There were $159.1 billion in auto loans created during the third quarter, the second-highest ever recorded -- topped only by the $159.7 billion from the third quarter of 2005. Low interest rates and higher-priced cars are helping drive the increase, with auto debt now accounting for 10% of household debt, versus 6% a decade ago.
US Secret Service special agent Alan Ottarson said that all cybercrimes, regardless of how big or small, should be reported to the government. Although every case can't be pursued, any information, including email addresses or websites, can help, Ottarson said.
Rising levels of deposits are helping banks cope with the low interest rate environment, writes Telis Demos. There also are more costs that banks can cut, notably interest-bearing deposit costs, which is further supporting optimism for banks, Demos writes.
The month of October -- the first of fiscal 2020 -- came in with a $134 billion deficit for the federal government, a 34% year-over-year increase, said the Treasury Department. The federal deficit is expected to hit $1 trillion this fiscal year for the first time since 2012, the department said.
The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly looking into possible antitrust violations by Mastercard and Visa. The probe centers on how debit card transactions are routed and whether or not the two card companies are prohibiting merchants from routing them to other debit networks.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 would open the door to small business providing the retirement plans they need to order to attract and retain the best workers, according to Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio. "On behalf of small business owners and the millions of workers they support, I urge the Senate to make passage of the SECURE Act a priority," he writes.
Morningstar Investment Management head of retirement research David Blanchett said that limiting an investor's options regarding 401(k) funds and investments is a "rule based on an old-fashioned [line of thinking]." Research conducted by Blanchett and The American College of Financial Services's Michael Finke suggest increasing investment funds in a 401(k) from 10 to 30 can boost total risk-adjusted returns by 10 basis points.
Home foreclosures for the month of October were up 13% month-over-month, but were down 17% year-over-year, where "lenders may be pushing filings through the pipeline before the holiday season," said Todd Teta of ATTOM Data Solutions. In other news, mortgage applications were up 9.6% for the week ended Nov. 8 -- the highest in a month.
Community Reinvestment Act reform that is issued jointly between the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is "better for everyone," but "we haven't quite gotten there yet," said Fed Chair Jerome Powell in testimony to the Joint Economic Committee. Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting and FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams have indicated their agencies would release their own proposals if a joint agreement can't be reached.
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