Interesting Personal Debt News Links (April 14, 2009)

April 14, 2009

* Auto Sales: Worst February in 40 Years (David Welch, BusinessWeek)

Auto Sales: Worst February in 40 Years GM is the biggest loser, with new-car sales down 53%. And carmakers are finding that even lavish incentives aren’t stopping consumers from buying used cars

* Banks accused of profiteering as they triple mortgage margins (Myra Butterworth, Telegraph)

The difference between the Bank of England’s benchmark interest rate and the average rate on a tracker mortgage has risen from 1.18 per cent at the beginning of April last year to 3.20 per cent today, according to personal finance website

* Sure, rates are low, but refinancing isn’t for everyone (Herb Weisbaum, KVAL)

Uncle Sam wants you to refinance. President Barack Obama on Thursday urged homeowners to jump at low interest rates and refinance their home loans. But refinancing is not for everyone.

* Attorney General: Health issues a top complaint in NC (Clay Barbour, Independent Tribune)

For the fifth year in a row, health care topped the state’s hit-list for complaints filed with the N.C. attorney general.

* Landmark Mendon inn goes on the block (Brent Curtis, Rutland Herald)

The 96-room Cortina Inn in Mendon will go to the highest bidder next month when the property goes up on the auction block.

* Does Wells Fargo boost signal a turnaround? (Madlen Read, Mail Tribune)

No big bank was supposed to utter the words “record” and “profit” in the same sentence this year. But Wells Fargo said Thursday it earned about $3 billion for the first quarter its highest income ever, and twice what analysts predicted.

* Global markets drift as G20 rally fizzles out (Yvette Essen, The Daily Telegraph)

The benchmark FTSE 100, which had rallied 4.3pc to a seven-week high on Thursday as leading countries pledged to inject an extra $1.1 trillion into the International Monetary Fund, fell 2.3pc to 4029.67.

* Pondering Ben’s Flight Plan (Tom Sullivan, Barron’s)

Ben Bernanke’s chopper with loads of freshly printed money apparently hit some turbulence recently: The Fed last Wednesday bought only $2.9 billion of Treasuries under its government-bond purchase program — when $31.3 billion was offered.

* Ex post facto taxes: Unconstitutional (Dr. Bill Atwood, Sierra Star)

Here they go again! The folks in Washington really have their nerve. They pass a law bailing out a company (AIG) to the tune of billions and billions of our dollars and the executives collect many millions in performance bonuses.

* How old is too old to work? (Kathleen Doheny, WKBT)

April 10 (HealthDay News) — Debate about the ideal age to retire has been going on for years. But with the U.S. economy in a dramatic slump, the flip side of that question — how old is too old to work? — has become uppermost in many people’s minds.


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