Simple details about the most complicated economic times
in American history
Finally...Good News About Jobs
June 2011: The economy remains sluggish as home prices stay low and foreclosures continue to climb.
Consumer Spending Plummets
June 21, 2009: Consumer spending plummeted by $15.7 billion in April 2009, a dive only surpassed by March's $16.6 billion contraction. As the economy sputters, Americans are spending less, saving more, and decreasing their reliance on credit cards.
Stimulus Money Trickling Down
June 14, 2009: Funds from the $787 economic stimulus package passed in February 2009 are slowly trickling into the economy. According to the Obama Administration, only about 5% have been distributed.
May 2009 Job Loss Totals - 345,000
June 7, 2009: Job loss totals for May 2009 were 345,000 American jobs - a high number, but a sharp improvement over the first four months of 2009.
Third Wave Of Foreclosures
May 31, 2009: The third wave of foreclosures is coming through, this time from homeowners with good credit and fixed-rate loans. Record numbers of people are starting to default, because of record highs in unemployment. This blow to the housing marketing comes after the first two waves of defaults by speculators and sub-prime borrowers.
$8,000 First Time Home Buyer Credit
May 25, 2009: As part of the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009, an $8,000 tax credit is being offered to first time home buyers who purchase a home before November 30, 2009. The broad definition of "first time" includes anyone who hasn't owned a home in the past three years. Many local housing agencies across the country are complementing this homebuyers program with one of their own. For example, the Colorado Housing and Financing Authority (CHAFA) will lend the down payment to homebuyers, and wait for reimbursement until the homebuyer has received the $8,000 from the federal government.
April 2009 Job Loss Totals - 539,000
May 10, 2009: April job loss totals came in better than expected, but are still horrible at 539,000. Compare this to April 2008, when 20,000 jobs were lost, and it's clear that the recession is deeply affecting millions of Americans.
Bank Stress Tests
April 26, 2009: Nineteen of the largest banks in America are currently undergoing stress tests, ordered by the Obama Administration. The stress tests will determine which banks are healthy and can survive on their own, which will need more federal assistance, and which are beyond repair. The results of the bank stress tests are expected to be released in May 2009.
States With Highest Foreclosure Rates
April 24, 2009: The top 26 cities with the highest foreclosure rates in the nation are all located in four states: Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada. Apprarently, the mortgage stimulus packages aren't providing enough help quickly enough for many distressed homeowners.
Recession Hits All Industries
April 23, 2009: All types of industries are taking a hit during the current economic global crisis...first the legal industry in America, now the world's oldest profession in Germany. Brothels in Germany are resorting to all-inclusive packages, specials, and free promotions, a decidedly unique economic stimulus package.
Unemployment Higher Than 10% In These States
April 22, 2009: The following states now have unemployment rates that exceed 10%: Michigan, California, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Nevada, and Indiana.
Correlation Between Unemployment And Recession
April 20, 2009: According to leading economists, most recessions end approximately 6-10 weeks after unemployment peaks. In other words, a few months after the American economy has reached its highest point of monthly job losses, the economy should begin to stabilize or rebound. Because nothing about this recession has been typical, including the amount of economic stimulus packages committed to solving the crisis, it's hard to know whether this prediction holds any weight.
Economic Stimulus Packages Help Banks
April 18, 2009: In the past week, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase reported better than expected earnings, an indication that the economic stimulus package (TARP) introduced by the Bush Administration in October 2008 is helping stabilize the economy.
Risk Of Inflation From Economic Stimulus Packages
April 16, 2009: Some economists are predicting that because of the billions of dollars in economic stimulus packages that have been poured into the American economy in 2008 and 2009, we run the risk of inflation. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke refutes this notion, citing idle factories, jobless rates, and lowered energy costs as the factors that will keep inflation in check.
Low Interest Rates On Home Loans
April 14, 2009: The American government, under the Bush Administration and Obama Administration, has invested billions of dollars in mortgage stimulus packages to shore up housing prices and stem the tide of foreclosures. Those efforts are beginning to pay off, in the form of low interest rates on 30-year mortgages, rates that are now hovering in the 4.5% range.
Refinancing Program Beginning To Work
April 12, 2009: President Obama reports encouraging news about home loan refinancings. The economic stimulus packages that have poured hundreds of billions to aid distressed homeowners are beginning to work, as interest rates come down and refinancings go up. He warns, however, to be aware of fraud, specifically cautioning against paying upfront fees to company who promise to help save your home from foreclosure.
$10 Bump In Paycheck
April 8, 2009: American workers should now see an average $10 bump in their weekly paycheck, thanks to the $787 billion economic stimulus package passed in February 2009. This will continue through 2010, and will come to $400 per year or 6.2% of your income, whichever is less. Don't be looking for another economic stimulus check in the mail, like you received last year from the Bush stimulus. This is the only tax stimulus you can expect to receive.
G-20 Summit In London
April 4, 2009: At the G-20 summit in London, leaders of the most powerful countries in the world agreed to commit $1 trillion to fixing the global economic crisis and agreed to put more stringent worldwide financial regulations in place to avoid a repeat economic crisis of the magnitude that’s occurred in 2008 and 2009.
Job Loss Totals for March 2009
April 3, 2009: Job loss totals for March 2009 were 663,000, driving the unemployment rate up to 8.5%. More than 5.1 million jobs have been lost since December 2007, and another 2.1 million are expected to disappear in the next year.
The First 60 Days
March 30, 2009: The first 60 days in office were busy ones for the Obama Administration. President Barack Obama introduced a $787 billion economic stimulus bill to cut taxes and create jobs, a $275 billion mortgage stimulus plan to help stabilize the housing market, a $15 billion stimulus plan for small business lending to get credit flowing again, and a $1 trillion bank stimulus program to get toxic assets off the books of troubled banks.