Just as solar and wind technology takes off, the credit crunch comes along and pours ice water all over it. That's the gist of a New York Times article. Sales are slumping, banks are cutting back on funding and factories are laying off staff. "I thought if there was any industry that was bulletproof, it was that industry," said Rich Mattern, the mayor of West Fargo, N.D., where a local plant produces towers for wind turbines. The article goes on to document what is going wrong. Solar and wind companies are hoping Obama's stimulus package revives funding and restores growth. Let's hope.
Good news is tough to come by in the housing market these days. Bloomberg.com reports a record 19 million homes stood vacant at the end of 2008. The wave of foreclosures is whittling away home prices, which is good news for potential buyers, and prompting government leaders to look for solutions. According to the article, the Obama administration is "considering government guarantees for home loans modified by their servicers." Details are still being worked out. All in all, it's pretty bleak out there but don't let it distract you from improving your home and fixing problems as they come up. If you are facing foreclosure, read our article about how the process works and how to avoid foreclosure.