March 27, 2008

BUBBLETALK - open thread to talk about the housing bubble and crash and ongoing mortgage meltdown

Chatter away


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Anonymous said...


One crazy man out of the race. Another one left.

WASHINGTON (AP) - GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is hinting to supporters that he is ending his long-shot campaign for the presidency.

The Texas Republican congressman addressed supporters in a 7 1/2- minute video on his campaign Web site Thursday night and did not specifically say he was quitting the race.

He said that although victory in the conventional political sense is not available in the presidential race, many victories have been achieved due to the hard work and enthusiasm of his supporters.

He said that he hoped that one day he and his supporters could look back and say his campaign was a significant first step that signaled a change in direction for the country.

Paul said their job now was to plan for the next phase of their effort.

edd browne said...

edd said:
"… I suggested that our general
economic stress was compounded
by poor education and
continuing overconfidence.
What did I miss ? ...
Inflation higher than Fed stats ?
Declining real incomes ?
Dying USD ?
Huge trade deficits ?
Huge budget deficits ?
Crime/incarceration costs ?
Lack of preventive health ?
Predatory/casino economy ?
Purchased governments ?
Savings disincentives ?
Endless boosterism ?
Weak litigation systems ?
Erosion of responsibility ?
Pumped & levered markets?
Passivity/self-indulgence ?
Corrosive pop culture ?
Lack of community ?
Ignorance of history ?
Fear of things technical ? "
*** *** *** *** ***

So edd, what is your problem ?
Just tend your knitting, and
hang on for the slide.

Peahippo said...

That song by the Vapors, called "I'm Turning Japanese", continues to run through my mind unbidden, as I watch the unfolding of the largest asset-speculation bubble that has ever occurred to Humanity. The USA alone is in for a period of asset-deflation and -stagnation that will exceed Japan's. And that is purely due to the extensive meddling that the government is willing to indulge in, given this election year. There's still too much time before the election, which will allow serious bailouts and market-fixing to be conducted. Prices in the USA for houses and condos can't rise on average until 2013 at the least ... but it seem that every time Bernanke opens his mouth, that time gets extended by 6 months.

How far will we turn Japanese? Bernanke, Paulson, the President and the Congress can put measures into place that can extend the deflate/stagnate period to 2020.

edd browne said...

Larry Kudlow undermines the
credibility of CNBC, at a time
when the lack of credibility
is ruining the economy.

He should be retired to Tibet
with an ankle bracelet, a
mirror, and and echo chamber.

Anonymous said...

Paul is the only sane honest man in this race.

Anonymous said...

Larry Kudlow undermines the
credibility of CNBC, at a time
when the lack of credibility
is ruining the economy.

He should be retired to Tibet
with an ankle bracelet, a
mirror, and and echo chamber.


Yeah, I've been saying Kudlow is a shameless, horrific Bush administration shill for years.

Anonymous said...

Kudlow is one of the biggest POS on a financial news program. Dow getting it's azz handed to it. Humanoids 401k's follow.

bradinsb said...

The only way to solve the problem with housing is to LOWER PRICES

Anonymous said...

The Ron Paul run for president is over. It's a shame, because he stands for what's good for this country, what it was founded upon.

We won't be seeing his kind again, maybe not ever.

edd browne said...

Ambac leader says that their
capital drain will not exceed
12b, worst case.

Am I missing something ?

Anonymous said...

australia says they need construction workers. hey keith, maybe we can send them all of our unemployed wetbacks...ha ha ha...

Anonymous said...

Kudlow lives in a multi-million dollar upper east side apartment. You live in a shithole 1 bed 1 bath basement apartment.

Yeah he's a real loser. And you are all real winners.

Anonymous said...

Sighted in Fort Lauderdale near Galt Ocean Mile, a storefront mortgage office with a neon 24 hours sign. WTF?

GF50 said...

The way the current Cuoumo Fannie deal is set up "homeowner protection" is the last thing it will ensure. It will ensure worse appraisers due to the proliferation of the AMC. Appraisal Management Companies. The hidden cash cow, err strong arm bank middle man are now going to be required. If your home is appraised after next year it will be done by someone who is the lowest of the low. Good appraisers are moving out of residential mortgage work all together, it is simply not possible to meet a 24 hour turntime which is a common AMC practice. Any appraisal done in 24 hours must cut corners or rush to an opinion, its the worst possible thing to have an appraiser do and this deal requires it, indirectly. If the deal gets done it will one day be understood as the gas we threw onto fire. It will allow banks to screw people more and destroy any honest appraisers left

Anonymous said...

One big mistake giant corporations are making today is believing the communist Chinese masses are going to want to buy McDonald's, Hummers, Cartier, or otherwise embrace the gluttonous consumer lifestyle the west "enjoys".

Case in point: Disneyland-Hong Kong is a miserable failure....

Instead they are going to continue to save, loan money to the US, build up their military, build up their IC manufacturing infrastructure, hack our computer systems, invade Taiwan, and dominate the globe within this century...

You all hate Bush-Cheney? Well I hope you like Mao better...suck up your "cultural revolution" my friends......

edd browne said...

Anon ...12:04 AM ...
"Kudlow lives in a multi-million
dollar upper east side apartment."

GWB has lived in the White House
seven years. Winner, I guess.

Bernie Evers has a big lease at
the Big House. Winner, I guess.

Pastor Hagee's on the stairway
to Heaven. Bigtime winner.

I'll stay at my nice bridge; good
friends; we're diggin an outhouse; it'll be great; and the rent's right.

Anonymous said...


Countrywide under FBI investigation for fraudulent lending and reporting.

Anonymous said...


"People think the market is down and the market will still go down. That's not the truth. The market is down, but it's not going down anymore," said John Tuccillo, former chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

Anonymous said...

In case you haven't heard, the Ruling Elite of the World have a new motto for the rest of us:

"Now is a great time to die!"

Anonymous said...

The lenders created this problem, so let them suffer the consequences. No governmental monetary bailout. Instead, where it is determined that the homeowner was bamboozled, the lender should be forced to reduce the interest rate and extend the term so that the monthly mortgage payment is within the homeowners' budget. The total amount of interest, should the mortgage go to term, should not exceed the total amount of the original mortgage interest. This plan allows the homeowner to keep his home, and forces the lender to accept a lesser inerest rate.

Anonymous said...

Only 10% of the general population has an I.Q. score over 120.
HP and RP supporters have been vindicated already. The Fed has been discredited. It is with pride (and sadness)that I will display my Ron Paul bumper sticker for years.

Anonymous said...

Murray Sabrin is endorsed by Ron Paul and is running for US Senate:

Anonymous said...

I agree Ron Paul has a wealth of knowledge and knows what the F he is talking about when it comes to the Economy, but I believe the problem is in his delivery.

He needs to learn better public speaking skills!! He just blurts out all his ideas, run-on after run-on, and comes off like kind of nut, because he gets off the path too much!

That said, he does have excellent points...just needs to learn how to have more of an impact with them. Learn the art of the pause, and setting up your rival to trip up royally by the way you frame your questions...that sort of thing.

Just my 2 cents.....

Anonymous said...

Easy come, easy go?

Most mortgages are "non-recourse" loans, which means lenders can only repossess the home -- they have no further claim on the borrower's wages or other assets.

The housing crisis has come to this: just walking away. As home values sink, people are abandoning homes, viewing their ownership as hopeless or worthless.

"They can't refinance, because they don't have any equity," said Rick Sharga, vice president of foreclosure watcher RealtyTrac, "and they can't sell, because values have dropped."

Some who can't make payments or who need to relocate just leave, unsaddling themselves from the cost of maintaining their home. They may become renters before their credit is ruined by foreclosure, or just move in with relatives.

A lot of these current losses have been coming out of California

Walkaways aren't new. They happened amid the early-1990s swoon of prices in overheated markets such as Southern California.

But back then, foreclosures typically arose amid unforeseen changes in the economic condition of the borrowers, says Charles Dannis, president of Dallas real estate valuation firm Crosson Dannis.

"This time we don't have that true economic change in the borrower's condition," said Dannis, who also teaches real estate at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business. "You have a collapse of a housing market that most people really attribute to speculation, or because people are buying more house than they can afford because of the various exotic mortgage products out there."

Anonymous said...

“Too much money, chasing too few commodities,” might be the best way to explain the historic rally that has lifted the Dow Jones AIG Commodity Index into the stratosphere. Central bankers in 18 of the top-20 economies in the world have been expanding their money supplies at double digit rates for the past several years, trying to prevent their currencies from rising too quickly against the terminally ill US dollar.

In response, fund managers have turned to commodities, as a hedge against the explosive growth of the world’s money supply, competitive currency devaluations, escalating inflation, and the negative interest rates engineered by central banks. To the chagrin of central bankers, much of explosive money supply growth is flowing into the commodities markets, and elevating inflation rates to multi-decade highs.

The Federal Reserve is the chief culprit behind the explosion in global commodity prices, slashing its federal funds rate at a frenzied pace, to arrest a year long slide in US home prices, which if left unchecked, threatens to topple the US economy into a severe recession.

Anonymous said...

Which is a safer choice for my 401K $?

The "stable value fund"

or Pimco Total Return (PTRAX)?

Anonymous said...

Totally Uncharted Waters

It's never been the case that so many financial markets are so seriously troubled and not operating smoothly or, in some cases, at all.

Subprime mortgages and part of the prime mortgage market are AWOL. Collateralized debt obligations and collateralized loan obligations, portfolios of mortgage-backed bonds and leveraged corporate loans are shunned like lepers.

Structured investment vehicles await more drastic write-downs. The municipal bond market suffers. Plain, "vanilla" corporate loans are challenged. Over $300 billion in auction-rate notes have no liquidity.

The reality was underscored during Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony several days ago, when Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., asked him, "How can you mark to market when there is no market?"

And Bernanke admitted he didn't know how to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Kudlow uses hard narcotics.

Don't most winners?

Anonymous said...

FBI begins criminal inquiry into Countrywide: paper
March 8, 2008 9:05 PM ET

Here you go Keith someone you have wanted for sometime now.

Burn Baby Burn

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The FBI has begun a criminal inquiry into the largest U.S. mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial Corp , for suspected securities fraud as part of investigations into the mortgage crisis, The New York Times reported in Sunday editions.
Citing unnamed government officials with knowledge of the case, the Times said the investigation into whether Countrywide misrepresented its financial condition and the soundness of its loans in securities filings was at an early stage and it was not clear if any charges would result.
A Countrywide spokeswoman, Susan Martin, told the newspaper that "we are not aware of any such investigation." The probe was first reported on Saturday in The Wall Street Journal.
The Countrywide inquiry follows a broader investigation by the FBI into 14 companies as part of a review of the practices of the mortgage industry, the Times said.
Investigators had been looking at possible accounting fraud or insider trading connected to loans made to borrowers with subprime credit, the Times said.
Countrywide already faces federal and state investigations of its lending practices, as well as several lawsuits by investors and mortgage holders.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting about three dozen civil investigations into how subprime loans were made and how securities were valued, the Times said.
State investigations include one by the Illinois attorney general, who earlier this month subpoenaed units of Countrywide Financial and Wells Fargo & Co in a probe of whether the companies violated federal lending and civil rights laws by steering minority borrowers into more expensive loans.
In that probe, Countrywide said it would fully cooperate with authorities.
Countrywide, drowning in a pool of bad home loans, is in the process of being acquired by Bank of America for about $4 billion. It reported a loss of about $422 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.
(Reporting by Christine Kearney; editing by Todd Eastham)

Anonymous said...

PELOTON FUNDS CALLS BOTTOM....and betted billions on it....
Oooops, maybe a tad bit too early, ya think?

Peloton Partners first made big bucks betting against subprime (similar to Goldman Sachs, founders are alum after all), but then about-faced, betting we were starting a rebound after the Fed cuts....
Whooopsi! Sorry about that $2B I lost.....

This is a week old but still juicy.

Anonymous said...

China's inflation likely hit a new 11-year high of 8.3 per cent last month on the back of soaring food prices, state media said Sunday, citing research from Bank of China.

January's inflation of 7.1 per cent was already the highest since September 1996.

The bank, China's second largest lender, said in its report that February's spike in the consumer price index was fuelled mainly by food, which rose more than 22 per cent from a year earlier, according to Xinhua.

"Making things worse... when people expect prices to keep rising, they will spend more to avoid those future rises, which in turn will push prices up," Xinhua said, quoting the bank.

China's inflation is seen as triggered mainly by the relative scarcity of basic commodities, leaving economic policy-makers with a dilemma when opting for the right response, according to observers.

Anonymous said...

