A big reason for the slow recovery has been that the nation's battered banks haven't been able or willing to lend. There are signs that's changing and that bank lending is helping to support stronger growth.
The eurozone crisis has focused attention on debt-burdened Greece. Meanwhile, Portugal is seen as the international creditors' poster-child for obediently slashing spending and welfare benefits. But Portugal's national debt continues to grow, and it's mired in recession and unemployment.
The $25 billion mortgage settlement between states and major lenders requires banks to provide "a single point of contact" for homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure. The same requirement was agreed to in a previous deal with banks. But some customers say they're still having lots of trouble getting anyone to return their calls.
The Miami Boat Show, which is held on Presidents Day weekend, always promises a look at nice, new toys. This year, the show is aiming at the rich and fabulous yachting set. One of the new "yacht toys" being demonstrated: a personal submarine for just $50,000.
The resolution of the Greek debt crisis will depend, in part, on whether bondholders can be persuaded to take big losses on their holdings. At this point, it appears that most are willing to take their lumps and move on. But if enough of them balk at the settlement, it could tip Greece into default.
The national average for unleaded gas has risen to $3.50 a gallon only three times in history. This year's rise to that threshold is the earliest ever, and the Department of Energy suggests that prices could near $5 a gallon by the start of the summer driving season. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin talks with Phil Flynn of the futures brokerage PFGBEST.
Each year, roughly 750,000 high school dropouts try to improve their prospects by taking the General Educational Development test, or GED, long considered the equivalent of a high school diploma. But the latest research shows that people with GEDs are no better off than dropouts when it comes to their chances of getting a good job.
This week, President Obama touted the success of the government-engineered rescue of GM and Chrysler as evidence of a return of U.S. manufacturing. Despite that success, Republican White House hopefuls Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney say the auto bailout was the wrong move to revive the economy.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.