This headline at the supposedly conservative Wall Street Journal says it all. [more]
Why should you? Sheila Bair and Hanky Paulson are going to get you a worked-down payment plan with a taxpayer-soaking Federal guarantee. [more]
You all may remember this cranially-challenged kid, Casey Serin, who lied on mortgages (and admitted to it in a blog), defrauding banks of millions of bucks to buy real estate "investments," and watching it all crumble to nothing. (Good summary here.) [more]
Read the headlines on "new home sales increase" and then refer to the real press release, and you'll have your answer. [more]
I just had to write this up for the front page today, even though I had to mention several companies I'd love to own at today's prices. [more]
"Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief," according to Mr. Greenspan. [more]
This woman has lost it. We're already pumping hundreds of billions into banks to take crappy loans of their hands and otherwise fluff up their balance sheets, and now she wants to submit a "treasury" funded plan to have the FDIC guarantee mortgages? [more]
Watch out for those WMDs, eh? [more]
OK, so I barely made it two weeks. I just can't ignore some of the idiocy out there in the world. I won't be talking stocks or linking anything even remotely related to stocks, because I'm still buying. But I do want to stress just how bad the housing market is (especially around here) and how far things have yet to fall. [more]
I can't decide whether to feel sorry for these guys or astounded by their idiocy. Cheaper don't matter when no one trusts anything. And this last (of this week) hail Mary only betrays just how panicked and impotent these fools are. [more]
Out of town, in Minneapolis, running 26.2 tomorrow at 8 a.m., or trying. [more]
What if they passed a bailout and the market didn't care? What if the market was happier before the bailout passed?
Selling the news, I guess.
But at least the prices are getting dropped toward where they deserve to be. I don't have a lot of sympathy for anyone who borrows that much more than they can afford, then piles more debt on top of it, for Pier 1 crap, then ditches it all, including the kids' toys.
So it appears the latest bailout bill would "allow" the SEC to suspend mark to market accounting for bank assets that are distressed. I posted on this below, but bring it up again because the more I think about it, the dumber the idea seems. [more]
Then Buffett is riding the bomb toward the ground, whooping and waving his hat. [more]
Does France have your back?
Deep bow to Bess at Dealbreaker, who has a much funnier way of keeping us in the know.
Not surprising, but not good, either.Factory Activity Lowest Since 2001
Factory activity failed to grow in September, with the ISM manufacturing index at 43.5, reaching the lowest level since October 2001. August construction spending was flat.
That seems to be the thrust of the SEC's recent "clarification" on mark-to-market standards for illiquid securities. Funny how everyone loves marking to market on the way up (when "profits" can be booked, bonuses paid on those "profits," and capital deployed according to inflated estimates of asset value), but no one is too happy when things move the other direction. [more]
Here's an interesting bit of praise for Alex Blumberg, the "This American Life" producer who put together the rapidly-getting-more-famous story "Giant Pool of Money." [more]
Personally, I thought the bailout bill that failed was the best we could expect in a bad situation. Now, however, we're entering the land of horse trading, with "tax cuts" being tossed in as a way of trying to buy back a few of those dozen votes. [more]
Poll: New Voters
Newly registered voters back Obama over McCain by a margin of 61% to 30%, according to a WSJ/NBC poll conducted with MySpace. More than half of the respondents don't plan to vote.
emphasis is mine.