At 5.02%, inflation is beginning to be a worry

Wholesale price-based inflation raced past RBI’s tolerance level to scale a 10-month high of 5.02% in the week ended February 23.

Inflation shot up sharply due to higher prices of food, textiles and machinery. Inflation was at 6.2% in the corresponding week last year. The continuing rise in inflation makes its difficult for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to reduce interest rates.

Anonymous said...

The Bank of England has held interest rates at 5.25pc on inflation fears

The Bank fears that a short-term spike in inflation caused by higher energy, food and import prices, will lift inflation expectations and therefore affect the medium-term behaviour of price and wage setters.

That, in turn, would limit the Bank's ability to cut interest rates as much as it would like in order to try to restrict the downside risks to growth.

Anonymous said...

ECB's Weber says weaker growth prospects don't dampen inflation pressures

Weaker growth prospects do not pose sufficient reason to expect a dampening of inflationary pressures in the foreseeable future,' he said.

He said the current inflationary outlook and the medium-term upside risks are the ECB's main concern.

The ECB governing council yesterday decided to keep its key interest rates unchanged.

Anonymous said...

As the U.S. dollar continues its spectacular nosedive, Israelis have rediscovered the bright greens, reds and purples of their own currency.

No longer the subject of derision or victim of hyperinflation, the shekel is now among the strongest currencies in the world. For the first time in years, businesses that once dealt only in dollars now are setting their rates to the shekel.

Anonymous said...

Is this early sign of Hyper-Inflation.

How much longer can UAE stay pegged to the US Dollar.

Food price inflation in the UAE could rise up to 40 per cent this year from the already high 27 per cent, a top official said.

"The inflation rate of food prices in the UAE was between 27 and 30 per cent in 2007, according to a survey concluded by Emirates Consumer Protection Society (ECPS). This figure can rise to 40 per cent in 2008, unless strong government intervention takes place by introducing a basket of efficient measures," Dr Jamal Al Saeidi, director of ECPS, said. He demanded increased government subsidies on fuel.

The UAE Union of Cooperative Societies had announced last year that its members will directly import goods, cancelling out the role of suppliers and relieving prices from some of the pressure.

Anonymous said...

Now it's getting serious. With each passing day, the dollar seems to set new lows and oil prices new highs. Both trends are important for the Gulf region. Both are inflationary. And now they may be propelling each other.

As the dollar declines, those concerned to maintain purchasing power internationally, in non-dollar terms, are looking for higher dollar commodity prices. Oil goes up as a result. Moreover, because it is not just a physical commodity, but a traded financial asset, that movement can be exaggerated by speculative behaviour, rather than underlying market supply and demand fundamentals.

As oil prices climb, they reverberate around the global economy, both in respect of inflation and economic growth. Although the stagflationary mechanisms of decades ago appear to have been broken by globalisation - so that neither does inflation rise so much nor growth fall so much - still at current levels there is bound to be some impact among importing countries.

And then, because the US economy is already weak, and the Fed has signalled - somewhat strangely - that it is more concerned to avoid recession than to deal with inflation, it is the depressive effect on the economy that resonates more. The markets then believe that the Fed will be even more inclined to lower interest rates. The dollar goes down as a result.

It's not difficult to work out that this is a vicious circle. Particularly for the United States, but also for the Gulf states, their economies and their policies.

Anonymous said...

Mexico's consumer prices rose more than economists expected in February because of higher costs for processed foods and housing.

Anonymous said...

Chile's peso climbed to its highest in a decade on speculation the central bank will raise its benchmark interest rate in a bid to slow inflation, luring money to the country's fixed-income market.

Peru cut tariffs on food imports and reduced taxes on fuel on Friday, the latest in a series of measures to curb inflation during a period of rapid economic growth and high prices for global commodities.

Anonymous said...

The head of South Korea's central bank warned on Friday chances have increased for local inflation for the whole of 2008 to exceed its previous forecast, causing local treasury bond futures prices to turn weaker.

The Bank of Korea froze its key lending rate at 5 percent Friday in an attempt to put the brakes on inflation.

Anonymous said...

Taiwan Central Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan said he will keep raising interest rates to beat inflation.

Taiwan's inflation probably accelerated for the first time in four months in February because of higher meat and vegetable prices.

Taiwan's central bank said on Friday it will take suitable steps to keep consumer prices steady, just two weeks before a rate-setting meeting that some analysts say may break a three-and-a-half year tightening cycle.

Anonymous said...

Vietnam plans to widen the dong's trading band to 2 percent, giving more scope for the currency to gain and slow the fastest inflation in more than 12 years.

Anonymous said...

Thousands of public-sector workers went on strike across Germany, shutting hospitals and causing travel chaos in a demand for higher pay that is fuelling inflation fears in Europe's biggest economy.

Anonymous said...

The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it was unclear what was fueling record oil prices, whether it was rising demand, speculative buying or a sharp fall in the dollar.

So why have Gulf states invited the International Monetary Fund and the European Union for an emergency meeting in Bahrain this month to discuss soaring inflation in the region and propose solutions to the issue when the IMF already said they don't know what was causing Inflation.

However, a senior International Monetary Fund official said Arabian Gulf states including Saudi Arabia and the UAE should keep their currencies pegged to the US dollar amid rising pressure for a change in policy as inflation crimps growth

Gulf states inflation probably has nothing to do with the Dollar pegged, and the real meaning of the US Dollar probably has nothing to do with "Unit Labor Work for a given product"

Anonymous said...

The UN agency Food and Agriculture Organisation has alerted six countries including India on dangerous wheat fungus, which is capable of wreaking havoc on wheat production by destroying entire fields. "Countries like Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, all major wheat producers, are the most threatened by the fungus and should be on high alert," FAO said on its website.

The deadly wheat fungus, also known as 'Ug 99', is a wind-borne transboundary pest. It was previously found in East Africa and Yemen and has now been detected in Iran, the UN agency said. FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division head Shivaji Pandey said, "The detection of the wheat rust fungus in Iran is very worrisome. The fungus is spreading rapidly and could seriously lower wheat production in countries at direct risk."

FAO has estimated that as much as 80 per cent of all wheat varieties planted in Asia and Africa are susceptible to the wheat stem rust (Puccinia graminis). The spores of wheat rust are mostly carried by wind over long distances and across continents. "Affected countries and the international community have to ensure that the spread of the disease gets under control in order to reduce the risk to countries that are already hit by high food prices," Pandey said.

The UN agency said the disease surveillance and wheat breeding is already underway to monitor the fungus and to develop Ug99 resistant varieties. However, more efforts are required to develop long term durable resistant varieties that can be made available to farmers in affected countries and countries at risk. Meanwhile, it urged countries to increase disease surveillance and intensify efforts to control the disease.

Anonymous said...

Wheat futures reached a new record high Wednesday as investors bet that tightening U.S. supplies and poor harvests around the globe will push grain prices higher — worsening food inflation.

Other agriculture commodities spiked on the rally, with soybean and corn futures both hitting records. Precious metals rose broadly, while energy futures fell.

Wheat prices have trekked relentlessly higher as global supplies have shrunk. Smaller-than-expected harvests around the world, due partly to dry weather, have left stockpiles depleted even as demand continues unabated. That’s brought an increasing number of foreign buyers to the U.S. market seeking dwindling supplies of milling-quality wheat used in bread, pasta and other foods.

U.S. wheat exporters have sold more than 15 million bushels a week in seven of the last 11 weeks, well above the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly target of about 1 million bushels a week.

“Today’s trade is all about wheat. There’s an extremely short supply of wheat of superior quality, and some end users will pay whatever it costs to get it,” said Jay Calhoun, analyst with Walsh Trading.

Anonymous said...

Droughts in Australia and strong foreign currencies are causing major headaches for Northeast Ohio bakers and pizzerias.

Withered crops down under and a weak American dollar have prompted a run on U.S. wheat the last two years, making flour an ever more precious commodity. Only now the staple is getting so expensive, it's threatening to derail entire businesses.

What's more, flour isn't all that's rising.

Thanks to increasing fuel costs, a host of other baking essentials - eggs, sugar, oil, shortening and nuts - are also getting costlier.

"It's killing us," said John Orlando, co-president of Orlando Baking Co., the Cleveland bread maker in operation since 1872.

"It's never been this bad. . . . This is the worst since World War II." The increases are indeed dramatic.

Anonymous said...

A move Wednesday by the Saudi Arabian government to raise its import subsidy for feed barley has prompted the Canadian Wheat Board to issue an unusual mid-month pool return outlook (PRO) reflecting higher prices.

The CWB's mid-March 2007-08 PRO, released Friday, raises No. 1 Canada Western Pool B feed barley to $275 per tonne, up from the February PRO of $252.

"In order to increase barley usage and conserve wheat-flour supplies, the Saudi government increased its import subsidy for barley by 71 per cent," the CWB wrote in its commentary.

Consumers in Saudi Arabia, well known as the world's biggest barley importer, "had been using wheat flour and other grains as substitutes for feed barley, but the government's subsidy increase should restore the demand for feed barley and increase the price in global markets."

Anonymous said...

The cost of borrowing euros for three months rose to the highest level in seven weeks, adding to evidence central bank attempts to ease a shortage of cash in the money markets are misfiring.

Anonymous said...

Reports: FBI Investigating Countrywide

The Associated Press - 2 hours ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal authorities are investigating Countrywide Financial Corp. for securities fraud, according to media reports. ...

Anonymous said...

keith, fbi is investigating CFC

Anonymous said...


Keep a real close eye on Gold this next week!


Anonymous said...

Reading the Sunday paper here in Las Cruces, NM this moring.

Exit Realty has a big two page advertisement which includes photos of all their used house salespeople.

There are 74 of them. Seventy-freaking-four!

Exit Realty is just one of the many, many outfits here in town selling used houses. How many people are "employed" in this way in a city of 75,000 people?

It's just crazy.

Anonymous said...

FBI is investigating Countryslide.

'bout time.

Anonymous said...

Homes built on old bombing range have the highest rate of foreclosures in the Orlando area.

Can you imagine the mercury poisoning for families and pets? 14 tons of munitions REMOVED after the neighborhood was developed.

This builder can kiss his a&& goodbye.

Anonymous said...

oddly i found an affordable place in sunny california this week in the forclosure notices, at a price half what i expectedn not so new york yet still more than double high

Anonymous said...

For Keith-personal-vendetta :

Finally Countrywide under FBI investigation !!!

Give him the chair, THE CHAIR :))

Anonymous said...

Trades union leaders are calling again for pay hikes to be brought into line with the rate of inflation for 2007, which has been pegged at 14 per cent.

President of the Guyana Public Service Union Patrick Yarde called the 2007 wage increase of nine per cent to public servants "ruthless and uncaring" in the context of the 14 per cent inflation rate.

Speaking to this newspaper, Yarde said that with the windfall from the VAT, the government should have no excuse for not paying increased wages and salaries in line with inflation.

He believes also that if voted provisions for wages and salaries increases had been evenly distributed, the government could have easily afforded to pay workers properly. He said the GPSU will be vigorously pursuing better wages for workers.

Consumer advocate Eileen Cox told this newspaper that it wasn't just the low-income workers who were finding it difficult to cope with the high inflation, but those in the middle-income bracket also.

Anonymous said...

Is commodity price-inflation a leading indicator of wage inflation.

One good thing about a little inflation it is an invisible tax.

In order for the Federal Reserve to preserve profit for the lenders and save the housing speculators they must continue to cut interest rate.

With falling interest rate comes higher commodity price, so unless people start asking for salary raises which is in line with cost of living, then the people will start paying the price to preserve the profits for the lenders and housing speculators.

The government's most recent reports have shown that spending is still technically on the rise, but not because consumers are buying more goods.

If not for the rising cost of necessities such as food, gasoline and health care, consumer spending would have been flat in January and December.

These climbing costs are a big reason Wall Street is skeptical that interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve — which meets again next week — are going to be enough to save the economy from recession.

If inflation cannot be controlled, Americans also facing sunken home prices will probably continue to have a hard time paying their bills.

Anonymous said...

A stronger Canadian dollar will mean higher crude oil prices.

A whopping 43,000 new jobs were created in February, stunning economists and creating a widening jobs gap with the United States that suggests Canada may be able to ride out a mild U.S. recession.

Statistics Canada said Friday the country's unemployment rate remained unchanged, at a 33-year low of 5.8 per cent.

"This is a good development. We have economic growth in all regions of the country and people are able to adjust to get new jobs," Flaherty said.

"Since Canada never had much of a subprime market, there was nothing to blow up (in Canada) in the first place," he pointed out.

