Fewer borrowers are falling behind on student loan payments

March 21st, 2016  // News

The 31-day delinquency rate for student loan payments to the government was 19.7% as of Dec. 31, down from the previous year's 22.2%, the Education Department says. The decline is attributed to more graduates finding jobs and more former students using income-based repayment plans. Read more

Hard-hit US regions continue to feel effects of recession, report says

March 18th, 2016  // News

Employment rates in the parts of the US that were hit hardest by the recession may not reach normal levels until the 2020s, as underlying damage to these areas' economies still exists, according to a working paper by Danny Yagan, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley. These regions may experience a "lost decade" of employment. Read more

US retail sales figures dim

March 16th, 2016  // News

US retail sales figures for January were revised sharply downward for a 0.4% decline, and February's sales were also down 0.1%, suggesting a weak spot in the economy. Analysts say Q1 growth may not be as robust as previously expected, and the latest sales data may figure in Federal Reserve deliberations. Read more

Fed expected to leave interest rates unchanged this week

March 15th, 2016  // News

The Federal Reserve has signaled that it wants more time to analyze economic data before moving interest rates higher. With a rate hike probably off the agenda, economists will watch this week to see how the central bank views the world's economies and financial markets. Read more

Economists differ on inflation target

March 14th, 2016  // News

Economists disagree on the merits of a 2% inflation target, with some saying low rates are a natural reaction to global trends and others arguing that raising the target would give central banks more room to maneuver. Read more

Initial unemployment claims in US lowest in 5 months

March 11th, 2016  // News

First-time jobless claims in the US fell to 259,000 last week, the lowest number since the middle of October, the Labor Department said. The drop, which was bigger than most economists expected, comes after nonfarm payrolls rose by 242,000 in February and as the unemployment rate holds at 4.9%, an eight-year low. Read more

Report suggests uptick in issuance of bonds, stocks

March 10th, 2016  // News

A report from CUSIP Global Services, which creates codes for new securities, suggests the bond market could be stabilizing. The service registered 617 corporate bonds last month, up 29% from January. Meanwhile, there were 703 registrations for new stock offerings, up 7% from January. Read more

New SEC office to tighten supervision of RIAs, mutual funds

March 9th, 2016  // News

The Securities and Exchange Commission has formed the Office of Risk and Strategy to increase scrutiny of registered investment advisers and mutual funds. Peter Driscoll, who heads the office, said it will develop tools and techniques for risk analysis and surveillance. Read more

Cybersecurity, executive compensation are key issues, Obama says

March 8th, 2016  // News

Issues such as cybersecurity, shadow banking and executive compensation must be addressed going forward, said President Barack Obama, who met with a group of regulators including Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Obama defended the government's response to the 2008 financial crisis, including creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. Read more

Government to rate ACA health plans on network size

March 7th, 2016  // News

Health insurance plans will start being rated based on the size of their networks of doctors and hospitals as part of new rules for the Affordable Care Act to be published in the Federal Register this week. Maximum out-of-pocket costs will increase in 2017 to $7,150 for an individual and $14,300 for a family. Read more

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