Homeownership rate falls to 2000 level (CR) At 67.2% it's still way overstated. Home "ownership" is a misnomer in cases when the owner has withdrawn mortgage equity or when the price of the home has fallen below the principal value of the mortgage. A better measure of homeownership, I think, is just to look at total owner's equity as a % of household real estate. The most recent Fed Flow of Funds report (page 104, line 50) puts the figure at just 37.6%...
from Rolfe Winkler:
President's budget (gpoaccess.gov)
Barney Frank: The poor should rent, not own (Indiviglio, Atlantic)
Citigroup said to plan sale of private equity unit (Keoun/Keehner, Bloomberg) Citi cites raising cash to pay down debt as the reason to sell this unit. Of course this would also get Pandit some brownie points with Paul Volcker, who wants commercial banks out of private equity, hedge funds and proprietary trading...
from Rolfe Winkler:
Tim Geithner's appearance in front of Congress today was another embarrassment, perhaps more for the people's representatives than the Treasury Secretary. Still, Geithner offered a clumsy defense for paying out 100¢ on the dollar to AIG's counterparties, which included more than Goldman Sachs.
What do you get when you put a U.S. automaker, a leveraged buyout and commercial real estate together – a soon-to-be bankrupt company. Caroline Humer of Reuters reports that that Capmark – formerly the commercial real estate business of GM financing arm GMAC – is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, with the final blow coming possibly by the end of next week?
Who needs a chief executive officer? Well, Lazard perhaps, when it’s Bruce Wasserstein (which is why his serious illness is also serious for the shareholders) but not ITV, it seems. On Monday, when its leadership saga had a better plotline than Corrie, the shares went up.
The nation’s top commercial banks are poised to generate record revenue from trading derivatives this year. And that’s as good a reason as any why no one should expect the nation’s bank to go along peacefully with a plan to regulate the trading of these sophisticated instruments.