Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Tag: Credit and Debt

Fed Ethics Office Warned Officials to Curb Unnecessary Trading During Rescue

Fed Ethics Office Warned Officials to Curb Unnecessary Trading During Rescue

Business
On March 23 last year, as the Federal Reserve was taking extraordinary steps to shore up financial markets at the onset of the pandemic, the central bank’s ethics office in Washington sent out a warning.Officials might want to avoid unnecessary trading for a few months as the Fed dived deeper into markets, the Board of Governors’ ethics unit suggested in an email, a message that was passed along to regional bank presidents by their own ethics officers.The guidance came just as the Fed was unveiling a sweeping rescue package aimed at backstopping or rescuing markets, including those for corporate bonds and midsize-business debt. It appears to have been heeded: Most regional presidents and governors of the Fed did not engage in active trading in April, based on their disclosures.But the reco...
You Can Get Your Credit Score, but You May Have to Pay for It

You Can Get Your Credit Score, but You May Have to Pay for It

Business
A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study in 2012 found that most consumers who scored well under one scoring model generally scored well on other models. But a “substantial minority” could see large variations, it said, so consumers “should avoid relying on scores they purchase as the sole basis for assessing their creditworthiness when making important decisions about obtaining credit.”The Consumer Reports review examined the five most popular credit scoring apps according to download data. In addition to apps offered by Experian and TransUnion, the report considered apps from Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and myFICO. (An offering from Equifax didn’t meet the study criteria, Consumer Reports said.) Researchers downloaded the apps early this year, and rechecked them in the spring.Update...
China Detains Top HNA Group Executives

China Detains Top HNA Group Executives

Business
BEIJING — The authorities in China have taken into custody the top two executives of a conglomerate that bought up businesses around the world before quickly collapsing under heavy debts, the latest move to discipline the country’s corporate leaders.The conglomerate, a transportation and logistics company called HNA Group, said late on Friday that the police on Hainan Island, where it is based, had seized its chairman, Chen Feng, and chief executive, Tan Xiangdong.Both men were detained “in accordance with the law for suspected crimes,” the company said in a statement, without specifying those offenses. HNA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.The detention of the two men comes as global investors await the fate of another troubled Chinese corporate giant, China Evergrande G...
China Evergrande Bond Payment Remains Uncertain

China Evergrande Bond Payment Remains Uncertain

Business
China Evergrande, the property giant whose financial troubles roiled global markets earlier this week, left investors in a state of uncertainty again on Thursday with the fate of an $83 million interest payment still unresolved.The payment, on Evergrande’s dollar-denominated bonds, was due Thursday. By the end of the business day in New York, the company had still not said publicly whether it had made the payment or planned to.One bondholder, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter, said they had not been paid. But, this person noted, the company’s debt covenants provide it with a 30-day grace period before the missed payment results in a default, which means the limbo debtholders find themselves in could continue.The concern extends to property owners and policymakers in ...
China Evergrande Warns of Financial Pressure, Hires Advisers

China Evergrande Warns of Financial Pressure, Hires Advisers

Business
China Evergrande, the troubled property giant that has become a symbol of debt and excess in the world’s second-largest economy, said on Tuesday that it faced “tremendous” financial pressure and had hired restructuring experts to “explore all feasible solutions” for its future.The company’s fate, however, remains unclear, as it struggles in a country where business troubles often attract the direct attention — and the direct meddling — of Beijing.Evergrande’s admission that its finances have taken a sharp turn sent its already battered shares down by 12 percent on Tuesday. Its shares have lost more than four-fifths of their value over the past year.Its foreign-traded bonds plunged, too, leaving global investors in some cases with investments valued at roughly 25 cents to the dollar.The pro...
How the Pandemic Forged New FIRE Followers, With a Difference

How the Pandemic Forged New FIRE Followers, With a Difference

Business
Also more appealing than ever is the stock market, which made a quick comeback after its early pandemic dive and flourished even as the economy continued to founder. Suddenly, investing your money seemed like the smartest (and safest) thing to do with it, even if you didn’t have much. And with the rising popularity of retail investment platforms like Robinhood, many novice investors got curious.“A lot of people started reaching out to ask about cryptocurrency, and I was like, ‘OK, we can talk about that, but first let’s talk about index funds,’” Ms. Souffrant said. “I think you should have the basics down first before you get into things like crypto. Do you know what a Roth I.R.A. is? Are you investing your 401(k)?”For Kayla Marshall, a 28-year-old finance manager for a private university ...
The Gift of Financial Education for the New Grad in Your Life

The Gift of Financial Education for the New Grad in Your Life

Business
With financial adulthood comes a series of firsts — apartments, loan payments and other complex decisions, all made while rent is high and starting paychecks are low.So, what if that young adult heading out into the working world could confide in a trained, trusted guide, someone who might share the magic of compound interest or illustrate how setting aside just a little money at 22 instead of 32 can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars later?If you’re close to someone entering this new phase — whether from high school, graduate school or somewhere in between — providing the gift of professional advice may be one of the most efficient ways to set him or her on the right path.There are many ways professionals can help, whether by deciphering health insurance plans or making sense...
Retirement: ‘A Struggle for the Millennials’

Retirement: ‘A Struggle for the Millennials’

Business
According to a survey released in December by the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies, 15 percent of millennials said they had taken an early withdrawal from a 401(k) or similar plan, compared with 10 percent of Generation X and 4 percent of baby boomers.“It hit me hard. Real hard. I had to dip into savings. I had to dip into my 401(k),” said Matt Burns, an Austin, Texas, resident who was furloughed from his job at a company that produces corporate events.“Those bills, they come like clockwork,” Mr. Burns, 41, said. “I pay $600 a month in child support, and I’m still paying rent and utilities and all.” He estimated that he had drawn down roughly $10,000, first depleting the few thousand dollars he had in savings before using the CARES Act provision to withdraw from his 401(k).Now, h...
Top U.S. Officials Consulted With BlackRock as Markets Melted Down

Top U.S. Officials Consulted With BlackRock as Markets Melted Down

Business
As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin scrambled to save faltering markets at the start of the pandemic last year, America’s top economic officials were in near-constant contact with a Wall Street executive whose firm stood to benefit financially from the rescue.Laurence D. Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, was in frequent touch with Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Powell in the days before and after many of the Fed’s emergency rescue programs were announced in late March. Emails obtained by The New York Times through a records request, along with public releases, underscore the extent to which Mr. Fink planned alongside the government for parts of a financial rescue that his firm referred to in one message as “the proje...
Federal PLUS College Loans Can Trap Parents in Debt

Federal PLUS College Loans Can Trap Parents in Debt

Business
“Things really spiral out of control for borrowers who face repeated economic or financial ups and downs, especially when they have high-interest loans like PLUS loans,” Mr. Looney said. Join Michael Barbaro and “The Daily” team as they celebrate the students and teachers finishing a year like no other with a special live event. Catch up with students from Odessa High School, which was the subject of a Times audio documentary series. We will even get loud with a performance by the drum line of Odessa’s award-winning marching band, and a special celebrity commencement speech. “For a financially secure, high-income parent that makes automatic payments,” he added, “the loans work fine. But if anything bad happens, it’s a disaster.”Parent PLUS loans also have fewe...