
“We’re seeing fewer people who are underwater. Prices have come back up,” says Brad Monroe, director of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors.
Homeowners are telling his members they’re finally out from under their mortgages and ready to move. “Calling them back and saying, 'It’s time now. Prices are there and we can do it,'” he says.
Data from CoreLogic show that nationally, about 12 percent of homeowners owe more than their homes are worth. That’s a big drop from the first quarter last year when the number was around 20 percent.
“Which is really good news for the housing market,” says Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist.
“So many homeowners didn’t have equity or were under equity and didn’t participate in listing their homes for sale. And that’s why house prices increased over the last year or two so dramatically in those markets,” Fleming says.
This is a virtuous cycle. Rising home values brought back equity to a lot of homeowners. That means more people can move if they want to. And, more homes on the market keeps prices from rising too fast.
But just because people are no longer underwater in their mortgages doesn’t mean they can move right away. They need enough equity to pay for the expense of selling one home and a down payment on a new one.
“Paying broker’s fees, for example,” says Kostya Gradushy, project manager at Black Knight Financial Services. “And, if you only have 5 percent equity in your house, you’re not going to be able to cover those costs.”
Black Knight says one in five homeowners today doesn’t have enough equity in their current home to afford a new one.Marketplace for Thursday June 5, 2014by Dan BobkoffPodcast Title Fewer homeowners drowning in mortgage debtStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No
Traders work under the index board that shows the DAX has broken the 10,000 mark for the first time ever at the Deutsche Boerse exchange on June 5, 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany. The rise comes after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced record low interest rates.
Remember when bottled water first came out? I remember thinking, "Who would actually ever pay for water?" I also remember balking at a 75 cents ATM fee years ago.
I imagine that's exactly how European banks are feeling right about now. The European Central Bank's new policy of negative interest rates is, essentially, charging banks for something that it used to pay banks for.
"Negative interest rates. What that means is that they are now charging commercial banks for leaving money at the central bank," says Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at Standard and Poor's.
You know how banks usually pay you for storing your money with them? Now the ECB is actually charging European banks for the privilege.
So... how does this help the European economy?
"The ECB... is trying to create a hot seat," says Paul Kedrosky, a partner at SK Ventures. "They just want to make it so darn uncomfortable to continue sitting there with your deposits, that you say, 'Oh, screw it! I’ll lend it out.'"
Lending is exactly what European banks haven’t been doing. They’ve been playing it safe and stashing their money at the ECB. Businesses and individuals aren’t getting loans, so they aren’t hiring or buying and Europe’s economy is grinding to a halt.
"The Central Bank, their business is to get the real economy going," says Bovino. To do that, The ECB is making it expensive for banks to save. "Hopefully that means more lending to households and businesses."
So… will it work?
"Many banks in Europe are still fragile and recovering from the trauma of the world financial crisis," says Matthew Slaughter, a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. "How much more likely they will be to make a lot more loans is an open question."
Slaughter says banks might just put their money in another safe haven, like U.S. Treasury Bonds. That would be good for the U.S., but wouldn’t help Europe much.
The ECB can only make the seat hot, now it’s up to the banks to decide where to move their assets.
And maybe Marketplace will convince me to pay them one of these days...Marketplace for Thursday June 5, 2014by Stacey Vanek SmithPodcast Title What negative interest rates mean for the EurozoneStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No
If the sale goes through, T-Mobile would join Sprint as the second U.S. wireless company acquired by Japan's Softbank. It would unite America's third- and fourth-ranked carriers.
The human brain uses two different specialized regions to navigate, scientists say, with one charting a straight line to the destination, and the other figuring out the turns along the way.