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Daily Digest 9/29 - U.S. Economy Still Weak, The Myth Of Fixing The Libor

Saturday, September 29, 2012, 9:47 AM


United States Economy Still Weak, but More Feel Secure (jdargis)

Economic experts pointed to several trends to explain how Americans were feeling better about the economy even though growth in jobs and the overall economy had weakened. First, the election is having a strong effect on economic perceptions. Second, though the recovery is weak, it has persisted, with employment and wages rising and some households feeling more secure.

Though the unemployment rate has been stuck between 8.1 and 8.3 percent all year, employers have continued to add workers to their payrolls. Wages and consumer spending have strengthened.

A Flood of Applications, With a Trickle of Approvals (jdargis)

Along with the temporary deferred action, as it is officially known, approved immigrants also receive two-year work permits. They do not gain any legal immigration status. Among other requirements, illegal immigrants must be under 31 and show they had come to the United States before they were 16, have lived here at least five years, and have graduated from high school or are in school, or were honorably discharged from the military.

14 Reasons The World Economy Is Getting Weaker (David B.)

#1 Things in China do not look good right now. The Shanghai Composite index fell to its lowest point in over 3 years earlier this week. Will the S&P 500 soon follow suit?

The Myth Of Fixing The Libor (jdargis)

The Libor fiction began in the 1980s, when finance felt a need for a private sector, virtually risk-free interest rate to serve as a benchmark. Banks had learned that there was a big risk to making a long-term fixed-rate loan — the risk that market interest rates would rise and leave them with loans that were paying less than it was costing the bank to pay for the loan. Short-term loans could solve that problem, but at the risk that the borrower might be forced to repay at any time a loan that was taken out for a long-term project.

Army Seeks To Curb Rising Tide Of Suicides (jdargis)

Worrell paces in front of the stage in a small auditorium and talks with the soldiers for more than an hour about the warning signs of suicide. He asks them what they would do if a friend starting selling his tools and lost interest in his favorite hobbies.

"He's stopping working on cars, he sold his weapons collection, doesn't like shooting anymore," he says. "What are you supposed to do at that point?"

Bank of America Settles Suit Over Merrill for $2.43 Billion (jdargis)

When the deal to buy Merrill Lynch for $50 billion was announced in September 2008, Lehman Brothers was preparing to file for bankruptcy and the American International Group was rapidly crumbling. At the time, Bank of America and Merrill crowed about creating a financial giant unrivaled “in its breadth of financial services and global reach.” Bank of America executives emphasized Merrill’s “great global franchise” and its extensive network of financial advisers. The company said the deal would bolster earnings by 2010.

On reserve: 727 million barrels of crude oil (jdargis)

Buried deep and sealed off, the oil is easier to protect. It gets pumped down into manmade salt caverns. To picture them, first think of a cross section of the Gulf Coast' About half a mile down are thick deposits of salt that run half a mile deeper from there. The Department of Energy drills down into the salt, and shoots in water to dissolve a huge hole, explains James Quern, director of field operations for the reserve.

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