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  • Thu, Feb 19 2009
  • 8:56 AM » The World’s Real Estate Crisis
    Published Thu, Feb 19 2009 8:56 AM by Google News
    It’s been blatantly obvious for some time now that our credit-fueled prosperity party has now come to a rather abrupt end. The fallout from such a house of cards collapsing has been felt by just about every sector of the economy and almost every consumer. Those of us that still have jobs are busy putting away whatever we do earn like squirrels getting ready for a long winter (though they’re increasingly less long) and the . Foreclosures are on the rise here in the states along with job losses, but one has to wonder how things are going abroad. How are other countries’ real estate markets faring? Not as well as you might think. , and in some cases they’re doing worse than we are, if that’s possible. , and those too are starting to unwind as well. Here’s an example of the situation in China as of late April: “In Shanghai, some one million residences were under construction in 2006, which was just half the amount of new construction in the entire U.S. in 2004, according to the Houston Chronicle. With Shanghai representing almost 20 percent of China’s property value, the bubble is seriously on edge, with many homes remaining empty. Shanghai’s property vacancy rate is roughly 25 percent, well above the international average of 10 percent, according to The New York Times. “ The global economy continues to stall, speculators in markets like real estate in Shanghai are seriously feeling the pain. There’s a glut of completed properties, and other parts of the country are reporting similar situations as well. It may even be . Yet Chinese banks may by and large be able to weather that storm. A key difference being that Chinese banks haven’t been as deeply involved in sub-prime lending as their United States counterparts. , as per the World Bank. Ultimately the real estate crisis may be continuing to cause billions of dollars in losses here, and it also seems likely that things will get worse before they get better. Yet it’s also important to realize that the economic problems...
  • 8:56 AM » Fixing Finance: Incubating New Banks
    Published Thu, Feb 19 2009 8:56 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: The debate du jour around the world’s capitals and financial centers is of course Good banks. Bad banks. Private banks. State banks. Capital injections. Credit insurance. Etcetera. But in this Dr. Seuss world of solutions, and despite thousands upon thousands of articles, blog posts and editorials, I have been very surprised to see that two crucial elements seems to be missing from all the solutions being discussed: innovation and entrepreneurialism. Governments should invest (at least) a small amount of the billions and billions they are ploughing into the financial system into new banks. That’s right - start-ups. But not carbon copies of the banks we have today; 21st century banks. Banks that aren’t built on foundations of obsolete business models and technologies. Banks that are “digital natives”. Banks that by design answer the question: “If you had a blank sheet of paper, how would you build a platform and and organization to provide banking services in today’s (and tomorrow’s) world?” Banks that not only understand the importance of (and ) and and and laws but also their ramifications for a business that is intrinsically and structurally about managing digital information flows in a connected society and economy. Banks without (literally and psychologically) the corrosive burden of legacy costs and structures. Banks who apply in the context of transacting in a networked world. Banks who embrace the lessons of and and (and ) when designing their management and compensation policies. Banks that strive to live up to Einstein’s suggestion that “things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler” and have an instinctive bias against complexity and a copy of ’s in the boardroom. Banks that recognize that when you boil it all down, the product they are ultimately selling is trust.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • Wed, Feb 18 2009
  • 5:20 PM » $45 million to help laid-off Wall Streeters
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 5:20 PM by CNN
    New York City plans to spend $45 million on job retraining and other programs to assist the thousands of out-of-work investment bankers stay in finance and on Wall Street.
  • 4:33 PM » Mr. Bubble
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 4:33 PM by
    F ormer Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was shocked—shocked!—that financial executives failed to regulate themselves during the euphoric run-up to what he described as the current global solvency crisis. Speaking to the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday night, Greenspan, who served four presidents from 1987 to 2006, said he had long-believed that banks and other financial institutions would regulate themselves, holding prospective counterparties up to reasonable business standards to protect their own interests. "When that premise failed, I was deeply...dismayed," he said. "Self-regulation is a first-line defense." Greenspan said he was "appalled" by the risks that financial institutions assumed to create the credit bubble that developed under his leadership of the Fed, a period of low interest rates and minimal government regulation. Greenspan said he has since "reluctantly" concluded that there is no alternative to in the financial sector. He said efforts to predict or avoid another crisis by micromanaging complex financial institutions were likely to fail. Instead, he said that regulators should make sure that financial institutions maintain higher levels of capital, boosting their ability to survive shocks to the system. Not so long ago, it was common for transactions to be conducted with a ratio of 50 percent debt to 50 percent equity; toward the end of the 20th century leverage rose so that 20 percent equity was not unusual. Only in recent years did equity levels of 10 percent become common. Until private capital returns to the market, Greenspan said, the government will have to make up for the shortfall. He added that the cost of the bailout will exceed the money that has been spent so far. Greenspan said that regulators understand bubbles and the crises that follow them. But they need to develop a better comprehension of the timing from the upside of the cycle to the downside. Many that Greenspan could have done...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 4:33 PM » CEO says JPMorgan may modify more mortgages
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 4:33 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co may modify more than the 600,000 mortgages it has already singled out for restructuring, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday.
  • 4:33 PM » Comments on Housing Plan
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 4:33 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    There are three parts to the plan. For each part, I'll provide the Obama administration overview () and then add some comments ... my objections are to part #2. 1. Affordability: Provide Access to Low-Cost Refinancing for Responsible Homeowners Suffering From Falling Home Prices Enabling Up to 4 to 5 Million Responsible Homeowners to Refinance: Mortgage rates are currently at historically low levels, providing homeowners with the opportunity to reduce their monthly payments by refinancing. But under current rules, most families who owe more than 80 percent of the value of their homes have a difficult time refinancing. Yet millions of responsible homeowners who put money down and made their mortgage payments on time have – through no fault of their own – seen the value of their homes drop low enough to make them unable to access these lower rates. As a result, the Obama Administration is announcing a new program that will help as many as 4 to 5 million responsible homeowners who took out conforming loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to refinance through those two institutions. Reducing Monthly Payments: For many families, a low-cost refinancing could reduce mortgage payments by thousands of dollars per year: Consider a family that took out a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of $207,000 with an interest rate of 6.50% on a house worth $260,000 at the time. Today, that family has about $200,000 remaining on their mortgage, but the value of that home has fallen 15 percent to $221,000 – making them ineligible for today’s low interest rates that now generally require the borrower to have 20 percent home equity. Under this refinancing plan, that family could refinance to a rate near 5.16% – reducing their annual payments by over $2,300. This is fine, although it is kind of like winning the lottery. If a loan was sold to Fannie or Freddie (or guaranteed by them), then the homeowner has the ability to refinance with a higher LTV - but if the lender decided to...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 1:40 PM » Bernanke Claims Lending Programs Pose Little Risk to Fed
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 1:40 PM by Washington Post
    The Federal Reserve is taking on relatively little risk of financial loss with its $2 trillion in programs to make credit more widely available, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said today, as he promised that the central bank will become more transparent about its actions.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 11:33 AM » Stanford depositors swarm banks
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 11:33 AM by Reuters
    ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (Reuters) - Hundreds of people lined up to withdraw money from banks in Antigua and Caracas affiliated with Texas billionaire Allen Stanford, a day after the tycoon was charged with an $8 billion fraud.
  • 11:18 AM » MarketWatch First Take: Mortgage plan is not a bailout, and might just work
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 11:18 AM by Market Watch
    The plan announced by President Barack Obama Wednesday to prevent millions of foreclosures just might work because it uses market incentives and doesn’t protect the system’s worst abusers.
  • 11:18 AM » Mezzanine Debt Loses Its Shine With Investors
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 11:18 AM by WSJ
    Losses on mezzanine debt are sending shock waves through the rough-and-tumble world of office buildings, shopping centers, hotels and other commercial properties.
