Morning Report 8/28/12

Vital Statistics:

Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1405.6 -2.7 -0.19%
Eurostoxx Index 2436.4 -25.4 -1.03%
Oil (WTI) 96.04 0.6 0.60%
LIBOR 0.423 -0.002 -0.49%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 81.46 -0.196 -0.24%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.64% -0.02%
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 192.3 0.2

Markets are flattish-to-down as a positive Case-Schiller reading offsets disappointing economic data out of Japan and Spain. Bonds and MBS are up slightly.

The S&P / Case-Schiller index came in at 142.2 vs expectations of 141.3. The national composite was up 1.2% YOY and up 6.9% vs Q1.

The real estate market is recovering, but where are home prices still getting hit?  Fairfield County, CT, where prices have declined 13% YOY, especially in Greenwich and New Canaan. This of course is due to Wall Street compensation dropping like a stone over the past 5 years and the realization that it may be a while before it comes back. As the article points out, while the events in Europe are an abstraction to most people, they do affect jobs in the financial services industry. Given the fact that entitlement spending is going to crowd out a lot of discretionary spending (especially on defense), it makes me wonder if one of the last high-flying real estate markets – Washington DC – is next.

The WSJ has a fluff piece on Paul Singer, who has been raising a lot of money for Mitt Romney. It repeats the rumor that he might be given a place in a potential Romney administration. However, he originally backed Chris Christie and has been very vocal in pushing for gay marriage so that could be an issue.

Chart:  S&P / Case-Schiller House Price Index:

72 Responses

  1. The Singer story is behind the paywall but his Wikipedia entry mentions that his son is gay and was married in Massachusetts. This is presumably why he was a large donor to the campaign for marriage equality in New York where it passed after some state Republicans broke party ranks.

    Like

  2. I worked for him for 7 years.

    Like

  3. Thinking of the comment that Mark made yesterday about the Seven Days in May analogy to the dispute over the carrier movements in the Persian Gulf, this strikes me as a much closer brush with a military dictatorship in the United States:

    ” Washington in Disarray
    By RICHARD SLOTKIN
    August 27, 2012, 12:30 pm”

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/washington-in-disarray/

    Like

    • McClellan. Definitely the yardstick for ultimate comparisons, I agree.

      He at one point commanded the largest army in the field ever assembled, to that time. But he was an awful general, in part because he had no character. He also may not have known battle tactics and strategy well. He was certainly outclassed in the field.

      Like

  4. There was also McClellan’s political sense about having Congress vote him in as dictator. If we ever have one here, that’s how it will come about.

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  5. From Greg:

    “What’s needed is a clearer contrast between what an Obama second term would look like and what a Romney first term would look like — and a vivid picture of the direct impact each would have on the lives of regular people. Obama, of course, has proposed more investments in infrastructure, education, and protecting public sector jobs in the form of the American Jobs Act. But voters either don’t know enough about it or don’t know why they should believe Obama will be able to pass jobs legislation next year. ”

    How about a contrast between Obama’s first term and his second term?

    Like

  6. ‘With the GOP convention gearing up today, the Obama-allied Priorities USA Action is up with a well made ad in five swing states that features a small business owner and self-described independent from Massachusetts claiming she won’t vote for Mitt Romney again.”

    Why do both campaigns think we care about what some nitwit average voter thinks? This must be newest advertising trend in the industry.

    Like

  7. The broader question is why you would expect different results from Obama’s American Jobs Act than from the previous stimulus, given that the new act is roughly half the size and has a higher percentage of temporary tax cuts.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/08/obama-jobs-plan-speech_n_954657.html

    Obama’s second term will be four more years of his first. If he has a Democratic Congress more deficit spending. If he has a Republican Congress, gridlock.

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  8. “and protecting public sector jobs in the form of the American Jobs Act.”

    This I find fascinating. How important to “regular people” is protecting the surly counter clerk at the DMV? I say campaign away on that, make it the centerpiece of the campaign.

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    • Ahhh…how refreshing a negative caricature of public workers. You forgot to include “lazy” after “surly.”

      Isn’t protecting public sector jobs a good thing as long ast he private sector isn’t hiring?

