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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — April 22, 2009

Items of Interest:

David Leohardt / New York Times:
For Housing Crisis, the End Probably Isn’t Near -- The closest thing to a real estate crystal ball in the last few years has been the house auctions that are regularly held around the country.

In 2006 and early 2007, the official housing statistics were still showing that house prices were holding up. But that was largely because so many sellers were refusing to sell. The auctions, made up mostly of foreclosed homes, showed the truth: house values were starting to plummet in many places.

So a few weeks ago, I decided to go to an auction at a hotel ballroom in Washington — and to study the results of several others elsewhere — with an eye to figuring out whether prices may now be close to bottoming out...

An bearin bui / House Price Crash News Blog: NY Times: For Housing Crisis, the End Probably Isn't Near
Joey / Curbed: Scary Graph Alert: David Leonhardt has been on Charlie..

Mark Perry / Carpe Diem: Did The Housing Market Bottom In Late 2008?
Barry Ritholtz /The Big Picture: Delinquencies Rising At Fannie & Freddie
CNBC Realty Check: California Foreclosures Are Back With A Vengeance
James Saft / Financial Times: An emerging opportunity in U.S. housing
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It-- Civic leaders advocate demolishing entire blocks to concentrate on healthier ones...
Minyanville: Razing the American City?
Sam Roberts / New York Times:
As Housing Market Dips, More in U.S. Are Staying Put — Fewer Americans moved in 2008 than in any year since 1962, according to census data released Wednesday, and immigration from overseas was the lowest in more than a decade. — The Census Bureau reported that the annual rate …
Jim Lindgren / The Volokh Conspiracy:
High Unemployment States Have High Income Taxes or High Unionization or Both. — As the nation considers increasing marginal tax rates and facilitating greater union membership, I thought it might make sense to look at the states with the highest and lowest unemployment rates to see if there might be any relevant patterns...
Matt Welch / Reason:
King Barack Obama is finding GM is a royal debacleWall Street Journal:
GM Is Becoming a Royal Debacle -- It's good to be the king -- until you start tripping over your own robe.

So King Barack the Mild is finding as he tries to dictate the terms of what amounts to an out-of-court bankruptcy for Chrysler and GM. He wants Chrysler's secured lenders to give up their right to nearly full recovery in a bankruptcy in return for 15 cents on the dollar. They'd be crazy to do so, of course, except that these banks also happen to be beholden to the administration for TARP money...

Kingly prerogative also conflicts with kingly prerogative in the case of GM's unsecured creditors, who are the sticking point in agreeing to a turnaround plan by the drop-dead date of June 1. His retainer, Steven Rattner, has delivered word that the king's pleasure is that these unsecured creditors give up 100% of their claims in return for GM stock...
Henry Blodget / The Huffington Post: King Obama Will See You Now...

GM Said to Idle 15 Assembly Plants in May-July Period -- General Motors Corp., contending with a 49 percent decline in U.S. sales this year, will idle 15 North American assembly plants for at least a week from mid-May through July, a person familiar with the plans said...
New York Times:
Executive at Freddie Mac Is Found Dead -- The acting chief financial officer of the troubled mortgage giant Freddie Mac was found dead Wednesday morning at his home in Northern Virginia, the police said.

The executive, David B. Kellermann, who had been with Freddie Mac for 16 years, apparently committed suicide by hanging himself, according to people with knowledge of the investigation...
Joe Weisenthal / Clusterstock: Freddie Mac CFO Commits Suicide
Newt Gingrich / Human Events:
Will The Tea Parties Matter? -- The elite media tried to ignore us. The government labeled us “extremists.”

But on April 15, more than one million Americans came together, spontaneously, to defend fairness and freedom....
Michelle Malkin: Tea Party protesters get results in Rhode Island
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Cheney hits Obama again: ‘Devastating’ economic policies — President Barack Obama's expansion of the federal government into the financial sector is likely to have “devastating” effects in the long term, former Vice President Dick Cheney said in his latest salvo directed at the new White House administration...
Dave / Political Machine: Dick Cheney Hits Obama Again
Melissa McEwan / Shakesville: What part of STFU do you not understand, sir?