Andrew Rosenkranz says at least two or three times a week, he finds himself sitting across from an employee at his market research firm near Seattle, listening to some complicated personal problem.
Just last week, an employee described how her daughter and baby granddaughter were assaulted by a boyfriend. The daughter wanted to come back to Washington state but didn't have money for a plane ticket. And so, Rosenkranz says, the employee "was coming to ask, 'Hey, is there anything you can do to help us here?' "
A recent spike in mortgage rates has created a new predicament for potential homebuyers: Forge ahead and try to lock in now? Or hold off?
Dhruv Gupta was quoted a 3.5 percent rate in May while searching for a place to buy in the San Francisco area. Less than two months later, he's looking at 5.2 percent for the same loan. But this trend has not deterred Gupta.
"It's a fact of life," he says. "I mean I can't control them, so what do you do?"
The lending rate between Chinese banks spiked dramatically on Thursday, creating a credit crunch. Renee Montagne talks to NPR Shanghai correspondent Frank Langfitt about the turbulence in China's banking system, and how authorities in Beijing are responding.
The Federal Reserve will continue its program of purchasing $85 billion in securities and will leave the target interest rate for federal funds untouched to support the U.S. economy, the U.S. central bank said in a policy update issued Wednesday afternoon.
Here's a summary of the state of the U.S. economy from the Fed, which concluded two days of meetings today: