Friday, June 19, 2009

Required Reading: Friday, June 19th 2009

Michael Lewis: Obama Blew His Chance To Reform Bush Financial Policies. And, yes, Goldman Sachs Rules The World.

Obama Reform Plan Fails to Fix Whats Broken – The Big Picture, Barry Ritholtz

To the pragmatic center, including your humble blogger, what stands out is the number of half measures and omitted actions that were viewed as necessary to prevent a replay.

Some very obvious omissions from the plan include:

China Lectures Australia on Failures of Keynesianism – Mish

Senator Shelby Calls Fed's Expertise "Grossly Inflated" as Geithner Attempts to Defend the Indefensible – Mish

Like every bloated bureaucracy, the Fed wants still more power. Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner, a former Fed Governor, is all too happy to give it to them.

California unemployment rises to 11.5% in May – The Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Sacramento -- California's unemployment rate shot up to 11.5% in May, its highest level since current record-keeping began more than three decades ago.

That's a substantial increase over a revised rate of 11.1% in April, the U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning.

The national unemployment rate for May was 9.4%.

Only four states have higher unemployment rates than California: Michigan at 14.1%, Oregon at 12.4% and Rhode Island and South Carolina, tied at 12.1%.

Good news for Bay Area home prices – The San Francisco Chronicle

Unless, of course, it's not. The data could just as easily reflect growing distress in the high-end market that is forcing more well-to-do owners to unload their homes, distorting the statistics with discounted but still relatively expensive properties and foreshadowing greater pain to come.

"If you ignore the greater reality and look only at statistics, then you could conclude that we're at least nearing market stability," said Andrew LePage, an analyst with San Diego research firm MDA DataQuick, which compiles the figures. "But given all the forces out there, the mixed signals from the data and the unknowns, it will be at least fall before there's any clarity."

Median home sale prices rise for most of Sacramento region – The Sacramento Bee

There are no “move-up” buyers – The Sacramento Bee


Embarassing Cash For Clunkers Legislation Approved By Senate – Green Sheet

Power Writes History – Minyanville, Mr. Practical

Now we are about to give the very institution, a private bank with its own shareholders and where only half its board members are appointed by the government, undefined powers. Ron Paul has nearly half of Congress willing to support a bill to audit the Fed. It can't come soon enough. We know a lot more about the operations of the CIA than we do about the operations of the Fed, whose operations that always devalue our currency.

We will rue the day that we gave this power to the Fed. The power is undefined; they have carte blanche. We should by now all realize the destruction for which the Fed is already responsible.

Ron Paul Slams Federal Reserve’s New Dictatorial Powers - Prison Planet

Nine Ways States Are Trying to Get Blood From a Stone – Minyanville

Does the Obama Plan for Reforming Wall Street Measure Up? – Robert Reich

Foreclosure "Prevention" Act Exemptions – Sacramento Real Estate Statistics