Foreclosures are tough: Homeowners lose their houses and ruin their credit, while banks get stuck with vacant, deteriorating real estate for months before selling it at a considerable loss. Increasingly, banks are finding another way: the short sale. Instead of waiting to foreclose, a bank preemptively sells a home at a deep discount and closes out the underwater mortgage, even if the house sells for less than the value of the mortgage. The result: Homeowners shed their mortgage debt, and banks unload properties more quickly and inexpensively. Here are the Top 10 metropolitan areas with the biggest average discounts on these pre-foreclosure homes, according to online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac. Can you guess which city is No. 1?
The United States remains No. 1, but other countries, notably in Asia, are rising fast. Many countries, too, are sweetening tax incentives to lure video game developers in their quest to create jobs. Here are the top 5 video game markets for 2010, as outlined in a 2011 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the big accounting and consulting firm.
Many around the world say American decline would preserve global stability through a better balance of power. They’re wrong, says Steve Yetiv, a political science professor at Old Dominion University. It’s not that other countries or international institutions can’t play vital roles. They do. But they can't yet do what Washington does around the world, Yetiv says. Here he gives six examples.