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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — April 28, 2009

Items of Interest:

FoxNews / Wall Street Journal:
Fed Pushes Citi, BofA to Increase Capital – Regulators have told Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. that the banks may need to raise more capital based on early results of the government's so-called stress tests of lenders, according to people familiar with the situation.

The capital shortfall amounts to billions of dollars at Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., people familiar with the bank said.

Executives at both banks are objecting to the preliminary findings, which emerged from the government's scrutiny of 19 large financial institutions. The two banks are planning to respond with detailed rebuttals, these people said, with Bank of America's appeal expected by Tuesday...

D-Day: Throwing More Money Down A Sewer
Michael Shedlock / Mish's Global Economic …: Bank of America $70 Billion Short of Capital After Stress Test
Alan Abelson / Barron's: BofA, Merrill and Shareholders Be Damned!

Bank of America’s Lewis Loses Calpers Support, May Need Money -- Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis lost the support of the largest U.S. pension fund as an analyst said the bank needs as much as $70 billion of capital...

The Deal: Bank of America Annual Meeting Preview
Swine Flu Focus Shifts to U.S. as Hundreds Sicken in New York -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said hundreds of students in his city are sick with suspected cases of swine flu, an indication that 65 cases confirmed in six U.S. states may represent a fraction of those infected...
UAW Said to Get 55% Chrysler Ownership, Board Seats – The United Auto Workers union’s retiree health-care fund will own 55 percent of Chrysler LLC in exchange for cutting in half the automaker’s $10.6 billion cash obligation to the trust, people familiar with the matter said...
Kim Priestap / Wizbang: Obama Pays Back the UAW
David Kiley / BusinessWeek: Has a Chrysler Bankruptcy Been Averted?
Jerry Flint / Forbes: The Car Battle To Watch: Volkswagen vs. Toyota
Editorial / Investor's Business Daily: Ax the UAW's 'Jobs Bank', Save GM
Allan Sloan / Washington Post: How GM and Wagoner Did the Right Thin

Fiat-Chrysler Tie-Up Said to Be Planned With or Without Bankruptcy
Home-Price Drop Moderates in 20 U.S. Cities, May Be Sign of Stabilization -- he decline in home prices in 20 major U.S. cities slowed in February for the first time since 2007, amplifying signals that the market may be stabilizing.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index’s 18.6 percent decrease compares with a record 19 percent decline the month before. The gauge has fallen every month since January 2007, and year-over-year records began in 2001...
Home Ownership: Hazardous to Financial Health? -- It will never be politically viable to say it. It will never be economically possible to do it. Nor would it even be fair to change this rule, especially as we're making up far too many rules as we go along.

But one of the causes of our financial crisis is that cornerstone of the American dream: the tax-deductibility of home-mortgage interest...
Treasury Announces New Plan to Aid Mortgage Holders -- The Obama administration unveiled a new program to help borrowers with second mortgages stay out of foreclosure, offering cash to servicers, investors and borrowers who modify loan terms.

The goal is to assist homeowners who seek help repaying second liens such as home-equity loans, the Treasury Department said in a statement today from Washington.

When combined with existing efforts to help with first mortgages, today’s announcement means servicers, lenders, investors and borrowers can now receive $12,000 in incentive fees for modifying mortgages, as well as additional reimbursement based on the size of the loan and current payments...
The Huffington Post:
Bankruptcy Bill Watered Down, Still Fiercely Opposed By Banks – After weeks of negotiations between Senate Democrats and major players in the financial industry, a compromise bankruptcy reform deal has been reached, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on the Senate floor Monday night. Whether it will pull 60 votes, the number needed to overcome a GOP filibuster, is a question that will be answered later this week when the Senate takes up Durbin's amendment to the House-passed bankruptcy bill...
Renae Merle / Washington Post: Mortgage Modification Bill Faces Trouble in Senate