The Federal Reserve issued new guidelines, effective Oct. 1, to curb shady lending practices. “It seems clear that unfair or deceptive acts and practices by lenders resulted in the extension of many loans, particularly high-cost loans, that were inappropriate for or misled the borrower,” says Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
The Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac problem will likely boost momentum for a quick final passage of Congress’ massive housing aid bill, aimed at helping some 400,000 struggling homeowners. “I’m confident we’re going to get this done,” said Senator Christopher J. Dodd. “Unfortunately, these events over the last few days have probably increased the importance of this in the minds of some.”
There were encouraging signs Monday for the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac rescue plan, but also signs of concern; and in the wake of the IndyMac seizure by the federal government, investors worry about other big banks that might be in trouble. For homebuyers, it could mean tighter lending rules and fewer loan approvals.
To drill or not to drill, that is the question. Louisiana, which allows drilling, gets about $1.5 billion annually in oil and gas revenue, and many Americans now want drilling to offset the high price of gasoline. Will Florida’s leaders give in to demand?