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Report: Treasury Failed to Plan TARP Exit Strategy for Ally

A taxpayer watchdog agency accused Treasury of lacking a concrete plan to help Ally pay back taxpayers and move toward financial stability. Although Treasury made three investments into Ally, totaling $17.2 billion, the report says Treasury never required the company to "spell out a plan" to address issues surrounding Residential Capital, Ally's mortgage arm that caused most of the company's losses.

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CFPB Announces Acting Deputy Director as Date Departs

CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Steve Antonakes will serve as acting deputy director while the agency continues searching for a replacement for departing deputy director Raj Date. CFPB announced in November that Date would depart at the end of January 2013.

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Personal Income Jumps With Fiscal Cliff Dividends

Personal income jumped a staggering 2.6 percent in December, almost four times the 0.7 increase economists forecast, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday. Part of the December increase, BEA said, was due to "accelerated bonus payments and other irregular pay in private wages in anticipation of changes in individual income tax rates." Personal consumption spending rose 0.2 percent, slightly below the expected 0.3 percent increase. The increase in personal spending--$22.6 billion --came primarily in spending on services.

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Volatile First-Time Jobless Claims Jump Back Up

Unemployment

First-time claims for unemployment insurance jumped 38,000 to 368,000 for the week ending January 26, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected a smaller increase to 350,000 from the prior week's 330,000 initial claims. The weekly jump in initial claims was the first in three weeks. It reflected, in part, a drop in the seasonal adjustment factor the Labor Department applies to the raw data, which includes holiday workers whose jobs were eliminated.

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FHA Announces Imminent Reforms to Rebuild Capital

Federal Housing Administration commissioner Carol Galante announced Wednesday a series of changes to be issued this week that will allow the agency to better manage risk and strengthen its anemic Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund. The announced changes include consolidating FHA's reverse mortgage program, raising of mortgage insurance premiums, and requiring borrowers to continue paying annual insurance premiums for the entire life of their mortgage loans.

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