Items of Interest:
Edmund / NYT
Treasury Releases Details of Loan Plan — The Obama administration kicked off a new program Wednesday intended to help up to nine million borrowers stay in their homes through refinanced mortgages or loans that are modified to lower monthly payments...
Renae Merle / Wash Post Business:
Treasury Dept. Details Foreclosure Prevention -- The Obama administration today released guidelines of its massive foreclosure prevention program and it includes a refinancing program for homeowners with little equity in their homes...
Meg Marco / Consumerist: Find Out If You Qualify For Mortgage AssistanceChicagotribune.com: 1 in 5 homeowners underwater on mortgage
Details of administration's housing rescue plan released — Details of the Obama administration's housing rescue plan are expected Wednesday, and banks and other servicers are bracing for ...
Treasury launches program to prevent foreclosure — As many as 9 million borrowers might be able to stay in their homes under a loan modification program launched Wednesday by the Obama administration...
The report, "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America," shows that, from 1998-2008, Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and insurance conglomerates made $1.725 billion in political contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists, a financial juggernaut aimed at undercutting federal regulation. Nearly 3,000 officially registered federal lobbyists worked for the industry in 2007 alone. The report documents a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that, together, led to the financial meltdown...
discussion:Brian Montopoli / CBS News: Report: Wall Street Spent $5 Billion For Political InfluenceMichaelW / QandO: The “Deregulation” BogeymanRobert Weissman / The Huffington Post: Wall Street's Best Investment: Paying for Policy in WashingtonPaul Blumenthal / Sunlight Foundation: Financial Sector Spent $5 Billion on Political InfluenceJonah Goldberg / The Corner: Wall Street & Washington
discussion:Soren Dayton / The Next Right: The coming public pension queen?Susie Madrak / Crooks and Liars: Hidden Public Pension Liabilities Could Trigger $1 Trillion BailoutJohn Aravosis / AMERICAblog News: Public pension bailouts, and the question of fairnessJohn Cole / Balloon Juice: The Next BombRich Miller / The Capitol Fax Blog: It's probably worse than we think
Obama’s Ball and Chain -- Two signs of the times: First, a banker friend remarked to me that you know your bank is in trouble when its share price is less than the cost of taking money out of one of its A.T.M.’s...
At the moment, the Obama team seems to prefer a gradual attempt to nurse these sick banks back to health with repeated blood transfusions — $30 billion more to A.I.G. today, another $40 billion to Citigroup tomorrow. And Lord only knows how much Bank of America will need after its weekend fling with Merrill Lynch has left it with Toxic Asset Disease. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury seem to be trying to give these banks enough capital to survive the next two years, as they de-leverage and de-risk their portfolios — and then hope for the best.
If they are right, the president (and the rest of us) will just have a wrenching first year and then be able to gradually put the banking crisis behind him.
For now, though, the banks still threaten to consume the Obama presidency. Indeed, I’m sorry to report that if you just type two letters into Google — “b-a” — the first thing that comes up is not Barack Obama. It’s “Bank of America.” Barack Obama is third...
Barrett Brown / Vanity Fair:
Thomas Friedman's Five Worst Predictions — In this morning's New York Times, columnist Thomas Friedman makes a grave prediction regarding Obama and the ongoing financial crisis: “I fear that his whole first term could be eaten by Citigroup, A.I.G., Bank of America, Merrill Lynch …
Joe Weisenthal / Clusterstock: Thomas Friedman Thinks The Crisis Might Be Kind Of A Big DealPareene / Gawker: Thomas Friedman Googles Stuff
What Comes after the Hedge Fund Bubble? -- The five hotshots who took Fortress Investment Group public were worth billions at first. Today they look like arrogant showboats, and their story helps explain why hedge funds are imploding by the thousands—and why there’s still a truckload of money to be made.
discussion:Henry Blodget / Clusterstock: Cuomo Dragging Merrill-Bonus Execs In For QuestioningZachary Roth / TPMMuckraker: Merrill's Top Ten Earners Made More Last Year Than In 07Felix Salmon / Portfolio: Top Earners and Top Executives
- Debt Doesn't Have to Be A Burden - Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post
- Brown Must Keep Obama Honest on Free Trade - Jagdish Bhagwati, Forbes
- In Defense of President Obama's Budget - Anthony Karydakis, Fortune
- Vote 'No' on Omnibus Spending Bill - Sen. Evan Bayh, Wall Street Journal
- You Are Not Warren Buffett...And That's OK - Chuck LeBeau, Forbes
- How Savers Could Doom the Economy - Jon Markman, MSN Money
- A Housing Floor Is Just Around the Corner - Irwin Kellner, MarketWatch
- Lots of Tough Love for Insurance Companies - Jim Cramer, TheStreet.com
- Private Equity Needs A Fix Before It’s Too Late - Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg
- What Are the Odds Of a Depression? - Robert Barro, Wall Street Journal
- Job Losses Show Breadth of Recession - David Leonhardt, New York Times
- The Second Great Depression - Nicholas Von Hoffman, The Nation
- How Many Entrepreneurs Can Government Create? - Steve Malanga, RCM
- Epic Battle Looms Over Obama's Big Push - Roger Altman, Financial Times
- Finance, & the Myth of 'Systemic Collapse' - James Keller, RealClearMarkets
- Can Libertarians Overturn TARP In Court? - Jeffrey Rosen, New Republic
- Fixing a Failed Financial System - Thomas Cooley, Forbes
- Obama Gives Us the Same Old New Deal - Editorial, Investor's Business Daily
- From An Old Socialist, Obama Isn't One - Harold Meyerson, Washington Post
- Can the Euro Survive a Big Recession? - Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
- Spooky Parallels Between 1933 & 2009 - John Batchelor, RealClearMarkets
- Stanford Wasn't Always a Business Success - Matt Goldstein, Business Week
- 2009: By Far The Worst Start to a Year Since 1900 - Bespoke Inv. Group
- Is 2009 a Period of Irrational Non-Exuberance? - Doug Kass, TheStreet.com
- 'No Deal’ Republicans Map Disaster of Own Making - J. Berry, Bloomberg
- Memo To Jeff Immelt: You Must Lie Better - John Hempton, Bronte Capital
- Barack Obama, the Jeff Immelt of U.S. Presidents - Deal Journal