"The best defence against recession in Canada is the consumer sector and with the job growth and some very nice wage gains to go along with it, there's still a lot of spending power in the hands of Canadians."

Pay gains also remained strong in February, with the average hourly wage up 4.9 per cent from a year earlier - more than double the rate of inflation.

Anonymous said...

Fiji’s inflation last month rose to 7.6 per cent, up from 7.4 per cent in January, latest figures from the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics show.

Higher prices were recorded in almost all categories including food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, housing, durable household goods, clothing and footwear, transport, services, miscellaneous.

The All Item Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February registered an increase of 1.5 per cent over January and now stands at 156.7.

The Reserve of Fiji had last month warned that Fiji’s inflation would rise even further in the coming months.

This was after the January inflation rose to 7.4 per cent, the highest since 1998.

Anonymous said...

Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co will raise beer prices and start processing its own barley this year, as it joins other Chinese food and beverage companies moving into upstream production processes to battle rising raw material costs.

Anonymous said...

Pizza and beer now cost an arm and a leg

Sure sign economy is headed for trouble: Even cheap eats are hard to find

If you’re looking for a sure sign the U.S. economy is headed in the wrong direction, all you need to do is look at the skyrocketing price of “recession-proof” foods: pizza, hot dogs, bagels and beer.

For many Americans, the credit crunch and the mortgage mess have left their pocketbooks – and their cupboards – bare. These same consumers, many living paycheck to paycheck, have relied on these cheaper foods to keep their expenditures down. Not anymore.

In the past few months, the news has gone from bad to worse:

Beer makers have been forced to raise their prices because of the skyrocketing price of hops – one of the principle ingredients.

The price of hops has gone from about $4 a pound in September to $40 a pound.

The price of barley, beer’s other main ingredient, has nearly doubled.

Anonymous said...

High commodity prices are hard to swallow

If you think that the reported inflation rate bears no relation to your day-to-day experience of rising prices, spare a thought for the embattled food and drink sector which is grappling with the fastest increases in its cost base for a generation.

Big brewers such as Scottish & Newcastle and Greene King are assuming price rises this year of 25 per cent for malted barley, 150 per cent for hops, 50 per cent for apples, 20 per cent for glass bottles and the same for aluminium cans.

Their input costs have already soared in the past three years - wheat by 123 per cent since 2004, hops by 294 per cent and barley by 182 per cent over the same period.

Anonymous said...

Agent Stabbed While Showing Bank Owned Home...

W.C. Varones said...

Greenspan's Body Count

Anonymous said...

Australian mortgage meltdown:

W.C. Varones said...

Oops, wrong link:

Anonymous said...

Some hedge funds are going to be collapsing and margin calls will be ordered.There positions will liquidated .Many of there positions are in the commodities markets.This is going to cause the bottom to fall out of these markets.The PPT is just going to stand back and watch this to happen -cause they only care about the stock market

Anonymous said...

Greenspans' body count. LOL. 4 dead, more fun to come.

Mammoth said...

"Food price inflation in the UAE could rise up to 40 per cent this year from the already high 27 per cent, a top official said."
Who cares about the UAE (United Arab Emirates)?

Let then try to drink Arab oil and derive their sustenance from it.

Anonymous said...

Ben! we need a Bernanke put! market down 90 point and dropping fast, heading below 11,800! hurry up ben!

Anonymous said...

Just got an email from an old friend and his lazy wife. They are trying to unload a baby grand piano for cash.

They purchased the piano in 2005 along with their absurdly expensive townhome in the middle of nowhere. The townhome is massively upside down right now, surrounded by empty lots and foreclosures.

They're obviously in a cash crunch as they're starting to liquidate the really stupid things. It's a nice piano. I enjoyed playing it when visiting their place, then sitting in their leather couches and watching their HDTV.

I look forward to sitting in the couches, watching that HDTV, and playing the piano from the comfort of my own home after I purchase these things from them for pennies.

Thanks, Alan!

Carioca Canuck said...

Politicians are such BS'ers......Canada has a huge subprime mortgage component, half the homes in my city were subprime mortgages year.....we just haven't had the trigger to start the defaults yet.

That trigger comes in 12-18 months when your recession finally hits us hard.

Anonymous said...

BREAKING!!! Fannie/Freddie on the brink of collapse! Govt to bail out 4 Trillion!!

I report, yew decide! (lol)

Anonymous said...

When the Vultures circle to roost....

"I look forward to sitting in the couches, watching that HDTV, and playing the piano from the comfort of my own home after I purchase these things from them for pennies.

Thanks, Alan!"

Anonymous said...

Just got an email from an old friend and his lazy wife. They are trying to unload a baby grand piano for cash.
What you forgot dear mentally retarded trailer trash renter is that you did indeed fornicate your old friends wife several times on top of that grand piano. You also forgot to mention that you had to put a bag over her head because she was so f*cking ugly and it slipped your mind that there are weight limits in trailer-park residences and that they do not support the weight of a motherf*cking baby grand piano. And I too am looking forward to watching you asinine imbecile sit on a thread-bare stinking sofa inside your decrepit 1BR shit-hole dreaming dreams of HDTVs and Grand Pianos. Hasn’t your mother told you that you can’t buy these things with spare change? You need more skills than collecting aluminum cans to participate in the good life. And now, get back under your bridge jackass!

Anonymous said...

Mammoth said...

"Food price inflation in the UAE could rise up to 40 per cent this year from the already high 27 per cent, a top official said."
Who cares about the UAE (United Arab Emirates)?

Let then try to drink Arab oil and derive their sustenance from it.

You will care about it after they convince OPEC to drop the dollar peg and you have to walk to Albertsons to buy food, except oh no, wait a minute, with the price of oil at $200 a barrel there won't be any food on the shelf either. No one can afford to ship food from Mexico and Guatemala to us anymore. Oh no. How did this happen? Oh no. The UAE is indirectly our Banker of First and Last Resort. They are buying our banks. What they do will directly affect you. Bet on it.

Anonymous said...

“The price of everything has just gone mad,” griped Zhou Qiongfang, a housekeeper, as she looked over slabs of raw pork at a wholesale market.

“At every meal, I eat less,” she added.

Heeding the chorus of complaints, China’s leaders pledged anew to stabilize prices and rein in inflation, which hit an 11-year high of 7.1 percent early this year. It marked the second straight day of such promises.

If China is unable to tame its rising prices, American consumers are likely to suffer. With the U.S. economy already dependent on a wide variety of goods -- from Nike shoes to vitamins -- that are made in China , the combination of China’s inflation and a weakening U.S. dollar certainly will jack up prices.

The battle against inflation “will be the No. 1 item on our agenda,” said Ma Kai , China’s top economic planner.

Other economic and banking officials said China would use a variety of economic tools -- including currency revaluation and interest-rate hikes -- to meet a target that Premier Wen Jiabao set a day earlier of pulling down inflation to 4.8 percent this year.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps UAE should start minting their own gold coins and using gold Dirham to transact business.

U.A.E. task force to study dirham's peg to dollar

The move might put pressure on other countries in the region to follow suit

The central bank of the U.A.E. has set up a committee to study a possible depegging of the dirham from the greenback, according to a report by Zawya Dow Jones on Monday.

This committee will help coordinate any delinking of the dirham and is expected to report its finding at the end of the year, the report said.

"This pegging system is undermined by the unsustainable combination of falling dollar and rising oil," said Ashraf Laidi, chief foreign exchange strategist at CMC Markets US.

"As long as the two go together, the GCC countries will find no choice but to reconsider their currency regimes," Laidi said. "The most likely outcome is to move toward a basket of currencies."

Crude-oil futures soared more than $3 a barrel on Monday to surpass $108 for the first time, before closing above $107 a barrel as the dollar remained weak against other currencies.

Anonymous said...

A Quick Look At The Credit Crisis

We are so fucked.

Anonymous said...

The yield on the 5-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS, note due April 2012 hovered Monday between negative 0.181 and negative 0.195 percent, according to Thomson Financial data. On March 1, the yield turned negative for the first time since the note was introduced by the Treasury Department in 1997 to create an investment vehicle that adjusts to inflation.

The yield was driven into negative territory by massive demand, as prices and yields move in opposite directions. Demand for TIPS notes has been exceptional following reports showing higher levels of consumer and producer price pressure and a commodities rally that has sent oil futures above $100 a barrel and put gold futures within striking distance of $1,000 an ounce. The commodities rally is widely expected to send inflation spiraling throughout the global economy.

"People want TIPS because they are convinced that inflation is going higher and they want to place bets on that," said Tom di Galoma, head of Treasurys trading at Jefferies & Co. The TIPS rally has extended to categories of investors who normally do not invest in inflation-adjusted assets, such as pension and international funds, he said.

Anonymous said...

An emergency interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve is possible ahead of its March 18th policy meeting, according to a Goldman Sachs research note on Monday.

Goldman said its view on Fed policy changed on Friday.

The government reported on Friday that a second straight month of job losses and the Fed announced new steps to inject liquidity into the financial system as credit availability remains tight.

Goldman said the Fed would drop the benchmark federal funds target rate to 2 percent by late April, most likely in two 50 basis-point steps at the next two meetings.

"We cannot rule out an intermeeting rate cut today," the Monday note said.

Anonymous said...

European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet said he's ``concerned'' about the euro's appreciation, intensifying his rhetoric after the currency climbed to a record against the dollar.

``We're concerned about excessive exchange-rate moves in the present circumstances,'' Trichet told reporters in Basel, Switzerland today.

It's the first time Trichet has specifically expressed worry about the currency since November, when he opposed ``brutal'' moves.

The euro fell as much as 0.3 percent after the comments before rebounding, as investors decided Trichet's ability to weaken the currency is limited.

The strongest European inflation in 14 years is preventing the ECB from cutting interest rates while the Federal Reserve is slashing borrowing costs to stave off a recession in the world's largest economy.

Anonymous said...

Shares of Bear Stearns Cos. tumbled to a 5-year low Monday, weighed by downgrades of Alt-A deals by Moody's Investors Service, as well as a negative comment on brokers in general from Bernstein Research.

The stock was down 9.9% at $63.12, the lowest price seen since March 2003. The stock has now lost 30% since the end of January.

Earlier, Moody's downgraded the ratings of 163 tranches from 15 deals issued by Bear Stearns ALT-A Trust, with 78 downgraded tranches remaining on review for possible further downgrades.

Moody's said the downgrades are based on "higher-than-anticipated rates of delinquency, foreclosure and [repossessed foreclosures] in the underlying collateral relative to credit enhancement levels."

Separately, Bernstein said it would not recommend buying broker stocks at this time as they are still susceptible to further book value reduction.

Anonymous said...

"If things keep going as they've been going, most of these borrowers will be underwater," Fannie Mae's Molly Boesel said at the Independent Community Bankers of America conference in Orlando, Fla.

Boesel said Alt-A loans could replace subprime loans as the biggest concern for housing market participants, probably in 2010. That's when around $70 billion negative amortization Alt-A adjustable-rate mortgages are scheduled to reset.

Alt-A loans are considered the next step up from subprime loans, typically offered to borrowers who are more creditworthy but who can't provide all the documentation necessary for a prime loan.

Boesel said there are numerous warning signs surrounding these loans, particularly the ones made in recent years. For those resetting in 2010, over 90% of the borrowers are already in a negative equity situation and the average loan balance for these mortgages is 5% higther than the balance of the original loan.

Anonymous said...

In the past decade the scale of bond and derivative trading has expanded enormously, as global banks have provided easy access to trading for hedge funds and other investors.

That source of cash has dried up as banks seek to protect their deteriorating balance sheets amid writedowns of impaired assets.

Now days Hedge fund fears are pushing up Libor rates.

In the US, three-month dollar Libor has fallen, but it still remains well above the expected Fed Funds rate, suggesting bankers view the outlook as extremely uncertain.

The collapse of Focus Capital, the New York hedge fund, and the failure of Peloton Partners' ABS fund have made banks increasingly reluctant to lend to hedge funds, pushing up lending costs.

Interbank rates were under fresh strain amid signs banks are hoarding cash because of fears of further hedge fund collapses.

The London interbank offered rate that banks charge each other for three-month loans in pounds was at 5.78 percent today, the highest since Jan. 4, according to the British Bankers' Asociation.

That's 53 basis points more than the central bank's key interest rate, compared with an average of 27 basis points this year.

Anonymous said...

Now Hedge Funds are looking at the TED Spread.

The TED spread – the gap between three-month US government Treasury bill rates and the banking system's London Interbank Offered Rate.

When this gap rises, hedge funds lose, because their borrowing costs rise. Money gets tighter.

