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  • Fri, Jun 5 2009
  • 10:45 AM » Stock Rally Runs Out of Gas
    Published Fri, Jun 05 2009 10:45 AM by WSJ
    Early stock gains evaporated despite initial cheer over data that showed marked slowing in the pace of job losses. DuPont sank more than 7%.
  • 10:30 AM » Economists React: ‘Why Would Companies Hire?’
    Published Fri, Jun 05 2009 10:30 AM by WSJ
    Economists and others weigh in on . The loss of 345,000 jobs in May — 0.3% of employment — makes this jobs report the second worst in a quarter century not including the current recession, but in today’s economy a loss of only 345,000 jobs is welcome news. –Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute The improvement was spread across most sectors with the notable exception of manufacturing, where the 156,000 drop was similar to April’s. But retail, construction and finance losses all slowed. What’s happening here is the end of the post-Lehman panic, which hugely accelerated the pace of losses. But it would be very dangerous to extrapolate this into absolute job gains; why would companies hire? Unemployment horrific, wage gains tanking. Less bad, yes; good, no. –Ian Shepherdson, High Frequency Economics Such a sharp one-month shift in payrolls coupled with relatively consistent weekly claims data may be a recipe for revision in four weeks, but, for the moment, we’re happy to take this source of economic optimism and run with it. Still, amidst all this recoveryphoria, we prefer to take a more reasoned approach to expectations of improving activity in the coming months… In the coming months, the uncertain outcome from the failure of Chrysler and GM could well pressure manufacturing payrolls further and disrupt the traditional position of manufacturing activity as a leading indicator of output and employment recovery. –Guy LeBas, Janney Montgomery Scott The reported payroll change for May is considerably smaller than signaled by other labor market indicators… We continue to believe that we are still some time from stabilization in employment conditions, and even further from sustained growth in payrolls. –Joshua Shapiro, MFR Inc. A case can be made that the economy is decaying at a slower rate in the second quarter but projecting out to a second half recovery still seems to be a stretch. The household data was weaker than the payroll series. House-hold employment was very...
  • 10:30 AM » Dollar gains on euro, yen
    Published Fri, Jun 05 2009 10:30 AM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 8:25 AM » Clarification of Wednesday's Mortgage Statistics
    Published Fri, Jun 05 2009 8:25 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: I want to make a correction since I did some lazy reporting Wednesday (which should qualify me for the mainstream press). We have a couple of tenets on why the American economy (read: US consumer) is ready to rebound... it won't have anything to do with jobs since those are in the dumper for a while, but most of it will be on the 3 legged stool of (a) government flooding the system with money, fiscal and monetary stimulus creating jobs and 'prosperity' (b) the Fed holding the neck down on mortgage rates will allow indebted consumers to act like it's 2006 again, refinancing like mad and using their dwindling equity as a piggy bank and (c) we have a "commodity" tax cut, namely of the energy kind.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 8:25 AM » Ex-Countrywide Execs May Still Face Criminal Charges
    Published Fri, Jun 05 2009 8:25 AM by dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com
    Angelo R. Mozilo, former chief of the mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, has been charged with securities fraud and insider trading by the S.E.C., but not by the Justice Department.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com
  • Thu, Jun 4 2009
  • 4:11 PM » Countrywide's Mozilo charged with fraud
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 4:11 PM by CNN
    The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday said it had filed fraud charges against former Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and two others.
  • 3:59 PM » Federal Reserve Purchases $25.833bn Agency MBS in Week Ending June 3, 2009
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 3:59 PM by NY Fed
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  • 1:23 PM » Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates for the Week Ending June 4, 2009
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 1:23 PM by Freddie Mac
    MORTGAGE RATES CLIMB IN RESPONSE TO RECENT RISE IN BOND YIELDS 30-Year At Highest Rate Since Week Ending December 11, 2008 McLean, VA - Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.29 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending June 4, 2009, up from last week when it averaged 4.91 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.09 percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.79 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.53 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.65 percent. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.85 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.82 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.51 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.81 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.69 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.06 percent. (Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.) "30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates caught up to the recent rise in long-term bond yields this week to reach a 25-week high," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist." And the slowdown in the housing market has now detracted from economic growth for the past 13 quarters, the longest quarterly stretch since at least 1947, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2009 alone, residential fixed investment shaved 1.4 percentage points off of real GDP growth, the most since third quarter of 2006. "Yet, there are signs that the housing market may be moderating. Housing affordability rose in April to the second highest reading since January 1971 when records began, according the National Association...
