Items of interest:
Warren Buffet: U.S. woes 'poetic justice' for some banks --
The problems being experienced by the U.S. financial sector are in fact "poetic justice" for some of the financial institutions involved, Warren Buffett said on Wednesday.
"It's sort of a little poetic justice, in that the people that brewed this toxic Kool-Aid found themselves drinking a lot of it in the end," he said in reference to some of the large investment banks that were involved in designing and marketing complex investments that have soured in recent months and have generated billions in losses.
National Post (Canada): Buffett loves that Loonie, Buffett: No economic bailout necessary (Interview with FP), Wit and wisdom of Omaha's sage
Globe and Mail (Toronto): Buffett sitting on his wallet
Telegraph (UK): Warren Buffett blames banks for meltdown
Pending Home Sales Skid More Than Expected -- Pending sales of previously owned homes fell a steeper-than-expected 1.5 percent in December, pointing to more dreary conditions for the beleaguered housing market, a real estate trade group report showed.
The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in December, dropped to 85.9 from 87.2. Economists were expecting pending home sales--which are a key gauge of future home sales activity-- to fall 1.0 percent. [...]
Subprime Woes Just Beginning, PwC Chief Warns -- Nonfinancial companies will be hit next, says DiPiazza. And some, like Bristol-Myers, Ciena, and Lawson, are proving his point.
The next wave from the subprime mortgage crisis will flow past lenders and homebuilders and strike nonfinancial U.S. companies with forced write-downs, the chief executive of PricewaterhouseCoopers warned.
Samuel DiPiazza, chief executive of the Big Four accounting firm, pointed out that many nonfinancial companies were exposed through securities in their own investment portfolios, according to a Reuters report.
"It's not just in banks," DiPiazza said. "These securities sit in cash equivalent accounts of industrials; they sit in investment portfolios of pensions. We are having to deal with this with thousands of companies, not just a handful of big banks." [...]
Paulson sees alliance fixing more subprime loans -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Wednesday that he believes data due later this week will show that "a good number" of subprime borrowers are being helped by a mortgage industry alliance to modify their home loans. [...]
- Schumer: GSEs Need to Embrace ‘Partial Chargeoffs’ - Housing Wire
- The Rising Risk of a Systemic Financial Meltdown: The Twelve Steps to Financial Disaster - Nouriel Roubini, RGE
- Housing Market Tracker - Sales/Prices Dropping, Even for Celebs - Seeking Alpha
- Yosano Says Japan Banks Must Write Off Subprime Loss - Bloomberg
- Regulators should allow bond insurers to fail - Financial Times
- Real Estate, Speculation & "Occupancy Fraud" - The Big Picture
- Dollar Weakness Begets World Inflation - John Tamny, RealClearMarkets
- Wall Street Gives Low Marks to Bernanke - Phil Izzo, Wall Street Journal
- Builder CEOs Talk: Too Bad It's Nothing We Don't Know - Realty Check, CNBC