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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — May 13, 2009

Items of Interest:

Les Christie / CNNMoney.com:
Foreclosures: ‘April was a shocker’ -- A record number of foreclosure filings took place during April, but the number of repossessions fell 11%.

Foreclosures in April exceeded even March's blistering pace with a record 342,000 homes receiving notices of default, auction notices or undergoing bank repossessions, according to a regular industry report.

One of every 374 U.S. homes received a filing during the month, the highest monthly rate that RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties, has recorded in four-plus years of record keeping.

"April was a shocker," said Rick Sharga, a spokesman for RealtyTrac. "I would have bet on a dip because March foreclosures were so high." ...

Ed Morrissey / Hot Air: Housing foreclosures accelerate
Housing Wire:
Post-Moratorium Foreclosure Sales Surge -- Although government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased their foreclosure prevention actions by 9% in February, completed foreclosure sales at the GSEs surged nearly 900% from January, according to the foreclosure prevention report issued Tuesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on behalf of the enterprises....
USA Today:
Home Sales Rise in 17 States as Foreclosures Depress Prices -- Sales of existing homes picked up in 17 states in the first quarter compared with the previous one, pointing to more signs of life for the home market.

Nationally, first-quarter sales of existing homes were down 3.2% from the last three months of 2008 and down 6.8% year-over-year, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday...
Lansner on Real Estate:
Homeowner confidence shrinks in the West -- In a dramatic change from last quarter, homeowners in the West now have the most realistic perception of their own homes’ values, with 75 % believing it decreased in the past year, a survey by online home tracker Zillow shows...
New York Times:
Obama Urges Rules on Investments Tied to Crisis — WASHINGTON — In its first detailed effort to overhaul financial regulations, the Obama administration on Wednesday sought new authority over the complex financial instruments, known as derivatives, that were a major cause of the financial crisis …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias: Obama Pushing Derivatives Regulation
Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog:
The Truth Behind the Social Security and Medicare Alarm Bells -- What are we to make of yesterday's report from the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds that Social Security will run out of assets in 2037, four years sooner than previously forecast, and Medicare’s hospital fund will be exhausted by 2017, two years earlier than predicted a year ago?

Reports of these two funds' demise are not new...
Lance Mannion: Death will not be taking a holiday
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution: More health care cost fallacies
Libby Spencer / The Impolitic: The Medicare Scare — Sooner or later the Social Security …
Chuck Blahous / Hudson Institute: The Worsening Social Security Outlook
Editorial / Investor's Business Daily: Social Security: Apocalypse When?
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Eyes Bank Pay Overhaul — Administration in Early Talks on Ways to Curb Compensation Across Finance — WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has begun serious talks about how it can change compensation practices across the financial-services industry, including at companies …
Angelo MoziloBusiness Insider:
SEC Recommends Fraud Charges Against Countrywide's Mozilo -- Talk about a fall from grace for 'Oh Tanned One' Angelo Mozilo.

The man who was once lauded as the greatest friend to the homeowner for happily extending credit to anyone with a pulse is looking at possible civil fraud charges from the SEC, reports WSJ.

Mozilo, who sold Countrywide to Bank of America (BAC) before the crisis had fully revved up (brilliant), faces all kinds of legal headaches, including charges of Fraud in Florida (They're blaming Mozilo for their housing bubble, which is, ahem, absurd)...

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

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Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

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