  • 1:22 PM » New York Fed purchases $7.494 billion in Treasury coupons
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 1:22 PM by tinyurl.com
    New York Fed purchases $7.494 billion in Treasury coupons
  • 1:21 PM » Most over- and under-valued housing markets
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 1:21 PM by CNN
    Home price declines have sent affordability soaring. Prices have fallen so far that the average U.S. home is now undervalued by 12.2%, according to a new report from IHS Global Insight.
  • 1:20 PM » 'World's cheapest car' coming to US
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 1:20 PM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 1:20 PM » Banks No Longer Need FDIC's Legacy Loan Taxpayer Bailout
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 1:20 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: A press release just released by the FDIC announces that the Legacy Loan program is all but done. So much for the PPIP. Sheila Bair better hope that [[JPM]] and whoever can sustain the market around 940 in perpetuity, cause the second we see the waterfall banks will be first back on the bailout porch. But that's the government for you: 2 months ago they couldn't get enough acronyms in the market, now they are trying to shake them all off. Presumably, there is a reason why it is all called a confidence game. Press Release FDIC Statement on the Status of the Legacy Loans Program FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 1:20 PM » Treasury Announces $135 Million More in Recovery Act Funds
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 1:20 PM by US Treasury
    June 4, 2009 TG-156 Treasury Announces $135 Million More in Recovery Act Funds to Create Jobs, Provide Affordable Housing WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration's effort to create jobs and ease pressures on the housing market , the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced nearly $135 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding to spur the development of affordable housing units in Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Washington. "Today's announcement of housing funds demonstrates how the Recovery Act is putting our nation on the path to economic stability, one community at a time," said Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin. "This initiative will help to spur construction and development, create much needed jobs, and increase the availability of affordable housing for families around the country." The labor and housing crises in this country are deeply inter-connected. Since their peak level at the beginning of 2006, housing starts have fallen 80 percent. Houses currently under construction are at a 13 -year low, down more than 60 percent from the peak in the first quarter of 2006. This collapse has led to severe job losses in the residential building and specialty trades sector related to housing, with employment down by nearly one-third -- a loss of more than one million jobs. Such losses not only indicate significant problems in the residential construction sector, but also suggest that the need for affordable housing has risen markedly during the recession. In response, the Treasury Department has launched an innovative program that will provide more than $3 billion from the Recovery Act to put people to work building quality, affordable housing for individuals and families affected by the current crisis. The Treasury Department will work with state housing agencies to jump start the development or renovation of qualified affordable housing for families across the country. Under this...
  • 11:01 AM » Dudley: A Preliminary Assessment of the TALF
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 11:01 AM by NY Fed
    Remarks at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and Pension Real Estate Association's Public-Private Investment Program Summit, New York City
  • 10:45 AM » FEDS 2009-21: Do Constraints on Market Work Hours Change Home Production Efforts?
