Cuts to food stamps will only hit 4 states

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Cuts to the nation’s food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting four states, far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed, an Associated Press review has found. As a result, it’s unclear whether the law will realize the estimated $8.6 billion in savings over 10 years that the GOP…

Financial reforms will make the next crisis even messier

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There is a time-honoured way of protecting taxpayers from picking up the bill for the failure of a systemically important financial institution. It involves central banks and finance ministries pressing a better capitalised bank to absorb the ailing business through an arranged merger. Yet it is becoming clear that this tool of crisis management can…

By the numbers-US recovery finally taking hold

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Don’t look now, but the U.S. economy is back. After a long, dismal winter that saw gross domestic product shift abruptly into reverse, the latest government data released Thursday shows the economy bounced back sharply in the spring. The Commerce Department said Thursday that GDP expanded at a 4.2 percent annual rate in the second quarter instead…

Higher rates not bad for economy: Fed’s Bullard

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Don’t fear the hawk. That’s what St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC on Friday-saying a tighter tack on Fed monetary policy does not have to be bad for the economy. “It means the committee could be more confident that the economy is going to improve in the future and handle the higher [interest]…

Home builder confidence surges despite slower sales

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After leaping decisively into positive territory in July, home builder sentiment pulled another surprise in August. A monthly index from the National Association of Home Builders measuring confidence among single-family home builders rose 2 points to 55; analysts had expected the index to hold unchanged at its July level, after steep drops in new home…

Economists raise third-quarter U.S. growth forecasts: Philly Fed survey

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Economists raised their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in the third quarter but trimmed their estimates for the balance of 2014, though the outlook for both job growth and lower unemployment was strengthened. Analysts see the economy growing at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the current quarter, up from…

Can I Be Sued Even If I’m Trying to Pay Back a Debt?

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Every day, across America, hundreds of lawsuits are filed against consumers who owe debts they haven’t been able to pay. Consumers who learn they are being sued sometimes scramble to work out a payment arrangement in the hope of keeping the matter out of the courts. Does it work? Not always, as one of our…

Justice Department’s “New Toy” Could Cost Wall Street Big Bucks

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The Department of Justice has taken a lot of flak for its response to the mortgage crisis that helped lead the U.S. into the Great Recession in the middle of the last decade. Criminal prosecutions have been few, and settlements with large banks, such as B of A and JP Morgan Chase have taken years…

Millennials are dragging down homeownership

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Homeownership continues to fall, and younger Americans will push it even lower. Rising home prices, skyrocketing student loan debt, rising mortgage rates and changing life choices-any one factor would affect how and when people make the single largest investment of their lives. But add them up and the results are striking. The nation’s homeownership rate…

How My Student Loans Ballooned From $8K to $36K

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Confusion over student loan payments left an Arizona woman owing nearly five times the amount she took out to finance her education, though she insists she repaid the balances years ago, KTVK-3TV reports. Michelle Hudman took out three loans totaling $8,400 in the 1980s. As she explained to a local reporter, Hudman repaid one loan and her mom…