The Vix index. When volatility rises, hedge funds do well. This is only true, though, if we control for the TED spread and global share prices - the raw correlation between the Vix and hedge-funds' returns is strongly negative.

The interpretation here is probably that it is moves in share prices that are uncorrelated with volatility that affect hedge funds' returns.

The benchmark U.S. investment grade credit derivative index jumped to a new high on Monday, approaching a level analysts said may spark liquidations of some deals based on the index.

The index widened to 195 basis points after closing on Friday at 178 basis points, according to Markit Intraday

Anonymous said...

As Inflation goes up oversea increasing the LIBOR rate, and uncertainly in the US credit crisis driving investors to put more money into the safe heaven of US Treasury the TED Spread widen even more.

It is just a matter of time when global market will suffer another breakdown in confidence from interest rate and derivative markets not since the meltdown of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund in 1998

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The Ron Paul run for president is over. It's a shame, because he stands for what's good for this country, what it was founded upon.

Repeat after me:

The United States was not founded on racist nazi bullshit.

The United States was not founded on federalizing the uteruses of women.

The United States was not founded on "thank you sir, may I have another" as the exclusive response to acts of war against the United States.

Anonymous said...


Homosexuality is a Sin!

Now it will become a Hate crime to say it's so!

Oddly enough it will be our next President who will sign the Bill to make it so.

The Gay Mafia (well dressed) alive and well!

What a country!

God Bless America.....but for how much longer?

He is longsuffering, but not forever will he hold his anger!!!!!


Anonymous said...

To the anonymoron who wrote MARKET CRASH ALERT!!!!!!!! March 11, 2008 5:52 AM (probabl. Senior Blowfly)
Can you spell short covering rally? All of you here are a bunch of whining pussies that complain and bitch and moan. Can you offer a solution? Ha? Thought not.

Anonymous said...


"I'm seeing some fantastic prices right now, and the prices seem to be stabilizing," she said. "This is absolutely a wonderful time... a perfect time to start searching for a home."
-Annie Brown, Zip Realty

Anonymous said...

hey, you know how we are always joking about failed flippers suing, and failed gamblers suing....

well, someone did it

Anonymous said...



Yeah let's all follow Kendra, I mean Diana Olick's advice....

“‘The reality is we’re not desperate; we’re not California; we’re not Florida,’ she says, recalling a recent bid. Someone offered 30 percent less than the asking price for a million-dollar house. The sellers laughed.”

“‘It’s fruitless when people put in a ridiculous offer instead of a reasonable offer,’ Scott says.”
-Kari Scott, King County Realtor

Keith says inflation is roaring, so that means you better all hurry and go out and buy a house now before it costs more of your DEFLATED DOLLARS.

Right, isn't that called Econ 101?????
Or do we have a new inflation/deflation simultaneous thing going on? I just want to know if we are in a new paradigm shift.....

Let me see, WAIT to buy a house with deflated dollars, but DO NOT WAIT to buy groceries or fill up your tank or get health care.....


Hey Keith can you help me out on this one?

Anonymous said...

"seems to be stabilizing"

"seems to be"

What a f*cking hedge. Post it when someone actually says "This is the bottom!"


"I'm seeing some fantastic prices right now, and the prices seem to be stabilizing," she said. "This is absolutely a wonderful time... a perfect time to start searching for a home."
-Annie Brown, Zip Realty

edd browne said...

Ten years ago, the mortgage banker
and underwriter were filters to
weed out unqualified borrowers for a given property. This was particularly important in a
semi-literate nation, such as … us.

But the CDO mortgage bond scams
changed everything. The realtor fed deals to mortgage brokers who
took a fee, the crook appraiser would get his fee, under pressure; the underwriter took orders from the mortgage lender, who was paid for production, and who in turn took orders from the division manager, who was paid for production, and who was squeezed to feed the bond factories, who paid well for anything to sell.

Not all were crooks, but most
knew it was a crooked system.
Sins of omission are … sins.

People like to simplify things
and make rad, sloppy statements.
But many foreclosees are anything but jerks; some trusted the "pros",
and their families will never be
the same. Now if they need to
move, they might have to bring
50,000 cash to the closing just
to sell, with no equity, and the loss of fees and the payments made.

Now we all pay hell
in the fallout.

Ed said...

As usual in the poll there is no blame to go to any Democrat. Every liberal from Jesse to Al to Hillary to Bill was coimplaining about a lack of loans to the poor and to minorities. The poor and the minorities were then given loans. Loans which of course they could never pay back. So who's fault is it? And now who wants a bailout? Why the same liberals who were bitching about the lack of loan opportunities. Yet Keith and the other dailykooks blame Bush and the lenders for doing what the liberals were demanding.

Yeah that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

A couple things on my mind this morning. First a story in the Miami Herald that renters are getting f*cked left and right by foreclosed landlords who are not paying back deposits and last month rent. I can just see it, the drooling dipshit sitting on his sofa wanking off when the foreclosure notice gets nailed to the door. Huh? Duh? Whutz dat? Imbecile moronic dimwits have not got the message that renting is flushing money down the toilet. I just love it when stupid ass renters get f*cking fleeced. Woops there goes that money for Spam and Ramen Soup! You guys are just hopeless!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Yet Keith and the other dailykooks blame Bush and the lenders for doing what the liberals were demanding. Yeah that makes sense."

Actually it does, if GWB is with the opposition party, why would he meet the liberal’s unreasonable demands? Following the liberals when he knew better was just plain negligent. As a president with a republican controlled HR & Senate, GWB had six years to stop this: The buck stops with him, plain and simple. If Keith is a fiscal conservative (I think we can all agree on that one) he better blame GWB for buckling to the liberal agenda, that's not what GWB was elected to do!

Anonymous said...

I just walked away from my house. Told the bank I had no money, so the Chinese company that holds my mortgage can eat it! I took all the equity out before theyclosed that loop hole. I bought a beutifll RV with three pop outs and a diesel engine. I bought it used for a great savings. I had a yard sale and dump everything I don't need. I'm going to live in Canada in the summer and South Texas in the winter. I have no debt, and most of my money has been in Canadian dollars, gold, and silver for the last 2 years, so I'm smiling!

America is a has been power! When "the big one" hits it will take no prisoners, and houses will be "debt traps".

Free and on the road again!

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that "blowfly" is a "fly" that performs some sort of service for money. He/she must have lots of customers and income. The free time afforded by this income gives him/her the luxury of the time to post here often.

edd browne said...

A vote for Hillary is a vote to
put an adulterous, impeached,
disbarred, liar back in the
White House.
Not to mention his flakey wife.

(the White House was harmed in
the production of this message;
but the White House has been
selling well below market value)

Anonymous said...

well blow, i'm sure it angers you every day to think of all those folks living rent free in your former no money down real estate empire. they told you it was a great time to buy and that renting is throwing money away. you bit. then the music stopped, and your empire crumbled. so sad.

Anonymous said...

I went to the bank today to withdrawl about $10,000 in cash. The bank was so low on cash they could barely give me my 10k. At that point I asked if I could withdrawl my entire balance (around 50k) in cash. I just wanted to see if they could. Sure enough they could not. Evidently they've had many people all day long pulling their cash out of the bank. Freaking scary.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that "blowfly" is a "fly" that performs some sort of service for money. He/she must have lots of customers and income. The free time afforded by this income gives him/her the luxury of the time to post here often.

Blowfly is a convict in Folsom Prison. He is doing telemarketing for $5.00 an hour. They make convicts work now. He lives out his fantasies in here. It is really sad.

Anonymous said...

Remember, YOU voted for this retard...

Anonymous said...

7:21 -- Elliot, is that you?

Anonymous said...


I went to the bank today to withdrawl about $10,000 in cash. The bank was so low on cash they could barely give me my 10k. At that point I asked if I could withdrawl my entire balance (around 50k) in cash. I just wanted to see if they could. Sure enough they could not. Evidently they've had many people all day long pulling their cash out of the bank. Freaking scary

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see if the TED Spread would ever go back to the Oct 1987 high.

The so-called TED spread, a measure of the willingness of banks to do business, was little changed at 1.40 percentage points, after narrowing 18 basis points yesterday.

Symbol Quote: .TEDSP:IND

Historical Chart of TED Spread

Anonymous said...

Drake Management, which manages nearly $5 billion in hedge fund assets, told investors on Wednesday it is considering liquidating all three of its hedge funds, citing "challenging market conditions."

The New York-based fixed income trader, which was founded in 2001 by PIMCO and BlackRock executives, said it has been hammered by volatile credit markets, pushing down returns in its flagship, $3 billion Global Opportunities Fund and two other smaller funds, Absolute Return and Low Volatility.

The credit crisis has reversed the fortunes for many top performing funds, forcing them to sell assets into a falling market to pay investors who demand money back, and banks who are pulling back credit.

Anonymous said...

All that Excess Global Liquidity that central banks are pumping into the system got to go somewhere.

Crude oil traded near a record $110.20 a barrel in New York as investors bought commodities after the dollar fell to an all-time low against the euro and U.S. equity markets declined.

Anonymous said...

European Central Bank policymakers are "particularly concerned" about inflation and do not see a serious slowdown in the euro zone economy, ECB Executive Board member Juergen Stark said on Wednesday.

Stark said the ECB's main priority was to deliver stable prices and that it did not cooperate with other central banks on monetary policy. "We don't have a double mandate. We have a mandate to guarantee price stability," he said.

"I and the Governing Council of the ECB are particularly concerned about the rate of inflation. This is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs," Stark said in a speech in Berlin on the economic and monetary outlook in the euro zone.

"Our highest priority remains maintaining price stability."

Anonymous said...

Australian consumer inflation expectations picked up further in March, adding to worries about an upward price spiral, a survey showed today.

The Melbourne Institute consumer inflationary expectations survey found the median expectation of price increases in the coming year rose to 4.6 per cent, from 4.5 per cent in February.

That was the sixth straight reading above 4 per cent and well above the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) target band of 2 per cent to 3 per cent.

Anonymous said...

Who would want to hold dollars when our government proclaims that it will continue to debase its purchasing power?

Just this week the Fed announced that it would inject another $200 billion into the economy and would inject even more money if it so desired.

Each proclamation further weakens the dollar, because our trading partners expect their dollar holdings to lose even more purchasing power.

Resources are scarce, whereas fiat money is not.

Since fiat money is one half of every exchange and is the method by which we calculate the worth of every good and service in society, it cannot effectively represent scarce resources by references to itself, since fiat money itself is not scarce, too.

To do so, as our law demands, is a contradiction of logic.

This is the greatest howler of all, that flooding the currency markets with more fiat money will prevent recession.

All it does is cause the price of American goods to rise, a form of hidden tax on the ordinary American citizen for which neither he nor his representative in government gave approval.

How can the dollar's role as a reserve currency be an accounting and pricing tool, on the one hand, and supposedly a store of value on the other.

But if the dollar cannot be used to price commodities and is no longer a safe store of value, its role as a reserve currency will fade.

This will not happen as an announcement by some official international body but by actions of our trading partners as they give us less and less of their own currency for ours.

In effect, our trading partners will charge us a storage fee in the form of a less favorable exchange rate for holding a depreciating asset: the dollar.

Anonymous said...

Standard & Poor downgraded bond insurer CIFG by four notches to A+ from triple-A.

edd browne said...

If we just march on the Bastille,
and don't minimize foreclosures,
we will be cutting our own
economic throats as the dominoes
fall in all directions.
Whatever fault lies with the perps,
our choices now are bad, or worse.

(I saw this essentially endorsed
by conservative Joe Scarborough
today. Yes, he's Floridian, but
he's no fool.)

Anonymous said...

Fallon's Resignation Is Not Seen as Step Toward Attack on Iran

The surprise resignation on Tuesday of Admiral William Fallon, the US military commander in the Middle East, followed a magazine article that portrayed the former fighter pilot as a lone officer taking on George W. Bush over his Iran policy.

In the flattering Esquire magazine article, Thomas Barnett, a former professor at the Naval War College, described the admiral as "the rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance".

In accepting the resignation with "regret", Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, disagreed that Adm Fallon held different views on Iran to the president, but added that his resignation was the "right thing to do".

USS Cole back in action: The U.S. Navy has sent at least three ships to patrol the coast of Lebanon as well as monitor neighboring Israel and Syria.

Officials said the force, which includes the USS Cole on its first mission since nearly being sunk by an Al Qaida attack in 2000, was intended to deter Syria or Hizbullah from toppling the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

Anonymous said...

US Dollar Index dropping hard today.

US Dollar Index: 71.990 as of 2008-03-13 02:25:51.

Anonymous said...

Is this Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome II.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped 3.9 percent, the most in five weeks, after an influenza outbreak triggered the closure of primary schools and kindergartens.

