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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Crash of '08 Roundup — December 16, 2008

Items of Interest:

The Numbers:

  • November Housing Starts 625,000 vs. 736,000 consensus estimate, October starts revised to 771,000 from 791,000 [based on an annual rate]
  • November Core CPI +1.1% vs +1.5% consensus, prior +3.7%
  • November Core CPI month/month comparison: +0.0% vs +0.1% consensus
  • November CPI y/y +1.5% vs +1.1% consensus
  • November Building Permits 616,000 vs 700,000 consensus
Housing permits, starts hit record lows -- Housing permits fell more than 15% to an annual rate of 616,000 last month, the Commerce Department said, while starts slid nearly 19% to an annual rate of 625,000....

Consumer prices fall by record 1.7% -- Prices fell by the greatest amount since the Department of Labor began publishing seasonally adjusted changes in February 1947...
Bailout Nation Debate:

Washington Post:
Majority of Public Opposes Auto Rescue — Poll Finds Most Blame Industry for Problems, Believe Failure Won't Hurt Economy — Most Americans continue to oppose a government-backed rescue plan for Detroit's Big Three automakers as majorities blame the industry for its own problems …
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway: Public Opposes Auto Bailout
Doug Mataconis / Below The Beltway: American Public Continues To Oppose Auto Bailout
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post: Only a Lunatic Wants Big Three to Fail

Kurt Brouwer / Fundmastery
GM & Toyota - A Tale of Two Car Companies - Last year, both companies sold lots of car and trucks. In fact, total worldwide sales were almost the same so each company did pretty well...

Todd J. Zywicki / Wall Street Journal:
— Washington hates the idea because it would lose leverage. — While Washington tries to arrange a bailout, the Detroit Three auto makers and their union, the United Auto Workers, keep insisting that bankruptcy would be the kiss of death. ...
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
Shock waves spread from Madoff scandal -- Shock waves from Bernard Madoff's alleged fraud spread globally on Monday, as charities, wealthy individuals and banks disclosed losses from the prominent Wall Street trader's investment management business.

Britain's HSBC Holdings Plc was the latest bank to join the growing list, saying it had exposure of around $1 billion, making it one of the biggest victims of the alleged $50 billion fraud.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Man Group Plc in the United Kingdom, Japan's Nomura Holdings Inc and France's Natixis SA also said they were hit by the worldwide scandal...
Diana Olick / CNBC Realty Check:
Foreclosures: Are Home Buyers Missing An Opportunity? -- You’d think now would be a great time to buy a foreclosed property, but a majority of Americans don’t think so. A new survey from real estate search site Trulia.com and foreclosure sale site RealtyTrac.com finds that only 47 percent of those surveyed would consider buying a foreclosed property, that’s down from 54 percent last spring....

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia