Items of interest:
Jim Cramer & Farnoosh Torabi / TheStreet.com:
Cramer: When Housing Will Bottom [video, 3:37] -- Jim Cramer says it will be time to buy again in the last three months of 2008.
------David Enrich & Diya Gullapalli / Wall Street Journal:
Banks Abandon Effort to Set Up Big Rescue Fund -- Treasury Backed Idea As Response to Crisis; Boost From Foreigners
One of the federal government's signature efforts to ease financial instability caused by the subprime-mortgage crisis collapsed as the nation's three biggest banks gave up on a fund intended to rescue tens of billions of dollars in troubled investments.
The banks had been trying since September to set up a fund that would buy securities tied to mortgages and other assets that were controlled by banks in off-balance-sheet funds. But events overtook the effort. By the time it began to try to gather assets, banks were already handling the problem themselves. [...]
Subprime market crash ripples through Conn. -- In Connecticut, 15,773 foreclosures were added to court dockets between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2007, a 45 percent increase since the July 2002-June 2003 period, according to the state Judicial Department. The number of foreclosures added to court dockets was nearly the same as the number of foreclosures that were disposed of in the same period, 15,917, which was up 55 percent from 2002-03. [...]
-----John Authers / Financial Times:
This was the year the coyote looked down -- For China, an ever more imposing presence in the world, 2007 was the Year of the Pig. For the markets, it was the Year of the Coyote.
Recall that Wile E. Coyote, in the old Roadrunner cartoons, can run off the edge of a cliff and keep going. It is only when he looks down that he stops defying gravity and falls to earth.
That is what happened to the credit markets this year. Market participants finally looked down, saw that many of the securities they had created with the aid of financial gimmickry were truly worthless, and fell back to earth. Nothing will ever return the credit market to the glories it had reached earlier this year.
But the coyote has another propensity. Dynamite could explode in his face, or a 10-ton rock could flatten him, but he would always live to brush himself off and walk away. The equity markets seem to have exhibited exactly that quality. In spite of the credit disaster, signs of economic slowdown and of a potential severe dip in corporate earnings across the developed world, this was still a perfectly respectable year for equities. [...]
------Randy / Safe Haven:
Brains Filled with Mush while Nation Crumbles -- No longer do we have a Government of the people for the people. Our leaders have been and are continuing to neglect us to the benefit of corporate interests. Sure they make huge promises to get elected, but once in office, it's all about the high power lobbyists and corporate bottom lines. I can't tell you how disgusted I am with the current administration (who I helped to put in office) and the entire pack of leading presidential candidates -- they are all con men/women who are going to tell you what you want to hear, get into office then turn the other cheek. Don't believe for a minute that they care about you or your future -- they are interested in themselves, their futures, their wallets and once in office they will act just like everyone else -- bowing to corporate special interests. [...]
-----Paul Tustain / BullionVault:
Train Wreck Imminent? -- Next week may hold some unpleasant surprises for some, and I think you may profit from an early warning. We learned yesterday that the British government's guarantee to bail out the creditors of Northern Rock Bank is worth a staggering £100 billion. That's £5,000 [$10,000] per British household. This week the European Central Bank made $500 billion available through money market operations. And only last week $110bn of new money was created by central bank loans with artificially low rates and reduced-quality security. This is money creation on an epic scale. [...]