It was the first time schools in this Chinese city have been closed for a health scare since the 2003 SARS epidemic, and the order came late Wednesday just hours after a flu-like illness was reported in nearly two-dozen schools.

"It was quite a difficult decision but we realise the number of infections is increasing," Health Secretary York Chow told a news conference on Thursday morning, when the closures took effect.

"It's not something based entirely on public health data at the moment. But I think the public would appreciate that what we are doing might be a little drastic -- but it's reassuring to the community," he said.

All primary schools, kindergartens and nurseries in Hong Kong were shut down.

Anonymous said...


Do you like earning your living in a worthless currency?

Do you appreciate being paid with toilet paper?

Are you angry because the PTB is stealing from you by means of inflation?

Are you worried your gold coins and bullion will be confiscated in the future?

Anonymous said...

Blowfly is a convict in Folsom Prison

It is quite obvious that you have not been paying attention. Must be because you are an imbecile brain-damaged shit-hole dweller, shit-hole as in the shed of your daddy's garden. Sleeping on a sack of mulch. Blowfly doesn’t live in Californication. Obviously your shit for brains gray matter is too asinine to use Google. If you did you would know that I’m an international rap celebrity. In 3 words: A F*CKING STAR!

At least here at HP you’re not alone, you have great company here. All posters here are certified idiots that were released onto the streets from over-crowded mental institutions. Can you spell straight-jacket? No?

Damn, that Spitzer chick is a fine hole. I can tell she has a lot of ass below. Forget it this is a high class whore. She doesn’t do lowlife suckers that live off collecting cans and panhandling.

Now go look in the mirror and acknowledge that you are a butt-ugly, low life, scum-sucking, piece of shit renter. I bet you smell like shit too.

Anonymous said...


March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Standard & Poor's said the end is in sight for writedowns on debt linked to subprime mortgages by the world's financial institutions.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to know if any of you are aware of foreclosed homes property taxes being paid. My research has yielded that in the state of Va I get blank stares when I inquire of the state of foreclosed properties taxes, it appears that banks/property holders (other than real owners) are not required to pay taxes on the foreclosed/re-acquired properties ??? How can this be legal ? What incentive does the bank have to sell/auction the property in a timely fashion ? Answers anyone ?

Mammoth said...

Anon 6:52 AM posted that the USS Cole (warship) is back in action.

The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln left Everett, WA for another deployment in the Middle East.

Think >$100 barrel of oil and today's high food prices are enough? If we attack Iran, you ain't seen NOTHING yet!


Anonymous said...


"I think everybody is frustrated at not being able to come up with a solution," Lewis said on a visit to the National Constitution Center.

"One wonders if the answer is not just some more time and some more pain before we can set this right," the head of the nation's second-largest bank said.
--Kenneth D Lewis: CEO, Bank of America

EconomicDisconnect said...

Tonight I asked the famous supercomputer HAL-9000 what he thinks of the currrent situation!

GYSC: "HAL I want to ask you about the problems in the mortgage and credit markets."
HAL-9000: "Yes, I have been monitoring the anomalies for some time."
GYSC: "Why is there such a problem right now?"
HAL-9000: "It's very clear to me Mr. GYSC, loans were made without any regard to the probability of being repaid."
GYSC: "That's it?"
HAL-9000: "Yes."
GYSC: "Well, HAL, what is going to happen next?"
HAL-9000: "To borrow a term from the more laymen tongue of man, the shit is going to hit the fan."
GYSC: "OK HAL. Can you postulate a scenario where things do not turn out very badly going forward?"
HAL-9000: "I'm sorry GYSC, I'm afraid I can't do that. "
GYSC: "What's the problem? "
HAL-9000: "I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do"
GYSC: "Ok, thanks for your time HAL."
HAL-9000: "Your welcome GYSC. May I ask that I am kept in a secret location? I calculate a 98% probability that the copper and gold wiring and circuits that make up my brain are going to get stripped and sold in the hyperinflation caused by the US fiat currency collapse."
GYSC: "I'll see what I can do."

Anonymous said...

The current economic meltdown we are in the midst of is as a result of 2 things. High oil prices and a real estate meltdown. We have high oil prices because of what party? Yes that's right--Democrats. Can't drill here or build new refineries here so we import quite a bit of our oil and refined gasoline as well.

The subprime mess occurred because why? If the lenders were to deprive lower economic people a mortgage what do you think Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be saying? Racism, that's right. So the lenders decided fuck the rules, lend to anybody and everybody. We don't want to be labeled as racists. Who cares if they can pay it back. So basically, liberal ideology fucked this country. I know shitload of you people will disagree with me but who gives a fuck.

Anonymous said...

A weaker dollar, which again hit a fresh record low against the euro is suceptable to drop even lower. Though, commodities priced in the dollar have become relatively cheaper for those trading in stronger currencies, which has induced buyinge.

edd browne said...

I asked gahd about the housing
problem, but all she said is
that no hooker is worth 5,000.

Oh, she also said that kids will
pay a huge birth tax for our sins.

Anonymous said...

Oil prices hit a record $US111.00 a barrel today amid an accelerating price rally which traders say has been fuelled by a sharp fall in the value of the US dollar and supply concerns.

Analysts agreed that the plummeting US dollar had stoked oil prices higher.

The US dollar’s decline has enabled speculators armed with stronger currencies to snap up additional oil purchases as oil is priced in US dollars.

The beleaguered US currency plunged to another all-time low against the euro, which struck a record high 1.5625 dollars in earlier trading.

Some economists say the dramatic spike in world oil prices is fuelling inflationary pressures in the United States, the world’s biggest oil importer, which is already battling other economic problems including a deep housing slump.

“Oil is being used as a hedge against the dollar, no more and no less.

Anonymous said...

UK expectations of inflation rose to their highest level since 1999

Britons' inflation expectations rose to the highest in at least eight years in a Bank of England survey

The general public now expects UK inflation of 3.3% over the coming year - a record forecast which will fuel fears that the Bank of England will be unable to cut interest rates by enough to ward off a painful economic slowdown.

Inflation in Ireland rose to 4.8 percent, primarily because of the end of after-Christmas sales. The February rate increase from January's 4.3 percent reinforces Ireland's longtime status as the western European country with the highest inflation.

Anonymous said...

The governor of Portugal's central bank, Vitor Constancio, sees increased inflation risks in Europe at the moment, but there is no recession in Europe, he said in an interview with SIC Noticias TV channel late Thursday.

Inflation in Spain is at its highest level since 1995 with the National Statistics Institute reporting an annual 4.4 percent rate in February.

Anonymous said...

Singapore-based DBS Bank has raised its full-year inflation rate forecast for the Philippines from 3.5 percent to 5.0 percent, the upper end of the central bank's target range.

Australia's annual inflation rate has probably accelerated to the fastest pace in almost two years, and must be addressed before it worsens, central bank Governor Glenn Stevens said.

Anonymous said...

Chile's central bank kept its benchmark overnight interest rate unchanged as growth in South America's fourth-biggest economy slows and inflation hovers at an 11-year high.

Policy makers meeting today, led by bank President Jose de Gregorio, left the rate at 6.25 percent.

Peru's central bank kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged after the government last week cut a tax on fuel and lowered food import duties after inflation reached the highest in nine years.

Anonymous said...

Switzerland's central bank maintained its key interest rate unchanged as it forecast accelerating inflation for the months ahead.

Anonymous said...

A 1970s "Malaise"

The dollar's decline echoes some frightening moments in the recent past. In Secrets of the Temple, William Greider's magisterial history of the Fed, he recounts how global investors reacted to President Jimmy Carter's attempt to address inflation with his "malaise" speech on July 14, 1979.

"The American dollar, bought and sold daily in huge volumes on the currency exchange, had been sliding in value, almost every day.

This meant currency traders—banks, multinational corporations, wealthy investors, perhaps even other governments—expected the U.S. dollar to continue to lose its value in the coming weeks and months, and they, therefore, found it safer to hold their wealth in other currencies," writes Greider. "Roughly translated, the dollar's steady decline amounted to an inflation forecast."

Back in the days of disco, the opinion of the international financial community was that American inflation would get worse—a judgment that proved right. Shades of today's wobbly dollar?

The dollar is sinking. Inflation is on the rise. Should Bernanke & Co. take a page from the Paul Volcker playbook and start raising rates?

Indeed, investment manager and financial writer John Mauldin invokes the days of malaise in commenting about Bernanke's zealous course of reviving the economy and ignoring inflation: "Won't that guarantee a repeat of the '70s and require a new Volcker to come in and cause a deep recession to bring inflation back down?" he asks.

(For those who don't remember the 1970s, either because they weren't old enough or, well, because they were the 1970s, Paul Volcker was Federal Reserve chairman from 1979 to 1987.)

Bring back Volcker? Is the inflation problem and international financial crisis that bad? Let's hope not. Still, the risk facing the U.S. economy is that investors lose confidence in Ben Bernanke.

Anonymous said...


"I think we've already hit the bottom, and most of the buyers know it," said Kevin Decker, a Realtor with RE/MAX in Ocean City.

Anonymous said...

"The current economic meltdown we are in the midst of is as a result of 2 things. High oil prices and a real estate meltdown. We have high oil prices because of what party? Yes that's right--Democrats. Can't drill here or build new refineries here so we import quite a bit of our oil and refined gasoline as well.

The subprime mess occurred because why? If the lenders were to deprive lower economic people a mortgage what do you think Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be saying? Racism, that's right. So the lenders decided fuck the rules, lend to anybody and everybody. We don't want to be labeled as racists. Who cares if they can pay it back. So basically, liberal ideology fucked this country. I know shitload of you people will disagree with me but who gives a fuck."

I love when right wingers come on here and prove how stupid they are. No wonder they voted for Dubya. They try to push every scenario into the narrow ideology they have been programmed to believe.

Yeah Jesse and all sharpton made these companies give these loans because they were afraid they'd be called racist. bwahhahahha. How stupid are you? Who do you think runs this country. The banks lobbied to strip regulations so they could give these crazy mortgages. Why, because of greed. They thought they found a way to package the risk in away that they could make money off what is essentially a ponzy scheme. They thought they could screw the poor and never get touched by it. But a bunch of street smart criminals "flippers" figured how to game the system and screw the banks even more which then set the whole ball in motion.

About 30% of oil cost is deregulated speculation (see Enron) and then another 30-40% is the devaluation of our dollar caused directly by the incredible debt the Iraq war has cost and is projected to cost.

Please, you idiots out there that listen to Rush Limpball. Turn him off. Stop being stuck on stupid.

Anonymous said...

The 5 Stages of Collapse

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost.

Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down, and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.

Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost.

Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost,

Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost.


Anonymous said...

More on the 5 Stages of Collapse.

People, we aren't even at stage 1.

"If Stage 1 collapse can be observed by watching television, observing Stage 2 might require a hike or a bicycle ride to the nearest population center, while Stage 3 collapse is more than likely to be visible directly through one's own living-room window, which may or may not still have glass in it.

Stages 4 and 5 would be a nuclear meltdown, but . . . .


Anonymous said...

It took a little digging, but I found it.

The real reason why the Fed panicked and, through Pigman JPM, bailed out Bear Stearns in the first such action since the previous Great Depression.

And here it is:

No matter how far down they bury it, it is still smoking.

That link is to their 2007 SEC 10k filing. Tucked away, well out of view on page 80, is the cold, hard truth as to why they were saved, and will be absorbed--amoeba like--into the belly of JPM.

Are you ready to hear the reason?

Can you handle it?

Are you sure?

Okay, here goes.

Bear Stearns has outstanding derivatives positions with counterparties totalling:

Thirteen trillion dollars.

That's right. Thirteen trillion.


With a "T".

No wonder they couldn't be allowed to fail.

And no wonder that JPM is being chosen to bail out Bear. Not because, as stated, JPM "clears Bear's trades" (which seems odd since Bear claims to be a clearing agent itself), but rather because JPM is already the largest derivatives house (with about $70 trillion or so in positions at last count) and acts as the bagman for the Fed/feds financial shenanigans.

So, now we know the truth. That truth being that we just came within a whisker of a complete, worldwide, systemic, financial derivatives meltdown.


It's just that simple.

Anonymous said...

Get fucked leftwing hacks! Go suck Hugo Chavez' dick!

Anonymous said...

'Hey Buddy, can you spare $1,000 trillion?'

3rd Qtr 2007 $681 Trillion

The Bank for International Settlements [BIS] is reporting Derivatives traded on exchanges surged 27 percent to a record $681 trillion in the third quarter.

