The Federal Housing Administration – the U.S. agency that actually enjoys full faith and credit of the government – is in quite a pickle. Reuters reporting that its capital reserves stand at a scant 0.53 percent, below the 2 percent regulatory minimum and without spitting distance of the “help me” threshold.
from Rolfe Winkler:
From Deborah Solomon and Jonathan Weisman at WSJ:
The administration wants to keep some of the unspent [TARP] funds available for emergencies, but is considering setting aside a chunk for debt reduction, according to people familiar with the matter. It is also expected to lower the projected long-term cost of the program -- the amount it expects to lose -- to as little as $200 billion from $341 billion estimated in August.
The European Union is in danger of getting camels for its two new leadership positions — president of the European Council and foreign policy High Representative — because of the dysfunctional appointment process created by the Lisbon Treaty.
from Rolfe Winkler:
...but that doesn't mean the overall employment picture will get a lot worse.
From today's "Breakfast with Dave" e-mail:
There are serious structural issues undermining the U.S. labour market as companies continue to adjust their order books, production schedules and staffing requirements to a semi-permanently impaired credit backdrop. The bottom line is that the level of credit per unit of GDP is going to be much, much lower in the future than has been the case in the last two decades. While we may be getting close to a bottom in terms of employment, the jobless rate is very likely going to be climbing much further in the future due to the secular dynamics within the labour market.
How the ratings agencies must love Stephen Lewis, the lugubrious economics guru from Monument Securities. He’s spotted that two views make a market, even in the whacky world of these bodies who must judge how creditworthy borrowers really are.