Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Required Reading: Wednesday, June 17th 2009

California, Sacramento economies stalled, Brookings study finds – The Sacramento Bee

Survey: Bay Area economy on verge of recovery – The San Francisco Chronicle (a completely different take on the same Brookings study reported in the Sacramento Bee)

Two more East Bay GM dealers closing, while others hanging on or expanding – The Contra Costa Times

Housing recovery set to begin, forecast says – The Orange County Register, Lasner on Real Estate

The lion’s share of the housing decline is behind us, the UCLA Anderson Forecast reports today.

U.S. home prices have fallen 31% from the peak and are still falling. But home prices should start rising again by late 2009 or early 2010, the forecast said.

Credit-Card Firms to Borrowers: Let's Make a Deal – Minyanville, Andrew Jeffrey

Lockheed warns of job cuts in San Jose – The Contra Costa Times

Economic Stress Index: Measuring econonomic stress by County – The Associated Press (Very cool interactive map)

Obama Sees 10% Unemployment Rate, Chides Wall Street Critics – Bloomberg

Built to Fail: Key Lessons from the Financial Crisis – Minyanville, Satyajit Das

The world used debt to accelerate its consumption. Spending that would have taken place normally over a period of many years was squeezed into a relatively short period because of the availability of cheap borrowings. Business over-invested -- misreading demand and assuming that the exaggerated growth would continue indefinitely -- creating significant over-capacity in many sectors.

The nouveau Jeffersonian trinity -- "whoever dies with the most toys wins," "shop till you drop," and "if it feels good, do it" -- has proved to be unsustainable.

Special Edition Five Things: The US Dollar – Minyanville, Kevin Depew

Every day brings yet one more story about the US dollar. Will the greenback crash? Will it lose its status as reserve currency? What is a dollar? And if we're here in the states, why do we care whether it goes up or down in value against other currencies? Let's take a look at some answers to these questions.

Homebuilders Add New Wing to Housing Crisis – Minyanville, Andrew Jeffrey

The reality -- an unfortunate one for builders and their employees -- is that for the foreseeable future, their services aren't needed in this country; we have too many homes as it is. Demand for new ones remains weak as communities just a decade old slip into disrepair, and shoddy craftsmanship and half-finished developments scare off prospective buyers.

Tiered House Prices – Calculated Risk


Obama Asks Congress for the "Power to Punish" – Mish

Obama wants to extend the powers of the Fed. Then again he wants to take some powers away from the Fed. It's hard to know what he is thinking until you boil it down to its essence. Being president is not enough, Obama wants to become the Czar of Czars with the "Power to Punish".

Large U.S. corporate bankruptcies accelerate – Reuters