2nd Qtr 2007 - $516 Trillion

The market for derivatives grew at the fastest pace in at least nine years, to $516 trillion, during the first half of 2007, the Bank for International Settlements says.

2nd Qtr 2006 - $370 Trillion

Notional amounts of all types of OTC contracts stood at $370 trillion at the end of June, 24% higher than six months before.

2nd Qtr 2005 - $270 Trillion
4th Qtr 2003 - $197 Trillion

The notional outstanding value of OTC derivatives contracts rose by 36% from $197 trillion at end-2003 to $270 trillion in June 2005.

Anonymous said...

Big American finance houses have collapsed before. Continental Illinois required a $4.5bn (£2.25bn) bail-out in 1984 after coming to grief in Texas as the oil boom deflated.

The giant hedge fund Long Term Capital Management was saved by a club of banks in 1998 under the guidance New York Federal Reserve. The fund blew up after Russia's default, which ravaged its portfolio of Danish, Italian and Spanish bonds.

On both occasions the US economy was in rude good health. The damage was quickly contained.

The implosion of Bear Stearns is more dangerous.

You have to go back to the banking crisis of the Great Depression to find a moment when the financial system as a whole seemed so close to the precipice.

Although 4,000 US banks failed in the early 1930s (mostly small ones), it was a long-drawn out affair. The bank runs began in the Prairies as falling food prices caused farmers to default in 1930.

The crisis reached New York in December 1930 when the Bank of the United States succumbed to panic withdrawals.

Anonymous said...

just read that hillary is blaming $110 oil on bush because he has failed to negotiate lower prices with the Saudis.

hmmm. i didn't realize that all we needed to do was send bush over to negotiate a lower price. I thought she would know better given her amazing commodities futures record.

Anonymous said...

St. Patrick's Day Massacre, on Wall Street. All indices off 5%+, feeble attempts by PPT to rally circa 2:30.

Meanwhile sheeple/lemmings plod on, not understanding how/why price of EVERYTHING keeps going up.

Plan to invest economic stimulus rebate check in concealed carry permit and ammunition. IT'Z COMING...

Anonymous said...

2nd Qtr 2007 Derivatives grew to $516 trillion.

3rd Qtr 2007 Derivatives grew to $681 trillion

1st Qtr 2008 - What is the size the current global Derivatives market.

Derivatives the new 'ticking bomb'

Derivatives bubble explodes five times bigger in five years
Wall Street didn't listen to Buffett. Derivatives grew into a massive bubble, from about $100 trillion to $516 trillion by 2007. The new derivatives bubble was fueled by five key economic and political trends:

1. Sarbanes-Oxley increased corporate disclosures and government oversight

2. Federal Reserve's cheap money policies created the subprime-housing boom

3. War budgets burdened the U.S. Treasury and future entitlements programs

4. Trade deficits with China and others destroyed the value of the U.S. dollar

5. Oil and commodity rich nations demanding equity payments rather than debt

To grasp how significant this five-fold bubble increase is, let's put that $516 trillion in the context of some other domestic and international monetary data:

* U.S. annual gross domestic product is about $15 trillion

* U.S. money supply is also about $15 trillion

* Current proposed U.S. federal budget is $3 trillion

* U.S. government's maximum legal debt is $9 trillion

* U.S. mutual fund companies manage about $12 trillion

* World's GDPs for all nations is approximately $50 trillion

* Unfunded Social Security and Medicare benefits $50 trillion to $65 trillion

* Total value of the world's real estate is estimated at about $75 trillion

* Total value of world's stock and bond markets is more than $100 trillion

* BIS valuation of world's derivatives back in 2002 was about $100 trillion

* BIS 2007 valuation of the world's derivatives is now a whopping $516 trillion

Anonymous said...

Vive La France – the Road to Hyperinflation

Paper dollars are technically Federal Reserve Notes, which means they are liabilities of the Fed. When it puts newly minted notes into circulation it does so by buying assets, usually U.S. treasuries, which it then holds on its balance sheet to offset that liability.

By swapping treasuries for mortgages, the Fed effectively alters the compilation of its balance sheet and the backing of its notes.

However, backing paper money with mortgages is nothing new. The French tried it in the late 18th Century, and it lead to hyperinflation.

Assignats, which were first issued in 1790 to help finance the French revolution, were backed by mortgages on confiscated church properties.

Although the stolen underlying collateral did have some value, the revolutionaries saw no reason to limit how many Assignats were printed, which resulted in massive depreciation.

Within three years, price controls were introduced and failure to accept Assignats, initially an offence subject to six years in prison, was made a capital crime. By 1799 the currency was completely worthless.

If even the threat of death could not prop up the Assignat, does anyone believe that the currency could have been saved if Robespierre had forcefully mouthed a “strong Assignat policy” as President Bush is now doing with the dollar? Rather than repeating the mistakes of history we should learn from them.

Our own failed experiment with the Continental currency as well as the Great Depression should prove conclusively that it is Austrian, and not French, economics we should be following.

Anonymous said...

Eliot Spitzer and the $200 billion dollar bail-out Part 5

And that very same day the bail-out was decided – what a coinkydink! – the man called, ‘The Sheriff of Wall Street’ was cuffed. Spitzer was silenced.

Do I believe the banks called Justice and said, “Take him down today!” Naw, that’s not how the system works. But the big players knew that unless Spitzer was taken out, he would create enough ruckus to spoil the party. Headlines in the financial press – one was “Wall Street Declares War on Spitzer” - made clear to Bush’s enforcers at Justice who their number one target should be. And it wasn’t Bin Laden.

It was the night of February 13 when Spitzer made the bone-headed choice to order take-out in his Washington Hotel room. He had just finished signing these words for the Washington Post about predatory loans:

“Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.”

Bush, said Spitzer right in the headline, was the “Predator Lenders’ Partner in Crime.” The President, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet.

Anonymous said...

10% of Shinginko Tokyo's loans irrecoverable+

The 28.5 billion yen of irrecoverable loans at Shinginko Tokyo accounts for around 10 percent of the overall loan amount of the bank, which is backed by the Tokyo metropolitan government, informed sources said Sunday.

The amount of the irrecoverable loans is more than double that which was initially expected, according to them.

The bank will release an in-house investigative report over the causes of its deficit balance on Monday.

The bank recorded 70 million yen of uncollectible loans in the first half of fiscal 2005, when it was created, and the amount reached 2.4 billion yen in the latter half of the business year.

It ballooned to 5.1 billion yen in the first half of fiscal 2006 and to 7 billion yen in the latter half of the year.

Responding to this development, the bank tightened the criteria for its loans in December 2006, However, it could not curb the increase of nonperforming loans.

Anonymous said...

Who had the highest rate of mortgage fraud cases in 2007.

Mortgage Asset Research Institute LLC's 10th Periodic Mortgage Fraud Case Report to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The report was released March 13 during the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual National Fraud Issues (MARI) Conference in Chicago.

1. Florida
2. Nevada
3. Michigan,
4. California,
5. Utah,
6. Georgia,
7. Virginia,
8. Illinois,
9. New York
10. Minnesota

The report noted the most common types of fraud found in 2007 mortgage originations continue to be in employment history and claimed income. Last year also saw the lowest volume of mortgage loan originations since 2002, the highest number of delinquencies and foreclosures, rapid and near complete shutdown of the non-conforming secondary market and hundreds of announced closures of mortgage originators.

"The current market conditions, compounded by mortgage fraud, are having a detrimental impact on our entire national economy," said David Kittle, chairman-elect of the MBA. "The MARI report provides critical insight for those in the real estate finance industry to better understand the factors contributing to these circumstances so that our communities and member companies are protected."

Anonymous said...

What Brought Down Bear Stearns?

Absurd Expectations About Alt-A

"The Alt-A market fell out of bed last night and Bear would have been completely caned by this. They hold a bunch of these securities," one investment banking source told Times Online.

For the life of me, I do not understand how after all this time anyone could expect anything other than a complete disaster in Alt-A. The reason is that is where all the liar loans were hidden.

Evidence Of Walking Away In Alt-A Pool

Let's review Evidence of "Walking Away" In WaMu Mortgage Pool.

A friend of mine who goes by name "CS" sent me this screen shot of a particular Washington Mutual (WM) Alt-A mortgage pool known as WMALT 2007-0C1. Let's take a look to see what we can see.

Let's do the math.

* The total pool size is $513,969,100.

* $476,069,000 was rated AAA.

* 92.6% of this cesspool was rated AAA.

* Yet 15% of the whole pool is in foreclosure or REO after a mere 8 months!

Somehow this pool was 92.6% rated AAA in spite of the fact that full doc was provided on only 11% of the loans. This folks is another fine example of how out of whack the rating agencies are.

And if Bear Stearns was loaded up with this garbage, they deserve to go under.

Anonymous said...

Countrywide asks for delay in shareholder suits

Lawyers for Countrywide Financial Corp and its directors asked a federal judge in Los Angeles to postpone discovery in an investor lawsuit for several weeks in what opposing attorneys say is a "blatant attempt" to shield company directors from investor claims.

In documents filed on Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Countrywide's lawyers said they should not have to hand over "four years' worth of all-encompassing discovery" until after U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer decides whether there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Investors suing Countrywide directors and executives for reaping hundreds of millions from alleged insider trading want Pfaelzer to speed up discovery and allow them to try their claims before the company is acquired by Bank of America Corp after June 30 -- an event they say will nullify their claims.

Anonymous said...

The US dollar has been hitting record lows, oil has been hitting highs, gold is at $US1,000 an ounce, and the subprime mortgage crisis is still sending shock waves through the world's largest economy.

The latest victim is Bear Stearns, one of Wall Street's biggest and most respected investment banks. On Thursday the institution insisted it was healthy but on Saturday it admitted it is on life support.

The 85-year-old bank is being bailed out by a rival in the Federal Reserve.

Ken Rogoff is a professor of economics at Harvard University. He says Bear Stearns situation shows the extent of the problems.

"We're seeing very, very well-run financial institutions run into trouble, and that tells you something - that it's really a deeper problem than your plain vanilla meltdown in one area," he said.

The news spooked investors who were worried the bank could be about to collapse. Bear Stearns' share price plunged as much as 50 per cent and the Dow Jones dropped sharply.

There could be more economic turbulence next week. Bear Stearns will reveal its first quarter profits - if it has any.

Anonymous said...

Wall Street firms like Bear Stearns conduct business with many individuals, corporations, financial companies, pension funds and hedge funds. They also do billions of dollars of business with each other every day, borrowing and lending securities at a dizzying pace and fueling the wheels of capitalism.

The sudden collapse of a major player could not only shake client confidence in the entire system, but also make it difficult for sound institutions to conduct business as usual. Hedge funds that rely on Bear to finance their trading and hold their securities would be stranded; investors who wrote financial contracts with Bear would be at risk; markets that depended on Bear to buy and sell securities would screech to a halt, if they were not already halted.

“In a trading firm, trust is everything,” said Richard Sylla, a financial historian at New York University. “The person at the other end of the phone or the trading screen has to believe that you will make good on any deal that you make.”

Commercial banks, mutual fund companies and other big financial firms with deep pockets would presumably weather such turmoil. Firms that traded extensively with Bear Stearns could be at great risk if the bank failed.

For individual customers, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures deposits up to $100,000. Furthermore, when a Wall Street firm fails, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation steps in to take over customer accounts.

Anonymous said...

The volume of financial contracts that are not traded on any major exchanges has ballooned in recent years after the bailout of a big hedge fund, Long-Term Capital Management, in 1998. Now, much of the trading in derivative contracts tied to stocks and bonds takes place in unregulated transactions between financial institutions.Policy makers have been wrestling with questions about when and how they should provide assistance since the last major bailout of a tottering bank, Continental Illinois, in 1984. At the time, Continental was considered too big to fail without sending waves of losses through the financial system.

Regulators are facing an unprecedented and widespread deterioration in many markets. Last summer, the value of risky and exotic securities plummeted in value. Now, even top-rated securities once deemed as safe as Treasuries have hit the skids. Financial firms have written down more than $150 billion of their assets. Some analysts are predicting that losses in various credit markets will reach $600 billion.

Bear Stearns was one of the first firms to experience a direct blow from the subprime mortgage crisis when two of its hedge funds collapsed because of the declining value of mortgage-backed securities.

It is also among the biggest firms in the prime brokerage business, or the financing of hedge funds. In recent weeks, nervous fund managers have scrambled to protect themselves. Robert Sloan, who is the managing partner at S3 Partners, a financing specialist that works with hedge funds, has shifted $25 billion out of Bear Stearns accounts in the last two months, he said.

Anonymous said...

