---Items of Interest:
All Aboard the Home Foreclosure Bus Tour -- With home foreclosures at a 20-year record high in California and up 68 percent nationwide, real estate agents are trying out new ideas to keep the housing market alive.
Foreclosure bus tours in which home buyers visit a number of foreclosed properties in one outing, are popping up across the country.
At one tour in Pismo Beach, Calif., 40 prospective homebuyers spent four hours on a bus, checking out 10 homes, all at fire sale prices. [...]
One Man's Foreclosure, Another Man's Steal -- Wave Of Foreclosures In Calif. Takes Auction Home Prices Way Down, To The Delight Of Buyers [...]
San Diego's Finest Real Estate Commences Foreclosure Bus Tours -- To showcase some of the best deals among hundreds of properties that have been repossessed by lenders in San Diego County, San Diego's Finest Real Estate (SDFRE) is launching the "Great American Dream Home Tour." In February and March, the company will take prospective buyers on a four-hour guided search for bargains within the San Diego residential foreclosure market. The tour's first stop: Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carmel Valley on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
"The real estate market in San Diego has made a nice correction and now is a great time to buy a home or condo, especially if you take advantage of bank-owned foreclosures," said Anne-marie Boyer, a SDFRE broker. "Lenders are being aggressive and the banks are actually required by law to get foreclosures off their books, so it's a great time to invest."
Large inventories of these real-estate-owned (REO) properties have made lenders increasingly willing to negotiate. Many of the homes and condos that will be seen on SDFRE's foreclosure tours have been marked down tens of thousands of dollars below the original asking prices. [...]
Housing Bubble Blog: The Housing Market Continues To Correct
Pets Abandoned by Owners After Foreclosure -- The house was ravaged -- its floors ripped, walls busted and lights smashed by owners who trashed their home before a bank foreclosed on it. Hidden in the wreckage was an abandoned member of the family: a starving pit bull.
The dog found by workers was too far gone to save -- another example of how pets are becoming the newest victims of the nation's mortgage crisis as homeowners leave animals behind when they can no longer afford their property.
Pets "are getting dumped all over," said Traci Jennings, president of the Humane Society of Stanislaus County in northern California [...]
---The Big Picture:
Financial Sector: More Damage to Come -- Someone needs to inform the SEC that their job is to protect shareholders -- not wayward corporate management.
For an SEC commission staff to even hint that its okay to move sub-prime junk off balance sheets is not only wrong -- its outside of their jurisdiction. That's FASB's purview, not the SEC. The goal should be accurate, transparent accounting -- not sleight of hand and misdirection.
Allowing this kind of misleading reportage is simply unacceptable gimmickry from the regulatory body that is SUPPOSED TO STOP this sort of crap [...]
- Subprime, CDO Bank Losses May Exceed $265 Billion, S&P Says - Bloomberg
- It's the Housing Market Deflation - William Gross of PIMCO, Washington Post
- Nascar Bernanke - Editorial, Wall Street Journal
- Fed May Be Hiking Before Summer's End - John Berry, Bloomberg
- Wall Street Tail Wags Policy Dog - Tom Stevenson, Daily Telegraph
- Fed, Taxes Weigh on the Economy - Wayne Jett, RealClearMarkets
- Capital Is the Basis of Employment, Prosperity - Jason Trennert, IBD
- A Gentler Form of Capitalism - David Callahan, Los Angeles Times
- Similarities Between Kerviel and Cruise - John Gapper, Financial Times
- Jerome Kerviel, Beloved Loser - Editorial, Investor's Business Daily
- Decoupling Myths Expose Trade Deficit Myths - John Tamny, RCM
- Recessions and Bears, and What to Buy - Laszlo Birinyi, Forbes
- Hard Times Ahead? Interview with Jim Rogers - Brian O'Keefe, Fortune