Finance

3:01am

Mon January 30, 2012
Your Money

Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:53 am

One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

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10:01pm

Thu January 19, 2012
Your Money

How Property Taxes Climb, Even If Home Value Drops

Shaker Heights in Cleveland has some of the highest property tax rates in the state (roughly $3,700 per $100,000 of assessed home value).
Brian Bull WCPN

Millions of homeowners are finding out that their property taxes are either holding steady or climbing, even as their house may be worth much less. There may not be much they can do about it.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's fiscal officer, Wade Steen, has been taking many calls from unhappy homeowners. He says they most often live in a community where voters passed a recent levy. That's a property tax measure that boosts funding for things such as schools and libraries.

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9:59am

Thu January 19, 2012
Planet Money

Carried Interest: Why Mitt Romney's Tax Rate Is 15 Percent

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:15 pm

As you know by now, Mitt Romney's tax rate is somewhere near 15 percent — well below the 35 percent income tax rate for the highest earners.

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8:55am

Thu January 19, 2012
Politics

Q&A: Why Such A Low Tax Rate For Romney?

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 8:16 pm

iStockphoto.com

Mitt Romney's tax returns and the tax rate he paid on his income have been hot issues in the recent Republican primaries.

"What's the effective rate that I've been paying? It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything because my last 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments," the GOP front-runner recently told reporters.

So why does a multimillionaire pay just 15 percent on his income? After all, the top income tax rate is 35 percent and many middle-class people pay over 20 percent.

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5:28am

Thu January 19, 2012
Business

So, Um, What Is A Private Equity Firm?

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:57 pm

Before entering politics in the 1990s, Romney co-founded Bain Capital, one of the nation's largest and most profitable private equity funds.
David L. Ryan Boston Globe via Getty Images

In the run-up to Saturday's GOP presidential primary in South Carolina, candidates have clashed over the role of Bain Capital — a firm that either creates or kills jobs, depending upon whom you believe.

Front-runner Mitt Romney sees the bright side. Before entering politics in the 1990s, he co-founded Boston-based Bain Capital, one of the nation's largest and most profitable private equity funds. He has said he created 100,000 jobs while at Bain.

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