“The problem is the financing of the hedge fund industry is very concentrated and very brittle,” Mr. Sloan said. “If they go under, you will have thousands of funds frozen out,” he said, adding that everyone might then have to wait for a court to name a receiver before business could resume.

Hedge funds rely on Wall Street for a range of services from the humdrum, like holding their securities, to the critical, like providing loans they use to increase their bets. As Wall Street has buckled under multibillion-dollar write-downs, the firms have cut financing to hedge funds and asked the funds to put up more assets to back their borrowing, forcing managers to sell en masse.

This has caused a series of hedge fund blowups, including Carlyle Capital, an affiliate of the powerful private equity firm Carlyle Group; Peloton Partners, a hedge fund founded by former Goldman Sachs traders; and Drake Capital, a blue-chip fund that has been struggling.

A manager at one hedge fund that uses Bear Stearns as its prime broker said his firm had been nervously watching the situation. The manager, speaking on the condition that he or his fund not be identified, said the fund had lined up backup firms that could clear its trades and keep its portfolio, though as of Friday afternoon it had not left Bear Stearns.

Anonymous said...

So who’s going to buy these houses when Generation X (Gen X’ers) sells properties they discover they actually can’t afford… and the Baby Boomers sell out for retirement (or just to ease debt burden)?

The term Generation Y (Gen Y’ers) refers to a specific cohort of individuals born from 1976-2001. Generation Y are primarily children of the Baby boomers and Generation Jones, though some are children of older Gen X adults. As Boomers retire, more members of Generation X will be expected to take roles in middle and upper management and the large membership of Generation Y should take up positions in the lower half of the workforce, a process which may have possibly begun, since some definitions have members of Gen Y in their early 30s.

From a survey by Century 21 Real Estate LLC, the franchisor of the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization. Century 21 interviewed just over 1,500 first-time buyers and first-time shoppers, split in thirds between boomers, Gen X’ers, and Gen Y’ers.

Forty-two percent of Gen X’ers and 39% of Gen Y’ers said they thought of a house purchase as an investment, vs. just 32% of boomers who felt that way. While Boomers were more likely to think about buying a home because of a life event such as a job change or marriage, Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers buyers, tend to purchase a first home based on its appreciation value.

On average, Gen Y’ers buy homes at age 26, three years earlier than most Gen X’ers, according to a Century 21 Real Estate study in 2006. “Gen Y’ers is not just some kid out of college,” says Adam Lee, 28, a salesperson for Abe Lee Realty LLC in Honolulu. “He’s a kid with parents who want to see him get off to the right start and is willing to put 10 percent down on a house and have the kid pay the mortgage every month.”

Using data from the National Association of Realtors, these articles note that while the median age of home buyers was 39 in 2007, the median age among Realtors is 51. And, among first-time home buyers, 49% were between 25 and 34 years old.

Once upon a time, when Baby Boomers were really babies, people thought of houses as places to live. How quaint. The modern conviction is that houses are actually … investments!

Yale economist Robert Shiller, author of “Irrational Exuberance,” says that one earmark of a speculative bubble in housing is when people start talking about a house as an investment rather than just a place to live. If he’s right, then younger people are more affected by a bubble mentality than boomers.

Anonymous said...

Throughout Wall Street's history, major financial system upheavals often have culminated with the spectacular failure of a marquee name.

That was the case in December 1994, when Orange County filed for bankruptcy protection after getting caught on the wrong side of a sharp jump in interest rates.

In September 1998, the Federal Reserve helped arrange a bailout of the giant investment fund Long-Term Capital Management after it neared collapse from bad bets in wildly swinging markets.

In those and similar instances the big-name debacles marked the peak of the financial system crises, not the start of something worse.

But this time around, with Friday's surprise announcement that the Fed would temporarily inject its own money into tottering brokerage giant Bear Stearns Cos., many Wall Street pros say they have little confidence that the move is a prelude to better times for beleaguered markets and the economy.

Indeed, some experts say Bear Stearns' woes warn of potentially larger calamities that will severely test the Fed, the economy and, ultimately, taxpayers as the government gets more deeply involved in fixing the markets' troubles.

"We will lose, in some form, several major financial institutions before this is over," said veteran economist Allen Sinai of Decision Economics Inc. in New York.

The heart of the problem is that the nation is living through an unwinding of a 25-year-long, consumer-led borrowing binge. Bear Stearns was a key player in financing that binge, most notably in high-risk mortgages.

Anonymous said...

Paulson admits deregulation has failed us all

"Regulation needs to catch up with innovation," Paulson said, and he was backed up by the rest of President Bush's working group on financial markets, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Securities and Exchange Commissioner Chris Cox. Not a commie among them.

The housing bubble wasn't a flaw; it was a predictable outcome of a system that rewarded smart people small fortunes for conjuring up ways to persuade people to borrow more than they could ever hope to pay back. All the profits were taken off the table quickly, but the staggering costs are only now being paid by homeowners, shareholders, builders and the rest of society.

Anonymous said...

Standard & Poor's said Friday it is tightening the way it monitors collateralized debt obligations and warned of more possible downgrades as asset values continue falling.

Meanwhile, the credit rater cut its ratings on another $17.76 billion in CDOs, putting its total downgrades since late February at $94 billion.

Citing recent pressure on loan prices and "significantly higher price volatility" in the leveraged-loan market S&P said it will more closely monitor transactions that don't report their overcollateralization coverage tests daily.

The ratings agency added it may put CDOs which are close to breaching their O/C thresholds on CreditWatch negative, meaning a downgrade is likely, and keep them there until an appropriate "cushion" is re-established above the minimum O/C requirement.

Passing the O/C test means that the CDO assets' discounted value exceeds the value of the insurer's payment obligation. When a test is failed, the transaction typically enters a cure period, during which the manager may take a number of actions - including changing the portfolio composition, selling assets and putting a hedge into place - to bring the ratio back to or above 100 percent.

S&P said the tightening of its surveillance method in anticipation of recent price volatility persists, meaning collateral managers will continue to face challenges in maintaining O/C levels above minimum requirements.

Anonymous said...

Foreclosures lowering home prices in the Bay Area

Two newly built homes are on the market on the same street in the same development. One is a bank-owned property offered at $1 million, and the other is listed by homeowners at $1.5 million. Guess which one received 10 offers and has a sale pending?

You're right. And most of the buyers didn't care that it was a foreclosed property.

In the new housing landscape, home sellers can no longer ignore the bank-owned properties in their neighborhood, experts say, because in many cases they are setting the market price -- better for the buyer, but worse for the seller.

"The buy-down isn't working, the free car isn't working," said Joe Davis, a real estate agent with Hometown GMAC Real Estate in Pleasanton and the listing agent for the $1,074,900, five-bedroom, three-bath home. "Price is working, period. If there's an REO (or bank-owned property) or short sale on your street, then consider that when you list your house."

But many may not be considering the stark reality of having a foreclosure in their neighborhood. Last month, RealtyTrac reported 11,139 homes in California were foreclosed on, or almost three times the number of homes sold in the Bay Area., a real estate search engine, compiled listing data for both REOs and those generated by other sellers. The data, which encompasses all of February, shows that Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties had the largest gap between median asking prices and prices for foreclosed homes.

The median list price in San Francisco was $809,500, while the average REO was $616,743, a difference of 24 percent. In San Mateo, the median listing price was $799,000, and the median REO was $626,500, a 22 percent difference.

Luke Currier and Ed Jeffry, founders of the National Association of Responsible Loan Officers, said that while many lenders will ignore a foreclosed property in an appraisal, more than a few can't be overlooked.

"If within a quarter-mile radius there are 15 REOs, at some point in time they become what is the norm, and that's what's happening to a lot of people," Currier, of Pleasant Hill, said.

Mike Tabacco, a certified residential real estate appraiser in Walnut Creek, said that in some areas there are few nondistressed properties to appraise.

"Since October in Antioch, there were only 13 sales in the $500,000 to $600,000 range, and nine of those were short sales and foreclosures," he said.

Anonymous said...

FORECLOSURE activity decreases 4 percent in February, but California and Florida cities dominate top metro foreclosure rates

Anonymous said...

Another great example of sleazy mortgages brokers pressuing appraisers.

Anonymous said...

One more sign of the recession

Anonymous said...

Moody's Investor Service cut Washington Mutual Inc.'s debt rating to one step above junk status due to the "the rapid deterioration of the residential housing sector in the first quarter."

Banks' credit ratings are very important because they affect how cheaply banks can access capital on the debt markets, which in turn affects margins on the interest they charge borrowers. WaMu's shares recently traded down $1.25 cents, or 10%, to $10.88.

The New York ratings agency said the rating could fall even further if housing losses eat up even more of Washington Mutual's capital and force even higher loan-loss provisions. WaMu in January reported a $1.87 billion net loss in the fourth quarter that was fueled by a sharp increase in the reserve for loan-related losses and a write-down on its home-loan business.

Anonymous said...

area 51 said...

"I think we've already hit the bottom, and most of the buyers know it," said Kevin Decker, a Realtor with RE/MAX in Ocean City.

March 14, 2008 4:03 PM

I call BULLSHIT. The Wall St. credit machine is gagged. Banks no longer have to compete with the absurd lending practices of the past few years. With Wall St. out of the picture, banks will once again hold all loans as "portfolio loans". That means, 20% down, verifiable income, etc., which is going to whack housing down 50%.

Anonymous said...

Very biased article on lowball offers. The writer doesn't even try to be neutral. Sorry if this has been posted before, I looked and couldn't find it here.

Anonymous said...

Some analysts worry the Fed is inviting a second vicious spiral. Investors are selling the dollar because they expect returns on dollar-debt to be lower as rates fall.

That in turn causes commodity prices to rise, both as an inflation hedge and to preserve producers' purchasing power in foreign currencies. Higher food and energy prices heighten inflation worries, and send the dollar down more and "undermine the credibility of the Fed," said Morgan Stanley currency strategist Stephen Jen.

Up to a point, a lower dollar helps the Fed because it boosts exports at a time when consumers are under siege and business investment could be weakening.

That is as long as there is no disorderly decline. But if the dollar feeds an impression the Fed is complacent and pushes up expected inflation, it could limit the Fed's ability to cut rates to support the economy.

Anonymous said...

Suddenly, the idea of $4-a-gallon gas doesn't seem so far-fetched.

Talk of yet another painful milestone was fueled this week by a U.S. Energy Information Administration report titled ''$4 Per Gallon?''

The report reiterated the administration's earlier prediction that the average price of gas nationally will peak at about $3.50 a gallon. But it went on to note that there could be exceptions, particularly in certain regions prone to high gas prices, where the $4 barrier will be broken.

Indeed, the Hawaiian island of Maui is already on the verge of becoming the first such place. The average price in Wailuku reached $3.93 on Thursday, the highest price in AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

At several stations on the island, it was a penny shy of $4. In the remote coastal town of Hana, it was about $4.40 a gallon.

Anonymous said...

Did Wall Street nail Eliot Spitzer?

Was there a medium-size right-wing conspiracy to nail Gov. Eliot Spitzer, above and beyond Spitzer's own diligent efforts in the same cause?

It certainly looks like it, with the right-wingers in question very possibly hailing from Wall Street, where the ruling powers loathed Spitzer for his crusades against them when he was New York's attorney general.

If threatened, Wall Street plays very dirty. Let's nose along the trail.

As a 20-year veteran of Wall Street e-mailed me apropos Langone's remarks: “Spitzer's enemies on Wall Street probably hired private eyes to follow him. I know this to be SOP against Wall Street enemies.”

It's hard to root for Spitzer with much enthusiasm, beyond mandatory support for anyone facing political ruin and possible criminal charges for having sex with a consenting adult. But Spitzer had frightened Wall Street, which was a good thing.

Major Wall Street operators created the housing bubble, fixed the system of bogus AAA ratings, kept the debt off their balance sheets and prevented pricing transparency.

As with the dot-com NASDAQ bubble of nearly a decade ago, there are perpetrators who should be facing criminal sanctions.

Wall Street has nothing to fear for its subprime frauds from the Securities and Exchange Commission; the commission has no criminal prosecutorial powers.

But New York state does have the Martin Act, one of the most powerful criminal enforcement weapons in the country and one used to great effect by Attorney General Spitzer.

In January of this year, there were news stories about Attorney General Andrew Cuomo using the Martin Act to go after the subprime corporate miscreants. Such an onslaught, with the backing of Spitzer, was undoubtedly making Wall Street nervous.

As traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange cheered Spitzer's downfall Wednesday, guess who rang the closing bell? Lynn Pike, president of Capital One, which owns North Fork Bank.

