Drop in U.S. birth rate is the biggest in 30 years

The maternity business has experienced a recession, too, it appears. Births fell 4% from 2007 to 2009, the biggest drop for any two-year period since the mid-1970s, according to federal government data released Thursday. The rate, 66.7 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, isn’t the lowest in recent memory. The 1997 rate was … Continue reading

Japan’s nuclear situation nearing severity of Chernobyl

(CNN) — The explosion Tuesday at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has elevated the situation there to a “serious accident” on a level just below Chernobyl, a French nuclear official said, referring to an international scale that rates the severity of such incidents. The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale — or INES — goes … Continue reading

How safe is your teen’s spring break spot?

Momania: A Blog for Busy Moms <!–ajc.com » Blogs » Momania: A Blog for Busy Moms –> How safe is your teen’s spring break spot? 11:00 pm March 10, 2011, by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso As you teens and 20–somethings plan their spring break adventures in the sun, you might be interested to know where the … Continue reading

5 Health Reasons Not To Quit Coffee

1. It protects your heart: Moderate coffee drinkers (1 to 3 cups/day) have lower rates of stroke than noncoffee drinkers, an effect linked to coffee’s antioxidants. Coffee has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries, making it the biggest source of antioxidants in American diets. All those antioxidants may help suppress the damaging effect of inflammation … Continue reading

What is Travelzoo?!

Travelzoo (NASDAQ: TZOO) is the most trusted publisher of travel, entertainment and local deals. Our team researches, evaluates and tests thousands of deals to find those with true value. We recommend only deals whose accuracy and availability we can confirm. With over 22 million subscribers, we are the largest publisher of deals on the Internet. … Continue reading

Report details HUD failures to protect FHA insurance fund from bad loans

Friday, March 4th, 2011, 11:25 am   The Department of Housing and Urban Development missed critical chances to recover up to $11 million in losses to the Federal Housing Administration‘s insurance fund on bad mortgage loans, according to a report from HUD’s Office of Inspector General. The Inspector General raises concerns about systemic problems with … Continue reading

Senator sees Dodd-Frank trumping ad hoc CMBS regulation

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner late Wednesday reminding him that when it comes to mortgage-backed securitizations, not all assets are created equal. In the letter, Crapo outlines his concerns that aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act — namely provisions he authored — will be applied inappropriately to the fragile … Continue reading

Treasury defends HAMP as mortgage modifications dip in January

Mortgage servicers participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program converted 27,957 trials into permanent modifications in February, down slightly from the month before. The Treasury Department launched HAMP in March 2009 to provide incentives to servicers for the modification of mortgages on the verge of foreclosure. Through January 2011, servicers started 607,607 permanent modifications. The … Continue reading

Fannie, Freddie REO continues to rise in 4Q

The amount of repossessed homes held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose considerably in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to financial supplements. Fannie reports its real estate owned inventory by volume of properties. In the fourth quarter, it reported 162,489 in REO that needed to be resold, up 88% from the … Continue reading