Car shoppers caught up in the frenzy of the “cash-for-clunkers” program now have more time and a $2 billion reason to trade in their old gas guzzlers. President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a measure tripling the budget of the $1 billion incentive program that has drawn big crowds to formerly deserted showrooms. The Senate on Thursday passed the legislation extending the two-week-old program into Labor Day and preventing it from running out of money. “Now more American consumers will have the chance to purchase newer, more fuel-efficient cars and the American economy will continue to get a much-needed boost,” Obama said in a statement.
Consumers lower their credit debt
Consumers paid down their credit cards and cut other debt in June for the fifth straight month as they rebuild savings battered by the recession. Outstanding U.S. consumer debt fell by $10.3 billion, or 4.9 percent at an annual rate, to $2.5 trillion, the Federal Reserve said. That’s a much steeper cut than the $4.7 billion analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters. June’s reduction follows a 2.6 percent cut in May and a steep 8.2 percent drop in April, when consumers reduced their borrowing by $17.4 billion. That was the most in dollar terms on records dating back to 1943. Widespread job losses, declining home values and reduced stock portfolios have spurred Americans to spend less and save more.
Delta Air Lines to cut management
Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s biggest airline operator, is planning to cut more management and administrative jobs, but it isn’t saying how many, according to a recorded message and a memo from top executives. Chief Executive Richard Anderson said in a recorded message to employees Thursday that Delta has seen its revenue stream decline by billions of dollars because of the weak economy and the drop-off in demand for air travel. Atlanta-based Delta is cutting more capacity and has previously hinted that more frontline employee positions may have to be cut. Anderson said Delta needs to be more aggressive at saving money in its administrative and management budgets.
Paris is today’s Google photo-op
Parisians and tourists, relax. That goofy-looking tricycle equipped with loads of high-tech equipment roaming the streets is not some mad scientist’s invention on the rampage. The three-wheeler is quite a sight with its long pole holding nine cameras, a GPS, a computer and a generator. But the contraption tooling around the French capital needs all that gear to do its job — adding three-dimensional images to Google’s Street View Maps. The U.S. company has hired two young cyclists to ride through gardens, historical sites and other pedestrian-only areas to take thousands of photos.
From Herald news services