US household wealth regains pre-recession peak
2013-03-07 22:14:04 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — It took 5½ years.
Surging stock prices and steady home-price increases have finally allowed Americans to regain the $16 trillion in wealth they lost to the Great Recession. The gains are helping support the economy and could lead to further spending and growth.
GOP's anti-tax focus trips Dems in budget battle
2013-03-05 19:16:12 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans' unyielding stand against income tax increases has caught President Barack Obama and his allies off guard, resulting in the spending-cuts-only approach to deficit reduction that Democrats most wanted to avoid.
It also has dimmed hopes for bro...
Obama to tap Walmart's Burwell for budget chief
2013-03-04 07:24:45 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Walmart's Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his next budget director, a senior administration official said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Burwell would take the helm at the Office of Management and Budget at a time of heated budge...
Gridlock: No budging at the budget-cuts deadline
2013-03-01 21:54:39 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Gridlocked once more, President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders refused to budge in their budget standoff Friday as $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts bore down on individual Americans and the nation's still-recovering economy. "None of this is neces...
Cuts imminent, Senate Democrats, GOP stage votes
2013-02-28 21:54:53 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Squabbling away the hours, the Senate swatted aside last-ditch plans to block $85 billion in broad-based federal spending reductions Thursday as Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the latest outbreak of gridlock and the Obama administration readied plans to ...
Draghi: Reforms must continue despite social cost
2013-02-27 20:04:18 UTC
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has acknowledged that austerity measures and economic reforms can have heavy social costs — but argues they are the way to a fairer society because they can reduce injustices such as widespread youth unemployment.
Moody's downgrades UK's government bond rating to Aa1 from Aaa; outlook is now stable
2013-02-23 07:52:27 UTC
London - Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the domestic- and foreign-currency government bond ratings of the United Kingdom by one notch to Aa1 from Aaa. The outlook on the ratings is now stable.
The key interrelated drivers of today's action are:
1. The continuing weakness i...
Insurer Allianz doubles net profit in 2012
2013-02-21 07:49:02 UTC
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Insurance company Allianz SE says net profit almost doubled last year as losses on Greek bonds no longer weighed down its results.
The Munich-based company said Thursday its basic insurance business also improved, suffering lower losses on natural catastrophes and e...
Japan economy shrinks, fueling push for weak yen
2013-02-14 08:51:12 UTC
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's economy shrank in the last three months of 2012, its third straight quarter of contraction, giving the government ammunition to defend its "weak yen" strategy as necessary to getting growth back on track.
The 0.4 percent contraction in annualized terms in October-Dec...
EU leaders agree to $1.28 trillion 7-year budget
2013-02-09 10:07:32 UTC
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders agreed Friday to a significantly reduced 7-year budget worth €960 billion ($1.28 trillion) — the first cut in spending in the 27-country group's history.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy announced that the agreement had been reached a...
NY attorney general looks at ratings agencies
2013-02-08 19:38:59 UTC
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has begun examining the nation's biggest credit rating agencies' compliance with agreements reached by his predecessor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that ended an investigation into mortgage-backed securities.
The mid-2008 agreements,...
Ireland dissolves 'bad bank' in pre-dawn session
2013-02-07 08:44:45 UTC
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland's president has signed legislation dissolving one of the country's "bad banks" Thursday in an emergency measure designed to pave the way for a new debt-repayment deal with the European Central Bank.
Lawmakers in both chambers of Ireland's parliament overwhelmingly voted...
US sues S&P over pre-crisis mortgage ratings
2013-02-05 18:02:40 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government says Standard & Poor's knowingly inflated its ratings on risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis.
The credit rating agency gave high marks to mortgage-backed securities because it wanted to earn more business from the...
Obama: 2013 can be year of economic growth
2013-02-02 18:41:30 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says 2013 can be a year of solid economic growth, but only if Washington gets out of the way.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says there are signs of progress in real estate, manufacturing and job-creation.
But other signs are wor...
Congress sends bill to Obama averting govt default
2013-02-01 20:08:23 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent President Barack Obama drama-free legislation on Thursday raising the debt ceiling, averting a government default and putting off the next tax-and-spending clash between the White House and Republicans until later in the year.
The measure cleared the Sen...
Senate to clear debt limit increase for Obama
2013-01-31 17:47:17 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Thursday took up must-do legislation to permit the government to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars more to meet its obligations, putting off one Washington showdown even as others loom in coming weeks.
The measure would suspend the $16.4 trillion limit...
US consumer confidence plunges on higher taxes
2013-01-29 18:55:47 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence plunged in January to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting higher Social Security taxes that left Americans with less take-home pay.
The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index dropped 8.1 points in January...
Economist: Euro crisis could erupt again this year
2013-01-25 08:42:04 UTC
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — A top U.S. economist is warning that the eurozone debt crisis could erupt again this year if European leaders do not move faster to solve their problems.
Barry Eichengreen says recently calm eurozone financial markets "have swung from undue pessimism to undue optimi...
Public trust in government, business leaders falls
2013-01-21 10:44:17 UTC
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A survey shows that public trust in business, government and media leaders has fallen in the wake of financial and political scandals.
The 2013 edition of the Trust Barometer from U.S.-based public relations firm Edelman shows people increasingly regard experts su...
Eurozone industrial output down for 3rd month
2013-01-14 11:18:13 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Industrial output across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro fell in November for the third straight month, official figures showed Monday, in a further sign that the region will likely remain stuck in recession for the fourth quarter of 2012.
The 0.3 percen...
China trade rebounds in sign of economic recovery
2013-01-10 09:06:11 UTC
BEIJING (AP) — China's trade growth has rebounded strongly in a positive sign for the recovery of the world's second-largest economy.
Data on Thursday showed export growth in December more than doubled from the previous month to 14 percent. Imports rose 6 percent, up from November's lack of gr...
Unemployment risks creating new divide in Europe
2013-01-08 18:20:42 UTC
BRUSSELS (AP) — Record unemployment and fraying social welfare systems in southern Europe risk creating a new divide in the continent, the EU warned Tuesday, when figures showed joblessness across the 17 EU countries that use the euro hit a new high.
Eurozone unemployment rose to 11.8 ...
10 banks agree to pay $8.5B for foreclosure abuse
2013-01-07 17:36:03 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten major banks and mortgage companies agreed Monday to pay $8.5 billion to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.
The banks, which include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fa...
New tax law packed with breaks for businesses
2013-01-04 07:23:27 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tucked into the "fiscal cliff" tax package approved by Congress are billions of dollars in tax breaks that should make the new year a lot happier for businesses of many stripes, including film producers, race track owners and the makers of electric motorcycles.
In all, more t...
Superstorm Sandy tops 2012 insurance claims
2013-01-03 12:49:31 UTC
BERLIN (AP) — Natural disasters cost insurers $65 billion last year, with the United States accounting for nine-tenths of the bill and Superstorm Sandy prompting payouts of $25 billion, a leading insurance company said Thursday.
However, Munich Re AG said that the total insured losses ...