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Political Economy: February 6, 2011 - February 12, 2011

Federal Reserve board member: U.S. investigation into mortgage servicing has found 'widespread weakness'

The preliminary results of a multi-agency federal review of the mortgage industry has found "widespread weaknesses" that impair the function of the housing market and hurt consumers, according to Federal Reserve board of governors member Sarah Bloom Raskin. "We have reached the point where this sign of failure is hindering our economy's ability to rebound," Bloom Raskin said in remarks prepared for delivery to mortgage finance executives at a conference in Utah Friday evening.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | February 11, 2011; 9:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Federal Reserve, Housing  
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Reactions to Obama's plan to restructure the housing market

The Obama administration today released a white paper that proposes winding down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and putting new measures in place that would lessen government's role in the housing finance system. The Post's Zach Goldfarb has a full report on the plan and its potential impact. The long-anticipated report has prompted responses and assessments from politicians, industry groups and analysts in Washington and beyond. Here's a look at some of them.

By Sarah Halzack  | February 11, 2011; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Congress, Housing, Small business, U.S. Economy  
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Mubarak resignation lifts U.S. stocks

The news Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down and relinquished power to the nation's military was met with a favorable reaction from Wall Street. The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 all saw modest gains.

By Sarah Halzack  | February 11, 2011; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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What do you think of Obama's housing policy proposals?

The Post's Zach Goldfarb reports that the Obama administration has, among other measures, proposed reducing the size of mortgages Fannie and Freddie can purchase and phasing in a 10 percent down payment requirement for the companies....

By Washington Post Editors  | February 11, 2011; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Economic agenda: Friday, Jan. 11, 2011

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Treasury Department releases a report on the future of Fannie and Freddie. At 8:30 a.m. -- The Commerce Department releases December international trade figures. At 9:55 a.m. -- The University of Michigan releases consumer sentiment...

By Washington Post editors  | February 11, 2011; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  Fannie, Freddie  
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IMF considers whether its currency could play greater role in world economy

Officials at the IMF and in some international economic policy circles are opening what they hope will be detailed talks about whether the fund's peculiar currency could play a greater, and helpful role, in the world economy.

By Howard Schneider  | February 10, 2011; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Business leaders at Issa hearing: Regulations hurt job growth

Business leaders vented their frustrations with government regulations on Thursday at a committee hearing chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), while Democratic lawmakers on the panel argued that some government rules are necessary to protect public health and safety. Eight business representatives gave testimony at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, at which they pointed to a host of regulations across the federal government that they said adversely affected job growth. Their targets ranged from financial regulatory reform provisions to transportation, labor, environmental and energy rules.

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 10, 2011; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Corporations  
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IMF tilts right in coffee-cup conspiracy?

The International Monetary Fund may be run by a card carrying socialist, but its underlying trend became apparent at a morning reception where right-leaning coffee cups made it near impossible for the left-handed to drink without making a mess.

By Howard Schneider  | February 10, 2011; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  International Economics, International Monetary Fund  
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Economic agenda: Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Labor Department releases its weekly data on initial jobless claims. At 9:30 a.m. -- The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on regulatory impediments to job creation. At 10 a.m. -- The Commerce Department releases...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | February 10, 2011; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  federal budget  
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Germany will be flexible on euro zone plan, official says

BERLIN - Germany and France have called for a comprehensive proposal for European economic reforms to be formulated by late March, but a top German finance official said Wednesday that his government is ready to act sooner, if necessary. "If we have the necessity to act before the end of March because of the markets, we will do this," said Jörg Asmussen, state secretary at the German Finance Ministry, in an interview.

By Michael Birnbaum  | February 9, 2011; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  International Economics  
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Eyes on Irish economy are smiling (so far)

Irish parliamentary elections are set for Feb. 25 following the collapse of Prime Minister Brian Cowen's government, blamed for a bank bailout that left the country close to insolvent and in need of $113 billion in emergency help.

By Howard Schneider  | February 9, 2011; 9:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  International Economics, International Monetary Fund  
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Economic agenda: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011

At 9 a.m. -- House subcommittee on TARP and Financial Services meets about state and municipal debt crises. At 10 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Budget Committee on the economic outlook and monetary...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | February 9, 2011; 6:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  Bernanke  
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Results of probe of Toyota acceleration problems expected today

The results of a 10-month federal probe into the possible electronic causes of unintended acceleration in Toyotas are expected to be released Tuesday afternoon, with Department of Transportation officials and scientists from NASA explaining their findings.

By Peter Whoriskey  | February 8, 2011; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Auto industry, Corporations  
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Economic agenda: Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011

At 7:30 a.m. -- The National Federation of Independent Businesses releases its small business survey for January. At 10 a.m. -- The Department of Labor releases its Job Openings and Labor Turnover data for December. At noon -- Council of...

By Washington Post editors  | February 8, 2011; 6:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  Toyota. JOLT  
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Obama's speech to U.S. Chamber of Commerce disappoints progressive groups

The President Obama who appeared before the Chamber of Commerce on Monday morning was nothing like the one the lobbying group's members had gotten to know over the two years they were at war.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | February 7, 2011; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  U.S. Chamber of Commerce, White House  
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Obama to Chamber of Commerce on shared goals: Making U.S. 'the best place on Earth to do business'

President Obama is extending another olive branch to business community this morning with a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | February 7, 2011; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  White House  
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Economic agenda: Monday, Feb. 7, 2011

At 3 p.m. -- The Federal Reserve releases data on consumer credit for December. Analysts expect the figure to rise for the third straight month....

By Neil Irwin  | February 7, 2011; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  | Tags:  consumer credit  
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