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Foreclosures hit like a hurricane

By Times Wires
Published December 1, 2007



The home foreclosure crisis slamming into the nation's neighborhoods is having the effect of about "one Hurricane Katrina per month," James K. Galbraith, an economist with the University of Texas at Austin, said Friday at a forum examining the credit crisis. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the fall of 2005, nearly 275,000 Gulf Coast residents were forced to move into group shelters, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This October, lenders reported 224,451 foreclosure filings to drive people from their homes, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a housing data firm based in Irvine, Calif.

Identity theft falling, poll finds

A government survey released this week questions the conventional wisdom that identity theft is a growing problem in the U.S. An estimated 8.3-million Americans over the age of 18 were victims of identity theft in 2005, according to an analysis of a phone survey released Tuesday by the Federal Trade Commission. That represented a decline of about 16 percent from an estimated 9.9-million victims in 2003.


U.S. car, truck sales head for low

Sales of cars and light trucks in the U.S. this year will drop to their lowest since 1998 as demand for minivans and small pickups continues to plummet, Ford Motor Co.'s chief sales analyst said. Industrywide sales for 2007 will decline to 16.1-million vehicles because of a slowing economy and higher gasoline prices, George Pipas said Friday.


Motorola chief executive leaving

Ed Zander is out as Motorola Inc.'s chief executive after a roller-coaster four years that saw him oversee the cell-phone maker's Razr-led resurgence but ultimately bear blame for strategic gaffes and product whiffs that led to its steep decline. The company announced Friday that Zander is resigning as CEO and that president and chief operating officer Greg Brown will succeed him Jan. 1.


Google to enter bandwidth auction

Seeking to shake up the wireless industry, Google said Friday that it was preparing to take part in the federal government's auction of radio frequencies that could be used to deliver the next generation of Internet and mobile phone services to consumers. Google said it would file its application on Monday to bid on the valuable 700-megahertz spectrum, which is being vacated by television networks as they convert their signals to digital. The formal bidding process is scheduled to begin on Jan. 24.


Turmoil makes consumers frugal

Consumers battered by a slumping housing market and a credit crunch slowed the growth in spending to the smallest amount in four months in October. In another sign of weakness, construction activity fell by a larger-than-expected amount. The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in October. Individual incomes grew by just 0.2 percent last month, the poorest showing in six months.

[Last modified November 30, 2007, 23:01:57]

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