  • 11:18 AM » Intelligent Loan Mods & Foreclosure Abatement
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 11:18 AM by The Big Picture
    Today at 12:15 am, we shall learn of the Obama administration’s new housing plan. I suspect it will have many of the same doomed features as all the other misguided housing plans floating around. Before getting to those specifics, let’s and recognize several truths: • Home prices remain elevated; • Artificially propping up prices is counter-productive; • Home owers (No equity, 100%+ debt) who are in houses they cannot afford are going to have to move to homes or apartments they can afford; • Foreclosures/REOs are often costly to banks; The lenders that made these bad loans to unqualified borrowers will suffer write-downs; • It is not the responsibility of Taxpayers to bailout borrowers who are in over their heads, or lenders that made bad loans. What are we likely to see from the White House today? I expect to see an over emphasis at stopping foreclosures; a reliance on foreclosure moratoriums; Involuntary loan modifications a/k/a cramdowns; and last, Interest rate deductions; We would be much better off if we did 3 things: Recognize that falling prices will help return the Housing market and the economy back to normalcy. On the basis of either median income to median home price, or Housing value as a percentage of GDP, homes remains significantly overpriced, and need to continue come down in cost; Identify those people who cannot afford to be in their houses (Underwater, overpriced, too little income) and help them move into more affordable housing (rental or purchased); Keeping people in homes they cannot afford is counter-productive Identify those people who can afford to stay in their homes with a modicum of loan mods/work out. These are the best targets for legitimate foreclosure avoidance. If they could, banks would prefer to avoid foreclosure. Its an expensive, time consuming process; The REOs are a messy, money losing headache. Any intelligent proposal to reasonably avoid preventable foreclosures would give the banks a big incentive to voluntary participate in...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 9:30 AM » The Nationalization Train Has Left The Station
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 9:30 AM by
    The Financial Times is reporting and is sitting in the bar car next to Nouriel Roubini. The next stop is D.C. The US government may have to nationalise some banks on a temporary basis to fix the financial system and restore the flow of credit, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman has told the Financial Times. In an interview with the FT Mr Greenspan, who for decades was regarded as the high priest of laissez-faire capitalism, said nationalisation could be the least bad option left for policymakers. ”It may be necessary to temporarily nationalise some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring,” he said. “I understand that once in a hundred years this is what you do.” Those who think Greenspan is the "high priest of laissez-faire capitalism" have holes in their heads. The very existence of the Fed and its micro-mismanagement of interest rates is in direct conflict with capitalism. The Fed directly setting interest rates is more like the failed policies of the Soviet Central Planners than anything remotely to do with capitalism. Greenspan's stance on free trade was the only major thing he got right in his entire tenure. So it's ironically fitting that free trade is one of the biggest things he is criticized about. Nationalize the Banks! We're all Swedes Now Matthew Richardson and Nouriel Roubini are arguing . The U.S. banking system is close to being insolvent, and unless we want to become like Japan in the 1990s -- or the United States in the 1930s -- the only way to save it is to nationalize it. As free-market economists teaching at a business school in the heart of the world's financial capital, we feel downright blasphemous proposing an all-out government takeover of the banking system. But the U.S. financial system has reached such a dangerous tipping point that little choice remains. And while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's recent plan to save it has many of the right elements, it's basically...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:29 AM » Prospects for the U.S. banking system
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 9:29 AM by
    Some thoughts on the extent of the problem and options for solution. (hat tip: ) offered an interesting perspective on the nature of the current problems facing the banking system. Hempton suggested that there are three different numbers we might use when speaking of the problem assets held by the banking system: (1) the loss that banks have already acknowledged or have made loan loss provisions for, which Hempton puts at around 10%; (2) the loss that banks would face if they had to sell the assets right now, which Hempton puts at 50% or $3 to $4 trillion in losses; (3) the loss that would actually be realized if the assets were held to maturity, which Hempton claims would be 25% or $1.5 to $2 trillion in losses. A question raised by those last two numbers is why buyers are only willing to pay 50 cents for something that's ultimately going to be worth 75. Hempton's explanation is if you buy the assets at 50 cents on the dollar, hold them 5 years over which you'll collect the interest on that portion of the assets that still represent performing loans, and then receive back 75 cents worth of principal, you'd basically be earning a 15% annual rate of return as compensation for the risk of holding these assets. As I understand it, Hempton is claiming that there is a probability distribution for what the true value of the assets held to maturity is going to be-- might be higher than 75 cents, might be lower than 75 cents, but with expected value of 75 cents. There's no question that risk premia at the moment are very high, but a figure of a 15% expected return seems hard to defend. The highest differential we've seen between Baa-rated and Aaa-rated bonds over the last century was 550 basis points in 1932. The spread fell from 340 basis points in December 2008 to 310 this January. Yield on Baa-rated bond minus yield on Aaa-rated bond, monthly averages, 1919-2009. Data source: FRED (, ). And of course you don't expect to receive 3.1% more on Baa...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:28 AM » Mr. President, We’ve Got A Foreclosure For You
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 9:28 AM by
    We’re aware that the president has a busy day planned in Phoenix today and that he wanted to see genuine Arizona foreclosures while he’s in town. He might not have time to shop around, so L thoughtfully dug up this little gem in Mesa for him to see: [MLS #4111966] L says of this property- The property sold in 1995 for $61,000. It was financed for $205,000 in 2006, and foreclosed on in 2007. It resold for $155,500 and foreclosed on again in 2009. Here’s the sales history- And the general state of the neighborhood: [ Gavels are foreclosures .] A couple of questions for you though Mr. President. First, look at the sales history on this house. How would you have saved the borrowers who bought this place. Next question- why would you?
