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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — July 8, 2009

Items of Interest:

Wall Street Journal:
Apartment Vacancy Rate Hits 22-Year High -- The vacancy rate for U.S. apartments hit a 22-year high in the second quarter as rising unemployment reduced demand during what is usually the peak leasing season.

Rents fell the fastest in markets that have shed white-collar jobs, such as New York and San Jose, Calif., and in markets where many foreclosed homes and condominiums have been turned into rental property, including Las Vegas and Orange County, Calif.

Vacancy levels nationally rose to 7.5% in the April-to-June period, up from 6.1% a year earlier, according to Reis Inc., a New York real-estate research firm. Of the 79 markets tracked by Reis, 45 showed an increase in vacancies.

Generally more rental units turn over during the spring and summer than in any other time of the year, which means that the declines could have an outsized impact on revenue for apartment owners...

Curbed: Rental Reports: We're #1!
Derek Thompson / Atlantic:
Why There Are No Jobs in 3 Simple Graphs -- The hiring rate (defined as the number of new job hires per 100 employed people) continues to fall past its lowest recorded levels. Here's a graph for that, from May 2009...

new job hires per 100 employed people falls to lowest level----
International Monetary Fund:
Recession Loosens Grip But Weak Recovery Ahead -- World Economic Outlook Update -- The global economy is beginning to pull out of a recession unprecedented in the post–World War II era and risks to the global financial system have moderated, but stabilization is uneven and the recovery is expected to be sluggish, according to the IMF’s latest forecast.

Economic growth during 2009-10 is now projected to be about ½ percentage points higher than forecast by the IMF in April, reaching 2.5 percent in 2010, according to the World Economic Outlook Update...
Turning Lemons into Lemonade??

Morgan Stanley Plans to Turn Downgraded Loan CDO Into AAA Bonds — Morgan Stanley plans to repackage a downgraded collateralized debt obligation backed by leveraged loans into new securities with AAA ratings in the first transaction of its kind, said two people familiar with the sale...
James Cullen / DailyFinance: More financial alchemy: Morgan Stanley plans to recycle toxic financial assets
Matthew Benjamin / Bloomberg:
Democrats Split on Stimulus as Job Losses Mount, Deficit Soars — Democrats who control the levers of power in Washington are divided over whether to push for more deficit spending to end the recession and stem job losses, complicating the possibility of a second stimulus bill.
Michael Bowman / Voice of America: Obama Advisor Urges Another Economic Stimulus Plan
CNN Money:
25 charged in $100 million mortgage fraud -- Manhattan District Attorney charges 13 suspects and a mortgage company with fraud; 12 others have already pleaded guilty...

The 13 newly-indicted individuals and the mortgage company, AFG Financial Group, were charged with enterprise corruption, grand larceny, scheme to defraud and conspiracy for participating in 19 fraudulent real estate transactions, according to the D.A.'s office. The most serious felony, enterprise corruption, carries a sentence of up to 25 years...
Calculated Risk: More Mortgage Fraud
Slope of Hope:
CNBC's Popularity Explained ...
CNBC's Popularity Explained

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia