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  • Mon, Dec 13 2010
  • 10:31 PM » Tax Legislation passed cloture in Senate by 83 to 15 vote
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 10:31 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The Senate voted 83 to 15 for cloture on the bill containing the proposed tax legislation. Here is the . (This means further debate will be limited to 30 hours). The actual vote will probably be on Wednesday. The House is expected to vote later in the week. And the economic schedule for tomorrow: 7:30 AM: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for November. This index has been showing that small businesses remain pessimistic. 8:30 AM: Retail Sales for November. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase from October. (0.6% increases ex-auto). 8:30 AM: Producer Price Index for November. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in producer prices. 10:00 AM: Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for October. The consensus is for a 0.9% increase in inventories. 2:15 PM: FOMC Meeting Announcement . Here is a - no changes are expected to either interest rates or QE2.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:30 PM » Canadian Central Banker Warns of ‘Death Grip’ on U.S. Dollar
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 10:30 PM by WSJ
    Canada's central bank governor, Mark Carney, warned that the "death grip" on the U.S. dollar is "reducing the prospects for rebalancing global demand."
  • 10:29 PM » Munis Hit as Market Braces for BABs' End
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 10:29 PM by WSJ
    Investors demanded higher interest payments on municipal bonds amid strong year-end issuance, pushing yields to the highest levels since 2009, on news that the Build America Bonds program appeared increasingly unlikely to be extended.
  • 10:29 PM » Yahoo to lay off more than 600 staffers: sources
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 10:29 PM by Reuters
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc plans to lay off more than 600 employees as early as Tuesday, two sources familiar with the situation said on Monday.
  • 10:29 PM » Dollar Is Near 1-Week Low Before Fed Discusses Bond Purchases
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 10:29 PM by Business Week
    The dollar was near a one-week low against the yen after benchmark Treasury yields yesterday fell from a six-month high before Federal Reserve policy makers are due to discuss interest rates and bond purchases.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 2:35 PM » Bond Girl: Default and bankruptcy in the municipal bond market
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 2:35 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    There have been quite a few bearish articles recently about the muni market. Not long ago there were even some "scary charts" showing a sharp sell off for the muni market, and at that time Bond Girl the correction was not because of imminent muni defaults, but because of the end of the Build America Bond (BAB) program. For those who want to know more about munis, here is an ubernerd post from Bond Girl at I am just writing this post to demystify a process that evidently needs demystifying. ... One of the more frustrating aspects of muni market coverage in the news and blogosphere is the tendency to talk about municipal debt as if only one type of bond is issued and traded. There is actually considerable diversity among borrowers in the muni market (e.g., they are not all government entities), and by extension, the types of commitments that are made for the repayment of the debt. Although the relative health of the muni market has macroeconomic consequences, this is in many ways a market that defies generalization. (That’s one reason I find the muni market unusually interesting ...) The defaults that have taken place both before and during the economic downturn are what finance-types would refer to as storied credits. I often see people describing Jefferson County, Alabama, as the “canary in the coal mine” of muni defaults. Suggesting that Jefferson County, which was the center of a widely-publicized securities fraud case, is a typical muni credit is kind of like portraying Enron as a typical corporate credit. ... Another example would be Florida dirt bonds, which are backed by special assessments on property in a severely depressed market. These are not borrowers that were forced to establish their spending priorities or were muddling through difficult times; these are borrowers that experienced sudden and catastrophic losses and derived their revenues from limited sources. Types of municipal bonds The obvious starting place on this topic...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:35 PM » A Less Costly Reverse Mortgage - Mortgages
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 2:35 PM by
    The new HECM Saver program reduces the upfront insurance premium due at closing.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:35 PM » When Borrowers Default on Second Homes
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 2:35 PM by
    Among the lingering effects: wrecked credit that can prevent a homeowner from getting another loan.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:44 PM » Moody's may shift U.S. rating outlook on tax package
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 12:44 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Moody's warned on Monday that it could move a step closer to cutting the U.S. Aaa rating if President Barack Obama's tax and unemployment benefit package becomes law.
  • 11:10 AM » CoreLogic: 10.8 Million U.S. Properties with Negative Equity in Q3
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 11:10 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note that the slight decline in homeowners with negative equity was mostly due to foreclosures. First American CoreLogic released the Q3 2010 negative equity today. CoreLogic reports that 10.8 million, or 22.5 percent , of all residential properties with mortgages were in negative equity at the end of the third quarter of 2010, down from 11.0 million and 23 percent in the second quarter. This is due primarily to foreclosures of severely negative equity properties rather than an increase in home values. During this year the number of borrowers in negative equity has declined by over 500,000 borrowers. An additional 2.4 million borrowers had less than five percent equity in the third quarter. Together, negative equity and near-negative equity mortgages accounted for 27.5 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide. ... "Negative equity is a primary factor holding back the housing market and broader economy. The good news is that negative equity is slowly declining, but the bad news is that price declines are accelerating, which may put a stop to or reverse the recent improvement in negative equity," said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic. Here are a couple of graphs from the report: Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery. This graph shows the distribution of negative equity (and near negative equity). The more negative equity, the more at risk the homeowner is to losing their home. About 10% of homeowners with mortgages have more than 25% negative equity - although the percent of homeowners with severe negative equity has been declining over the last few quarters mostly because of homes lost to foreclosure. The second graph shows the break down of equity by state. In Nevada very few homeowners with mortgages have any equity, whereas in New York almost half have over 50%. As Mark Fleming noted, the number of homeowners with negative might increase over the next few quarters with declining home prices.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:10 AM » Real Estate News: Housing Shaky as Lenders Tighten
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 11:10 AM by Google News
    Here's a look at real-estate news from the WSJ this weekend on Monday morning:
  • 11:10 AM » Home Market's Misery May Be 'Buy' Sign
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 11:10 AM by Business Week
    Housing has been down so long it may be looking up, says Chris Farrell. Especially if inflation returns
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 11:10 AM » EU leaders will consider a permanent debt-crisis facility
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 11:10 AM by
    Leaders from the EU are poised to gather at a summit in Brussels this week to discuss the idea of establishing a permanent de --
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:33 AM » Principal Writedowns Happen, Just Not Through Government
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 8:33 AM by CNBC
    A Wall Street Journal article Wednesday began, "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in talks with Obama administration officials to join fledgling government programs aimed at reducing loan balances of mortgages where borrowers owe more than their homes are worth." They may be in talks, but the talks clearly aren't going well.
  • 8:33 AM » Economists: Europe Needs to Take Further Action
    Published Mon, Dec 13 2010 8:33 AM by WSJ
    Europe still needs to take further action to put its debt crisis behind it, according to most economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.
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