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:27 AM » MBIA splitting off muni insurance business
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 9:27 AM by Market Watch
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Bond insurer MBIA Inc. said Wednesday that it is splitting its municipal bond insurance business off from its business insuring troubled structured finance products.
  • 9:27 AM » Recession will be worst since 1930s: Greenspan
    Published Wed, Feb 18 2009 9:27 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Tuesday the current global recession will "surely be the longest and deepest" since the 1930s and more government rescue funds are needed to stabilize the U.S. financial system.
  • Tue, Feb 17 2009
  • 5:35 PM » Treasury says bank lending still resilient
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 5:35 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Banks receiving bailout money from the federal government are continuing to make new loans and refinance existing ones to both consumers and businesses, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday.
  • 4:00 PM » Homeowners' rallying cry: Produce the note
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 4:00 PM by Washington Post
    ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. -- Kathy Lovelace lost her job and was about to lose her house, too. But then she made a seemingly simple request of the bank: Show me the original mortgage paperwork.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 4:00 PM » Government provides $429M to 29 more banks
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 4:00 PM by Washington Post
    WASHINGTON -- The government has provided $429 million to 29 banks in the latest batch of investments under the $700 billion financial industry bailout program.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 4:00 PM » The Fed: Deflation now key risk, Bullard says
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 4:00 PM by Market Watch
    A possible bout of deflation, or a general decline in prices, is now a key risk facing the economy, says James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed Bank.
  • 2:26 PM » Obama To Check Out Phoenix East Valley Foreclosures
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 2:26 PM by
    President Barack Obama plans to get a firsthand look at Mesa’s sour real estate market before his speech on fixing the nation’s housing crisis Wednesday at Dobson High School. The president is expected to visit a Mesa neighborhood before the speech at Dobson High, according to Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz. Mitchell did not know which neighborhood Obama would be going to, or what he had planned there. But the congressman said his office was told by White House staff that Obama’s desire to see a neighborhood hard hit by foreclosures played into the selection of Dobson High as the venue for the president’s speech. I can think of some areas that were harder hit than the Dobson High area myself, but I suppose you only need one foreclosed home in the background for a photo-op. I wonder if this will help market whatever REO he stands in front of. I can see the listing, " As seen on national TV with President Obama ". If it does help, I suspect it will be one of the few helpful things that this new housing program actually accomplishes.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:26 PM » Fed Looks to Expand Shrinking List of Primary Dealers
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 2:26 PM by The Big Picture
    Primary Dealers February 17, 2009 The Federal Reserve is reportedly in negotiations to expand its shrunken list of Primary Dealers. Who are these firms? What do they do? Why are they important? Each day the Federal Reserve enters financial markets to adjust the amount of Federal Funds (deposit balances of banks with the Federal Reserve) outstanding to keep the rate on overnight Federal Funds close to the target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee. It does so by either buying or selling short-term US Treasury bills or by engaging in repurchase agreements or reverse repurchase agreements in which the Fed agrees to sell and then buy back, or buy and then sell back, Treasury securities to counterparties at a specified time in the future (eg. overnight, three days, twenty eight days, etc.). These transactions are conducted by the Open Market Desk, which executes transactions on behalf of the FOMC through the SOMA or System Open Market Account. The Desk and SOMA are housed at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, although technically they are not part of the bank. In fact, two of the past three presidents of the NY Fed were managers of the Open Market Desk – Bill McDunough and Bill Dudley (though you don’t have to be named Bill to hold that position). Every business day morning, the Desk staff first prepares an estimate of the amount of reserves the banking system will need that day, in conjunction and in consultation with the Treasury and Federal Reserve Board staff in Washington, DC. That proposed program is shared on a phone call at about 9:10 AM with the Board staff, the Desk staff, and one of the voting Federal Reserve Bank presidents on the FOMC. A number of factors affect the size of the program for the day. This includes (a) estimates of float for the day (checks and electronic payments in process of collection but not yet cleared through the system), (b) Treasury disbursements of funds for the day, (c) transfers out of Treasury Tax and Loan Accounts...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 12:37 PM » Equifirst to Halt Lending Operations
