GOP Stretches U.S. Panhandling Until May 19 (YahooFinance)
Investors watched bemused as House Republicans approved a measure to extend U.S. borrowing authority until May 19. If approved by the Senate on Wednesday, this bill would enable the United States to stay open for business past the pre-existing debt ceiling deadline in March. Why now? Because the Treasury confirmed the pre-established debt ceiling limit of $16.4 trillion has already been reached, and without an extension, the United States would be unable to pay its bills. Senate leaders anticipate approving the bill, as well, if it’s not significantly amended between now and Wednesday.
Housing Bubble 2.0? Prices Spiral Up in 2012 (MarketWatch)
Real estate information provider Zillow, Inc. (Z) released a report this morning showing that home prices in the United States rocketed up 5.9 percent last year. An increase of that magnitude mirrors the rise of 2006 — the peak of the housing bubble — when homeowners greedily tapped into that additional value to fund everything from investments to pet spas. The report further claims that home values will continue to appreciate in 2013, but only by 3 percent. Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries explained the spike was created from a combination of demand outpacing supply and a reduction in foreclosures. Let’s see how homeowners deal with increasing value this year.
200 Million to be Looking for Work by Year’s End (CNBC)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) released its annual Global Employment Trends. It claims, by year’s end, the world will have more than 202 million unemployed workers. This would top the previous high-water mark of 198 million in 2009. The report goes on to say that unemployment is expected to continue to grow through 2017. And it confirmed the continuation of a trend that shouldn’t surprise anyone: more than 75 percent of global unemployment exists outside of the world’s developed economies. However, in one new development, Ekkehard Ernst — ILO’s employment trend unit chief — said there was also a sharp rise in people simply choosing not to look for a job, because they think it’s hopeless. Here’s to a change of attitude in 2013.