Category Archives: featured

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Obama Video Hits Romney Role in Ampad Bankruptcy

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The story of Ampad, a company acquired by Bain Capital in 1992 that later went bankrupt, was used successfully by Democrats 18 years ago to help derail Mitt Romney's run for a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts.

Now, the Obama campaign is resurrecting the case to help keep Romney out of the White House.

A new five-minute campaign web video aims to discredit Romney's key selling point of his candidacy - his business experience - featuring testimonials of workers laid off from a Marion, Ind., office products factory acquired by Ampad in 1994. Romney was CEO of Bain at the time.

"Good paying job with good benefits. I loved the people I worked with. I thought I was settled in for life," says worker Jerry Rayburn who lost his job after Bain came in.

Ampad went bankrupt in 2000, shedding a total of 1,500 jobs, according to the film. Bain profited $100 million from the deal.

"He's just the opposite from Robin Hood," one worker says of Romney.

With the Ampad video, the Obama campaign signals it is doubling down on the argument that Romney was a corporate raider more interested in amassing personal wealth than in creating jobs. Last week, Democrats focused on the case of Kansas City, Mo., steel company GST Steel, which was also acquired by Bain and later closed.

GST was featured in a TV ad attacking Romney that ran in five battleground states.  Obama campaign officials said Sunday that they are extending the ad buy in Ohio.

Republicans and the Romney campaign have called the assault on Romney's business record "character assassination" and an affront to capitalism and private equity - the same industry that employs some of Obama's biggest donors, they note.

"The purpose of the president's ads are not to describe success and failure, but to somehow to suggest that I'm not a good person or not a good guy," Romney said last week.

Even Obama campaign surrogate, Newark mayor Cory Booker, argued the line of attack may be going too far, saying Sunday that he is "very uncomfortable" with it.

"President Obama continues his assault on the free enterprise system with attacks that one of his supporters, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, called 'nauseating' and a former adviser, Steven Rattner, called 'unfair,'" said Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

"Under President Obama, too many Americans have lost their jobs and their homes. President Obama's policies have failed every American who expected their president to focus on the economy and make things better," she said.

The Romney campaign has been highlighting businesses that have been successful, job-creating Bain investments, including Staples and Sports Authority.


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Difference between Mortgage Pre-Qualification and Mortgage Pre-Approval

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Most home buyers need mortgage loans to purchase a home. Anyone who has ever searched for a mortgage has been asked if they would like to obtain a “pre-qualification” or a “pre-approval”. Most prospective home buyers are confused about the two terms and they thus end up making some mistakes in the process.

Most home buyers need mortgage loans to purchase a home. Anyone who has ever searched for a mortgage has been asked if they would like to obtain a “pre-qualification” or a “pre-approval”. Most prospective home buyers are confused about the two terms and they thus end up making some mistakes in the process. It is thus important to clearly differentiate between the two terms before you plan to apply for a mortgage loan.
• Pre Qualification
Qualification is a basic assessment of a potential buyer’s ability to qualify for a mortgage. It amounts to a lender’s “opinion” about the range of home prices that fit the buyer’s budget. It can aid the buyer in making important financial decisions, in deciding his affordability and the right time for him to invest on a property.

Pre qualification is like a quick credit check and involves conversation with the buyer or a loan officer. A good loan officer can “pre-qualify” people in about 10 minutes over the phone by knowing details about the person’s income, credit, assets and monthly debts. The process is devoid of any document check.

The information provided by the borrower during queries helps the lender decide upon “X” amount of loan that the borrower may be entitled to.

• Pre- approval
Pre- approval is different from pre-qualified. A pre-approved buyer would have submitted almost all the documents necessary for the loan to the granted. The lender checks the potential buyer’s credit and other financial information and lets the buyer the amount of loan he can avail. The buyer will now know the maximum amount he can get and is thus in a stronger bargaining position with the seller.

The post-approval letter represents an actual commitment on part of the lender. Even a mortgage professional can approve the loan. Any serious buyer should choose to have a pre-approval letter and not just a pre-qualified letter. A pre-approved letter can give confidence and to the buyer as well as the realtor about price range in obtaining mortgage approval.

A few tips to be noted in applying for a loan.
• Do not give your social security number to anyone right away. Do this only when you are sure about whom you will work with.
• Watch out for loan officers who bully buyers into revealing their social security number. If they cannot discuss their programs without your social security number, look out for another loan officer.
• You are entitled for pre-approval once you have provided accurate information. However, remember that this does not guarantee you will get the loan to buy or build a house of your choice.
• A pre-approval is always better than pre-qualified. But this does not guarantee final underwriting approval.


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Treasury Department Statement on Auto Supplier Support Programs

The U.S. Department of the Treasury released the following statement today from spokesperson Jenni Engebretsen on the launch by Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corporation

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of the Treasury released the following statement today from spokesperson Jenni Engebretsen on the launch by Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corporation of Auto Supplier Support Programs. The programs launched today are open to any receivable created with respect to goods shipped after March 19, 2009 made on qualifying commercial terms. Suppliers interested in participating in the program should contact Chrysler and GM.

"The U.S. Treasury Department is pleased that both GM and Chrysler have moved quickly to launch Supplier Support programs. These efforts, backed by U.S. Treasury resources, will help stabilize the auto supply base and restore credit flows in a critical sector that employs more than 500,000 American workers across the country. During this difficult period of restructuring in the auto industry, the Supplier Support program will provide supply companies with access to liquidity and protect good-paying American jobs while giving GM and Chrysler reliable access to the parts they need."


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Get happy in 30 minutes


Try as many of these nine ideas as you can in half an hour and boost your mood. » Get started

In the next half hour, tackle as many of the following suggestions as possible. Not only will these tasks themselves increase your happiness, but the mere fact that you've achieved some concrete goals will boost your mood.

Jay Gosney
1. Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you're on the phone, stand up and pace. Walk to a coworker's office instead of sending an e-mail. Put more energy into your voice. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even better...

2. Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning. Find the best walking workout for your exercise style.

3. Reach out. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven't seen in a while, or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. When you act in a friendly way, not only will others feel more friendly toward you, but you'll also strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people.

4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a rush of elation.

5. Create a more serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time organizing bills and tackling the piles in the kitchen. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Set the timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do. In that time, take a quick look around the house and see how to get organized using everyday items.

6. Do a good deed. Introduce two people by e-mail, take a minute to pass along useful information, or deliver some gratifying praise. In fact, you can also...

7. Save someone's life. Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. Do good, feel good―it really works!

8. Act happy. Fake it 'til you feel it. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if you're smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable. There's no need to walk around in a constant state of worry. After all, what's the worst that can happen if you bounce a check or leave wet clothes in the dryer?

9. Learn something new. Think of a subject that you wish you knew more about and spend 15 minutes on the Internet reading about it, or go to a bookstore and buy a book about it. But be honest! Pick a topic that really interests you, not something you think you "should" or "need to" learn about.


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