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 10:45 AM by Federal Reserve
    We study variations in housework time and leisure consumption when workers are subject to labor market work hours constraints that prevent them from working the optimal number of hours. Using data from two large nationwide longitudinal surveys, we first document that such constraints are widespread--about 50 percent of all households in our sample had been bound by such constraints in at least one year, highlighting the significance of studying household behaviors in labor markets under binding constraints. Our analysis reveals strong heterogeneity and asymmetry in workers' reactions to this type of market constraint that are difficult to reconcile with standard preferences and home production technology. In particular, we find that the ceilings on market work hours induce workers to increase time spent on housework, including cooking, and to reduce vacation time. In contrast, floors on market work hours do not significantly affect time spent on housework, but may boost vacation time. On net, workers constrained by hours ceilings (floors) appear to have more (less) leisure time. Meanwhile, the response to hours ceilings are more pronounced among unmarried households. We also find some evidence that the magnitude of the effects of market hours constraints increases with the persistence of these constraints. Our results are robust to a number of variations in measurement metrics, econometric specifications, sample selection criteria, and data sources. We argue that the empirical results documented in this paper can be taken as additional moments conditions against which equilibrium models with home production are calibrated.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 10:45 AM » Business.view: Innovation through regulation
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 10:45 AM by www.economist.com
    Why America's corporate innovation beats Japan's THE most important factor that led to America’s stunning success in information technology was not the free market but government regulation. Federal trustbusters made AT&T lease its lines to others and eventually broke up the giant telephone company. Later they forced IBM to separate its hardware and software businesses. These actions opened the door to competition and lower prices. More important, they changed the industry’s structure, replacing monoliths with smaller, specialised companies which have to work with others with complementary skills. The result has been tremendous innovation. That good regulation is more important than simply freeing markets in technological industries is one of the main ideas in a new book* by Peter Cowhey of the University of California, San Diego (who recently joined the Obama administration) and Jonathan Aronson of the University of Southern California. Counterintuitively, fragmenting these industries helped common standards to emerge, they say. Such standards allowed businesses to become “modularised” so that, for instance, Microsoft’s operating system and Novell’s applications run on IBM’s hardware while an AT&T internet connection can be used to access Google’s search engine. ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.economist.com
  • 10:15 AM » May Sales: How Retailers Fared
    Published Thu, Jun 04 2009 10:15 AM by WSJ
    Many large retailers reported their May sales numbers this week, with most of them coming out the morning of Thursday, June 4. Following , Wal-Mart and its units no longer publish monthly sales figures. Updates to come as more retailers report sales. (Last updated June 4, 2009) Sort the chart below by company name, category, change in total or same-store sales, and total sales. Also, see Company name Category Same-store sales change Overall sales change Overall sales (millions) Comments Abercrombie & Fitch Apparel -28% -22% $182.1 Year-to-date the company’s sales are down 23% compared to last year, as the retailer continues to struggle amid the economic downturn. Sales fell more than 25% across all brands. Aeropostale Apparel 19% 30% $132.9 The company continues to buck the weakness in the retail sector, saying margins for the month increased over last year. BJ’s Discount 4% -4.7% $783.4 “Traffic continued strong, increasing by 5% over last year,” CEO Laura Sen said. Overall, May sales results reflected continued strength in food and consumables, televisions and computer equipment, partly offset by ongoing softness in discretionary departments such as apparel, jewelry and sporting goods, and a slightly increased impact from price deflation in certain areas of perishable foods.” (Same-store sales change excludes gasoline.) Costco Discount -1% -5% $5,470 Strongest results were seen in the Northeast and Midwest. Food and sundries continued to be the strongest categories, as discretionary categories post sales declines. Electronics, for example, posted increases in numbers of sales but price deflation pushes revenue lower from a year earlier. (Same-store sales change is for U.S. and excludes gasoline.) Gap Apparel -6% -5% $1,030 The lower-cost Old Navy stores managed to eke out a 3% gain in sales from a year earlier. The flagship Gap stores and Banana Republic didn’t fare as well, seeing same-store sales drop 11% and 14%, respectively. Hot Topic Apparel -6.4% -2.9% ...
  • Wed, Jun 3 2009
  • 5:18 PM » Merkel Vs. Central Banks: In Her Words
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 5:18 PM by WSJ
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave in Berlin Tuesday at a conference of the , a group sponsored by Germany’s association of metal and electrial-industry employers that advocates smaller government, among other things. The wide-ranging speech touched on the causes of the crisis and the lessons to be learned from it, and contained a rare rebuke of central-bank policy. The Wall Street Journal translated portions of the speech relevant to the monetary-policy critique. Also among the causes [of the crisis], in my opinion, is ultimately behavioral patterns that were also politically supported, so for example through monetary policy in the United States and through refusals in the world’s biggest [financial] markets to accept any rules. … … Ladies and gentlemen, I believe the most complicated phase with regard to the future of the social-market economy will begin when we’ve overcome the crisis. Will we manage to return to the path of virtue - not having done so has actually been the worst thing about crises past - with regard to, among other things, public debts? When will we reach this point? … But the independence of the European Central Bank must be preserved and the things that other central banks are now doing must be retracted. I view with great skepticism the powers of the Fed, for example, and also how, within Europe, the Bank of England has carved out its own small line. The European Central Bank has also bowed somewhat to international pressure with the purchase of covered bonds. We must return together to an independent central-bank policy and to a policy of reason, otherwise we will be in exactly the same situation in 10 years’ time. The fact that that won’t happen without mechanisms, without rules and without social engagement … is why it’s so important to build an international financial-market regime. And for us as members of the European Union it’s important to hold to the discipline of our own treaties. That will yet require from us the most rigorous political...
