Bear Market


Danish Bonds Surviving Triple Threats Spawn Debt Funding Risks: Mortgages

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“”Though the Danish covered bond market has shown resilience historically, we do not deem it to be immune to the stresses that affect other types of market funding,” ”

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400 Servicing Jobs Open in Texas

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mortgage servicing employees are being recruited for 400 positions in North Texas. Some of the job opportunities are also for area production employees. Job applicants are being recruited in Dallas as well as the North Texas markets of Plano, Richardson and Fort Worth. Two openings that are most in demand are the servicing positions of in-line quality assurance analysts and business control specialists.

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Inflation Is A Tax And The Federal Reserve Is Taxing The Living Daylights Out Of Us

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“Inflation is an especially insidious tax because it is not just a tax on your income for one year. It is a continual tax on every single dollar that you own. As your money sits in the bank, it is constantly losing value. Over time, the effects of inflation can be absolutely devastating. ”

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Only 54% Of Young Adults In America Have A Job

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“when it comes to young adults (18-24) in the US, the employment rate is just barely above half, or 54%, which just happens to be the lowest in 64 years, and 7% worse than when Obama took office promising a whole lot of change 3 years ago.”

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LIBOR Probe Goes Criminal

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe into whether the world’s biggest banks manipulated a global benchmark rate that is at the heart of a wide range of loans and derivatives, from trillions of dollars of mortgages and bonds to interest rate swaps, a person familiar with the matter said. While the Justice Department’s inquiry into the setting of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, was known, the criminal aspect of the probe was not.

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The true picture of the California housing market – 114,000 foreclosures listed on the MLS but 257,000 foreclosures are active. Over 622,000 homes are in foreclosure or have missed at least one mortgage payment. 30 percent of California homeowners in negative equity. Net worth and income data for the state.

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I find it extremely useful to take the pulse of the overall housing market in California by combining multiple data sources.  One of the bigger driving forces that will put a wet blanket on housing for years to come is the stagnant decade of wages.  This is problematic especially when prices are still unaffordable for […]


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Mortgage insurers write $4.9 billion new business in January

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Private mortgage insurers represented by the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America wrote $4.9 billion in new business in January, down 23% from $6.4 billion the same month a year ago.

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Florida House passes bill to speed foreclosures

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday to accelerate some foreclosures. The state House voted 94-17 to approve H.B. 213. The Senate still needs to pass the legislation.

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Eye-Witness History of Occupy Wall Street Movement Now Available

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Charles Hugh Smith, OFTWOMINDS


A fascinating account of the 99%/Occupy Wall Street movement by one of the original organizers is now available.


I have been a supporter of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement even before it acquired that name. Back in June 2011, David DeGraw and other organizers first issued a call to action: occupy a site near Wall Street on Flag Day, June 14, 2011. Here are my entries in support:
The Necessity of Resisting Financial Tyranny (June 11, 2011)
Our Participation Fuels Financial Tyranny (June 13, 2011)
That first occupation effort fizzled, but as other organizers and organizations joined the movement, the next occupation exploded onto the world stage in September 2011. In October, I wrote a brief commentary entitled Semi-Random Notes on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement (October 20, 2011)
David has just issued a book of the original essays that helped launch the 99% movement and a recap of the OWS movement’s evolution and history: The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America. The book is exclusively available by donating $20 to AmpedStatus.org via Amazon (click on the image to access the Amazon link) orPayPal.

In my June 2011 essays, I suggested those of us who were not physically present for the occupation could actively resist financial tyranny by removing our own money from Too Big To Fail banks and Wall Street corporations. Now there is another action you can take from the privacy and safety of your own home: donate $20 to AmpedStatus.org and help support David’s multi-year effort to end the predatory, democracy-destroying reign of Wall Street’s financial Elites.

Many applaud the effort, few support it with actual cash or action. Here is how David summarized this reality:

I have had many encouraging conversations with very wealthy individuals and people who run large organizations that say that they want to support the movement and help it grow. Many people well within the economic top 1% fully understand that our political process is overrun with corruption and that we are on a critically unsustainable path. They view the 99% Movement and Occupy as our last best chance to turn things around. There are many people within the 1% who do not want to be associated with the “organized criminal class,” which technically only makes up 0.1% of the population, at most. I have a great deal of respect for these compassionate and conscious one percenters. 

However, as of this writing, financial and resource support has been minimal. Every day I speak with organizers and occupiers throughout the country who have played a very significant role in building this movement and they can no longer afford to keep fighting fulltime. Just like everyone else, they have bills to pay and families to feed. Other than financially, the past five months have taken a serious physical toll on many of us. Many people have lost considerable weight, have had a nasty cold and cough, and have been getting four hours of sleep on a good night. This struggle is one that is shared by thousands of people who battle every single day. Something that people who are not on the frontlines don’t seem to understand is that we are currently fighting an all-out nonviolent war. This movement is a relentless battle that demands 24/7 commitment. 

