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Ron Paul on the Housing Bill

Ron Paul sounds off on the housing bill that was just passed. This bill has more problems associated with it than any bill we have seen enacted to counteract the economic downturn. The moral hazard, the lack of congressional oversight, and the lack of transparency are all breathtaking. Congress has abdicated its responsibility again.

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News Round-Up: 25 Jul 2008

Housing: US, UK and SpainBright spots in the housing nightmare – MSNU.S. Mortgage Rates Soar on Inflation Fears – Housing WireU.S. Existing Home Sales Continue Freefall – Housing WireOversupply killing U.S. lender giants and house prices – Irish IndependentUK Major mortgage lenders cut interest rates TelegraphWhat to do if you’re trapped in Spanish property gloom – Money Week Global EconomyOutlook […]

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MBIA and Ambac sued by LA

The lawsuits are piling up. America is a very litigious country and when things go wrong people sue. That’s one reason one should realistically expect the courts to be clogged with all manner of suits on bond insurance, auction rate securities, CDOs, predatory lending, and on and on. The latest in this string comes from Los Angeles, where the city […]

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Is the short covering rally over?

The day is almost over for the market (thank goodness) and it seems that financal service investors are in panic mode again. The market is down over 250 points and some shares in financial services are down over 15%. What gives? As we may soon find out, non-market based economic solutions, like the infamous SEC list of 19, always have […]

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HBOS versus Freddie and Fannie

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the housing bailout bill helping troubled mortgage borrowers, but also giving the U.S. Treasury Department a blank check to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The New York Times describes it this way: Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and a primary author of the legislation, said troubled homeowners might get relief within […]

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UK retail sales drop most in 22 years

The headline says it all. The U.K. has fallen into its economic downturn with much greater speed than the U.S. Retail sales were down in June3.9% after a rise of 3.6% in May. U.K. retail sales dropped in June by the most since at least 1986 as accelerating inflation and the slowdown in economic growth prompted consumers to cut spending. […]

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US jobless claims up this week

US jobless claims up this week

U.S. jobless claims were 406,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 34,000 on the week prior and surpassing 400,000 for only the 3rd time this business cycle. While the numbers were large, they are very distorted by seasonal adjustment factors; actual jobless claims fell 70,000 from the week prior. Nevertheless, the employment outlook for the U.S. remains weak and we […]

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Spanish unemployment up

Spain had an unemployment rate of 10.4% in the second quarter of 2008, up sharply from 9.6 in the first quarter. The Spanish National Statistics Market said employment in construction jobs were particularly weak as the housing bust in Spain takes hold. Construction jobs fell 4.5%. But manufacturing, agriculture and services also saw major declines in employment. The Spanish government […]

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News Round-Up: 24 Jul 2008

PoliticsSurvey finds oil bonanza in Arctic – National PostA Short Primer on McCainomics Versus Obamanomics: Top-Down or Bottom-Up – Robert ReichBush drops opposition to housing bill – LA TimesMcCain Credits Bush For Drop in Oil Price – WSJBerlusconi wins immunity from prosecution – FTA Mortgage Rescue Strains Calculations – NY TimesJim Bunning: Underperformer…or Visionary? – Financial Armageddon EconomyStates Face Threefold […]

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$467 billion in writedowns and counting

This reporting season, there have been some major, major writedowns from the likes of WaMu, Citi, Merrill, and Wachovia. Most analysts see this quarter as the last quarter of major writedowns from the credit crisis. Haven’t we heard that every quarter? Wachovia’s share price even rallied after it reported an outsized $8.9 billion loss for the quarter. But, far from […]

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Alt-A and Option ARMs set for big losses

Consumer credit quality is weakening across the US, especially in the former housing boom states. While over $450 billion in credit writedowns have already been taken by the global financial sector, most of these losses ave been concentrated in the sub-prime area. This looks set to change. Not surprisingly, it’s the former boom states that are paying the highest price […]

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Have commodity prices peaked?

Have commodity prices peaked?

I certainly believe they have. Price action speaks to this. The Wall Street Journal’s Market Beat had this quote about the price action in commodities: The price of many commodities and commodities stocks — from gasoline to coal to fertilizer makers — rode up on the coattails of crude oil. So oil’s moves are pivotal. Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist […]

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