Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bernanke Blames Weak Regulation for Financial Crisis

Regulatory failure, not low interest rates, was responsible for the housing bubble and subsequent financial crisis of the last decade, Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, said in a speech on Sunday.

Bernanke Blames Weak Regulation for Financial Crisis - NYTimes.com

State had fewer than 1,000 traffic deaths in 2009 -- best since 1921

more than 100 fewer traffic deaths than 2008. In 2007, there were more than 1,200 traffic deaths.

seat belt usage has been steadily increasing, from 76 percent in 2003 to nearly 92 percent in 2009

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | State had fewer than 1,000 traffic deaths in 2009 -- best since 1921

Even as economy mends, a jobless decade may loom

Most economists say it could take at least until 2015 for the unemployment rate to drop down to a historically more normal 5.5 percent. And with the job market likely to stay weak, some also foresee another decade of wage stagnation.

Click on the following for more detailsEven as economy mends, a jobless decade may loom

Municipalities face lean 2009, expect same for 2010

From May to December, the amount of income-tax revenues that the state gives to municipalities has decreased by 16 percent compared with the same time last year, according to the Illinois Municipal League

Started in 1969, the state income tax simply had gone flat during past recessions but had never taken a dive like the one it currently is experiencing, said Larry Frang, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League….Frang didn’t foresee a turnaround in the next 12 months, he said, but the revenues should start falling at a slower rate.

Click on the following for some information on McHenry County communities’ response to the downturn:   Northwest Herald | Municipalities face lean 2009, expect same for 2010

Tiny 'capsule' hotels house the homeless in Japan

The [Japanese] jobless rate, at 5.2 percent, is at a record high, and the number of households on welfare has risen sharply. The country's 15.7 percent poverty rate is one of the highest among industrialized nations.

The government says about 15,800 people live on the streets in Japan, but aid groups put the figure much higher, with at least 10,000 in Tokyo alone. Those numbers do not count the city's "hidden" homeless, such as those who live in capsule hotels. There is also a floating population that sleeps overnight in the country's many 24-hour Internet cafes and saunas.

Nation & World | Tiny 'capsule' hotels house the homeless in Japan | Seattle Times Newspaper

Millions out of work, living on nothing but food stamps |

 

Bermudez belongs to an overlooked subgroup that is growing especially fast: recipients with no cash income.

About 6 million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income, according to an analysis of state data. In declarations that states verify and the federal government audits, these people described themselves as unemployed and receiving no cash aid: no welfare, no unemployment insurance, and no pensions, child support or disability pay.

Click on the following for more details:  Nation & World | Millions out of work, living on nothing but food stamps | Seattle Times Newspaper