A short and simple article by Dave Kansas.

The Federal Reserve stress test results are due out May 7, and early reports indicate that as many as six of the 19 large financial institutions surveyed may need to raise more capital to satisfy regulators that they can deal with the current economic challenges.

Read the whole article


A short story by Sudeep Reddy.

Deutsche Bank economists today pinpoint five recent developments that (they say) have led investors to think the worst may be over: The Treasury Department rolled out its plan to buy back troubled assets. The Federal Reserve announced plans to buy up more mortgage debt and Treasury securities. Mark-to-market accounting rules have been loosened. Some economic data showed signs of stabilizing. An…

Read the whole article

* From a window overlooking the St. Jones (Jim Flood Sr, Dover Post Co)

Everyone with a home mortgage has some interest in how other mortgage payers are doing. If there is one definite area to blame for the current economic crisis in the nation it is the mortgage mess people signed up for home mortgages they could not meet and lenders were only too eager to let them sign and sink into a financial quagmire.

* FASB relaxes accounting rules for banks on assets (Marcy Gordon, Buffalo News)

The board that sets U.S. accounting standards on Thursday gave companies more leeway in valuing assets and reporting losses. The changes should help boost battered banks’ balance sheets and financial stocks rallied on Wall Street, but the rules may undercut a new financial rescue program.

* Fed launches $1.2T effort to revive economy (Jeannine Aversa, Nevada Appeal)

With the country sinking deeper into recession, the Federal Reserve launched a bold $1.2 trillion effort Wednesday to lower rates on mortgages and other consumer debt, spur spending and revive the economy.

* The meaning of ‘living within your means’ (Walter Updegrave, Money)

(Money) — Question: I’ve been having an argument with a co-worker about the difference between living “within your means” and living “below your means.” I’m hoping you can settle the issue for us. What do see as the difference between the two terms? — Mark E., Peoria, Illinois

* Obama Unveils $75 Billion Fix To Help Homeowners (Ted Robbins, NPR)

President Obama on Wednesday unveiled an aggressive plan that aims to help up to 9 million homeowners avoid foreclosure, a major cause of the nation’s financial crisis.

Read the rest of this entry »

* Mesa County foreclosures increase again (Marija B. Vader, Grand Junction Free Press)

Colo. The number of foreclosures in Mesa County climbed an additional 20 percent over the same period last year.

* Will you have cash after the closing? (Bob Kieber, Summit Daily News)

When a buyer plans on the purchase of a home, whether it is a primary home, a vacation home or an investment property, they tend to forget one thing in their figures, that is a Reserve. The buyer works with the real estate agent on the price and the mortgage professional on the mortgage program and interest rate, plus the down payment needed and the costs involved for the closing but most buyer…

* Got an ARM? Now might be the time to refinance (Connie Thompson, KPIC)

The Federal Reserve just threw more than a trillion dollars at the housing market, and now we’re looking at some of the lowest mortgage rates in years.

* The top 10 questions about loan modifications (Paul Clement, Grand Junction Free Press)

For many people trying to avoid foreclosure, the process of renegotiating their loan can be difficult to understand. If you are considering contacting your lender to try and arrange for a loan modification in order to avoid foreclosure, ensure that you are adequately prepared and able to present your case in the best possible light by getting as much information upfront as you can. I have compi…

* Germany to Take Hypo RE Stake (Ulrike Dauer, Barron’s)

–Troubled mortgage financier Hypo Real Estate Holding AG Saturday said its supervisory board and the German government agreed on a further capital boost by the government aimed to achieve sufficient recapitalization of Hypo RE, with the government taking an initial 8.7% stake. in Hypo RE.

Read the rest of this entry »

* States Move to Cut, Cap Property Taxes (Martin A. Vaughan, Wall Street Journal)

Soaring property values in recent years swelled the coffers of counties and municipalities, raising calls for property-tax cuts. Now, even as foreclosures and dwindling home sales shrink local tax bases, a number of state governments are slashing or capping property-tax rates.

* Curse of the Zombie Banks Haunts Fed (Mark Gongloff, Barron’s)

The Federal Reserve’s lending programs have saved the financial system’s life. They also could be making its life miserable.

* Got an ARM? Now might be the time to refinance (Connie Thompson, KVAL)

The Federal Reserve just threw more than a trillion dollars at the housing market, and now we’re looking at some of the lowest mortgage rates in years.

* DON’T PAY FOR WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR FREE (Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press)

The phone call from a mortgage-modification company last fall couldn’t have come at a better time for Roy and Ilene Smith. The Hazlet couple was in debt and needed relief.

