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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — March 31, 2009

Items of Interest:

Home Prices Drop - Banks starting to walk away from foreclosures

NY Times:
Record Drop in January Index of Home Prices --

The decline in housing prices maintained its record-breaking descent in January, according to data released Tuesday.

Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a widely watched measure of 20 metropolitan areas, fell 19 percent in January from January 2008. That was slightly faster than it dropped in December.

The worst hit metropolitan areas have now fallen nearly in half. None of the cities showed month-to-month improvements. Thirteen showed record annual rates of decline.

“There’s no daylight that I can see in this report,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S.&P...

discussion:
The Big Picture: Case Shiller Index Falls 19%
Housing Wire: Home Prices Fall Record 19.4 Percent in January: Report
related:
Banks Starting to Walk Away on ForeclosuresNY Times:
Banks Starting to Walk Away on Foreclosures --
City officials and housing advocates here and in cities as varied as Buffalo, Kansas City, Mo., and Jacksonville, Fla., say they are seeing an unsettling development: Banks are quietly declining to take possession of properties at the end of the foreclosure process, most often because the cost of the ordeal — from legal fees to maintenance — exceeds the diminishing value of the real estate.

The so-called bank walkaways rarely mean relief for the property owners...
----
Gov't Ramps Up Emotional Rescue

Reuters:
U.S. website offers emotional rescue from economy — WASHINGTON - Stressed out by the economy? The U.S. government is offering an online emotional rescue kit. — The “Getting Through Tough Economic Times” guide at www.samhsa.gov/economy/ is meant to help people identify …
discussion:
Steve M. / No More Mister Nice Blog: DRUDGE'S ASININE “GOTCHA”
Robert Stein / Connecting.the.Dots: Drudge Suicide Watch
Michelle Malkin: The soul-fixer-in-chief is here to dry your tears
----
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Threatens Bankruptcy for GM, Chrysler
discussion:
Stephen Grocer / Deal Journal: Deals of the Day: Bankruptcy Looms Over GM and Chrysler
Keith Koffler / Roll Call: Obama Tilts Power Balance
Sharon Silke Carty / USA Today: GM's future at stake as Obama's team steps in
Ben Pershing / Washington Post: Who's Next on Obama's Chopping Block?
The Politico: Carrots for banks, sticks for autos

related:
Paul Ingrassia / Wall Street Journal: Richard Wagoner Had to Go
Larry Kudlow / RCM: GM: A 'Truly Breathtaking' Departure
William Holstein / New York Times: One Roadblock Too Many for GM
Rick Newman / Flow Chart: Carmaker Bailout: What's In It for Car Buyers
Alex Taylor III / Fortune: Rick Wagoner: He Could Have Been a Contender
J. Hussman / Hussman Funds: Bondholders Must Be Given Massive Haircut
----
David Brooks / New York Times:
Car Dealer in Chief — Some companies are in the steel business, some are in the cookie business, but General Motors is in the restructuring business. For 30 years, G.M. has been restructuring itself toward long-term viability. — For all these years, G.M.'s market share has endured a long, steady slide...
discussion:
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post: Detroit Dissonance — Tough Love for Carmakers, Pillows for Wall St.
----

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