* Blackouts and Cascading Failures of the Global Markets (Jeffrey D. Sachs, Scientific American)

Editor’s Note: This is the extended version of the “Sustainable Developments” column from the January 2009 issue of Scientific American.

* Protesters disrupt foreclosure auctions in Sacramento (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

Protesters disrupted several foreclosure auctions Tuesday on the Sacramento County Courthouse steps, winning a temporary cancellation of one and sending an unidentified auctioneer to the hospital with chest pains.

* Sympathetic Victims? (Gwen Moritz Editor’s Note) (Gwen Moritz, Arkansas Business)

Our recent story about people who invested tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock peddled by Darrell Lainhart of Sherwood included several sympathetic victims: A woman who needs the $30,000 her husband invested because hes now in a nursing home with Alzheimers disease, a disabled veteran, a man who hoped to become a full-time missionary.

* Assessing the future of the Cal Neva Resort and Casino (Annie Flanzraich, N Lake Tahoe Bonanza)

Nev. Since the Cal Neva Resort, Spa and Casinos bidder-free, two-state auction earlier this month, more than 25 new interested investors have inquired about the hotel and casino, said Steve Sugarman, a spokesman for owner Canyon Capital Realty Advisors.


Emily Friedlander raises many interesting points.

In an image that echoes scenes of the Great Depression, a Texas bank has just finished up demolishing 16 new and partially built houses it acquired in Southern California through foreclosure. The bank determined that wrecking the homes was more cost-effective than finishing and selling them.

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A short and simple story by Janet Mc Connaughey.

Mosquito control workers can measure the recession by the number of green, cloudy swimming pools they see – algae-covered havens for mosquitoes dotting neighborhoods hit by the foreclosure crisis.

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* Senate defeats anti-foreclosure proposal (Anne Flaherty, WRAL)

The Democratic-controlled Senate on Thursday defeated a plan to spare hundreds of thousands of homeowners from foreclosure through bankruptcy, a proposal that President Barack Obama embraced but did little to see through.

* BofA’s profit rise, but so do worries (Christina Rexrode, Statesville Record & Landmark)

Bank of America said Monday it made more money in the first quarter than it did in all of 2008, blowing away analysts’ predictions and the profits of every other bank so far. But even that couldn’t please investors, who believe that more bad news is on the horizon. The bank’s shares fell through the day, plunging 24 percent.

* Chancellor expected to help boost supply of mortgage funds in Budget (Myra Butterworth, The Daily Telegraph)

Alistair Darling will announce in the Budget this week that the Government will underwrite billions of pounds worth of new mortgage-backed assets.

* Looking at buying a home? ‘Get off the sidelines’ (Nancy Kimball, Daily Inter Lake)

In the first 45 days this year, a third of all home sales in the Flathead Valley tracked by Northwest Montana Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service were foreclosed properties.

Here is today’s article from Jim Wasserman on Loan-modification.

We’re going to find out now whether foreclosure moratoriums and new loan-modification programs will work.

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A short and simple article by Benny L. Kass at San Francisco Chronicle.

If I let the property go into foreclosure, can/will the bank that gave me the mortgage try to get at my other assets (equity in my home, stocks, etc.)?

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* Moffett Returns to Freddie (James R. Hagerty, Barron’s)

David Moffett, who resigned as chief executive officer of Freddie Mac in March, will temporarily return to the company as a consultant on financial management.

* Sacramento region’s repossessed home sales boom hits lull (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

Months of foreclosure moratoriums, stepped-up loan modifications and bank decisions to keep repossessed homes off the market are biting hard into a slice of the economy that has come to depend on sales of distressed homes.

* New pet food pantry to aid Northlanders (Meagan O’Donnell, The Smithville Herald)

The economic crunch has forced many people to make tough choices as they cut the household budget including decisions about family pets.

* Inland foreclosures surge in March after law’s delays expire (Leslie Berkman, Press-Enterprise)

Foreclosure activity soared to a record high in Riverside and San Bernardino counties last month, as lenders sent notices of default, the first step in the foreclosure process, after delays from moratoriums and a California law that required them to contact borrowers and try to find an alternative.

* Citigroup could cut 70,000 jobs; India, Mex, Brazil loans sour (Tom Belden, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit tells staff he wants to cut 20% of 350,000 worldwide workforce as business slows. Citi announcement

* CEOs Should Stop Spinning, Start Thinking (Carol Hymowitz, Wall Street Journal)

Forget the charisma and the polished speeches. Those may have been the qualities top executives were judged on this past year, when every other chief executive was publishing a book, appearing on prime-time television or socializing on Facebook.com.

* Economy falters as U.S. citizens turn frugal (Raymond Billy, Daily Star)

Conservative commentators were quick to praise President Bush for the economic expansion of 2002 to 2007, but now they decry the practices that spawned that growth.

* Grand Tour of Europe? Nope, Grand Tour of Colleges (Beth. J. Harpaz, McDowell News)

Forget the Grand Tour of Europe. If your kid is in high school, your next family vacation � in fact, your next couple of family vacations � may well be the Grand Tour of Colleges.

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* SHORT SALE in a nutshell (Cynthia Sells, Summit Daily News)

What can the average person do to stop a foreclosure? If you find yourself behind on your home loan payment, first, dont wait until you are several mortgage payments behind to get help. Mortgage companies have entire departments, known as loss mitigation, available to help you out of this mess. You have to specifically ask for that department simply speaking to a customer service represen…

* U.S. crackdown targets mortgage scams (Alan Zibel, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Federal and state officials are cracking down on mortgage-modification scams, accusing “criminal actors” of preying on desperate borrowers caught up in the nation’s housing crisis.

* Report: US is ripe for recruiting by extremists (Eileen Sullivan, Tri-City Herald)

Homeland Security officials are warning that right-wing extremists could use the bad state of the U.S. economy and the election of the country’s first black president to recruit members to their cause.

* Buy while rates are low (Beth Orenstein, Morning Call)

Lenders expect that with mortgage interest rates at historic lows, with home prices declining and many first-time homebuyers eligible for up to an $8,000 tax credit, they will be kept busy with applications for home loans this spring.

* Detectives visit woman in hospital (Candice Baker, Independent)

They tell her the caretaker suspected of financial abuse was arrested. Suspects pretrial begins at 8:30 a.m. today.

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* How Old Is Too Old to Work? (Kathleen Doheny, Health)

* Dave Ramsey: Should we spend savings to quickly remodel house? (Dave Ramsey Shoulder Mug, Daily World)

* Adapted in TC: Honor life-changing times (Susan Odgers, Traverse City Record-Eagle)

* Q&A: Tim Higgins, home loan consultant (Jamie Smith-Hopkins, Baltimore Sun)

* Olathe father and son have a corner on Monopoly skills (Mark Wiebe, Kansas City Star)

* Jeff Adair: Picking ‘the best’ college (Jeff Adair, Daily Midway Driller)

* Foreclosure process will be discussed in seminar (Kathleen Hopkins, Asbury Park Press)

* ALLOWANCE 101: How to make your kids money-savvy (Candice Choi, Columbia Daily Tribune)