* Tempers flare at Saturday meeting over payday loan businesses (Julie Anderson, El Dorado Times)

The issue of money and fair lending regulations brought about a heated discussion Saturday afternoon.

Read the rest of this entry »

A short and simple article by Alan Zibel.

Rates on 30-year mortgages fell this week to the lowest level on record after the Federal Reserve launched a new effort to assist the staggering U.S. housing market.

Read the whole article

* Homicide case opened, closed in a week (The Advocate)

NEWARK — The death of a 60-year-old woman in fall 2008 was ruled a homicide and cleared, all last week, according to the Licking County Coroner’s Office and Newark police.

* Be careful if they try to sell you loan protection (Charlie Weston, The Irish Independent)

THE recession and the surge in layoffs has provided fertile ground for lenders to prey on workers’ fears by attempting to flog them expensive payment protection insurance on personal loans.

* Wall Street’s Economic Crimes Against Humanity (BusinessWeek)

Wall Street’s Economic Crimes Against Humanity By refusing to consider the consequences of their actions, those who created the financial crisis exemplify the banality of evil, writes Shoshana Zuboff

* It’s not us, it’s THEM (Dallas Morning News)

As the financial crisis has evolved its moral has been simplified, grotesquely. In the beginning this crisis was messy. Wall Street financiers behaved horribly but so did ordinary Americans. Millions of people borrowed money they shouldn’t have borrowed and, not, typically, because they were duped or defrauded but because they were covetous and greedy: they wanted to own stuff they hadn’t earne…

* U.S. economy and The More Things Change (Dallas Morning News)

On the recommendation of colleague and fellow history geek Dave Flick, I’m reading (via Kindle, which makes it extra-geeky) What Hath God Wrought , David Walker Howe’s compelling examination of early 19th Century America.

Read the rest of this entry »

* George Will: Immigration policy has been hijacked (Gatehouse Media, State Journal-Register)

PHOENIX Police Chief Jack Harris, a solid block of a man with a shock of thick gray hair, is stolid and patient but there are limits.

* As bankruptcy filings mount, attention turns again to reform (USA Today)

Cash-strapped families are seeking bankruptcy protection at nearly the same rate and in the same manner as they did before the much-debated 2005 bankruptcy law reform, a trend critics say proves the reform was a failure.

* Bart Cannon: The difference between recession and depression (Cleburne Times-Review)

Every day we hear a fresh batch of bad news regarding the economic crisis. Our confidence in the financial markets plummets with new revelations about layoffs, sell-offs, and made-offsas in the guy who made off with billions of innocent peoples retirement money.

* Yao case set pace for fiscal scandals (News Journal)

Years before anyone uttered the phase “mortgage meltdown” or heard of rogue financier Bernard Madoff, there was Andrew N. Yao.

* Economic freefall more frightening with each passing day (Greater Media Papers)

We are living in the worst financial times since the Great Depression; the big picture is becoming more frightening with each passing day, as the downward financial spiral continues. Even more frightening is the fact that no one knows what to do in order to stop the freefall, and nobody knows when it will end. If the downward financial spiral continues any further, we may fall through the safet…

Read the rest of this entry »

* Acquaterra project set for foreclosure sale (Tampa Bay Business Journal)

* Fraudulent Former Student Nabbed Outside Chicago (Maggie Astor, Columbia Daily Spectator)

* Geithner tries to fix banks by selling bad assets cheap (Joseph N. Di Stefano, Philadelphia Inquirer)

* Should USA still be AAA? (Chris Isidore, Money)

* Inside the fiasco that led to the mortgage mess (Newsweek)

* New condo lending rules could hurt

* Feeling poor is not a financial condition (Bangor Daily News)

* U.S. unveils ‘bad asset’ plan (Money)

* Treasurys sink on stocks’ rally (David Goldman, Money)

* Administration seeks to free frozen credit markets (Martin Crutsinger)

* Mortgage refinancing surge expected (Washington Times)

* Eastern NC Realtors Prepare for $75-Billion Initiative (Arthur Mondale, WNCT)

* Crude oil prices level off after week-long rally (The Star)

* Fraud fighters may get more help (Marcy Gordon)

* For small Idaho businesses, conditions just improved a little, Zions Bank says (David Staats, Idaho Statesman)

* The genuine economic worry is stagflation (E. Thomas Mc Clanahan, Kansas City Star)

* Alaskans keeping up on car loans (Anchorage Daily News)

* Monday shaping up to be another historically bad day on Wall Street (Burlington Co. Times)

* McCain’s chances slide with the economy (E. Thomas Mc Clanahan, Kansas City Star)

* County should wait to save up (Daily Progress)