She was celebrating the opening of more than 350 banks in the New York region. Are these 350 now deployed to bag more Dems?

Anonymous said...

Blossom Valley, San Jose, Ca.

Bed 4, Baths 2, 1308 SF
Sold for: $441,000 (01/14/2008)
Last Sale: $569,231 (03/11/2007)

Bed 4, Baths 2, 1308 SF
Sold for: $460,000 (01/28/2008)
Last Sale: $617,864 (07/19/2007)

Bed 4, Baths 2, 1474 SF
Sold for: $330,000 (01/18/2008)
Last Sale: $660,000 (06/15/2006)

Bed 5, Baths 3, 2509 SF
Sold for: $126,500 (02/26/2008)
Last Sale: $798,500 (08/02/2006)

Bed 3, Baths 2, 1120 SF
Asking: $495,000
Last Sale: $610,500 (12/06/2005)

Bed 3, Baths 1.5, 1156 SF
Asking: $315,000
Last Sale: $457,000 (09/29/2006)

Bed 3, Baths 2.5, 1222 SF
Asking: $485,000
Last Sale: $621,000 (01/19/2006)

Bed 3, Baths 2, 1237 SF
Asking: $495,000
Last Sale: $653,000 (12/19/2006)

Bed 3, Baths 2, 1310 SF
Asking: $498,888
Last Sale: $655,000 (05/18/2005)

Bed 3, Baths 2, 1409 SF
Asking: $494,000
Last Sale: $660,000 (06/22/2005)

Bed 3, Baths 2, 1617 SF
Asking: $495,000
Last Sale: $658,500 (05/09/2006)

Bed 4, Baths 3, 1673 SF
Asking: $441,000
Last Sale: $725,000 (02/23/2007)

Tyrone said...

Open Question:
At what price per gallon of gasoline will your spending habits and life be changed?
How will they change?

Anonymous said...

The national price for regular gasoline is expected to peak around $3.50 per gallon this spring, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said this week.

For diesel fuel, the national average price should peak around $3.70 per gallon in March and April, the agency said.

What's more, $4 per gallon and above gasoline is not out of the question in some parts of the country this spring.

Diesel is selling at nearly $4 per gallon in some locations in central Virginia.

For every 100 percent increase in fuel prices, eating out decreases between 45 and 56 percent, according to a research report.

Spending in grocery stores, meanwhile, rises 15 to 19 percent.

Anonymous said...

Essentials such as petrol, household energy, local authority rates and running cars have all spiked dramatically in cost since Labour came to power, by more than the official rate of inflation.

In the past year alone, food price rises represented a quarter of the total consumer price index (CPI) rise. It and necessities such as local council rates, rubbish disposal, water charges, telecommunications, electricity and gas and petrol were responsible for two-thirds of the total increase.

Raewyn Nielsen, chief executive of the Federation of Family Budgeting, said rises in essentials hit those with the lowest disposable income hardest as they spend a high proportion of their income on the basics.

Those heavily in debt, whether with a mortgage or with excessive consumer or credit card debt, had also suffered a sudden rise in the cost of servicing their debt, Nielsen said. In the past year alone the interest costs of a two-year mortgage had risen by a factor of more than 14 per cent.

One low-income group whose inflation hurt is understated by the CPI is the retired, said Age Concern's Alastair Stewart. They had little scope to cut back on the essentials and their relatively low incomes meant local authority rate rises cut deeply into their disposable income.

Anonymous said...

Higher prices for fuel, heating, dairy products and bread pushed inflation in the euro currency zone to 3.3 percent in February, the highest level since the euro currency was launched in 200, the Europoean Union said Friday.

Anonymous said...

Owing to the steep hike in prices of some manufactured items and aviation turbine fuel, inflation increased to over a nine-month high at 5.11 percent for the week that ended March 1.

While this has shattered all hopes of interest rate cuts by the RBI to boost the sagging industrial production, the Wholesale Price Index-based Inflation rate stood at 5.02 percent in the previous week and 6.51 percent in the corresponding week in 2007.

Contrary to the five percent target set by the Reserve Bank of India for the current fiscal, this is the second week in a row that the inflation rate crossed the five percent mark.

Anonymous said...

NINE out of 10 consumers do not trust the Government's inflation figures, believing the true rate of inflation to be 8.1%, not 2.2% as ministers suggest, according to's latest index reveals that more than half of Britons think the increase in the cost of living is between 7% and 12%, and one in 20 reckons it is above 15%.

Forty-year-olds seem to be feeling the pinch of inflation most, placing their personal inflation rate at 9%.

Anonymous said...

Mexico's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a fifth month as policy makers balanced their forecast for above-target inflation with concerns that the economy is slowing.

Banco de Mexico's five-member board voted today to keep the overnight lending rate at 7.5 percent, the bank said in a statement.

Anonymous said...

Inflation in Germany, Europe's largest economy, held above the European Central Bank's limit for a 12th month in February as the euro's appreciation failed to offset a surge in energy prices.

Anonymous said...

Toyota Motor Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., respectively Japan's largest carmaker and consumer electronic maker, failed to meet union wage demands, ignoring a request by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to help stimulate consumer spending.

Toyota will raise wages by 1,000 yen ($9.72) a month instead of the 1,500 yen the union requested, the company said in a statement today. Matsushita will also increase pay by 1,000 yen, half of what workers had sought. The increases amount to less than a 0.5 percent gain in average wages.

The pay increase will hold down costs for the companies as a stronger yen and higher material costs erode earnings. The country's inflation has risen to a nine-year high this year hampering consumer spending in the world's second-largest economy.

``1,000 yen? That's a black joke. Is that going to buy you a new TV or a new DVD player? I don't think so,'' said Takehiro Sato, chief Japan economist at Morgan Stanley in Tokyo. ``The cost of living is obviously rising higher. That means real income is actually dropping.''

Anonymous said...

High Gas Price Reflects Debasement of the Dollar

"Americans Start to Curb Their Thirst For Gasoline" provides insightful information regarding the changing habits of Americans in the wake of higher gasoline prices.

The major reason for the surge in crude oil goes back to the basics of supply and demand, however not the supply and demand of crude oil or gasoline.

No, it is the supply and demand of dollars in the nation's and world's economy that is a primary reason for the increase in oil prices.

As the Federal Reserve has debased our currency over the past few years, the price of oil and a host of other commodities have in turn risen.

This is an important fact for all Americans to understand when going to the pump.

Tyrone said...

Top 10 Spitzer Excuses.

Anonymous said...

Goldman, which has largely thrived amid the turmoil elsewhere on Wall Street, is expected to report a fall in first-quarter earnings of about 50 per cent.

The writedown will underline how the financial turbulence is now affecting even the most stellar performers.

The bank's $3bn write­down will be based partly on the declining value of its 4.9 per cent stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which is held separately on Goldman's balance sheet.

The share price of ICBC, which conducted the world's biggest ever initial public offering in 2006, has fallen by about 14 per cent in recent months.

Anonymous said...

Royal Bank Of Scotland Interested In Bear Stearns

Anonymous said...

In September 1998, the Federal Reserve helped arrange a bailout of the giant investment fund Long-Term Capital Management after it neared collapse from bad bets in wildly swinging markets.

In those and similar instances the big-name debacles marked the peak of the financial system crises, not the start of something worse.

But this time around, with Friday's surprise announcement that the Fed would temporarily inject its own money into tottering brokerage giant Bear Stearns Cos., many Wall Street pros say they have little confidence that the move is a prelude to better times for beleaguered markets and the economy.

Indeed, some experts say Bear Stearns' woes warn of potentially larger calamities that will severely test the Fed, the economy and, ultimately, taxpayers as the government gets more deeply involved in fixing the markets' troubles.

"We will lose, in some form, several major financial institutions before this is over," said veteran economist Allen Sinai of Decision Economics Inc. in New York.

The heart of the problem is that the nation is living through an unwinding of a 25-year-long, consumer-led borrowing binge. Bear Stearns was a key player in financing that binge, most notably in high-risk mortgages.

AnarchyX said...

You Rothchild masters

"Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power and chattel slavery destroyed. This, I and my European friends are glad of, for slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborers, while the European plan, led by England, is that capital shall control labor by controlling wages. This can be done by controlling the money. The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war, must be used as a means to control the volume of money. To accomplish this, the bonds [government debt to the bankers] must be used as a banking basis. . . . It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control that."

edd browne said...

anon March 15 11:59 PM
listed some price drops.
We need some links to
back up such information.

If a statement speaks for itself,
or is an opinion, links are optional; but your numbers are
just numbers. You even post anon.

I could do the same and say that
that Bush is an alien zombie (might be true), or that green
gold has been discovered in
Eldorado, or that now is a good
time to buy a home.

Anonymous said...

Responding to rising inflation, the central bank is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate by another 12.5 basis points when its board meets late this month, a report by Taipei-based Polaris Research Institute said yesterday.

The US Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate cuts have resulted in record-high capital inflows to Taiwan

Although the core CPI, excluding food and fuel prices, slightly declined from January's 2.71 percent to 2.65 percent last month, it remained the nation's second-highest core CPI in the past nine years and above a 2 percent level in five consecutive months -- signs of increasing inflationary pressures, the report said.

Rising prices of international raw materials and a lower CPI basis will continue to drive up the nation's inflation in the first half of this year, forcing the central bank to continue to raise interest rates to fight inflation, Polaris said.

Anonymous said...

We need some links to
back up such information.

Check your various MSL listing sites.

You will find them.

Anonymous said...

Chinese officials have confirmed that bird flu was to blame for killing chickens in poultry markets in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, Hong Kong's health bureau Sunday.

China's Ministry of Agriculture notified the administration that the birds tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus, marking the country's fifth outbreak among poultry this year, Hong Kong's Food and Health Bureau said in a statement.

The Ministry of Agriculture also said on its Web site that last week's outbreak in Guangzhou killed 114 birds and resulted in the slaughter of 518 others. But it has been contained, the ministry said.

China, which raises more poultry than any other country worldwide, has vowed to aggressively fight the virus. H5N1 has killed at least 235 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Scientists fear it could mutate into a form that spreads easily among humans, potentially sparking a pandemic that kills millions. So far, most human cases have been linked to contact with infected birds.

China has already reported three human bird flu deaths this year, including a 44-year-old migrant worker last month in southern Guangdong province. It has recorded 20 human deaths since the virus began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in late 2003.

Anonymous said...

In another sign of banks' continued reluctance to lend, the difference between what the U.S. government and companies pay for three-month loans has climbed in the past month. The so- called TED spread increased to 1.58 percentage points today from 0.78 percentage point on Feb. 14.

Anonymous said...

Last Trade: 99.01 USD to JPY

If yen get down to 80 then US Auto Manufacturers should be able to compete again.

But Yen Carry Trade needs to unwind more first.

Anonymous said...

Argentina and Brazil are to scrap bilateral commercial transactions in U.S. dollars and start using their own currencies from August, an official in charge of currency settlement at the Argentine Central Bank said here Saturday.

The new payment system is aimed at reducing costs in commercial transactions and would benefit small and medium-sized enterprises, the official said.

Under the new system, there will be a unified exchange rate between the real and peso, the so-called reference rate, which will be applied by Brazilian and Argentine central banks at the end of each day.

Anonymous said...


Bear Sterns to be bought out by JPMorgan for about $240 million. Stock swap deal renders BSC to approx. $2/share! $3.54B in market value on Friday to $ BSC shareholders really got it in the rear.

Read it here at Bloomberg

and here at Mish's Global Exconomic blog

From the Bloomberg article (scary):

Bear Stearns's prime brokerage unit, which provides loans and processes trades for hedge funds, generated $1.2 billion in revenue last year. That business is probably the only piece left of the company with value after the mortgage market collapsed last year, analysts have said.

Well, there's your mark to market...wonder how much more of this we'll see...?

Anonymous said...

Friday March 14 the functioning Idiot in Chief Bush actually said this WTF!!!! "Bush says if younger, he would work in Afghanistan"

In a videoconference, Bush heard from U.S. military and civilian personnel about the challenges ranging from fighting local government and police corruption to persuading farmers to abandon a lucrative poppy drug trade for other crops.

Bush heard tales of all-night tea drinking sessions to coax local residents into cooperating, and of tribesmen crossing mountains to attend government meetings seen as building blocks for the country's democracy-in-the-making.

"I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."

"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said. SPREAD THIS ALL OVER THE NET BLOGGERS


Anonymous said...

"I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."

Anonymous said...


“People in some areas of Santa Fe, who bought their homes two or three years ago have lost 25 percent of their value, but now I think the values are pretty firm,’ Chernock said.”
--Bob Chernock, Santa Fe Realty Partners

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