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  • Wed, Feb 11 2009
  • 6:07 PM » FDIC lets banks borrow cheaply for longer
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 6:07 PM by Market Watch
    The FDIC extends its guarantees for new bank debt until October for an additional premium.
  • 6:07 PM » Housing Tax Credit: "Largely Dropped"
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 6:07 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Bloomberg: Asked what a proposed $15,000 tax credit for homebuyers looks like in the compromise plan, Baucus laughed and said, “not much.” He said that proposal has largely been dropped, though he didn’t provide details. We still need the details on what "not much" means, but this is a little bit of good news. Note: I'm still working on some Google technical issues. This includes the feed not working. Sorry for the inconvenience.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 6:07 PM » Report: Stimulus Agreement Reached
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 6:07 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Update: CNBC: The White House and key congressional negotiators have tentatively settled on a $790 billion price tag for President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan, Democratic aides on Capitol Hill said. The aides said one way negotiators are trimming the measure's cost below the $838 billion plan that passed the Senate Tuesday is to pare back Obama's signature "Making Work Pay" tax credit for 95 percent of workers. This should be cut to $400 a year instead of $500. A married couple would get $800 instead of the $1,000 initially proposed by Obama. Update: WSJ: Under the framework coming together, lawmakers would trim the cost of Senate-approved tax cuts intended to spur auto and home sales, but would preserve a measure intended to shield millions of middle-income Americans from the alternative minimum tax, a levy originally designed to hit the wealthy. Among other things, a signature Obama tax cut—the payroll tax holiday for workers –would be scaled back, under the framework being negotiated. One headlines says "reach", the other "near" ... It sounds like a deal is close, and the stimulus package will likely be smaller than either the House or Senate versions.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:23 PM » Geithner pressed for details
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 12:23 PM by CNN
    A day after unveiling his new financial rescue plan, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner again went before Congress to defend it.
  • 12:22 PM » Bargain search and banks fuel Wall Street rebound
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 12:22 PM by Washington Post
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors snapped up beaten down financial shares, a day after worries about a plan to shore up the financial system sent equities tumbling.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 12:22 PM » Bank CEOs flogged in Washington
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 12:22 PM by CNN
    Top executives from eight of the nation's largest financial institutions told Congress Wednesday that they are continuing to lend, even as banks have come under severe scrutiny in recent weeks about their use of billions of dollars in government aid.
  • 12:22 PM » Merrill secretly moved up bonus payments: Cuomo
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 12:22 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Merrill Lynch secretly accelerated bonus payments and gave at least $1 million to each of nearly 700 employees as the brokerage was amassing billions of dollars of losses, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in a letter to Rep. Barney Frank.
  • 10:48 AM » Home sweet retirement home
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 10:48 AM by CNN
    My wife and I recently swallowed hard and bought a tiny cabin on a prime lake-front lot near the Berkshire hills in western Massachusetts where we'd like to retire one day. (At a later date, we'll build a bigger house.) Were we early, buying before housing prices hit rock bottom? Almost certainly. Are we losing sleep over it? Absolutely not.
  • 10:01 AM » Bank of England ready to boost money supply in recession fight
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 10:01 AM by Market Watch
    The Bank of England is prepared to further ease monetary policy and could buy British government bonds in an effort to boost the money supply as it battles a “deep recession,” the central bank’s governor, Mervyn King, said Wednesday.
  • 10:01 AM » Toll Bros. Revenue Sinks 51%, Confident on Liquidity
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 10:01 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: Home builder Toll Brothers reported a sharp drop in first-quarter revenue Wednesday, but said it had enough liquidity to get it through the current turmoil in the industry. Topics: | | | Sectors: Companies:
  • 9:30 AM » Cuomo blasts Merrill executives on bonus plan
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 9:30 AM by Washington Post
    ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo accused Merrill Lynch & Co. executives of corporate irresponsibility by secretly and prematurely awarding $3.6 billion in bonuses as taxpayers were bailing out the industry.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:30 AM » Facing Oversight, Banks Go on Offense
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 9:30 AM by Washington Post
    Wall Street is trying to move out of its defensive crouch, with top bankers planning to tell Congress today that they are making loans, managing their money prudently, and intending to pay back any public funds at a profit to the U.S. Treasury.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:23 AM » Bank Execs to Face House Panel
    Published Wed, Feb 11 2009 9:23 AM by WSJ
    Bank chieftains including J.P. Morgan's Dimon, Bank of America's Lewis and Citigroup's Pandit plan to tell Congress they are lending despite economic headwinds.
