Fannie asks for another $15 billion (press release) That brings the company’s total draw on Treasury to $59.9 billion. Here’s the paragraph that scares me: “Total nonperforming loans in our guaranty book of business were $198.3 billion, compared with $171.0 billion on June 30, 2009, and $119.2 billion on December 31, 2008. The carrying value of our foreclosed properties was $7.3 billion, compared with $6.2 billion on June 30, 2009, and $6.6 billion on December 31, 2008.” Why is the value of nonperforming loans growing so much faster than foreclosures? If Fannie’s not going to foreclose, then why bother paying the mortgage?
Apollo shares plunge on government inquiry (Bloomberg) The for-profit education industry is shady in the extreme. Fully 86% of Apollo’s revenue comes from student loans financed by the government. It’s a great scam. Find a warm body that qualifies for federal student aid, and then sell ‘em as much education as they’re willing to borrow against. And when the government offers to increase aid, companies like Apollo (and private universities) just raise their prices, forcing students to take on more debt for the same education. In the end, its taxpayers that take the hit when student loans default…
New York Fed’s Secret Choice to pay for swaps hits taxpayers (Bloomberg) Remember the $13 billion that Goldman got via AIG after the government takeover? Turns out the NY Fed instructed AIG to pay out 100¢ on the dollar. Just another fact to keep in mind next time someone says the banks are “earning” their way through this crisis.
Macklowe’s Worldwide Plaza Successor wrestles towering dilemma (Bloomberg) “The partnership [that bought Macklowe's busted property] paid $370 a square foot for Worldwide Plaza, while competitors paid $1,000 a foot or more for similar buildings at the height of the five- year U.S. property boom.” That means they can drop rents to $30-$50 per sq foot from $80-$100 that was common not long ago. That’s bad for CMBS holders and banks who own the debt on busted properties, but fantastic for folks in the real economy who suddenly have much more money to spend on things besides rent. But instead of allowing price adjustments like this to happen, policymakers scream “deflation” and institute all manner of spending schemes to prop up asset prices.
CFPA clears house panel (Bloomberg) A step in the right direction.
More aid for Pakistan (Newsweek) But is the money doing any good?
Why mortgages aren’t modified (Ed Harrison)
How the current economy has affected dentists, vasectomies, guns and shark attacks (CoinbyCoin) A good video, though be careful re: his chart of “leverage,” which looks to me like excess reserves in the banking system. A better measure of the economy’s leverage is debt to gdp.
IRS examining 100,000+ suspicious claims for homebuyer credit (WSJ) It’s a credit, which means folks without tax liability can get cash back from the IRS. Also, “taxpayers don’t have to file their claims as part of a real-estate transaction, and can instead” file/amend their 1040 to claim the credit, making it easier to commit fraued.