FROM James Hagerty
Koch Confirms Interest in Newspapers, but Mum on LA Times Bid Diverse investments have made Koch Industries of Wichita, Kansas a billion-dollar conglomerate, but the Koch brothers are better known for putting big money behind conservative SuperPAC's and foundations and Republican politicians that liberals denounce as extremist. Recently, it's been reported that the Koch brothers are interested in acquiring news organizations, including the Tribune Company, which owns the Los Angeles Times.
Loan Modifications Starting to Slow Foreclosures Many troubled homeowners may or may not agree, but Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today proclaimed an important milestone in the effort to prevent mortgage foreclosures. James Hagerty reports on real estate for the Wall Street Journal .
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are owned by private shareholders. But because they originally were chartered by Congress and get favorable rates, investors believe that both companies are implicitly backed by the federal government. They now own almost fifty percent of all mortgages in the United States, amounting to $5 trillion. Last week, their stocks lost almost half their value.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?