  • Tue, Feb 10 2009
  • 2:35 PM » Let the Wall St. "Talent" Walk
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 2:35 PM by
    On Wall Street, the “talent” doesn’t come up with better ways to serve customers, or solve vexing problems, or create something new that people can use. Those deemed “talent” are the rainmakers: The ones with the most lucrative clients, the biggest book of business, the most profitable deals. This so-called talent is richly rewarded with bonuses, to make sure the fees they generate keep flowing.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:18 PM » Wal-Mart Cutting Up to 800 Jobs at Home Offices
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 2:18 PM by CNBC
  • 2:18 PM » Bernanke says Fed actions easing strains
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 2:18 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve believes an array of extraordinary programs aimed at stabilizing credit and banking have improved market conditions and eased strains despite a drumbeat of negative economic news, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday.
  • 12:28 PM » Secretary Geithner Introduces Financial Stability Plan
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 12:28 PM by US Treasury
    To view or print the PDF content on this page, download the free . February 10, 2009 TG-18 Secretary Geithner Introduces Financial Stability Plan Remarks by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Introducing the Financial Stability Plan Tuesday, February 10, 2009 As prepared for delivery As President Obama said in his inaugural address, our economic strength is derived from "the doers, the makers of things." The innovators who create and expand enterprises; the workers who provide life to companies; this is what drives economic growth. The financial system is central to this process. Banks and the credit markets transform the earnings and savings of American workers into the loans that finance a first home, a new car or a college education. And this system provides the capital and credit necessary to build a company around a new idea. Without credit, economies cannot grow at their potential, and right now, critical parts of our financial system are damaged. The credit markets that are essential for small businesses and consumers are not working. Borrowing costs have risen sharply for state and local governments, for students trying to pay for college, and for businesses large and small. Many banks are reducing lending, and across the country they are tightening the terms of loans. Last Friday we learned that the economy had lost three million jobs last year, and an additional 600,000 just last month. As demand falls and credit tightens, businesses around the world are cutting back the investments that are essential to future growth. Trade among nations has contracted sharply, as trade finance has dried up. Home prices are still falling, as foreclosures rise and even credit worthy borrowers are finding it harder to finance the purchase of a first home, or refinance their mortgage. Instead of catalyzing recovery, the financial system is working against recovery. And at the same time, the recession is putting greater pressure on banks. This is a dangerous dynamic...
  • 12:08 PM » Can We Really Believe "California Comeback" Report?
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 12:08 PM by CNBC
    Posted By: A new report scheduled to be released tomorrow from on-line foreclosure sale site,, claims a “California Comeback” is well under way. Topics: | | Sectors: | MEDIA:
  • 12:07 PM » Text of Geithner's remarks
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 12:07 PM by Market Watch
    Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced the government’s plan to revitalize the financial sector. Here are his prepared remarks, as released by the Treasury.
  • 12:07 PM » Taking Apart the $819 billion Stimulus Package
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 12:07 PM by The Big Picture
    > Source : Washington Post
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 12:07 PM » The Recent History of Gold, 1954-2009
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 12:07 PM by The Big Picture
    Attention Gold Bugs : Warm up your credit cards! Back in 2007, we ran this terrific chart by JP Koning of the . JP is at it again, this time, devising this fascinating pictograph showing the . JP adds: “The Recent History of Gold Wall Chart contains the gold price from 1954-2009, as well as 26 crucial events that dramatically affected that price, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 1973 oil embargo, and the 2001 World Trade Tower bombing. Also unique is our inclusion of prices from 1954-1968, when gold was fixed at $35. In actuality, the gold price fluctuated in a narrow band between $34.80 and $35.20, and was much influenced by world events. Our chart is one of the first to return to this lost data and analyse it.” Educational and fascinating . . .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 11:04 AM » Farewell to 'for sale by owner'?
