News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Lapsing unemployment benefits, More on the financial reform bill

Melissa Kaplan Jun 25, 2010

The Mid-Day Update is a five-day-a-week podcast from the Marketplace Morning Report co-hosted by Bill Radke and Steve Chiotakis that wraps up the morning news in a fun little package. Listen here every day at 10 a.m. PT or download it to your iPod by subscribing to the Morning Report Podcast:

From the Marketplace world headquarters in Los Angeles, this is Bill Radke. The big financial reform bill shaped up in the wee hours. Watered down and neutered or ill-timed over-regulation? Wall Street bankers are combing through it right now.

Congress is letting extended unemployment benefits lapse. This is A) a cruel act of political obstructionism that will suck the remaining life out of the economy by turning consumers into paupers. B) an act of political courage that avoids saddling our children with yet more debt.

And will it keep the economy from improving before the November elections?

Speaking of which, the final revision is out for first-quarter GDP — that’s a key measure of America’s economic growth. It’s down from 3 percent to 2.7 percent.

U.S. consumer sentiment in June hit its highest level in two and a half years. (University of Michigan Survey) The survey also asks about job losses — those reports fell by half compared to year ago. But “consumer sentiment” is about current conditions. Consumer expectations were up less than expected. Respondents expect unemployment will continue to suck.

KB Home, fifth-largest U.S. homebuilder, suffered a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. Orders tumbled 23 percent. As I write this, its stock is in the unfinished basement.

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