Friday, April 27, 2012

Costco Moves Into Home Finance

Costco has added another segment to their business. They are now offering home mortgages.

The company has been testing the program over the last year, and issued over 10,000 mortgages in that time.

Costco's new plan is to aggressively market them to all of their sixty-six million members. 

Home prices are at new lows in most of the country, and it is now cheaper to buy a home than rent one.

Yet at the same time, the foreclosure rate is going back up.

Costco is also looking into offering auto and student loans.

US Withdrawing 9,000 Marines from Okinawa

The United States and Japan have agreed upon a deal that would see 9,000 US Marines withdraw from Okinawa. The move will cut the US presence, on Okinawa, almost in half.

Around 5,000 of the troops will be re stationed on Guam. About 2,700 will be sent to Hawaii. The rest will be spread out amongst other US bases around the Pacific.

US Marines on Okinawa have been the cause of several diplomatic incidents over the years. This move is expected to help to ease tensions between the local populace and the troops.

Okinawa has been occupied by the US since near the end of WWII, when US forces captured it from Japan. Japan was given the islands back in 1979, but the troops remained to fend off the Communist threat.

The troop relocation will cost an estimated $8.6 billion. Japan has agreed to pay for $3.1 billion of that. As Marines leave the island, the land they vacate will be turned over to the Japanese government.

Remembering: The Tea Act

April 27, 1773 the British Parliament passes the Tea Act in an effort to save the East India company from bankruptcy.

The British Prime Minister Lord North, ignored the possibility that the colonists would protest the taxation.

But to the colonists it was further proof of  the tyranny they were facing. The colonists, however, felt differently.

When the first British ships carrying tea under the new tax, reached Boston harbor, the colonists demanded they return to England. Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to have them sent back.

On December 16, 1773, Samuel Adams and around sixty other members of the Sons of Liberty boarded the ships disguised as Mohawk Indians and dumped the tea into the harbor.

The British responded by passing the Coercive Acts, known by the colonists as the Intolerable Acts. The acts closed Boston harbor to trade, put Massachusetts under martial law, set British officials above the law in America, and required colonists to house British troops. The colonists responded to those by forming the First Continental Congress.