Thursday, May 14, 2009

Links 5/14/2009

Most U.S. homeowners think a bottom has been reached: Zillow – Reuters

"While homeowners are now more realistic when looking backward, they are still pretty starry-eyed when looking forward, with three out of four homeowners believing that their own homes' prices will increase or be flat over the next six months. Unfortunately, there are few markets we expect to perform this well," he said.

Most homeowners -- 74 percent -- believe their home will not decline in value in the coming six months, effectively calling a bottom to their own home's housing slide, Zillow said.

Goldman Pays Greenmail to Make Snoops Go Away: Jonathan Weil – Bloomberg

Roadkill cook-off, Spam Jam lure bold foodies – CNN

"Judges will deduct points for every chipped tooth resulting from gravel not removed from the RoadKill," the official rules warn. "All judges have been tested for cast-iron stomachs and have sworn under oath to have no vegetarian tendencies."

South Park on Banking – Not exactly politically correct…but worth the watch.

State tax credit for new homes may expand – Contra Costa Times

State legislation was introduced Wednesday that would make it possible for an additional 20,000 taxpayers to take advantage of a popular program that provides new-home buyers with a state income tax credit of up to $10,000.

Assembly Bill 765 calls for increasing the existing $100 million cap for the California new home tax credit program to $300 million.

Cities brace for shutdown of auto dealerships – The Los Angeles Times

US 'sham' bank bail-outs enrich speculators, says buy-out chief Mark Patterson – London Telegraph -  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

“The US government has thrown 29pc of GDP at this crisis compared to 8pc in the early 1930s. The Fed’s balance sheet has risen from $900bn to $2.7 trillion to bail out the system. America has to do it because the only way out is to debase the currency, but that is going to lead to some very high inflation three years down the road,” he said.

Unemployment Claims: Continued Claims Surge Past 6.5 Million – Calculated Risk

The four-week average increased this week by 6,000, and is now 28,250 below the peak. There is a reasonable chance that claims have peaked for this cycle, but it is still too early to be sure, and if so, continued claims should peak soon.

California is a Complete Basket Case; Treasurer Requests Tarp Funds; LA Mayor Declares Emergency – Mish

Come to your senses California. If you are dumb enough to pass Propositions 1A through 1F, expect yet another round of tax hikes to follow.

BP CEO Says The Solar Dream Isn't Happening – Clusterstock

The Almighty Renminbi? By Nouriel Roubini, The New York Times

THE 19th century was dominated by the British Empire, the 20th century by the United States. We may now be entering the Asian century, dominated by a rising China and its currency. While the dollar’s status as the major reserve currency will not vanish overnight, we can no longer take it for granted. Sooner than we think, the dollar may be challenged by other currencies, most likely the Chinese renminbi. This would have serious costs for America, as our ability to finance our budget and trade deficits cheaply would disappear.

The End of American Financial Dominance? - Minyanville

The phrase "military industrial complex" described the complex inter-relationships and influences that shaped America in the post-war era. The "finance government complex" (dubbed "Government Sachs" by its critics, perhaps because of the ubiquity of Goldman Sachs (GS) execs in high places) replaced the original arrangement in the late twentieth century, and may well prove to be the undoing of American economic dominance.