Money Matters - Simplified


Obamas leave Hawaii after 11-day vacation

Washington, January 4 -- The first family returned to Washington Monday, after their 11-day long vacation in hometown, Hawaii.

Obama skips golf to attend friend’s child

Kailua, December 29 -- President Barack Obama abruptly discontinued his golf to rush back to his Hawaiian home after he learned that a friend’s child was injured while playing on the beach.

Norwegians miffed at Obama for disrespecting monarchy

Oslo, December 10 -- President Obama, who arrived in Norway today with the first lady, was greeted by a mixed response. The Nobel Peace Prize he is about to get has been a contentious issue since it was announced.

Lenders pressured to lower house payments

New York -- The Obama administration plans to shame lenders into reducing mortgage payments for more troubled homeowners, a U.S. Treasury official said.

"Some of the firms ought to be embarrassed, and they will be," Michael Barr, treasury's assistant secretary for financial institutions, told The New York Times.

The new campaign comes amid evidence a $75 billion taxpayer-financed effort to stem foreclosures is failing, the Times reported.

Lenders recently accelerated the pace at which they are reducing mortgage payments for borrowers, but just a fraction of the reductions have been made permanent. Fewer than 2,000 of 500,000 loan modifications in progress have become permanent, federal officials said.

Chicago holiday train passes Obama houses

Glencoe -- The 2009 Wonderland Express, a holiday miniature train layout at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, includes two houses associated with the Obamas.

Michelle Obama's childhood home and the house where the first couple lived in the Kenwood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side until they moved into the White House will join Soldier Field, Millennium Park and other familiar sights.

Like other buildings in the layout, the two Obama houses are being crafted from botanical materials.

33 states report on stimulus job creation

Washington -- The $787 billion stimulus package passed in January is credited with saving or creating 388,000 jobs in 33 states, reports from individual states show.

A federal report compiling data from all 50 states is due Friday, USA Today reported Wednesday. In the meantime, the figure from states already reporting -- meant to be an actual count, not an estimate -- appears to back up the claim from President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers that 600,000 to 1.1 million jobs have been created or saved, the newspaper said.

Former economic adviser to President George W. Bush Kevin Hassett said the state reports "vastly overstates," the number of jobs salvaged or created.

Nation on road to economic recovery: Obama

Washington, September 20 -- In a latest interview aired on Sunday, President Barack Obama said that there are positive indicators that the country’s economy is beginning to recover. But he did add that there still may not be enough jobs created until next year.

Economic Outlook: Obama's impact

Global markets were mixed a day after U.S. President Barack Obama admonished Wall Street for reckless investments that he said spilled over to Main Street.

Billed as a major speech delivered at Federal Hall in New York, at the foot of the nation's financial center, Obama said the consequences of the financial system collapse that began a year ago, "spread far beyond the streets of lower Manhattan," calling for a new order of "clear rules of the road that promote transparency and accountability."

"That's how we'll make certain that markets foster responsibility, not recklessness, and reward those who compete honestly and vigorously within the system, instead of those who try to game the system," he said.

Obama adamant yet constructive in health care speech

Washington, September 10 -- In a nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama tried his best to give another impetus to his health care plan.

Union beefs with Obama going public

Washington -- Formerly well-hidden friction between the Obama administration and his supporters in organized labor is spilling out into the open, U.S. analysts say.

While still professing strong support for President Barack Obama, labor leaders are becoming increasingly frustrated by what they see as the slow pace of implementing promises made by Obama the candidate during last year's presidential campaign, and are becoming more willing to voice their reservations in public, The New York Times reported Monday.