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Lenders are boosting their attempts to avoid home foreclosures, but fewer than half of loan modifications made at the end of last year actually reduced borrowers’ payments by more than 10 percent, data released Friday show.The report, based on an analysis of nearly 35 million loans worth more than $6 trillion, was published by the… Continue Reading Loan modification rise; homeowners see little relief

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Accounting board changes asset rules

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The board that sets U.S. accounting standards on Thursday gave companies more leeway when valuing assets and reporting losses, providing a potential boost to battered banks’ balance sheets.The independent Financial Accounting Standards Board voted to adopt new guidelines under the so-called mark-to-market accounting rules, which require companies to value assets at prices… Continue Reading Accounting board changes asset rules

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Group of 20 to increase IMF funding

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Global leaders made headway Thursday on tackling the world financial crisis, with new clampdowns likely on tax havens and hedge funds and more funds heading to the International Monetary Fund so it can boost loans to struggling countries.Officials close to the negotiations said the Group of 20 nations could triple their funding for the IMF… Continue Reading Group of 20 to increase IMF funding

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Construction spending fell for a fifth straight month in February as another big drop in home building offset a slight rebound in nonresidential construction.The Commerce Department said Wednesday that February construction activity dropped 0.9 percent, less sharply than the 1.5 percent decline economists expected. Total construction has been falling since October. The… Continue Reading Construction spending falls for fifth straight month

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DETROIT (AP) – General Motors Corp.’s new chief executive said Tuesday that more of the automaker’s plants could close and bankruptcy is “more probable” as GM works to meet new, tougher requirements for government aid.In his first news conference as CEO, Fritz Henderson said he expects the company would “need to take further measures” beyond… Continue Reading GM CEO says bankruptcy a probable outcome

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WASHINGTON (AP) – However they satisfy their nicotine cravings, tobacco users are facing a big hit as the single largest federal tobacco tax increase ever takes effect Wednesday. Tobacco companies and public health advocates, longtime foes in the nicotine battles, are trying to turn the situation to their advantage. The major cigarette makers raised prices… Continue Reading Federal tobacco tax in effect Wednesday

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Ever wonder how that bill was calculated if you had to pay to see a doctor outside your insurance network?Might be a scam, says a senator investigating the issue. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, wants answers at a hearing Tuesday from the chief executives of… Continue Reading Senator looks into out-of-network ‘scam’ issue

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The government says consumers increased spending for a second straight month in February even though their incomes slipped due to continuing massive layoffs.The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in February, in line with expectations. That follows a huge 1 percent jump in January that was even… Continue Reading Consumer spending increases for second straight month

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WASHINGTON (AP) – For a 10th straight week, the number of people who are continuing to claim jobless benefits increased, fresh evidence that the labor market remains weak despite other hopeful signs that the recession may have bottomed out. New claims for unemployment benefits last week rose to a seasonally adjusted 652,000 from the previous… Continue Reading Jobless claims rise for 10th straight week – recession’s bottom nowhere to be found

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F-22 crashes in desert outside Edwards AFB

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EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) – The Air Force says an F-22 fighter has crashed near Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert of Southern California. Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ann Stefanek confirmed the crash Wednesday but had no other details. Stefanek had no information on the status of the pilot. The F-22… Continue Reading F-22 crashes in desert outside Edwards AFB

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