Items of Interest:
J.W. Elphinstone / Associated Press:
Mortgage woes break records again in 4Q – Foreclosures are spreading by epidemic proportions, expanding beyond a handful of problem states and now affecting almost 1 in every 8 American homeowners.
It's an economic role-reversal: The economy, driven down by the collapse of the housing bubble, is causing the housing crisis to spread.
Figures released Thursday show that nearly 12 percent of all Americans with a mortgage — a record 5.4 million homeowners — were at least one month late or in foreclosure at the end of last year.
That's up from 10 percent at the end of the third quarter, and up from 8 percent at the end of 2007. In addition, the numbers now include many once-qualified borrowers who took out fixed-rate loans...
discussion:Pat G. / Wonk Room: Republicans Claim Cram-Downs Will Make Homeowners 'Game The System …D-Day: Banksters Still BankstingSusan Duclos / Wake up America: Housing Proposals Won't Stop Forclosures
BRAIN-TRUST BUST -- WHAT'S REALLY SCARING WALL ST. -- ON Wall Street, they're calling the Obama economic team "the gang that couldn't shoot straight," after Jimmy Breslin's novel about a bunch of moronic mobsters.
If you really want to understand why the markets have been tanking, why the smart money is sitting in cash and gold - well, just study the policy, or lack of it, that these guys have come up with to address economic ills not seen since the Great Depression.
The sad thing is, the "gang" took office with high hopes on Wall Street. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the former New York Fed chief, was supposed to have the experience needed to handle the banking crisis...
Perhaps the biggest disappointment is Volcker, a true American hero who as Fed chairman tamed the stagflation of the '70s - but seems to be muzzled at a time when the country needs him most.
Volcker, possibly the world's most experienced economist, is being treated like the crazy aunt in the attic. He's around, wandering the halls - but no one in the administration seems to care what he thinks...
David Goldman / InnerWorkings: Charles Gasparino is well informed
discussion:Yves Smith / naked capitalism: The Treasury Mortgage Mod Program: Should We Hope It Doesn't Work?Arnold Kling / The Atlantic Business Channel: The Never-ending Mortgage CrisisTyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution: Mortgage modification — Yves Smith offers a very good critique …
discussion:Tom Blumer / NewsBusters.org: February Vehicle Sales: The Blowup of the Bailed-Out Continues
Tom Blumer / NewsBusters.org: GM's Auditor Issues ‘Going Concern’ …Robert Snell / Detroit News: GM auditors raise doubts on automaker's viabilityJoe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice: GM Auditors: Chapter 11 May Indeed Be In General Motors' FutureFrank James / The Swamp: GM auditors doubt it can avoid bankruptcyKaren DeCoster / LewRockwell.com Blog: General Motors is Not a Going Concern
- The Financial System Is Effectively Insolvent - Nouriel Roubini, Forbes
- The Ghosts of Smoot and Hawley - Irwin Stelzer, Weekly Standard
- Policy Matters, Now Profit From It - R. Redenbaugh & J. Juliano, RCM
- Weighing the Case For a Market Turn - David Callaway, MarketWatch
- A Chance to Remake the Financial System - Paul Keating, Financial Times
- To Fix Wall Street, Bust Some Trusts - David Ignatius, Washington Post
- What's Really Scaring Wall Street - Charles Gasparino, New York Post
- Obama Should Listen to the Market - Editorial, Investor's Business Daily
- 'No Deal' GOP Maps Own Economic Disaster- John Berry, Bloomberg
- Obama's Higher Taxes Hit Working Wives - Diana Furchtgott-Roth, RCM
- AIG: Billions of Dollars Dished Out In the Dark - Robert Scheer, The Nation
- Obamanomics Is Bad for Entrepreneurs - Jim Manzi, City Journal
- The Housing Plan Won't Stop Foreclosures - Geanakoplos/Koniak, NY Times
- A Dialogue among Experts: Making Sense of the Credit Debacle - Slate
- Dealing with the Savage Reductions in Companies' Dividends - Economist
- Highest And Lowest Earners Both Hit By Recession - John Zogby, Forbes
- Did President Obama Cause Stock Slide? - Ben Steverman, BusinessWeek
- The World According to TARP - Daniel Gross, Newsweek
- Avoid Financial Stocks & Zombie Banks - Christopher Grey, TheStreet.com
- Wells Fargo, BofA Loan Values a Scary Sight - Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg
- A Question Revisited: Is Capitalism Working? - Knowledge@Wharton
- China's Recovery Will Take Longer Than Most Think - Bill Powell, Fortune