  • 5:18 PM » Foreclosures and the Home ATM
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 5:18 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    "Credit is so loose today that I can buy the groceries I need on a credit card, eat the food tonight, discard the food by tomorrow at noon and finance my debt on a 30-year, amortized loan. How stupid is that? But people do it all the time - and then they wonder why they're in foreclosure." Mortgage Broker quoted in Denver Post, March 30, 2005 (link no longer works) And today from Peter Goodman at the NY Times: . This article is about homeowners struggling to get loan modifications, but this section reminded me of that Denver Post article: Ms. Ulery, 63, is the face of the latest wave of troubled American homeowners, a surge of people in financial danger not because of reckless gambling on real estate, but because of lost income. Far from being one of those who used easy-money loans to speculate on homes proliferating across the desert soil of greater Phoenix, she has lived in the same modest, stucco-sided condo in suburban Mesa for a dozen years. She bought the two-bedroom home in 1997 for $77,500. So far so good ... but: Like tens of millions of other American homeowners, she added to her mortgage balance as the value of her condo swelled, at one point exceeding $200,000. She refinanced to pay off some credit cards and settle into a 30-year, fixed-rate loan. Later, she took out a home equity line of credit to buy a new Hyundai. She refinanced again in 2007, borrowing $20,000, mostly for a new roof. Money is fungible, but a general guideline is to match the term of the debt with the useful life of the asset. A 30 year loan for a house. A 5 to 7 year loan for a car. Pay cash for lunch. Then - if the useful life and debt term match - when it comes time to replace the asset, the debt will have been retired. But this article provides an example of buying lunch on your credit card, paying off the credit card with a larger mortgage and essentially financing lunch for 30 years! And I'm sorry, but I'd call excessive use of the Home ATM as gambling.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 5:10 PM » PIMCO June Investment Outlook-Staying Rich in the New Normal
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 5:10 PM by www.pimco.com
    “ Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” Balzac Balzac was on to something 200 years ago, but to be fair to modern day multi-millionaires, the only real way to accumulate wealth prior to the 18th century was to steal it, or tax it, I suppose, as was the case with kings and their royal courts. It was only with the advent of capitalism and annual productivity gains that entrepreneurs, investors, and risk-takers with luck or pinpoint-timing could jump to the head of the pack and accumulate what came to be recognized as a fortune.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.pimco.com
  • 10:03 AM » Taxpayers Will Benefit from JPMorgan's Exit from TARP
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 10:03 AM by Seeking Alpha
    Linus Wilson submits: The has asked JP Morgan (JPM) to raise common stock prior to paying back its TARP preferred stock. This was a good move by the Fed which reduces systemic risk. Joint work by Wendy Yan Wu and myself, and solo work, found that $1 of subsidy on a preferred stock recapitalization is equivalent in terms of incentives to $1 of new common stock issued. A greater common stock cushion means that the bank is more likely to make good lending decisions, and is less likely to make bad decisions that lead to bailouts in the future.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:03 AM » Will Congress Try to Dictate Better Market Outcomes with Regulation?
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 10:03 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: On Monday night I had the pleasure of attending the Boston Bar Association’s annual Law Day Dinner as the guest of . Congressman Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, was the featured speaker. His remarks seemed fairly off-the-cuff, but contained some insight into what the financial service industry can expect in new regulations. I had never heard Congressman Frank speak live before, and found myself impressed that he was much more of a “thinker” than he comes across on television (I didn’t realize it before, but he holds both undergrad and law degrees from Harvard). The bulk of his remarks focused on issues regarding the rule of law and the relationship between the judiciary and the legislature in protecting minority rights.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 9:48 AM » Geithner, Facing Sluggish Market, Rents His NY Home
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 9:48 AM by CNBC
  • 9:47 AM » NewsWatch: U.S. stock futures fall before Bernanke
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 9:47 AM by Market Watch
    Stock futures edge lower ahead of testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, with one leading brokerage arguing that bonds are a better place to be than stocks.
