Banking with Bird & Fortune [full 10 min video] via Calculate Risk
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Items of Interest:
James Howard Kunstler:
Marching Toward Zombieland --
The sense that Wall Street has pulled off a coup d'etat and taken over the machinery of the United States is the most powerful meme out there now, and its power is growing in magnitude every day among all classes of Americans...
numerous people who have been notified by Citibank in recent days that the interest rate on their credit cards is soaring to almost 30%...
Items of Interest:
Wall Street Journal:
Employers Hold Off on Hiring -- Companies across the economy are holding off on hiring even as the profit outlook improves, amid economic uncertainty and their own success at raising productivity in rough waters.
Hiring always lags behind in economic recoveries, but the outlook this time is worse, many economists say. Most forecasters now expect a prolonged period of high unemployment, even though the government is expected to report next week that the economy grew in the third quarter, after four quarters of contraction. That is sure to frustrate the jobless and could be a problem for the Obama administration...
Even if the job market started spitting out jobs as fast as it did during the 1990s boom, adding 2.15 million private-sector jobs a year, the U.S. wouldn't get back to a 5% unemployment rate until late 2017...
John Mckinnon / WSJ: Home-Buyer Credit Is Focus of Inquiry --The Internal Revenue Service is examining more than 100,000 suspicious claims for the first-time home-buyer tax break ...
Items of Interest:
Experts: Plummeting prices have rendered condos nearly worthless -- New federal loan-guarantee rules imposed to fend off future government losses from plummeting condominium prices have rendered condos utterly worthless, Valley real-estate experts said.
The Federal Housing Administration rules, which took effect Oct. 1, prohibit any new FHA-backed loans on condo units in projects that include more than 25 percent commercial space.
In addition, no single investor - including the developer - may own more than 10 percent of the units in a particular project. That particular restriction alone creates a catch-22 from which condo builders most likely cannot escape, said mortgage originator Jill Hoogendyk of Wallick & Volk in Glendale.
Another rule that has sellers and brokers scratching their heads prohibits FHA loans in condo developments that aren't "primarily residential," which could be taken to mean the FHA won't guarantee loans in future mixed-use projects.
"I'm predicting that what we'll see is whole condominium complexes sitting empty," Hoogendyk said...
Mish's Economic Analysis: FHA Rules Render Condos Utterly Worthless
SquareFeet: New FHA Rules Make Life Tough For Condo Sellers
RealtyTrac: New FHA Rules Doom Condo Values
Items of Interest:
Goldman Increases Ten Year Deficit Estimate To $10.5 From $9 Trillion, Sees Output Gap At 10% -- A comprehensive analysis by Goldman Sachs of the long-term US economic forecast discloses some rather unexpected pessimistic observations.
Last week the US Treasury closed the books on fiscal year (FY) 2009, a year that will go down as a gamechanger in modern US budget history. According to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Treasury will report next week that the FY 2009 deficit was just over $1.4 trillion (trn). This is more than triple the FY 2008 shortfall and, at 9.9% of GDP, by far the largest relative to the size of the economy since World War II. Both revenues and outlays reached extremes not seen in more than 50 years (15% and 25% of GDP, respectively)...
The Credit Cycle Is Not Over
Gold a hedge and no more - yet
Gold and Saving -- It is very likely that two ultra-long-term trends reversed direction over the past two years, the first being the expansion of private-sector credit in the US and the second being the contraction of the US savings rate. The trend reversals are, of course, inter-related, in that the new trends towards less debt and more savings are being driven by economic hardship in the present and the revelation that the economic future will not be as rosy as previously thought....
Items of Interest:
U.S. Job Losses May Be Even Larger, Model Breaks Down -- The U.S. economic slump earlier this year was so severe it short-circuited the government’s model for calculating payrolls, raising the risk that today’s jobs report may be too optimistic.
About 824,000 more jobs may be subtracted from the payroll count for the 12 months through last March when the figures are officially revised early next year, a Labor Department report showed today. The revision would be the biggest since at least 1991...
Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge:
BLS Discloses It Has Overrepresented Payroll Data By 824,000 Or 15% -- A part of today's BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) announcement that has not received much attention is the BLS' own disclosure that it "may" have lost an additional 824,000 jobs in LTM period ended March 2009, in addition to the already disclosed 4.8 million job losses...
All this simply means is that once the full extent of the collapsing employment picture is revealed on February 5 next year, the market will explode to record highs: after all the worse the economic news are, the better for the stock market...-----Mike Mish Shedlock / Minyanville:
Prepare for Huge Downward Revision in Job Numbers -- Once again, today's job numbers show Collectively, Economists Are a Perpetually Optimistic Lot. Payrolls were expected to drop 175,000, the median of 84 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Forecasts ranged from decreases of 260,000 to 100,000.
Jobs losses this month totaled 263,000, worse than even the most pessimistic economist projection.
Actually, economists missed by another 13,000 because revisions subtracted 13,000 from payroll figures previously reported for August and July...
the BLS is going to revise the number by 824,000 . . . that's an extra 68,666 jobs per month the BLS was off between March 2008 and March 2009 . . .
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis:
Jobs Contract 21th Straight Month; Unemployment Rate Hits 9.8%
BLS Revision Nightmare: March 2009 Payrolls Overstated by 824,000related:
Birth-Death Model Falsely Boosting Jobs Reporting in Recession Environment
Monthly Jobs Loss of 263,000 (Payroll Survey) versus Monthly Employment Decline of 710,000 (Household Survey)
September Unemployment Rates: U.3 = 9.8%, U.6 = 17.0%, SGS (Shadow Gov't Statistics) = 21.4%
“As Doug Kass, our hedge-fund-manager friend, who was a whiz at arithmetic when he was 10 years old and still can do his sums, totes it up, there are 2.2 million of these marginally attached souls, who would like to work but haven’t been able to land a job and aren’t receiving benefits. Add in some 9.2 million involuntary part-timers and the aforementioned 15.1 million formally unemployed, and the jobless total swells to over 26 million.
A compassionate portfolio manager (if there is such an animal), Doug tries to fathom in flesh-and-blood terms what those dry-as-dust dry statistics mean. And what he envisions are 26 million people not going to malls for extras, or taking the kids to the movies, hunting the cheapest victuals they can find at the supermarket and who are denying themselves the pleasures of travel, eating out, upgrading to Windows 7 or buying iPhone apps...
Alan Abelson / Barron's: Downright Scary
"At this juncture...the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained." — Ben Bernanke, March 28, 2007.
"From a technical perspective, the recession is very likely over at this point." — Ben Bernanke, the Brookings Institution, September 15, 2009.
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