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 12:37 PM by
    Equifirst announced today that effective immediately, it will be ceasing lending operations. Going forward, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based mortgage lender will no longer accept applications for “any type of Mortgage Loan product.” “EquiFirst will continue to process any completed Mortgage Loan application and will notify the submitting Broker of the status of such Mortgage Loan application upon [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:28 PM » Recession and bank worries slam Wall Street
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 12:28 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks tumbled on Tuesday as investors confronted fresh signs that the recession is worsening and worried that efforts to stabilize the beleaguered financial system may not prove sufficient.
  • 12:05 PM » Bank Leverage Stats, 12/31/08
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 12:05 PM by
    "GE is the scary one. I mean, is Timmy Geithner going to stress test them too? I’m pulling balance sheet data from their quarterly earnings release, which doesn’t offer any detail on shareholders’ equity. I’m assuming that the published equity figure of $104.7 billion includes the $3 billion preferred investment that Warren Buffett announced on October 1st. I’m deducting that amount from tangible common equity in order to get GE’s leverage ratio. If I have that incorrect, hopefully a better-informed reader will let me know."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:05 PM » Ratings Cut for Mortgage Insurers
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 12:05 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Tanta used to joke "It's not a real estate bust until a mortgage insurer goes down". Of course Triad went down last year ... From the WSJ: (ht Shnaps) Ratings on MGIC Investment Corp. and Radian Group Inc. were cut Friday several notches to junk status because of what Moody's called deterioration in their franchise value, the likelihood of sustained losses for several years and substantially limited access to capital. Moody's said MGIC's losses in the past year are putting "meaningful capital strain" on the company, which could breach maximum statutory risk to capital guidelines in the next 12 to 18 months without additional capital injections. It downgraded the insurance-financial-strength ratings of MGIC units seven notches to Ba2, or slightly speculative, and MGIC's senior-debt ratings seven notches to B2, or speculative. ... The rating agency also cut the insurance-financial-strength ratings of Radian's mortgage-insurance units seven notches to Ba3 and the insurance unit's insurance-financial-strength rating six notches to B1. The mortgage insurers were cut out of the worst deals (lucky for them!), because Wall Street happily securitized 100% financing with 2nds and no MI. But the losses are still piling up.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:34 AM » Obama to detail mortgage relief plan on Wednesday
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 11:34 AM by Market Watch
    In its latest effort to stem the financial crisis, the Obama administration plans to announce details about a $50 billion program to modify mortgages for troubled homeowners on Wednesday in a hard-hit suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • 10:47 AM » William Black: "There Are No Real Stress Tests Going On"
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 10:47 AM by Google News
    By way of background, William Black is a former senior bank regulator, best known for his thwarted but later vindicated efforts to prosecute S&L crisis fraudster Charles Keating. He is currently an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. More germane for the purpose of this post, Black held a variety of senior regulatory positions during the S&L crisis.He managed investigations with teams of examiners reporting to him, redesigned how exams were conducted, and trained examiners. Via e-mail, he has confirmed our suspicions about the bank stress tests announced by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: they simply cannot be adequate, given the number and experience of the staff, and perhaps as important, their relationship with the banks (see detailed comments below). I also asked him about the fact that bank examiners examine banks (duh) and would not have much (any?) experience in the capital markets operations or sophisticated products that the big investment bank, now banks, participated in. Goldman and Morgan Stanley ought to be subject to these exams; Citi, JP Morgan, and Bank of America have large capital markets operations. These firms are where the biggest risks and exposures lie. Do the examiners what to look for in a even the low-risk operations, like repo desks, much the less derivatives and proprietary trading books? He agreed (as presented below) that it was a near certainty that this was beyond their skill level. Now this begs the question: why has the Treasury Secretary set in motion an obviously bogus process? It suggests the result is pre-ordained. One possibility is that even a very quick and dirty look at many of the big banks' books will reveal them to be in very bad shape. In fact, the inadequate staffing could be part of the private conversation: "You know we didn't send in enough bodies to do this right, and even using your numbers, which we can assume in some cases will be flattering...