      Like

  9. It’s a good thing voters won’t notice how schizy the Dems are about Romney as governor:

    One minute they say he was a lousy governor and the next minute they say how much the ACA is like Romenycare. or this:

    “Romney used to favor regulation and government investment: Binyamin Applebaum has a deep, deep dive into Romney’s gubernatorial years and his previous support for regulation and government investment in the economy, both of which he has now turned upon. As the story details, Romney had to jettison his sensible views about government partnering with the private sector in order to become the GOP’s standard bearer.”

    So if as Dem advertising says he was a lousy governor, wouldn’t it necessarily follow that the things he believed THEN were wrong?

    Like

    • GUESS WHO WROTE THIS!

      The purpose of the Republican convention is to introduce America to the real Mitt Romney. Fortunately, I have spent hours researching this subject. I can provide you with the definitive biography and a unique look into the Byronic soul of the Republican nominee:

      Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man.

      Romney was a precocious and gifted child. He uttered his first words (“I like to fire people”) at age 14 months, made his first gaffe at 15 months and purchased his first nursery school at 24 months. The school, highly leveraged, went under, but Romney made 24 million Jujubes on the deal.

      Mitt grew up in a modest family. His father had an auto body shop called the American Motors Corporation, and his mother owned a small piece of land, Brazil. He had several boyhood friends, many of whom owned Nascar franchises, and excelled at school, where his fourth-grade project, “Inspiring Actuaries I Have Known,” was widely admired.

      The Romneys had a special family tradition. The most cherished member got to spend road trips on the roof of the car. Mitt spent many happy hours up there, applying face lotion to combat windburn.

      The teenage years were more turbulent. He was sent to a private school, where he was saddened to find there are people in America who summer where they winter. He developed a lifelong concern for the second homeless, and organized bake sales with proceeds going to the moderately rich.

      Some people say he retreated into himself during these years. He had a pet rock, which ran away from home because it was starved of affection. He bought a mood ring, but it remained permanently transparent. His ability to turn wine into water detracted from his popularity at parties.

      There was, frankly, a period of wandering. After hearing Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” Romney decided to leave Mormonism and become Amish. He left the Amish faith because of its ban on hair product, and bounced around before settling back in college. There, he majored in music, rendering Mozart’s entire oeuvre in PowerPoint.

      His love affair with Ann Davies, the most impressive part of his life, restored his equilibrium. Always respectful, Mitt and Ann decided to elope with their parents. They went on a trip to Israel, where they tried and failed to introduce the concept of reticence. Romney also went on a mission to France. He spent two years knocking on doors, failing to win a single convert. This was a feat he would replicate during his 2008 presidential bid.

      After his mission, he attended Harvard, studying business, law, classics and philosophy, though intellectually his first love was always tax avoidance. After Harvard, he took his jawline to Bain Consulting, a firm with very smart people with excessive personal hygiene. While at Bain, he helped rescue many outstanding companies, like Pan Am, Eastern Airlines, Atari and DeLorean.

      Romney was extremely detail oriented in his business life. He once canceled a corporate retreat at which Abba had been hired to play, saying he found the band’s music “too angry.”

      Romney is also a passionately devoted family man. After streamlining his wife’s pregnancies down to six months each, Mitt helped Ann raise five perfect sons — Bip, Chip, Rip, Skip and Dip — who married identically tanned wives. Some have said that Romney’s lifestyle is overly privileged, pointing to the fact that he has an elevator for his cars in the garage of his San Diego home. This is not entirely fair. Romney owns many homes without garage elevators and the cars have to take the stairs.

      After a successful stint at Bain, Romney was lured away to run the Winter Olympics, the second most Caucasian institution on earth, after the G.O.P. He then decided to run for governor of Massachusetts. His campaign slogan, “Vote Romney: More Impressive Than You’ll Ever Be,” was not a hit, but Romney won the race anyway on an environmental platform, promising to make the state safe for steeplechase.

      After his governorship, Romney suffered through a midlife crisis, during which he became a social conservative. This prepared the way for his presidential run. he barely won the 2012 Republican primaries after a grueling nine-month campaign, running unopposed. At the convention, where his Secret Service nickname is Mannequin, Romney will talk about his real-life record: successful business leader, superb family man, effective governor, devoted community leader and prudent decision-maker. If elected, he promises to bring all Americans together and make them feel inferior.

