American innvoations in unlocking shale gas make it available at a quarter of the price that energy-intensive companies are paying in Europe. Our first article this week discusses a potential chain reaction, as European companies move plants to the U.S. to take advantage of the low energy costs. We next turn to an article about President Obama’s push to make home loans available to more applicants. Critics wonder if this will open the door to the risky lending that precipitated the recent housing crash. In another case of relaxed lending requirements, our final article looks at the explosion in subprime auto loans. The Fed’s quantitative easing program, which was aimed at bolstering the housing and labor markets, has steered billions of dollars into more speculative areas of the economy.
Natural Gas Prices In The U.S. Attract European Manufacturers– European industrial companies plan to spend billions investing in facilities in the United States. They hope to take advantage of U.S. natural gas prices, which have dropped to a quarter of the European rates.
President Obama Presses Lenders To Make Home Loans To More Applicants-The administration’s economic advisors believe that too many Americans are being left out of the housing market’s recovery. Housing officials want the Justice Department to assure banks that legal action won’t be taken against them if they lend to people with riskier credit who later default.
How The Fed Has Fueled Subprime Auto Loans-Ben Bernanke’s quantitative easing program has pumped trillions of dollars into the financial system. It has also sparked an explosion in subprime auto lending as institutional investors hunger for riskier, higher-yielding securities. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/03/us-usa-qe3-subprimeauto-special-report-idUSBRE9320ES20130403
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John R. Day, Bill Ennis and Stephanie Davidson