[FoRK] Sunny day...

jbone at place.org jbone at place.org
Tue Feb 24 08:15:51 PST 2004

As predicted, the post-Christmas hangover.  Despite Hannity's shrill  
protestations to the contrary...


US Feb. consumer confidence drops sharply to 87.3
Reuters, 02.24.04, 10:01 AM ET

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer confidence fell unexpectedly  
hard in February as Americans grew disenchanted with the economy mainly  
because of paltry growth in new jobs, a report published on Tuesday  

The Conference Board, a private research firm, said its index of  
consumer confidence dropped to 87.3 in February from a downwardly  
revised 96.4 in January. Economists had forecast a drop to 92.5.  
February's reading was the lowest since October.


Also, Greenspan concerned about Freddie and Fannie:


Greenspan: Fed concerned two mortgage giants' debt pose threat to  
country's financial system

The Associated Press
2/24/04 10:18 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could  
pose a threat to the country's financial system if their debt is not  
restrained, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Tuesday,  
urging Congress to consider capping the debt the two Fortune 500  
companies can carry.

Greenspan said that the two institutions, popularly known as Fannie and  
Freddie, have grown to be among the largest financial institutions in  
the United States and now stand behind $4 trillion of home mortgages,  
or more than three-fourths of the single-family mortgages in the United  

Greenspan said he believed both institutions have managed their  
financial risks well to date, but he said that he believed risks would  
rise if the two institutions allowed their debt levels to grow in the  
future without any restraints.

He said that "future systemic difficulties" could be considered likely  
and he urged Congress to take action "sooner rather than later."

With his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Greenspan put  
his considerable influence on financial matters behind a growing effort  
to overhaul the two institutions, which financial competitors contend  
have become too big and now threaten the security of the financial  

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