Mortgage rates are now below 4 percent. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan is at an all-time low. But high unemployment, weak consumer confidence, and tougher standards for getting credit, are keeping many Americans from buying homes.
Loosely organized protests that began on Wall Street last month have spread to other U.S. cities. President Obama says he understands the frustration conveyed by the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, and he's trying to channel that anger into support for his financial policies.
It makes people lose touch with their professional networks, and can negatively affect relationships. Jobless benefits have been lengthened from 26 to 99 weeks by Congress, but a push in Washington to cut back on spending may mean that extension could expire.
Central bankers hate inflation. But at least one prominent economist argues a moderate increase in inflation is exactly what the U.S. needs to boost the economy and keep it from falling back into recession. But the idea may be a hard sell.
President Obama held a news conference in the East Room of the White House Thursday, pushing Congress to pass his jobs bill. Again, the president challenged Republicans to support his plan or to seek compromise on an alternative. He also took aim at the nation's banks for rising fees and their efforts to fight financial reform.
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