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Truthdigger of the Week: Ex-TARP Investigator Neil Barofsky
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In late 2008, Neil Barofsky was appointed the Treasury Department’s investigator of the bank bailouts. In the time since, he has suffered dismissal and deprecation from his colleagues and the corporations they're supposed to regulate.Since he was appointed to investigate the bank bailouts in 2008, Neil Barofsky has suffered dismissal and deprecation from his colleagues and the banks they're supposed to regulate.

Subprime Student Lending

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Banks gave money to needy college students without considering whether borrowers could repay, then bundled and resold the loans to avoid losing money when students defaulted -- lending practices that mirror the run-up to the subprime mortgage crisis.

Fed to Keep a Lid on Rates Through 2014

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The Federal Reserve lent weight to economists’ warnings of a long and slow recovery on Wednesday when it announced plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero for at least the next three years. The idea is that low rates will encourage borrowing and investment in American businesses, helping resurrect the economy.

A Non-Rising Tide Lifts No Boats

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The rationale of the TARP bailout's "capital-injection program" -- providing banks with capital that will increase loans to consumers and businesses -- has apparently been forgotten by the 20 largest banks that received TARP money. A Treasury Department survey has found that lending in the last quarter of 2008 was stagnant, or even slightly declined, despite $250 billion in capital-injection funds.

IMF Warns of Pending Global Downturn

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With all the negativity in the ether regarding the stability of the world economy, it's surprising that the International Monetary Fund took so long to throw its two cents into the fray. Never the fund to disappoint, the IMF issued a report Wednesday that warns of a pending global downturn following the U.S. credit crisis, as confidence falters in finance and credit markets around the world.

Billions to Business in Foreclosure Bill

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With a mind-set reminiscent of the Bush administration's recent bailout of mortgage lenders, the Senate last week approved the Foreclosure Prevention Act, a bill that provides billions of dollars in tax breaks to big businesses like Ford and General Motors but takes only modest steps in addressing the plight of homeowners.

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The term "subprime mortgage" has certainly been in heavy rotation in recent months, and economic panic has spread as a result of lenders playing fast and loose with their home-lending criteria, causing chaos in the mortgage market. Enter the Federal Reserve to try to undo some of the damage and prevent a recurrence.

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