How gov’t aims to protect low-income users of ‘payday’ loans
WASHINGTON (AP) — Each month, more than 200,000 needy U.S. households take out what’s advertised as a brief loan.
Many have run out of money between paychecks. So they obtain a “payday” loan to tide them over. Problem is, such loans can often bury them in fees and debts. Their bank accounts can be closed, their cars repossessed.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules Thursday to protect Americans from stumbling into what it calls a “debt trap.” At the heart of the plan is a requirement that payday lenders verify borrowers’ incomes before approving a loan.
Co-pilot was ‘very happy’ with Germanwings job
MONTABAUR, Germany (AP) — Andreas Lubitz never appeared anything but thrilled to have landed a pilot’s job with Germanwings, according to those who helped him learn to fly as a teenager in this town in the forested hills of western Germany.
On Thursday, French prosecutors said Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, “intentionally” crashed the jet into the side of a mountain Tuesday in the French Alps.
Members of his hometown flight club in Montabaur, where he renewed his glider license last fall, told The Associated Press that the 27-year-old Lubitz appeared to be happy with the job he had at the airline, a low-cost carrier in the Lufthansa Group.
Perfection doesn’t last: Muni bond returns to be more muted
NEW YORK (AP) — Conditions were nearly perfect for municipal bonds last year, leading to sizeable returns. Perfection never lasts, though, and managers of municipal-bond funds are forecasting more modest returns in upcoming years.
The backdrop for municipal bonds last year was as pleasant as the first warm, spring breeze: Interest rates were falling, the economy was strengthening, demand was high for bonds that pay tax-free income and supply was relatively low. Add it up, and the Barclays Municipal Bond index returned 9.1 per cent in 2014. Just don’t expect a repeat.