Wednesday's Personal Finance Stories
- Kiss these 10 once-popular home features goodbye
- New bank fees to watch for in 2012
- Boehner sees payroll-tax vote ‘this week'
Check out our slide show on 10 home features that used to be all the rage but are now on the wane.
Also, don't miss Jennifer Openshaw's column on new bank fees to watch for in 2012.
— Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor
The 500,000 or so new single-family homes expected to be built this year are going to include more practical and value-conscious features and less wish-list items. Check out the least-likely features that builders will include in their 2012 homes.
Kiss these 10 once-popular home features goodbye (slide show).
If you thought 2011 was bad in terms of new bank fees, you should steel yourself for the changes coming this year.
New bank fees to watch for in 2012.
The top House Republican expects the lower chamber of Congress to vote shortly on extending a payroll-tax cut through the end of 2012.
Boehner sees payroll-tax vote ‘this week.'
GOP lawmakers take issue with a new consumer watchdog bureau's budget, arguing that it is unaccountable and a "recipe for disaster" because it is funded without the control of congressional appropriations.
Republicans: CFPB's funding ‘recipe for disaster.'
Home-builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes climbs in February for the fifth straight month to reach the highest level in more than four years.
February builder sentiment rises for fifth month.
It's a flat January for industrial production, but December's increase is revised much higher. The Federal Reserve's latest data indicate manufacturing continues a moderate pace of expansion.
Manufacturers boost production in January.
The New York Fed's Empire State index rose to 19.5 in February, its highest level since June 2010. Economists said manufacturing enters 2012 in solid shape.
New York factory activity improves in February.
The following are excerpts from the Jan. 24 to 25 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee that were released Wednesday:
Excerpts from Fed minutes.
The man expected to be China's next leader pressed the United States on Wednesday for a relationship based on "mutual respect and mutual benefit," wrapping up a visit to Washington that included meetings with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Xi seeks ‘mutual respect' between China, U.S.
The euro-zone economy shrinks 0.3% in the final quarter of 2011, but deepening recessions on the periphery are partly offset by a resilient France, while Germany shrinks less than expected as economists see the region potentially dodging a deep recession.
Euro-zone GDP shrinks, cushioned by France.
Greek politicians rush to meet demands from European partners ahead of a conference call of euro-zone finance ministers in a long-pending bid to secure a financial bailout.
Greece struggles to meet EU demands.
There are plenty of good places to invest in Europe right now — you just need to hunt for countries with low debt levels, says columnist Matthew Lynn.
Invest in the European countries with low debt.
The game of hot potato has ended: It's Kellogg Co. (K) that's going to buy Pringles — a deal that should prove satisfying for all parties.
Pringles finds a home.
Sound Advice charges ahead, despite its misgivings about real estate.
Residential real estate not rebounding.
Jonathan Schwartz, the former chief of Sun Microsystems, has a new start-up to help those taking care of sick or elderly family members. CareZone combines positive aspects of social media, but without its privacy pitfalls.
Former Sun Micro CEO's next act.