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New Mortgage Regs From the Fed

Posted by: Harry Maurer on July 14

The Federal Reserve tightened mortgage rules in an effort to prevent future repeats of the subprime meltdown. Under authority it won 14 years ago, the Fed will require lenders to assess a potential borrower’s ability to pay, and banned prepayment penalties on loans whose payments can change in the first four years. The rules also limit such penalties to the first two years on other types of subprime mortgages.

The Fed has been harshly criticized by congressional Democrats for not doing more to regulate the mortgage industry and thus allowing many of the practices that led to the housing slump and the subprime crisis. But the new rules won’t take effect until Oct. 1, 2009.

Source: Bloomberg

Not So Fast, Republic

Waste Management, the No. 1 trash hauler, offered to buy No. 3 Republic Services for $6.3 billion. That’s a 22% premium over Republic’s Friday closing stock price. Waste Management evidently hopes to torpedo Republic’s deal to buy the industry’s No. 2, Allied Waste Industries.

Source: Wall Street Journal

High-Flying Orders for Airbus and Boeing

Although business was slower than usual at opening day of the Farnborough Air Show, bitter rivals Airbus and Boeing both won major orders from Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways. The order for Airbus planes came to $11 billion, and the Boeing order tallied $9.4 billion, mostly for 787 Dreamliners.

Source: Reuters

A Big Court Victory for eBay

Having recently suffered major legal reverses in Europe, the online auction site triumphed on essentially the same issue in the U.S. Ruling in a four-year-old trademark lawsuit brought by Tiffany, Judge Richard Sullivan of Federal District Court in Manhattan said it’s not eBay’s job to prevent sellers from selling counterfeit items on the site. A week ago, a French judge ordered eBay to pay LVMH $60 million for allowing fake luxury items to be sold.

Source: New York Times

InBev Swallows Bud

In a deal creating the largest beer company in the world, Anheuser-Busch has agreed to be bought out by InBev for $52 billion after the Belgian brewer sweetened its takeover bid by $5 per share. The new company will own some of the world’s most popular brands include Budweiser, Becks, and Stella Artois. The deal had faced a growing chorus of objections by U.S. consumers and politicians to a foreign takeover, but Anheuser-Busch may have been prodded into action by indications that some of its largest shareholders, including Warren Buffett, were leaning toward the hookup.

Source: The Guardian/Reuters

Yahoo Rejects Microsoft-Icahn Search Bid

Yahoo has rejected yet another bid to buy its search operations, this time a combined, take-it-or-leave-it offer from Microsoft and activist investor Carl Icahn. The embattled Internet pioneer said the new bid contained no guarantees that it would be superior to the Google search ad deal signed in early June.

Source: BusinessWeek

Bail-out plan for Fannie and Freddie

The U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve have cobbled together a plan to bolster flagging mortage finance giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that would see Congress authorize a temporary extension of credit lines the treasury extends to the two agenices.

Source: CNN

Microsoft slashes price of Xbox 360

Microsoft has reduced the price of the Xbox 360 Pro video game by $50 to $299 for models with a 20GB hard drive, and will bring out a 60GB version costing $349 in August.

Source: CNET

Conversation of the Day: India’s economy hits a wall

Reader Kumar D Kapsi writes: ” India needs a political VIAGRA or some magic potion to ensure that it can match its performance to its full potential. “

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