HUD pays a fortune in false claims. The government’s Preforeclosure Sale Program was meant to help struggling homeowners facing foreclosure. But an audit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development says that the government may have paid as much as $1.06 billion in bogus claims. Of 80 randomly selected claims, six homeowners who received government assistance faced “no unavoidable financial hardship,” the audit found. Many had enough savings to make several months of mortgage payments. Investigators have called for HUD to strengthen its controls over the program. Right; let’s put a good lock on that barn door, fellows.
A lot more paper than gold. Here’s a statistic that gave me pause. The Federal Reserve creates about 55 million more dollars every hour, 24 hours a day. But all of the gold mines in the world extract only $15 million of gold from the earth in an hour. U.S. production is a fraction of that, amounting to only $2 million worth of gold per hour. In other words, Ben Bernanke creates what passes as “money” 27 times faster than all of the gold mines in this country. Gee, which do you think will be worth more down the road?
Those models are too tan. In Sweden, fashion retailer H&M has been fined because the models it used in advertising some of its bikinis were too tan. “It is commonly known that an excessive exposure of the skin to the sun’s harmful radiation is dangerous and could lead to skin cancer,” the complaint said. H&M promptly apologized and said in an email: “We have taken note of the views and will continue to discuss this internally ahead of future campaigns.”