The number of US home foreclosures, and the rate of homes entering the process, reached record highs in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the US Mortgage Bankers Association.
The United States State Department 2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report makes a link and describes Spain as the grand European centre for money laundering, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle.
Encouraged by her big primary victories Hillary Clinton hinted on Wednesday at the possibility of sharing the United States Democratic presidential ticket with Barack Obama as vicepresident hopeful. But Obama stressed that he still holds the lead in number of delegates.
The chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, has said more should be done to prevent homeowners facing foreclosures unnecessarily. Bernanke warned there had been a 50% rise in foreclosures in 2007 to one and a half million, and this is expected to worsen as mortgage repayments rise.
The Fed chairman told a meeting of US bankers that the situation called for a vigorous response. This would help communities and the wider economy, he said.
United States consumer spending rose more than expected in January, but much of the gain was down to rising prices. The Commerce Department said on Friday personal spending rose 0.4% last month, a bigger rise than economists were expecting.
The United States Senate voted Thursday to extend expiring trade preferences that allow Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia to send most products to the U.S. duty-free. The ten month extension, through the end of 2008, was approved without objection.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday that small US banks are likely to fail in the months ahead as the housing slump takes its toll. Bernanke also warned that the US is currently facing a more difficult situation than in the aftermath of the dotcom bust in 2001.
Nine of Federal Reserve directors thought continued deterioration in financial markets and weakened economic conditions in the housing and labor markets needed the half percentage point cut to the discount rate last month.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Monday any United States resistance to sovereign wealth funds investing in the world's largest economy would be counter-productive.
The US Federal Reserve has slashed its growth forecast for the US economy and raised its forecast for unemployment. The Fed cut its growth forecast for this year by half a percent to a new range of between 1.3% and 2%. The US central bank also said the jobless rate could be as high as 5.3% by the end of the year.