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Irish unemployment gaps up by most in 40 years

Further evidence that the housing slump has spilled over into the real economy in Ireland comes from Irish unemployment numbers today, up the most in 41 years of data. Ireland looks to be one of the hardest hit countries in Europe. In all likelihood, Ireland already is in recession with data like this. Irish unemployment rose in July to the […]

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News round-up: 30 Jul 2008

Bank losses shame disgruntled Swiss – BBC News Starbucks cuts 1,000 jobs, COO post and retreats from Australia – National Post Santander revenues rise 16% – FTAustralia faces worse crisis than America – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph Banks pressed to follow Merrill debt sale – FT (Citigroup and UBS face the same as Merrill) Merrill Sells $8.55 Billion of Stock, Unloads […]

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Case Shiller Time Machine: May 2008

Case Shiller Time Machine: May 2008

The Case Shiller Index is out again and a number of areas are looking a bit better including Denver, Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, Portland, and Dallas. Overall, it seems the acceleration in house price falls has come to an end. Nevertheless, home prices still fell at a record pace of 15.8% over the previous year. Detroit is still the worst market, […]

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Refiners as a canary in the coalmine

I am on record for expecting a drop in oil prices in the very near future due to demand destruction. Regarding the super spike, I believe much of the end rally in oil prices had little to do with fundamentals and everything to do with commodity market liquidity. Proof comes from refining margins. ‘ Big Oil’ has been sounding the […]

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Goldman looking to buy a bank

Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski says that Goldman Sachs is looking to buy a deposit-taking bank to avoid the liquidity problems that were Bear’s downfall and may now hit Merrill Lynch itself. Goldman’s chief financial officer, David Viniar, told Mr. Moszkowski in a meeting that “the firm had done extensive analysis on the degree to which it might be able […]

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Covered bonds: German Pfandbriefs are the new US solution

Hank Paulson, the U.S. Treasury Secretary has decided that the German Covered Bond is a solution to many of the woes of the U.S. housing market meltdown. He is backed by four large U.S. banks: Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo. In addressing covered bonds, Bloomberg quotes Paulson. "Covered bonds have the potential to […]

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Jeremy Grantham: “I am officially scared”

“I am officially scared. In 2000, we had a technology bubble. But this is massive, a massive credit crisis and a bubble in global housing, global equity and global land.” -Jeremy Grantham as quoted by Chicago Tribune

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The global credit crunch hits New Zealand institutions

Last week, we heard that Australia’s NAB had to take a massive writedown due to American CDO exposure (apparently triggered by Merrill Lynch). Yesterday, we heard about Australia’s ANZ Bank taking it on the chin to the tune of $1.2 million Australian. Now, it’s New Zealand’s turn with the problems at the New Zealand Guardian Trust Company. The credit crunch […]

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News round-up: 29 July 2008

Japan Jobless Rate Rises to 4.1%, Highest Since 2006 – Bloomberg Plan to revive mortgage lending – BBC News (Is an American-style bailout in the offing in the UK?) Merrill’s $5.7B Write-Down, $8.5B Share Issuance – Big Picture (interesting take on writedowns at Merrill)The Downfall of a California Dreamer – NY Times (good article on IndyMac)South African Credit Growth Accelerates […]

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Two IndyMac customers lost unsecured deposits

In further proof that we’re back to the Great Depression again, everyone is talking about unsecured bank deposits. Basically, if you have less than $100K at an FDIC institution, you’re good to go. If you have more, you’ll need to spread the wealth at various institutions. However what do you do if you’re a business and you have payrolls to […]

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Didn’t Merrill just write down over $9 billion?

I swear Merrill just wrote down $9.4 billion and sold its stake in Bloomberg two weeks ago. So why are they in the news AGAIN writing down another $5.7 billion? It’s frightening to think this company is still a going concern. The company has written down more than the $42 billion it had in total shareholder’s equity at this time […]

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Business fliers must mix with the unwashed masses

For someone like me who flew nearly 150 flights in 2007, airport lounges are great bonus. Kicking back at Toronto’s Pearson airport with all the free Molson you want makes airport delays doable. And the children’s room with near sound-proof walls? You have to love that. But, now another perk of business flying goes up in smoke like so many […]

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