Direction: In the following questions, you have a passage with 5 questions. Read the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question, out of the four alternatives.
Leela has been working in my office for many years. She sweeps, dusts and mops. She does her work quietly and takes on any extra work without any complaints. Since she was always so quiet and 1 was usually very busy. 1 did not know much about her personal life, apart from the fact that her husband had deserted her and she was bringing up three daughters single-handedly. One day, she came in to clean my office and after doing her work, stood hesitantly in front of me. It was such an uncharacteristic thing for her to do, that I was surprised. Slowly, she brought out a soiled bundle and put it in front of me. Then she said in a low voice, ‘Madam, can you lend me twenty thousand rupees ?’ I was still puzzled and asked. “What happened Leela? Why do you suddenly need so much money ?’ She replied, ‘My youngest daughter wants to join college and I need money for that.’ While she was explaining I opened the cloth bundle. Inside there was a pair of worn out gold bangles. ‘Why are you giving this to me Leela? I asked. ‘These are the only assets I have. I will do anything to see my daughter study further. She is very bright. She wants to become an engineer’.
SOME IMPORTANT WORDS
(1) takes on (Phr.V.) : to agree to be responsible for something/ somebody
(2) deserted (V.) : to leave somebody without help/ support
(3) bring up (Phr.V.) : to care for a child ; upbringing
(4) hesitantly (Adv.) : in a way that is slow because you feel uncertain, embarrassed/unwilling
(5) soiled (Adj.) : dirty ; unclean
(6) assets (N.) : property, goods/money owned by an individual/firm
Direction: In the following questions, read the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives.
Both borrowers and lenders in the sub-prime mortgage market are wishing they had listened to the old sayings: neither a borrower nor a lender be. Last year people with poor credit ratings borrowed $ 605 billion in mortgages, a figure that is about 20% of the home-loan market. It includes people who cannot afford to meet the mortgage payments on expensive home they have bought, and low-income buyers. In some cases, the latter could not even meet the first payment. Lenders include banks like HSBC, which may have lost almost $ 7 billion. Both sides can be blamed. Lenders, after the 2-3 percentage point premium they could charge, offered loans, known as ‘liar loans’, with no down payments and without any income verification of people with bad credit histories. They believed that rising house prices would cover them in the event of default. Borrowers ignored the fact that interest rates would rise after an initial period. One result is that ‘default rates on these sub-prime mortgages reached 14% last year-a record. The problems in this market also threaten to spread to the rest of the mortgage market, which would reduce the flow of credit available to the shrinking numbers of consumers still interested in buying property. So, the housing market will remain weak; borrowers with weak credit histories will find the credit window closed; people with adjustable-rate mortgages will have to spend less so they can meet their increased payments; tighter lending standards and falling home prices will reduce consumer’s ability to tap the equity in their homes. But as long as the labour market remains strong, which it has done despite job losses in housing-related industries, and as long as real incomes continue to go up, consumers might complain, but they are unlikely to go on a buyers’ strike on a scale that will make this slowdown become a recession. Therefore, we should not be too worried, but, at the same time, we should be a bit cautious and watch closely how things develop.