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Record high in part-time work

The number of Americans who have seen their full-time jobs chopped to part time because of weak business has swelled to more than 3.7 million — the largest figure since the government began tracking such data more than half a century ago.-NY Times, A Hidden Toll on Employment: Cut to Part Time, 31 Jul 2008 Read the story to find […]

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News round-up: 31 Jul 2008

Trade talks collapse frustrates Africa – Fin24 (Africa is the real loser here in a dispute between the EU, U.S. and China and India)India blamed for Doha collapse by trying to protect poor farmers – Times Online (The finger pointing begins) Big Bankruptcies Are Piling Up – Deal Book (The real economy is getting hit. We should expect to see […]

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The Homeownership Obsession

Robert Samuelson has written an excellent piece describing how the U.S. has become obsessed with residential property to its detriment. The result has been over- and malinvestment in homes that will take years, if not decades to unwind. Government policy promotes (read subsidizes) homeownership through a vast number of channels: Freddie and Fannie, FHA, mortgage interest deductibility, etc. Perhaps a […]

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Spain avoids negative GDP

Spain narrowly escaped negative GDP with a very marginal 0.1% increase in GDP on the quarter in Q2 2008. This is up 1.8% from last year, but way below growth rates seen in Spain over the past decade. The latest bulletin of the Bank of Spain confirms the havoc wreaked by the economic crisis in Spain, which has become accentuated […]

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Credit Unions aren’t immune

Apparently the credit crisis is claiming victims in the financial sector everywhere including this New London, CT credit union and its investment manager. Obviously, credit unions aren’t immune either. The 82-year-old broker who handled investments for the New London Security Federal Credit Union committed suicide hours after federal regulators closed the lender. Edwin F. Rachleff, a broker with A.G. Edwards […]

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Are the Baltics the new Argentina?

For those of you who actually care about anything international, there is an Emerging Markets crisis brewing right now in the Baltics. After reading posts from Alpha Sources, naked capitalism, Market Movers, and Bronte Capital on the subject, I started to think people actually cared about the tiny Baltics. So, let me add my two cents. The Baltics are looking […]

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Lawsuits: Rating agencies are next

Remember how the impartial accountancies lost their way during the tech bubble? The most egregious case was Arthur Andersen’s wrongdoings at Enron, which eventually bankrupted both Enron and Arthur Anderson. Well in this particular crisis it looks like the rating agencies are getting ready to take it on the chin. The state of Connecticut has sued Moody’s S&P and Fitch. […]

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The fixed rate mortgage is king again

After the credit and housing bubble created by Greenspan’s Fed caused people to turn away from fixed rate mortgages, a return to sanity has heralded its return to prominence. A full 70% of mortgages taken out in the first half of 2008 were fixed rate versus merely 53% a year ago. The return of fixed rate mortgages marks a return […]

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Citi’s writedowns in colorful bar charts

Citi’s writedowns in colorful bar charts

The blog site EconomPic Data has some nice pictures of Citi’s writedowns to date. Here is one. Check out the site for another nice breakdown. According to Bloomberg, Citigroup has written down over $50 billion so far. Click here for a full list of Citi’s writedowns. There have been $474 billion in writedowns by global financial institutions to date.

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Writedown News: 30 Jul 2008

Below are the latest writedown stories from the web. For the full timeline of news, visit my credit crisis timeline. Also see my list of Bankrupt Global Financial Institutions. 2008 07 21 Earnings Fall 44% at Bank of America2008 07 22 Wachovia Has Record $8.9 Billion Loss, Cuts Dividend2008 07 22 KeyCorp Posts First Loss Since 2001 After Tax Case2008 […]

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Caroline Baum: Fannie and Freddie need better makeovers

Caroline Baum is one of the more insightful financial market pundits around. In her column she takes aim at Fannie and their private reward, public risk corporate setup. Basically, the Fannie-Freddie bailout is a simple case of “heads and management wins, tails and taxpayers lose.” Two weeks ago, with their stock prices plummeting and accusations of insolvency swirling through the […]

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Lloyds has a decent first half

Lloyds TSB announced first half results, a 70% fall in pre-tax profits. Yet, Lloyds’ management was confident enough to raise the dividend 2p a share to 11. 4p. This strikes me as completely out of touch with market conditions. In the midst of a credit crisis and on the back of a 70% fall in pre-tax profits and a prediction […]

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