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In Mortgage Crisis, Some Banks Agree To Cut Losses

In almost one-third of private home loan modifications, big banks are now slashing what homeowners owe. It's overdue housekeeping for America's economy, says one investor: Banks clear their balance sheets, investors get a predictable stream of income, and homeowners stay homeowners.
NPR

U.S. Auto Sales Seen Continuing To Rebound In 2012

Automakers will report U.S. sales for 2011 on Wednesday. When final figures are calculated, sales of new cars and trucks are expected to reach 12.7 million, up from 11.5 million in 2010 and 10.4 million in 2009, the worst year since 1982. For 2012, analysts expect sales to top 13.6 million.
NPR

Brazil Sets Trade Records, Due To Chinese Demand

Brazil's exports to China hit $44.3 billion, an increase of more than 43 percent over 2010. In 2009, China surpassed the U.S. as Brazil's biggest trading partner. For 2011, Brazil logged $256 billion in exports, with a $29.7 billion surplus.
NPR

Why Fear, Greed Block Successful Financial Planning

Financial adviser Carl Richards gave himself bad advice. During the housing boom, Richards bought a place in Las Vegas with no down payment. He then borrowed more money against his home, and when the economy tanked, he was forced to sell the house for less than the original loan. Richards talks to Linda Wertheimer about an article he wrote for The New York Times, which led to his new book Behavior Gap.
NPR

2012: A Better Year, Unless Europe's Debt Blows It Up

The year that passed disappointed both investors and job seekers. Economists think the new year will be a bit better, with GDP growth rising to 2.4 percent. Much depends on European leaders' ability to fix the ongoing debt crisis; they may find a solution in 2012, but consequences are dire if not.
NPR

Debt Crisis Just French History In The Making

These are gloomy times for debt-burdened France, but in the countryside some are taking a longer view. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports.
NPR

In Brazil, Economic Opportunity Beckons Westerners

Brazil's economy is still going strong compared to the U.S. and Europe. The country's unemployment rate is just 6 percent — with companies looking overseas to fill top-end jobs.

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