[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
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
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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