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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Crash of '08 Roundup — December 3, 2008

Items of Interest:

Treasury Takes Aim at Mortgage Rates

Wall Street Journal:
Treasury Considers Plan to Stem Home-Price Decline -- Rates Could Be as Low as 4.5% for Newly Issued Loans

The Treasury Department is considering a plan to revitalize the U.S. housing market by reducing mortgage rates for new loans, according to people familiar with the matter.

The plan, which is in the development stages, would use mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to bring loan rates down as low as 4.5%, a full percentage point lower than the prevailing rates for 30-year fixed mortgages...

Noah Rosenblatt / Manhattan Real Estate: Housing Supply Fix? Grant Investors A Tax Exemption Benefit
Little professor / House Price Crash News Blog: Wall Street Journal: US eyes plans to lift home sales

Calculated Risk:
WSJ: Treasury Considers Plan to Lower Mortage Rates to 4.5% — From the WSJ: Treasury Considers Plan to Stem Home-Prices Decline The Treasury Department is considering a plan to revitalize the U.S. housing market by reducing mortgage rates for new home loans ... The plan, which is in the development stages, would use mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to bring loan rates down as low as 4.5%, a full ...

David Cho & Neil Irwin / WashingtonPost.com:
New Treasury Plan May Lower Mortgage Rates — The Treasury Department is considering plans being pushed by trade groups to intervene directly into the mortgage market to dramatically force down rates and stimulate the moribund housing market, according to idustry sources familiar wih the matter.

Paul Kedrosky / Infectious Greed:
Readings: Bookstaber on Bailouts, Mortgage Plan, etc.
Tamar Lewin / New York Times:
College May Become Unaffordable for Most in U.S. — The rising cost of college — even before the recession — threatens to put higher education out of reach for most Americans, according to the annual report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
The Huffington Post, ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES, Washington Monthly, DownWithTyranny!, Donklephant, DailyHowler.com, The Big Picture, Wonkette, Kevin Drum, Whiskey Fire and Brilliant at Breakfast
Ken Thomas / Associated Press:
Automakers plead for aid, but Senate votes lacking — Imperiled automakers and their union worked feverishly Wednesday to sell a skeptical Congress on a $34 billion aid plan, promising labor concessions and restructuring...
Discussion: Yahoo! News, TigerHawk and Reuters

Kimberly S. Johnson / Associated Press:
UAW to renegotiate labor terms, suspend jobs bank
Discussion: Donklephant
Oliver Hart & Luigi Zingales / Wall Street Journal:
Economists Have Abandoned Principle -- Twelve months ago nobody could have imagined government interventions we now take for granted.

This year will be remembered not just for one of the worst financial crises in American history, but also as the moment when economists abandoned their principles. There used to be a consensus that selective intervention in the economy was bad. In the last 12 months this belief has been shattered...
Discussion: Growthology and LewRockwell.com Blog
Price of Oil Drops $100 in 5 months - from $147.27 to $47.27BeSpoke:
Oil: Drop the 1 -- Less than five months after trading at $147.27 on July 11th, crude oil is now down $100 from that record high. Pretty amazing given that it started the year under $100.
Matthew Wurtzel / TheDeal.com:
Sign of the Apocalypse: Cramer to SEC — Today's sign of the Apocalypse: Jim Cramer's campaign to become President-elect Barack Obama's Securities and Exchange Commission chairman...
Tim Kane / Growthology:
The Bankruptcy Pledge — Every recession is a critical test of an economy's resilience and flexibility, both in terms of purely operational linkages and more importantly in terms of political tolerance for change. We often hear politicians claim the rhetorical mantle of change …

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