Friday, May 8, 2009

Links 05/08/2009

Santa Barbara Wildfire leaps over key highway – The San Francisco Chronicle

Cheese war ends. Everyone wins. – Foreign Policy Blog

Keepin' It Real Estate: Subprime Lending Is Back With a Vengeance – Minyanville

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water... Subprime lending has come roaring back.

But this time, reckless financial innovation isn’t being hatched on Wall Street. Instead, state governments are angling to “monetize” first-time homebuyer tax credits so borrowers can purchase homes with little or no money down.

If this sounds eerily similar to the type of lending practices that got us into this mess, well, it should.

Fed Determines Banks Need $74.6 billion in Fantasyland Scenario, $599 Billion in Cakewalk Scenario – Mish

California may need to Borrow 20B next year – The Associated Press

Sorry, We're Still Screwed – Clusterstock


Because of the massive declines in our net worth, our debt problem, and compression of price-earnings ratios.  Specifically, we've lost our shirts and we feel poor--which isn't conducive to profligate spending.  We still need to get rid of $10-$12 trillion of debt.  This debt-reduction process will pressure profit margins (lower leverage) and pressure spending--because we'll have to save more instead of spending it.  We'll also need inflation to reduce the real burden of the debt.

Employment Report: 539K Jobs Lost, 8.9% Unemployment Rate – Calculated Risk

Fannie Loses $23 BILLION As "Low-Risk" Loans Go Bad (FNM) – Clusterstock

The gigantic moneyhole known as Fannie (FNM) continues its attempt to suck up every dollar in the known universe. The agency said today that it lost a staggering $23 billion in the first quarter, and that it was looking to the Treasury Department for another $19 billion in aid. And, says the company, it has no freakin' clue when it will be profitable again. It'll be a long time.