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Audit: Fed gave $16 trillion in emergency loans

The U.S. Federal Reserve gave out $16.1 trillion in emergency loans to U.S. and foreign financial institutions between Dec. 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010, according to figures produced by the government’s first-ever audit of the central bank. Last year, the gross domestic product of the entire U.S. economy was…

Unemployment numbers rise higher than expected

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, pointing to a labor market that is struggling to regain momentum. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 418,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists…

States negotiating immunity for banks over foreclosures

NEW YORK (Reuters) – State attorneys general are negotiating to give major banks wide immunity over irregularities in handling foreclosures, even as evidence has emerged that banks are continuing to file questionable documents. A coalition of all 50 states’ attorneys general has been negotiating settlements with five of the biggest…

An unprecedented 1 in 66 Americans is a diagnosed psychotic

By Robert Johnson Outselling even common drugs to treat high blood pressure and acid reflux, antipsychotic medications are the single top-selling prescription drug in the United States. Once reserved for hard-core, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest type of mental illnesses to treat hallucinations, delusions or major thought disorders; today, the…

Humanitarian spending at record high despite financial crisis: report

LONDON (AlertNet) – Global spending on humanitarian aid hit a record $16.7 billion in 2010 despite the financial crisis, but devastating disasters and rising delivery costs meant almost 40 percent of needs still went unmet, new data showed on Wednesday. Governments poured $12.4 billion into emergency relief, up 6 percent…

IMF urges euro action as Merkel tempers summit expectations

German Chancellor Angel Merkel talked down the chances Tuesday that a eurozone summit will deliver the silver bullet to resolve the debt crisis as the IMF pressed leaders to take urgent action. While senior eurozone finance officials met in Brussels to craft a second Greek bailout for Thursday’s summit, Merkel…

Apple profit rockets with hot iPad, iPhone sales

Apple revenue and profit rocketed to record highs in the recent quarter as sales of iPhones and iPads more than doubled with help from accelerating demand in Asia. Apple said Tuesday that its net profit more than doubled to $7.31 billion on unprecedented revenue of $28.57 billion in the quarter…

Nissan to expand U.S. availability of all-electric Leaf model

WASHINGTON — Nissan North America said Tuesday it was expanding the availability of the all-electric Nissan Leaf to more US outlets and raising the price for the 2012 model. Brian Carolin, senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the Leaf will be available this fall in 10 additional states…

Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates to reinvent toilets

WASHINGTON — The man who reinvented computers and made PCs a household item in most wealthy nations, Microsoft tycoon turned philanthropist Bill Gates, is now focusing his attention on recasting the toilet. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is pledging millions of dollars in grants to reinvent the toilet, its…

BofA posts second-quarter loss on mortgage settlement

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp posted a second-quarter net loss after agreeing to an $8.5 billion settlement with mortgage bond investors. The largest U.S. bank by assets reported on Tuesday a net loss of $8.8 billion, or 90 cents per share, compared with net income of…

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