One Third of New Owners Owe More Than House Is Worth

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) — Almost one-third of U.S. homeowners who bought in the last five years now owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, according to Zillow.com, an Internet provider of home valuations.

Second-quarter home prices fell 9.9 percent from a year earlier, giving 29 percent of owners negative equity, said Zillow, the Seattle-based service that offers values for more than 80 million homes. For those who bought at the 2006 peak of the housing market, 45 percent are now underwater, Zillow said.

Read moreOne Third of New Owners Owe More Than House Is Worth

Fed extends emergency loan program for Wall Street

And because of this Wall Street is celebrating today, but not for long.
Before: Fed: No more bailouts, except Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
And now the Fed wants to bailout Wall Street?
The taxpayer will pay for it all.

__________________________________________________________________________________

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is extending its emergency borrowing program to Wall Street firms and is taking other steps to ease a severe credit crunch that has hobbled the national economy.

Read moreFed extends emergency loan program for Wall Street

Pension plans suffer huge losses

Report says weak markets, credit crunch have drained $280 billion from plans of largest U.S. companies

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Falling stock markets around the globe and the credit crunch are putting the pension funds of some of the largest U.S. companies into deeper financial holes, according to a report released Monday.

Since the credit crunch hit last fall, pension plans funded by S&P 1500 companies have lost about $280 billion in assets, according to an actuary at Mercer, a human resources consulting firm.

On paper, the losses from last October tally $160 billion. However, according to Mercer actuary Adrian Hartshorn, the asset losses are closer to $280 billion when pension plan assets and liabilities are considered together. The losses amount to about 7% of a total $4 trillion in pension plan assets.

Companies should be concerned, he said, because – assuming no change in the market – a typical U.S. company can expect their pension expenses to increase between 20% and 30% in 2009. That’s due to the higher cost of servicing the pension plan’s debt and the smaller return from the plan’s assets.

“I think it’s important for corporations to be aware of what’s going on in their pension plans, as corporations would be concerned when any part of its business is performing badly,” Hartshorn said.

According to the report, the total losses on pension assets and liabilities from the last day of 2007 through the end of June has grown to more than $80 billion.

Part of the loss has been reflected in companies’ current financial statements, but many losses incurred since the end of 2007 have yet to hit company balance sheets.

Read morePension plans suffer huge losses

USA 2008: The Great Depression

Food stamps are the symbol of poverty in the US. In the era of the credit crunch, a record 28 million Americans are now relying on them to survive – a sure sign the world’s richest country faces economic crisis

We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.


Disadvantaged Americans queue for aid in New York

Read moreUSA 2008: The Great Depression