* 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.

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A short article by Mark Silva at Los Angeles Times.

Suicide

The acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac, an embattled government-owned company that controls millions of home mortgages, was found dead today of apparent suicide in his suburban Virginia home.

Read the whole article

Jim Wasserman raises many interesting points.

All the breathless media coverage of the Fed’s decision this week to spend another $1.2 trillion to buy mortgage-backed securities and more Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages insinuated that interest rates would take a quick and deep dive into 4 percent territory.

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* Europe fetches the monetary helicopters at long last (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph)

* CHINA’S DOLLAR JITTERS (Irwin M. Stelzer, New York Post)

* Northern areas of Phoenix not spared from sales slumps (Michael Clancy, Arizona Republic)

* Skeptical Beshear signs payday loan bill (Joseph Gerth, Courier-Journal)

* Fewer new jobless claims beats prediction (Christopher S. Rugaber, Denver Post)

* Obama aide had stint at Freddie (Bob Secter, Los Angeles Times)

* Obama administration seeks to regulate large financial corporations (Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times)

* Should You Dip Into Your 401(k)? (Craig Clough, KFOX)

* Something of Historic Propotion is Happening (Pam Geller, North American Hunter)

* Plugging the Brain Drain (Jeremy Alford, The Independent)

* Fear Itself (Columbia Daily Spectator)

Ive noticed a sort of complacency about the 21st century. Were in the midst of one of the worst economic disasters in recent history, yet the world around us looks pretty much the same. Financial despair isnt really visible, and when we walk out onto Broadway, things look more or less the way they did a year ago. To many students, the events happening on Wall Street are still, on a superfici…

* Outrage goes over the top (Daily Progress)

This pop-culture phenomenon seems to be more than an over-night fad. It now appears to be intense and relentless enough to have gained a name: octuplet outrage.

* Sickening mess (Tulsa World)

Our current financial mess is sickening. The crooks who are the most to blame for the problem are the ones who benefit most from the “solution.” What ever happened to personal responsibility? They have no shame.

* Civil servant tried to kill wife to stop divorce losses (Sarah Knapton, Telegraph)

Martin Hewlett, 45, left Anne Dreisler for dead after knocking her from her bicycle near their home in Worthing, West Sussex on Feburary 29 last year.

* Mortgage Mess Questions (Chicago Sun-Times)

I understand most of the blame for the current state of the real estate market is the result of banks approving buyers that had no business purchasing a home or did not fully understand the terms of the type of loan they were getting into. However, why does no one talk about the appraisers? They are the ones who inflated housing prices so buyer’s could take out home equity loans or not need as …

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* Police arrest people in suspected �40 million fraud (Eastbourne Herald)

* Letter: Crazies running institution (Jupiter Courier)

* Freddie Mac: Mortgage rate fell to 5 percent (Bloomberg News)

* Foreclosures continue to rise in U.S. and Utah (Salt Lake Tribune)

* Eight arrests in raids centring on alleged fraud (Eastbourne Herald)

* Freddie Mac loses $50B in 2008 (Pittsburgh Business Times)

* Foreclosures continue to rise in 2009

* Foreclosures jump 30 percent in February (New York Daily News)

* Adviser: Administration is not inundated (Newsweek)

* Foreclosures up 30% from year ago

Here is today’s story from BBC News.

Freddie Mac headquarters

US mortgage giant Freddie Mac has revealed a loss of $50.1bn (�36.1bn) for 2008, and said it plans to ask the government for another $31bn of aid.

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* Victims of mortgage crunch aren’t ‘losers’ (Chicago Sun-Times)

Victims of mortgage crunch aren’t ‘losers’ Schoolyard bully’s CNBC rant blames homeowners, when it’s the greed of his business class that’s at fault

* BofA, CitiGroup: Nationalization not needed (San Francisco Business Times)

Amid speculation about the nationalization of banks, executives of the two banks most cited for that fate are saying it isnt necessary.

* Arrest Made in Foreclosure Civil Disobedience Program (Joshua Rhett Miller)

Police in Baltimore today made what is believed to be the first arrest in a civil disobedience program aimed at supporting homeowners who refuse to vacate their foreclosed homes.

* Freddie Mac: Borrowers shun adjustable-rate mortgages (Kansas City Business Journal)

American homeowners have lost their appetite for once appealing adjustable rate mortgages, according to a new quarterly report from Freddie Mac .

* Prosecution witnesses continue their accounts of the HomeGold operation (Greenville News)

LEXINGTON — Prosecution witnesses resumed testifying today in the criminal trial of former HomeGold chairman Jack Sterling, and the former head of the company’s mortgage unit told the jury that Sterling and HomeGold’s chief executive “were always (No.) 1 and 2” in setting direction for the board.

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* What bailed-out RBS and HBOS bankers did was unforgivable.. (Tony Parsons, Mirror)

I reckon many people felt curiously unsatisfied after that bunch of bailed-out bankers from RBS and HBOS hung their heads and said sorry.

* Stocks fall as investors can’t shake economic woest

NEW YORK — Investors sent Washington a message this week: They won’t commit to stocks until the government commits to a plan.

* Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac again suspend foreclosures

Government-controlled mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said Friday they have immediately suspended all foreclosure sales involving occupied single-family and 2-4 unit properties through March 6, to give troubled borrowers more time to work with loan servicers to avoid losing their homes.

* Brokers under the microscope as FSA acts (The Scotsman)

Just one of last year’s cases was in Scotland. The FSA said Kilmarnock-based Ian Sanderson, of Mortgage Master, admitted to deliberately inflating people’s salaries so applications would be dealt with by lenders using a fast-track process, which is subject to less scrutiny.

* California foreclosures down 23% in January (Peter Hong, Los Angeles Times)

ForeclosureRadar, the online seller of default data, says California homes sold at foreclosure auctions were down 23% in January from a year ago. The company attributes the drop to big banks being preoccupied with their mergers and thus too swamped to deal with defaults. Lenders say there may be something to that, but they’re also working to modify loans to avoid foreclosures. Here’s the Times …

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