Since this movement has taken off, many organizations that cover our actions and operate on the periphery of the movement are now receiving large donations and funding, partly as a result of our efforts. They also deserve to be rewarded for their vital work. However, the people putting their bodies on the line daily and doing all the heavy lifting need to have their basic needs met as well. It’s incredibly disheartening to see career “activists,” that have failed for years to do what we have done, fundraise off our backs, while the real fighters and change-makers go hungry. 

Clearly, after the last five months of intense battle, I’m growing increasingly weary and frustrated by this lack of respect. We need to do a better job of raising funds ourselves. I admire and respect people who try to make the world a better place for a living, but your words of support mean little without substantive actions behind them. This is a nonviolent war, not yet another swanky gabfest conference filled with well-paid suits righteously yapping about someday creating the structural change that anyone with half a political clue knows we urgently need now. Enough with your comfortable talks, it’s time for ACTION! So stop hoarding funds and resources while the real fighters are out on the frontlines.

Not everybody in America is hurting equally from the financialization of our democracy and economy. As these charts from master chartist Doug Short show, the incomes of the elderly (65 and up) continued rising while every other age group’s income tanked:

The top 5% and top 20% have seen their incomes decline along with everyone else, but their incomes rose at much faster rates than the bottom 80% during the financialization boom: Yes, the top quintile’s income declined a bit, but $169,000 a year isn’t too shabby….
The incomes of the top 20% who generally benefitted from financialization blew past the lower 80% when financialization took hold in the early 1990s:

The incomes of everyone 54 and under has plummeted from the peak in 2000, and the bottom 80% saw little boost from the financialization of the economy since 1990. Obviously, it’s the young and middle-aged workers who are taking the biggest hit; add in high unemployment rates for those entering the workforce and it’s clear the younger workers are suffering the most.
If you’re one of those who support the movement to limit the power and predation of the banks/Wall Street Elites, and you’re doing OK financially, please consider stepping up to the plate and donating $20 for a copy of this engaging account of the single most important social movement of the decade.

“And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?” Thomas Jefferson (www.monticello.org
Thank you, Tony B. (2,000 Djibouti francs), for yet another creatively generous contribution to this site — I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership. Thank you, Larry S. ($5/mo), for your exceptionally generous subscription to this site — I am greatly honored by your support and readership.
Go to my main site at www.oftwominds.com/blog.html
for the full posts and archives.

More articles from Charles Hugh Smith….

Chicago PMI Soars To 64, Beats Estimate Of 61, Employment Index Highest Since 1984

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Zero Hedge


Earlier today, when forecasting the Chicago PMI, we warned to “expect another massive beat courtesy of consumers confident that they can have Apple apps, if not so much food, since they still don’t pay their mortgages.” Sure enough, the economic data is now straight out of China, with the Chicago PMI not only trouncing expectations, printing at 64, on consensus of 61 (the highest since last April when the peak of the liquidity bubble popped and the stock market rolled over), but, wait for it, the Employment index came at 64.2, up from 54.7, which was the highest employment print since April 1984! At this point it is no longer worth commenting on economic data, as between this, the NAR, the consumer confidence, it was all become farce of a blur. we now expect February unemployment to print negative as the labor participation rate slides to 50%, and seasonal adjustments and birth/date fixtures account for 5 million “additions” to jobs. One thing that is sure. There will be no more easing for a looooooooong time. Kiss any hope of more trillions in central bank liquidity goodbye.

PMI employment index: hilarious.

And the always entertaining survey responses:

  • We are hoping that the slow down in new orders experienced in December and January is over.
  • Business seems to be picking up in February. January was slow.
  • Our business continues to grow. We are expanding production area & buying new equipment. From a purchasing standpoint pricing is going up, service levels from almost all vendors is going down.
  • Forecasts seem to be adjusting slightly down. We keep hearing optimism, but still haven’t seen it.
  • While our business is strong now, some of our customers are slowing down.
  • Our Production is down still…not sure why, think the economy has started to affect our business.
  • Overall costs are down despite modest increases on some plastic and steel components. In general chemicals have eased, yet there is still much uncertainty on the horizon. Company profits are better than a year ago despite lower than anticipated sales.
  • We are seeing pricing uptrending in motors, plastics and rubber related products.
  • The transportation industry seems to be improving consistently. Orders continue to be strong and folks in my industry associations are hiring.

Full report here

More articles from Zero Hedge….

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