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Daily Digest 9/19 - Fed Will 'Stay The Course', Greece Faces Deficit Squeeze

Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 10:37 AM

Economy

Fed will 'stay the course,' Dudley says

The Federal Reserve will "stay the course" of its easier monetary policy until the economy is clearly rolling, William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, said Tuesday. "If you're trying to get a car moving that is stuck in the mud, you don't stop pushing the moment the wheels start turning - you keep pushing until the car is rolling and is clearly free," he remarked in a speech to the Morris County Chamber of Commerce in Florham Park, N.J.

Spain under pressure to seek aid as bad debt soars

The amount of bad debt in Spain's banks rose to a record in July, according to data released Tuesday, as the country came under further pressure to take up the European Central Bank's offer to help governments struggling with too much debt by buying unlimited amounts of bonds. The Bank of Spain bank reported that the country's banks in July had €170 billion ($221 billion) in loans that are at risk of not being paid, representing 9.86 percent of their total loans. The bank said that the proportion of non-performing loans in July was up from 9.42 percent in June.

Greece Cuts Union-Leader Pensions as Budget Cut Hunt Continues

Greece’s Labor Ministry will abolish a special pension that’s been paid to trade union leaders since 1937 as the government continues its hunt for 11.5 billion euros ($15 billion) of spending cuts needed to qualify for aid to keep the country in the euro.

Cal State board to consider raising tuition and other fees

Failure of Proposition 30 would trigger a $250-million funding cut to Cal State; and officials are proposing to raise overall tuition by 5%, or $150 per semester, beginning in January. That would bring the annual undergraduate rate to $6,270, not including campus-based fees, books and other costs. The tuition hike would raise an estimated $58 million in revenue for 2012-13, officials said. Officials are also proposing to increase per-semester-unit supplemental fees for nonresident students by 7% from $372 to $399.

Brazil Real Drops on Central Bank Intervention; Swap Rates Rise

The real was the biggest loser among the dollar’s 16 most- traded counterparts tracked by Bloomberg after the central bank sold reverse currency swaps for the fourth time in four days. Finance Minister Guido Mantega reiterated in a newspaper interview that the government won’t let the real strengthen.

Calls for more time as Greece faces deficit squeeze

Forecasting that by 2014, the Greek economy would have shrunk by 25 percent since the start of the crisis, Stournaras said Athens would broadly meet a target of cutting the 2012 primary deficit, excluding debt servicing costs, to 2 billion euros in nominal terms.

But he said the primary deficit figure would reach 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, compared with a previous estimate of 1 percent, as the recession bit and he repeated a plea for more time from the European Union and International Monetary Fund troika.

Greek austerity fuels illegal logging, ministry says

Illegal logging has surged in Greece, as households suffering five years of recession hoard wood to burn during the cold winter days in the place of expensive heating oil, authorities said on Tuesday. The environment ministry has ordered regional authorities to step up checks in forested areas to crack down on unauthorised loggers.

Food Pantries Struggle To Feed Local Families (NC)

As more families struggle to make ends meet, local food pantries strain to feed those who need it the most. 800 meals are served each week at the Union County Community Shelter, but with more families filling up tables, food is running out.

"Our soup kitchen is seeing an increase of over 35 percent in the last few months," said Kathy Bragg, executive director of the Union Country Community Shelter.

Broke college students turn to fertility clinics, sugar daddies

What do sugar daddies, medical studies and pawnshops have in common? They help some students pay for a college education.

With the average family reporting that they are only on track to meet 30% of their college savings goals, every extra dollar counts -- and nothing is off limits.

FedEx Cuts 2013 Forecast as Economy Pinches Premium Shipping

“Fundamentally what’s happening is that exports around the world have contracted and the policy choices in Europe, the U.S. and China are having an effect on global trade,” Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith said on a conference call. “Over the last few months, exports and trade have gone down at a faster rate than GDP has.”

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