  • 10:32 AM » Trump casino group in bankruptcy
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 10:32 AM by CNN
    Trump Entertainment Resorts, the casino operating group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to court documents filed Tuesday in Camden, N.J.
  • 10:31 AM » 'Vanilla' Mortgages Will Save Banks: Ex-Lloyds Chairman
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 10:31 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: If governments refrain from interfering, and banks' earnings power continues to be significant, "the prospect for the banks over a longer period will be good", former Lloyds TSB chairman Sir Brian Pitman said Tuesday. Topics: | | | | | | | | | | | | | Sectors: | Companies:
  • 10:31 AM » Getting your hands on some green ... stimulus
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 10:31 AM by CNN
    If you want to green-up your home - and get the government to kick in for part of the bill - now may be the time to do it, thanks to the stimulus.
  • 10:31 AM » Financial Crisis: “Silver Bullets” for Toxic Mortgages?
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 10:31 AM by
    The Obama Administration is floating a proposal that would allow the government to directly buy more loans from servicers of mortgage-backed securities With the financial crisis quickly becoming President Obama's primary burden, his Administration has intensified its efforts to stem the rising tide of foreclosures in order to solve the root cause of the difficulties. On Feb. 11, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Housing & Urban Development Dept., met with community groups and key stakeholders in the banking industry to gauge support for a potential program that would allow the government to directly buy whole loans from servicers of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in order to modify them—and keep more borrowers in their homes.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:18 AM » Obama Plan on Housing Said to Push on Lenders
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 10:18 AM by CNBC
    President Obama’s plan to reduce foreclosures will include a mix of government inducements and new pressure on lenders to reduce monthly payments, the New York Times reports.
  • 8:28 AM » Crunch Time for Detroit as Deadline Looms
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 8:28 AM by
    General Motors will file what is expected to be the largest restructuring plan of its 100-year history on Tuesday, seeking to justify its use of a $13.4 billion loan package from the federal government. With its access to the government lifeline possibly at risk, G.M. executives have been locked in intense negotiations Monday with leaders [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:13 AM » Wal-Mart's profit beats expectations
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 8:13 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday posted a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations, helped by strong U.S. sales at its namesake discount stores.
  • 7:00 AM » Why you can't get a loan
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 7:00 AM by CNN
    Bankers say they are lending but try telling that to consumers having difficulty getting approved for mortgages, credit cards or auto loans.
  • 6:59 AM » Stock futures signal drop; eyes on Wal-Mart
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 6:59 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Tuesday, as the market reopens after a long holiday weekend, with investors bracing for quarterly results from retail behemoth Wal-Mart .
  • 6:58 AM » Stocks poised to plunge
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 6:58 AM by CNN
    Stocks are poised to open significantly lower on Tuesday, as investors worry that the new stimulus plan - expected to be signed into law later in the day - won't help breathe new life into the economy.
  • 6:57 AM » Final score: $8,000 for homebuyers
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 6:57 AM by
    There's a nice windfall for some homebuyers in the economic stimulus bill awaiting President Obama's signature on Tuesday.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 6:56 AM » Asia stocks hit by economic fears, risk aversion
    Published Tue, Feb 17 2009 6:56 AM by Market Watch
    Asian stocks suffered losses Tuesday, with financials such as Industrial Bank of Korea and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group sliding on concerns the global economic crisis is deepening and recovery could take longer than previously expected.
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