  • 9:47 AM » GMAC Plunging Even Deeper into Taxpayers' Pockets
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 9:47 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: GMAC, which has already received a direct taxpayer donation of $13.5 billion, and has recently with higher rates than permitted by the FDIC, is turning to the very same FDIC with the hopes of now issuing FDIC-guaranteed debt. Never one to miss a well-engineered rally which JP Morgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS) and American Express (AXP) already capitalized on and sold yet more shares at ridiculous valuations, Bloomberg reports that GMAC will be with a TLGP issue. The notes, whose principal is unknown but capped by the May 21 permitted carve out of $7.4 billion, will have a December 2012 maturity, and will be underwritten by Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. As all this taxpayer money will ultimately be funneled back to taxpayers who are naive enough to purchase either a bankrupt [[GM]] or a bankrupt Chrysler turbocharged plywood soapbox, it is safe to say that not much of it will be utilized and hopefully in 3 years, when GMAC faced chapter 7, taxpayers will be able to recover some of their cash. Of course, this is much more than can be said for Obama Capital Unlimited Liability Company's investment in GM and Chrysler.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 9:47 AM » Which Industries Are Most Vulnerable to Consumer Shift?
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 9:47 AM by WSJ
    American consumers are saving more, but in order to bring down debt they might have much further to go. An article in Harvard Business Review looks at what that means for the top 10 industries in the S&P 500. The hit a 14-year 5.7% in April, according to Commerce Department data released Monday, and many economists say this newfound thrift is here to stay. William Jarvis , an associate at a major investment bank in New York, and Ian C. MacMillan , a professor at the University of Pennsylvania ’s Wharton School of Business, write in the that the consumer deleveraging is likely to be a slow and painful process. “It would take consumers 1.3 years to pay down existing debt with their current after-tax income, provided they spent that income on absolutely nothing else,” Jarvis and MacMillan write. “That means no purchases of clothes, food, coffee at Starbucks, or anything else for 16 months.” The authors list the top 10 S&P 500 sectors ranked from most to least sensitive to shifts in consumer leverage. 1: Consumer Discretionary 2: Consumer Staples 3: Information Technology 4: Financial Services 5: Utilities 6: Health Care 7: Energy 8: Telecommunications 9: Industrials 10: Materials
  • 8:30 AM » U.S. planned layoffs fall to lowest in 8 months
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 8:30 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell for a fourth consecutive month in May, reaching the lowest level in eight months and offering another sign that the United States may be pulling out of a steep economic tailspin.
  • 8:30 AM » Housing pluses and minuses
    Published Wed, Jun 03 2009 8:30 AM by The Big Picture
    Comments in the earnings reports from homebuilders Toll and HOV highlight the signs of stability but also still the fragility in housing. Toll’s ceo said “with interest rates near historic lows and housing affordability near historic highs, it appears that some buyers are beginning to re-enter the new home market.” HOV’s ceo echoed something similar but also laid out his concerns that “the expiration of the $8,000 federal tax credit in November this year, the depletion of the state funds allocated for the $10,000 CA state tax credit for new home buyers and the potential increase in existing home listings due to another wave of foreclosures as the recent moratoriums on foreclosures have ended could have a dampening effect on our future contract pace.” I say add to this, mortgage rates at 4 mo highs. The MBA said refi’s fell 24.1% to a 3 mo low but purchases rose 4.3% to a 2 mo high. ABC confidence fell 2 pts to a 7 week low. With the bond market over the past few weeks vehemently questioning the prudence of both monetary and fiscal policy, Bernanke testifies on the economy at 10am before the House Budget Committee. May ADP jobs report is expected to fall by 525k. The ISM services index is expected to come in at 45 vs 43.7 in April. II: Bulls 42.5 v 40.9 Bears 25.3 v 28.4, bears lowest since early Jan ‘08 DISCLAIMER Although the information contained herein has been obtained from sources Miller Tabak + Co., LLC believes to be reliable, its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This report is for informational purposes only and under no circumstances is it to be construed as an offer to sell, or a solicitation to buy, any security. At various times we may have positions in and effect transactions in securities referred to herein. Any recommendation contained in this report may not be appropriate for all investors. Trading options is not suitable for all investors and involves risk of loss. Although the information contained in the subject report (not including...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • Tue, Jun 2 2009
  • 4:47 PM » Graphs: Auto Sales in May
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 4:47 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Click on graph for larger image in new window. This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for May (red, light vehicle sales of 9.91 million SAAR from AutoData Corp). May was the best month of 2009 (on seasonally adjusted basis), but sales are still on pace to be the worst since 1967. The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967. The small increase in May hardly shows up on the graph. In 1967 there were 103 million drivers; now there are about twice that many (205.7 million licensed drivers in 2007). Compared to the number of drivers, the current sales rate is the lowest since the BEA started tracking auto sales.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 4:47 PM » FBI head anticipates new wave of financial fraud
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 4:47 PM by Market Watch
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation is braced for a potential crime wave involving fraud and corruption related to bank bailout money and the economic stimulus package, FBI director Robert Mueller warned Tuesday.
