The Washington Post reported September 7 that the federal government is now guaranteeing 86 percent of all new home mortgages, as default rates continue to increase and threaten to require a bailout of federal loan guarantors such as the Federal Housing Administration.
The U.S. Labor Department reported unemployment rose to 9.7 percent during the month of August from 9.4 percent, the highest unemployment rate in 26 years. “Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in August (-216,000),” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported September 4, making a total of 6.9 million jobs lost in the recession since December 2007.
The real number of unemployed in the United States is far more than the federal government’s official count and the recovery could be long and tenuous, a Federal Reserve official told the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Area Chamber of Commerce last week in a speech that received some media attention.
The Federal Communications Commission is launching an investigation of the nation’s wireless industry to root out any anti-competitive practices and to decide what regulations should be imposed for the supposed benefit of consumers, Wired reported on August 27.
Like one of the old jalopies it is supposed to remove from the road, the $3-billion cash-for-clunkers program sputtered to a close on August 24. The allegedly successful boost to the economy left in its wake “a nightmare of red tape and computer glitches for dealers who are owed millions of dollars by the government,” the Los Angeles Times reported on August 25.