Afternoon Links 2-26
Existing home sales/more existing home sales (Calculated Risk) Existing homes sales were down sharply from November, but the Nov number was high because of folks rushing to take advantage of the first time homebuyers tax credit, which has since been extended. Anyway, existing home sales were actually up versus January ’09.
Schadenfreude alert: AIG cut 20,000 jobs in 2009 on asset sales, defections, layoffs (Son, Bloomberg)
FDIC to test principal reduction for underwater borrowers (Merle, WaPo) Small program to start….it’s only on mortgages acquired by FDIC as part of bank failures, which is less than 1% of mortgages.
Bernanke delivers blunt warning on U.S. debt (Hill, Wash Times) He says the Fed won’t monetize debt, but it already has. It’s probably the economy will be fighting deflation for years to the degree that credit losses continue to make it hard for banks to create credit money….see Japan. As that cycle continues, the Fed will be forced into successive rounds of quantitative easing, which likely means more Treasury bond purchases down the line. It’s good that Bernanke is being vocal about unsustainable deficits, but it’s all just talk until he actually puts monetary policy where his mouth is…
China buying IMF gold story unfounded: author (Miles, Reuters) Gold was up 1% on a false rumor yesterday….
…of the river… (imgur) subtle and brilliant
The Dawning of Aquarius in South Dakota (Discover Mag) I’m guessing astrology doesn’t have an impact on climate…