Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No More Leasing Vehicles

GM, Chrysler To Stop Leasing Vehicles

The financial arms of Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. are getting out of the business of leasing vehicles as credit tightens and resale prices for gas-quaffing trucks fall, according to company executives and independent sources. The move, effective Aug. 1, could spark a backlash among dealers and consumers. In Canada, an estimated 43% of drivers lease their vehicles, double the U.S. rate of 20%. Chrysler told dealers in Canada and the United States that Chrysler Financial will stop offering financing for vehicle leases, steering buyers into low-interest loans to buy the vehicle outright, sources said. Dealers wanting to offer the leasing option would have to find their own source of financing, Chrysler said.

STOP The Bail Outs

Ron Paul On The Housing Bill

No Sign Of Recovery In Credit Crisis

IMF Sees No Sign Of Recovery

Global financial markets remain fragile and the danger of an economic fallout has increased a year after the credit crunch began, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. The IMF's latest global financial stability report said world markets are still under strain from the US housing crisis while the twin risks of rising inflationary pressures and the prospect of recession are making life tough for central bankers as regards setting monetary policy. Its downbeat assessment came as the Treasury prepared to launch a report by Sir James Crosby, the former chief executive of HBOS, into ways of reviving Britain's mortgage market. It emerged last night that he will reject the idea of creating a UK version of Fannie Mae, the government-backed body that underwrites a large chunk of US home loans.


Voluntary Foreclosure

America's House Price Time Bomb
With the American housing market in its worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Bush is expected to sign into law a massive new government intervention designed to slow the slide. The intervention would come as a little known quirk of US law threatens to drive down house prices even faster. Faced with seemingly never-ending falls in the value of their properties, some American home-owners are taking radical action; they are choosing to walk away from homes and their mortgages.

We Are Not Alone

Credit Crisis Spreads To Wealthier

Credit Crisis Spreads To Wealthier
The US financial crisis is spreading from subprime borrowers, with evidence mounting that more affluent people are failing to pay mortgages and credit card balances. Growing concerns over the financial health of richer borrowers are prompting banks and card issuers to tighten lending practices in moves that could further damp consumer confidence.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Consumer Defaults Rise

American Express Profit Falls
American Express Co., the biggest U.S. credit-card company by purchases, withdrew its 2008 earnings forecast after second-quarter profit fell 37 percent on worse-than-expected consumer defaults. The shares slumped 11 percent in extended trading. Profit from continuing operations declined to $655 million, or 56 cents a share, from $1.04 billion, or 86 cents a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. The average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 82 cents. American Express said it added $600 million before taxes to reserves for U.S. loan losses.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


"Natural Resources Being Squandered"

Pope Hits Out At Consumer Culture

Pope Benedict XVI has attacked popular culture and consumerism in a formal address to tens of thousands of young Roman Catholics. The pontiff also warned that natural resources were being squandered, in the speech in Sydney, Australia. The pope is visiting the city for World Youth Day, a six-day gathering of young Catholics from across the globe. Security is tight for the visit - during which he is also expected to apologise for sexual abuse by priests.

Water On Mars

Early Mars Was All Wet
A lot more Martian rocks were altered by water than scientists originally thought, suggesting that early Mars was a very wet place. New observations made by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), currently circling the planet, have revealed evidence that vast regions of the southern highlands of Mars were altered by water in a variety of environments billions of years ago. Water is a key condition for life as we know it. Though there is no firm evidence that Mars has ever harbored life, knowing that the planet was once wet suggests that it was at least habitable in the past.

Colder Than Space

Cern Lab Goes 'Colder Than Space'
A vast physics experiment built in a tunnel below the French-Swiss border is fast becoming one of the coolest places in the Universe. The Large Hadron Collider is entering the final stages of being lowered to a temperature of 1.9 Kelvin (-271C; -456F) - colder than deep space. The LHC has thousands of magnets which will be maintained in this frigid condition using liquid helium. The magnets are arranged in a ring that runs for 27km through the giant tunnel. Once the LHC is operational, two particle beams - usually consisting of protons accelerated to high energies - will be fired down pipes running through the magnets. These beams will then travel in opposite directions around the main ring at close to the speed of light.

Jim Rogers: Let Fannie/Freddie Fail

Thursday, July 10, 2008

OPEC "We Cannot Replace Irans Production"

OPEC Warns Against Military Conflict With Iran

The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries warned Thursday that oil prices would see an "unlimited" increase in the case of a military conflict involving Iran, because the group's members would be unable to make up the lost production. "We really cannot replace Iran's production - it's not feasible to replace it," Abdalla Salem El-Badri, the OPEC secretary general, said during an interview. Iran, the second-largest producing country in OPEC, after Saudi Arabia, produces about 4 million barrels of oil a day out of the daily worldwide production of close to 87 million barrels. The country has been locked in a lengthy dispute with Western countries over its nuclear ambitions.

Kill Iran With Cigarettes?

Caloric Restriction

The One Anti-Aging Trick That Works

While the quest for the proverbial Fountain of Youth is endless and typically fruitless, one method known to extend the human lifespan by up to five years has quietly become accepted among leading researchers. The formula is simple: Eat less. It could add years to your life, several experts now say. And done in moderation, it could at least help you live a more healthy life.

Human Robots

The 7 Creepiest Real-Life Robots

Scientists say they can now build near-perfect replications of a human being, and that they finally have the technology to bring the inanimate to life. Scientists are liars. Here are seven robots that reached for "life-like," and came up with a big handful of your worst nightmares.

Jim Rogers: The Falling US Dollar