Items of Interest:
New York Times:
Congress Reaches Deal on Stimulus Plan — Senate and House leaders announced Wednesday evening that they had reached agreement on a $789 billion economic stimulus bill, clearing the way for final Congressional action and President Obama's signature, perhaps by the end of the week...
discussion:related:Mark Silva / The Swamp: Obama praises economic stimulus dealDavid Espo / Seattle Times: Agreement announced in race for stimulus billNoam Scheiber / The New Republic: Grading the Stimulus CompromiseDavid Kurtz / Talking Points Memo: A WIN IS A WINDavid Espo / Associated Press: Stimulus Deal Reached: $789 BillionMaha / The Mahablog: Dumb, Dumber, DumbestMichael Falcone / The Caucus: Response to Liberal Groups' Ad Causes UproarTeri Finneman / The Note: GOP Shut Out of Stimulus NegotiationsBig Tent Democrat / TalkLeft: An Inadequate $719B Stimulus Bill, With Unrelated $70B AMTFixChristopher Hayes / The Nation: Today in The Nation: A Stimulus DealJohn Cole / Balloon Juice: And Said Without a Trace of Humor or IronyDorian De Wind / The Moderate Voice: Agreement Announced on Economic Stimulus...What Now?Carter Wood / Shopfloor: Stimulus Agreement NearsProPublica: Economic Stimulus: Resolution ConfusionBrian Beutler: The compromise — “In driving down the total cost …Igor Volsky / Wonk Room: The Health Provisions In The Stimulus Compromsie
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
discussion:Kate Phillips / The Caucus: Rare Conference Showcases Stimulus Deal; Final Votes ApproachHughS / Wizbang: Democrat Theater — Today's political theatre began …Patterico's Pontifications: A Pair of Chuckling, Sneering Charlies Smirk and Laugh It Up About …Ed Morrissey / Hot Air: House Democrats balking on Porkulus?Truthdig: Dems Bicker Behind the Scenes
discussion:John Cole / Balloon Juice: Bipartisanship Means Working In Good Faith With the OppositionMary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard: Pelosi, Reid Continue P.R. Assault on Their Own BillMike's America / Flopping Aces: Conservatives: Send Sen. Specter Packing in 2010
discussion:David Sirota / Open Left: Nate Silver to Progressives: STFU and Defer to the Serious Experts and CzarsBrian Knowlton / New York Times: Geithner Is Pressed for Bailout DetailsElrod / The Moderate Voice: It's time to nationalize the banksLawrence Kudlow / Real Clear Politics: Is Geithner Ready for Prime Time?Oliver Willis: IS ANYONE ELSE TIRED OF THE DAVID SIROTA ACT?Peter Catapano / The Opinionator: Anybody Got a Better Idea?Sister Toldjah: Oh, just give him a breakEric Rall / Dean's World: Should we shut up and let Geithner do his thing?
Andy Kessler / Wall Street Journal: Why Markets Dissed the Geithner Plan
David Reilly / Bloomberg: Geithner Can’t Find Gun, Let Alone Silver Bullet
Randall Forsyth / Barron's: Geithner's Plan: The Opacity of Hope
Yves Smitm / Naked Capitalism: Tim Geithner's Bank Bailout Plan: Fiasco
Top Seven Attention-Hungry Doomsayers -- The banks are imploding! Your home is worthless! We’re all going to die! A new crop of Dr. Dooms are making careers out of scaring you.
So there you have it: With the news that both Obama’s stimulus plan and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s new bank-bailout plan are likely to go full steam ahead, the stock market reacted with a 300-plus point plunge. Investors, it seems, are finally wise to the fact that the global economy is in one hell of a bind, and a few hundred billion here or there won’t make a damn bit of difference.
It was only a few years ago, you will recall, that the stock market was pretty much a daily Pamplona—the Bulls were running, and they were a large pack indeed. Everyone was having a hell of a time watching the value of his or her portfolio climb to ever-greater heights. These days, it’s a different kind of stampede—the Bears are in charge now, and they’re soaking up the attention as they are periodically wont to do. Herewith, we present those bears you should be most afraid (or in awe) of...
Blame Bubblevision! -- Who do I blame? CNBC of course. What are our impressionable college age youth to think when they turn on a financial channel to find out whether the market is in a bottoming process or not, and then hear Bob Pisani say this.
We need a bong break. The whole country needs a bong break.
Mortgage applications at 8-year low -- Falling home prices and expectations that the government will work to lower mortgage rates has kept prospective homebuyers on the sidelines.
Demand for U.S. mortgage applications tumbled nearly 25% last week, with requests for loans to buy homes sinking to an eight-year low, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday, as potential buyers hold out for better terms and government help.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted home purchase applications index slid 9.8% in the week ended Feb. 6 to 235.9, its lowest level since the end of 2000.
Average 30-year mortgage rates slipped to 5.19% from 5.28% a week earlier, the trade group said...
Fraud 'Directly Related' to Financial Crisis Probed -- FBI Agents Could be Reassigned from National Security Due to Booming Caseload
The FBI has opened investigations into more than 500 cases of alleged corporate fraud, including 38 that involve major firms and are "directly related" to the national economic crisis, FBI Deputy Director John Pistole told Congress today.
"The FBI has more than 530 open corporate fraud investigations, including 38 corporate fraud and financial institution matters directly related to the current financial crisis," Pistole told the Senate Judiciary Committee today....
Infectious Greed: FBI: Financial Crisis Not Just a Passing Fad
- Big Lessons in Finance from a Small Bank - Steven Pearlstein, Wash Post
- 5 Points on the Critical State of the Economy - Jeff Sachs, Huffington Post
- Stashing Your Cash Isn't The Way To Go - Janet Paskin, SmartMoney
- China Slowdown Should Grab World's Attention - P. Chovanec, Asia Times
- How We Can Restore Market Confidence - Charles Munger, Washington Post
- Deal With It, the Free Market Is Dead - P.J. O'Rourke, Financial Times
- Housing Won't Get Us Out of Recession - Steven Malanga, RealClearMarkets
- Don't Blame the Market for Bonuses - Daniel Finkelstein, Times of London
- Bankers Are About to Take a 50% Pay Cut - Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg
- How Much Should We Limit Exec Pay? - Richard Rahn, Washington Times
- A Stimulus Plan Bolder Than the New Deal - Michael Hiltzik, LA Times
- To Spend or Save: Trick Question - David Leonhardt, New York Times
- The Unmentionable Bank Solution - Holman Jenkins, Wall Street Journal
- Let Big Banks Fail, but Save Finance - James Keller, RealClearMarkets
- The New Gold Standard Has to Be Job Creation - Ken Miller, The Nation
- Six Recessions: Job Losses Compared - Kurt Brouwer, Fundmastery Blog
- Barack Obama's Catastrophic Start - Rich Karlgaard, Digital Rules
- Inside Wall Street's Subprime Factory - Elizabeth MacDonald, Fox Business
- The Market Has Decided: Wall St. Should Fail - William Cohan, Daily Beast
- Why Some Investment Bankers Stay on Wall Street - Deal Journal