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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Credit Crunch Roundup — November 20, 2008

Items of Interest:

Citigroup's Worries Mount -- The bank's sinking shares indicate investors have lost confidence in CEO Vikram Pandit and it may be headed for a sale or another bailout

Investors are quickly losing faith in Citigroup (C). Shares of the company, once the largest and mightiest U.S. bank by assets and market value, have fallen 66% in November, and finished down 1.85, to 4.55, on Nov. 20. The last time the shares traded that low was 14 years ago. While the stock sank, the price soared on its credit default swaps, which measure the cost of insuring Citi's debt—another worrisome sign. The market woes are raising speculation that some sort of government intervention or major outside investment may be necessary...

Citi Weighs Its Options, Including Firm's Sale -- Executives at Citigroup Inc., faced with a plunging stock price, began weighing the possibility of auctioning off pieces of the financial giant or even selling the company outright, according to people familiar with the matter.

Heidi Moore / Deal Journal:
Ugly, No VERY Ugly, Citigroup Numbers - The hits keep on coming at Citigroup...

Mortgage Crisis Archive -- This topic covers all the information and opinions on the current mortgage crisis and where the economy will go from here... This topic contains 571 news and 935 blog items...
Washington Post:
Unconvinced Congress Tables Auto Decision -- With two of Detroit's Big Three automakers teetering on the brink of collapse, congressional leaders yesterday refused to advance a proposal for a federal bailout, saying auto industry executives had failed to persuade lawmakers that they would make good use of the money.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) ordered General Motors, Chrysler and Ford to submit detailed proposals by Dec. 2 explaining how an emergency infusion of government cash could put them on a path to financial health...
NY Times:
New Jobless Claims Reach a 16-Year High, U.S. Says -- New claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to a 16-year high, the Labor Department said Thursday, providing more evidence of a rapidly weakening job market.

The government said new applications for jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 542,000 from a downwardly revised figure of 515,000 in the previous week. That was much higher than economists’ expectations of 505,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters...
Paulson calls for regulating everyone and everything -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Thursday afternoon, giving some insights into where he thinks regulatory reform of Wall Street should be headed. Although Paulson did warn against rushing to rewrite regulatory laws, Paulson did call for a "market stability regulator" with broad oversight authority for all types of financial institutions, as well as any financial product whose market size presents a systemic issue...
The Bank Terrorist — Housing: For years, a self-described “bank terrorist” blackmailed banks into making bad home loans in our inner cities. Now those loans are defaulting by the millions, and he's blaming banks. — Bruce Marks, founder of the leftist Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America …
Discussion: Moonbattery and Sister Toldjah
Dawn Kopecki / Bloomberg:
Fannie, Freddie Suspend Foreclosures Through Jan. 9
Discussion: Don Surber, Wonkette and Truthdig
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Record-Breaking Data Everywhere! -- One of the interesting aspects of this unprecedented housing collapse, credit crisis, economic recession and market crash has been all the new records we keep seeing...
Wall Street Journal:
Mad Max and the Meltdown — How we went from Christmas to crisis. — Notwithstanding the cardboard Santas who seem to have arrived in stores this year near Halloween, the holiday season starts in seven days with Thanksgiving. And so it will come to pass once again that many people …
Opinion Journal, THE LIBERAL JOURNAL, Washington Monthly, Obsidian Wings, Hullabaloo and Think Progress