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 11:04 AM by CNN
    Not long ago, for sale by owner (FSBO) Web sites were heralded as a fresh entrepreneurial wave that was going to upend the staid real estate industry. In 2006 real estate sales "unassisted" by a broker accounted for 20% of sales made, says Steve Murray, editor and owner of Real Trends, a market research firm in Castle Rock, Colo.
  • 9:33 AM » WTO Panel Warned of Protectionism Threat
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:33 AM by Washington Post
    PARIS, Feb. 9 -- The director-general of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, called Monday for a freer flow of trade information to help guard against protectionism as governments struggle to overcome the global economic crisis.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:32 AM » Obama Says Economic Crisis Comes First
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:32 AM by Washington Post
    President Obama declared last night in his first prime-time news conference that the task of saving and creating jobs is more important than cultivating the bipartisan cooperation he promised to bring to Washington, and he pressed his case for the massive economic stimulus plan working its way...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:31 AM » UBS: $7 Billion Loss; to Cut 15,000 Jobs
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:31 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Press Release: Update: From the WSJ: UBS AG Tuesday reported a narrower fourth-quarter net loss and said it will cut 15,000 jobs by the end of this year in its loss-making investment bank. The confessional is still very busy. And oldie (Source: ) Here is the actually .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:30 AM » Some Improvement in Bond Market
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:30 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the WSJ: A growing number of big companies are taking advantage of the thawing credit markets to raise large sums of money at low interest rates, with Cisco Systems Inc. Monday selling $4 billion in bonds ... The big Cisco offering follows a string of successful efforts just in the past five weeks to tap the market for corporate debt. The size of the offering -- and the relatively low risk premiums attached to the bonds -- indicate that investors are hungry for debt from highly rated companies that issue infrequently. ... Cisco's 10-year notes were sold Monday at two percentage points above Treasurys for a yield of 4.979%, while a 30-year portion of Cisco's offering sold for a yield of 5.916%. ... Cablevision Systems Corp. had to pay interest of 9.375% to borrow $500 million on Monday. [10 year notes] ... Other companies are still shut out of the market completely. The following graph shows the spread between 30 year Moody's Aaa and Baa rated bonds and the 30 year treasury. The Moody's data is from the : Moody's tries to include bonds with remaining maturities as close as possible to 30 years. Moody's drops bonds if the remaining life falls below 20 years, if the bond is susceptible to redemption, or if the rating changes. Click on table for larger image in new window. There has been some improvement (decline in spread) in recent weeks, but the spreads are still very high - even for higher rated paper - but especially for lower rated paper like Cablevision.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:29 AM » GM to Cut Salaried Staff by 14%
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:29 AM by WSJ
    General Motors will shed 10,000 white-collar jobs this year as the auto maker copes with a severe sales slump. Salary cuts are also planned.
  • 9:29 AM » Treasury Aims to Strengthen Banks
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:29 AM by WSJ
    Financial-rescue efforts have been "inadequate," and the government needs to focus on ways to strengthen banks' balance sheets stronger, Geithner will say.
  • 9:29 AM » UBS Cuts Jobs After $7 Billion Loss
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:29 AM by NY Times
    Swiss bank UBS announced it would cut about 1,600 more jobs at its investment bank after it posted a $7 billion) loss in the fourth quarter, missing forecasts.
  • 9:11 AM » Mortgage Companies Losing Funding Lines
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:11 AM by
    Officials say one of the largest privately owned mortgage companies in Mississippi has laid off about 300 employees in several states after Countrywide Financial Corp. froze its line of credit this week
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:02 AM » Fannie, Freddie Funding Needs May Pass $200 Billion, FHFA Says
    Published Tue, Feb 10 2009 9:02 AM by Bloomberg
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance companies seized by regulators, may need more than the $200 billion in funding pledged by the U.S. government if the housing market continues to deteriorate, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart said.
  • Mon, Feb 9 2009
  • 4:43 PM » Housing group to protest at executives' homes
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 4:43 PM by Washington Post
    NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A non-profit housing advocacy group said Monday it will rally at the homes of those it calls "financial predators" _ investors and banking executives it says are balking at helping struggling homeowners refinance their mortgages.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 4:42 PM » OFHEO Chief: Fighting Foreclosures
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 4:42 PM by CNBC
    Insight on how to solve the housing crisis, with James Lockhart, Federal Housing Finance Agency director and CNBC's Jane Wells & Erin Burnett. MEDIA:
  • 4:42 PM » The Republicans' no-bang mortgage plan
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 4:42 PM by
    The US government should not – because it cannot – try to determine whether housing prices are too high or too low, write Gary Becker and Edward Lazear
  • 4:42 PM » More than 1,000 banks may fail in coming years, analyst says
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 4:42 PM by Market Watch
    More than 1,000 banks may fail during the next three to five years as the recession intensifies and loan losses climb, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets estimates.
  • 12:29 PM » Mortgage fraud increases in 2008
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 12:29 PM by Google News
    The military in Iraq wasn’t the only thing surging in 2008. Mortgage fraud also reached a new high last year, according to the FraudBlogger Index. Federal investigators have identified an increase in frauds and schemes in the real estate business as well. Mortgage fraud activity that might have otherwise gone undetected was uncovered as falling home prices and rising defaults pushed these crimes to the surface,” said Publisher Sam Garcia. “Although Fraud is being uncovered at an increasing pace, the actual level of fraud on more recent originations has likely tumbled as production has dwindled and lenders have tightened guidelines.” FraudBlogger reports that more than $5 billion in mortgage fraud cases were tracked during 2008. That’s up from $4 billion in 2007. Quarterly activity more than doubled in the fourth quarter over the previous quarter and was nearly 300 percent higher than the fourth quarter in 2007. The ten states experiencing the most mortgage fraud in the final quarter of 2008 were: California with $1,095,840,000 New York with $374,334,000 Florida with $344,634,286 Minnesota with $208,300,000 Nevada with $101,200,000 Virginia with $77,213,822 Texas with $70,000,000 Colorado with $50,800,000 Ohio with $41,469,500 Pennsylvania with $40,800,000 California jumped to the to the top of the list followed by New York, a newcomer to the top ten ranking. Much of California’s increase was tied around 11,000 mortgage fraud investigations reported by the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco. In addition, special agents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation division investigate mortgage fraud. These agents an uniquely equipped to investigate such fraud and similar illegal activities because they are skilled financial investigators whose mission is to “follow the money” and collect evidence to prove applicable tax or money laundering violations. Once the investigation is complete, the IRS agents forward their investigation to the Department...
  • 12:23 PM » Geithner Plans to Bring in Private Investment for Toxic Assets
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 12:23 PM by Bloomberg
    reasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is seeking to draw investors into the U.S. financial-rescue program, aiming to add private funding as a new component of proposals to address the toxic debt clogging banks’ balance sheets.
  • 12:14 PM » Official: Plan will buy some of banks' bad assets
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 12:14 PM by Washington Post
    WASHINGTON -- An administration official said Monday the overhaul of the government's $700 billion financial rescue program is likely to include a partnership with the private sector to buy troubled assets.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 12:14 PM » Mortgage Rates Likely Headed to 4.5%: Pimco's Gross
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 12:14 PM by CNBC
    Posted By: Government action to shore up the economy and improve the housing climate probably will send mortgage rates to 4.5 percent, Bill Gross, co-CEO at the Pimco bond fund, said Monday. Topics: | | | | | | | | | MEDIA:
  • 11:11 AM » US Financials Rise, Boosted By Banks Ahead Of Rescue Details
    Published Mon, Feb 09 2009 11:11 AM by Market Watch
    Bank stocks carried over a Friday rally Monday morning, rising ahead of details from the latest government plan to rescue the industry and inject capital to the financial system and supporting the broader financial sector. Regional banks Fifth Third Bancorp , Huntington Bancshares Inc. and Regions Financial Corp. headed the list of gainers, each adding more than 10%. Among the larger money center banks, Citigroup Inc. rose 2.8% and Bank of America Corp.
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