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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Housing/Subprime/Credit Roundup — September 9, 2008

Items of Interest:

Bloomberg:
U.S. Economy: Pending Home Resales Decline More Than Forecast -- Fewer Americans signed contracts to purchase previously owned homes in July as harder-to-get financing kept would-be buyers from taking advantage of lower prices.

The index of pending home resales fell 3.2 percent after rising 5.8 percent in June, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. A separate report showed inventories at U.S. wholesalers piled up twice as fast as forecast in July as their sales slid.

Today's housing figures help explain why the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two days ago. Policy makers are aiming to stem the increase in mortgage rates triggered in part by the turmoil that engulfed the two companies, which make up almost half the $12 trillion U.S. mortgage market. Rates have dropped since Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's intervention...

related:
The Big Picture:
Pending Home Sales Index Fall 6.8%

Diana Olick / Realty Check:
Fannie And Freddie "Bailout": Is There Housing Bottom--Or Not?
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Nouriel Roubini / Global EconoMonitor:
Comrades Bush, Paulson and Bernanke Welcome You to the USSRA (United Socialist State Republic of America) -- The now inevitable nationalization of Fannie and Freddie is the most radical regime change in global economic and financial affairs in decades. For the last twenty years after the collapse of the USSR, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the economic reforms in China and other emerging market economies the world economy has moved away from state ownership of the economy and towards privatization of previously stated owned enterprises. This trends was aggressively supported the United States that preached right and left the benefits of free markets and free private enterprise.

Today instead the US has performed the greatest nationalization in the history of humanity. By nationalizing Fannie and Freddie the US has increased its public assets by almost $6 trillion and has increased its public debt/liabilities by another $6 trillion. The US has also turned itself into the largest government-owned hedge fund in the world: by injecting a likely $200 billion of capital into Fannie and Freddie and taking on almost $6 trillion of liabilities of such GSEs the US has also undertaken the biggest and most levered LBO (“leveraged buy-out”) in human history that has a debt to equity ratio of 30 ($6,000 billion of debt against $200 billion of equity)...
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Charlie Rose [TV Show]: A discussion about the U.S. government's takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with Mohamed El-Erian, co-CEO co-CIO for PIMCO, Gretchen Morgenson, Floyd Norris both of The New York Times and Nouriel Roubini of New York University.via Calc. Risk


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