  • 2:43 PM » U.S. distressed debt best performer in 2009: report
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 2:43 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. distressed debt, among the hardest hit asset classes last year, has become the best, with returns of 39.5 percent year to date as risk appetite improves, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.
  • 2:43 PM » S&P Downgrades 59 U.S. Prime RMBS Transactions to ‘D’
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 2:43 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: Standard & Poor’s has lowered its ratings to ‘D’ on 66 classes of mortgage pass-through certificates from 59 U.S. prime jumbo residential mortgage-backed securities ((RMBS)) transactions from various issuers. S&P also removed 16 of the lowered ratings from CreditWatch with negative implications. and placed 22 ratings on five of the affected transactions on CreditWatch with negative implications. The ratings on 179 additional classes from 15 of these transactions remain on CreditWatch negative.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:04 AM » Trading volumes may slump as economy stabilizes
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 10:04 AM by Market Watch
    Stock exchanges could face a 20% slump in share trading volumes as the economy starts to stabilize and volatility in the financial sector subsides, one industry watcher said Tuesday.
  • 10:04 AM » NY Times: Foreclosures: No End in Sight
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 10:04 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    NY Times Editorial: A continuing steep drop in home prices combined with rising unemployment is powering a new wave of foreclosures. Unfortunately, there’s little evidence, so far, that the Obama administration’s anti-foreclosure plan will be able to stop it. ... One of the biggest problems is that the plan focuses almost entirely on lowering monthly payments. But overly onerous payments are only part of the problem. For 15.4 million “underwater” borrowers — those who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth — a lack of home equity puts them at risk of default, even if their monthly payments have been reduced. They have no cushion to fall back on in the event of a setback, like job loss or illness. ... There will be no recovery until there is a halt in the relentless rise in foreclosures. Foreclosures threaten millions of families with financial ruin. By driving prices down, they sap the wealth of all homeowners. They exacerbate bank losses, putting pressure on the still fragile financial system. Lower monthly payments are a balm, but they are no substitute for home equity. And until more Americans can find a good job and a steady paycheck, the number of foreclosures will continue to rise. In previous housing busts, foreclosures continued to rise until prices finally bottomed. And prices will fall - and foreclosures rise - for some time. There is no end in sight.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:04 AM » Gross Domestic Product by State, advance 2008 and revised 2005-2007
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 10:04 AM by www.bea.gov
    Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- decreased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009, (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to preliminary estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP decreased 6.3 percent.
  • 8:31 AM » Federal Reserve outlines criteria it will use to evaluate applications to redeem U.S. Treasury capital from participants in Supervisory Capital Assessment Program
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 8:31 AM by Federal Reserve
    Federal Reserve outlines criteria it will use to evaluate applications to redeem U.S. Treasury capital from participants in Supervisory Capital Assessment Program
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 8:16 AM » Currencies: Dollar edges lower
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 8:16 AM by Market Watch
    U.S. dollar edges lower Tuesday amid firm tone in equity markets and ongoing hopes the worst of the global recession is over.
  • 8:15 AM » China sticks with dollar as currency reserve - Geithner
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 8:15 AM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 8:15 AM » UK lending remains at record lows
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 8:15 AM by www.ft.com
    Lending to companies and households fell in April by the most since records began more than a decade ago, in a sign that the UK economy remains in the grips of the credit crunch
  • 8:15 AM » Stock index futures point to lower open
    Published Tue, Jun 02 2009 8:15 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a mostly lower open on Tuesday, on profit taking, as the market gives back some of the previous session's strong gains.
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