      Like

  10. “Why do both campaigns think we care about what some nitwit average voter thinks? This must be newest advertising trend in the industry.”

    Because the candidates themselves have even less credibility than a nitwit average voter.

    Like

  11. banned:

    How about a contrast between Obama’s first term and his second term?

    David Frum takes a stab at answering that one.

    Like

  12. Benen with a very confusing commentary on Reagan. He writes about Reagan’s succesful presidency like the GOP are writing about Clinton.

    In both cases, the bottom line is that people know the difference between a successful presidency and an unsuccessful one and long for one from either party.

    Like

  13. mike:

    “The surge in natural gas production in the United States, the full development of the massive oil sand resource in Canada, could make North America the world’s fastest-growing energy region in the years ahead and put the continent on the way to self-sufficiency by 2020. It won’t have quite happened yet by 2017, but the achievement will at least be visible on the near horizon.”

    Quite confusing all the mistaken ideas that people have about energy. Oil is traded on world markets and there is no advantage to “north American energy independence”. To the extent that there IS a price advantage, it is something that oil companies want to correct, by building the Keystone pipeline, not to embrace.

    Mexican oil production is declining not improving, down by almost a million barrels a year since their 2003 peak:

    http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=mx&product=oil&graph=production

    We still are a net nat gas importer (from Canada) but production levels are unsustainable at these levels and has been shutting down, not expanding in the last 6-12 months.

    Finally, offshore drilliing is the most expensive way to produce oil by far, so as we open more of those fields, we are producing more expensive oil, not less.

    Like

  14. ash:

    very cute kid, 18 more and you could have a reality tv show!

    Like

  15. banned:

    Aren’t nat gas prices at their lowest point in a decade or so? If they can get it out of the shale, then we might end up being a net exporter.

    Of course, it would help if we could just harvest some of this.

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  16. mike:

    Yes, that’s the problem, The break even production point on nat gas is about $4 and it currently trades at 2.70.

    Also we will never be much of an exporter of nat gas contrary to what you read. The much vaunted LNG terminals won’t even become operational until 2016-17. No one can say what the world pricing will look like at that time. Given the rapid expansion in shale gas exploration and production around the world, it’s possible that the price won’t be market worthy for our gas then.

    Like

  17. referencing some comments elsewhere about Obama and Afghanistan, that it’s not his war.

    Eisenhower inheirited a much much bigger war from Truman and ended it within six months. He even had the prisoners exchanged and most of the troops home within 20 months. By contrast, Obama still has soldiers dying in combat 43 months after his inauguration.

    Like

  18. “Ahhh…how refreshing a negative caricature of public workers. You forgot to include “lazy” after “surly.”
    Isn’t protecting public sector jobs a good thing as long ast he private sector isn’t hiring?

    No. considering that states are over 4 trillion in debt, we have far to many of them. We are going to have to learn to live with less police, less teachers, firepeople, DMV clerks, etc.

    And it’s obvious you are backsliding in you progression towards the Dark Side.

    Like

    • And it’s obvious you are backsliding in you progression towards the Dark Side.

      Ha…I don’t know how you can backslide away from the Dark Side. Wouldn’t that be a front slide? Not to mention that your failure to refer to public workers as lazy is clearly a violation of one of tenets of the Dark Side

      I’m all for curbing some of the rather nice benefits much of the public sector enjoys. Can we compromise there? Laying them off right now seems like a terrible idea since I’m guessing many, if not most, are like my mom who makes a very modest salary and spends pretty much every last penny of it.

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    • From personal knowledge in Austin, and what I have read about other states, TX, MI, FL, NY, NJ, and CA all have clown state legislatures.

      This is a problem that cannot be fixed by federal spending.

      Either the states must do what George suggests, or they must raise taxes, or do some of each, but in any event they must not have clown legislatures that don’t work.

      One of the reasons I voted for W for Gov in ’98 is that he and LG Bullock had found a way around the clown lege. They, and the truly honorable gentleman Pete Laney, then Speaker, met every morning before the session and mapped out the bare minimum of what they thought the state had to do. They rammed that stuff through and then let the clown lege do whatever it wanted about its pet shenanigans.

      It was a mirror of how Ike worked with LBJ and Speaker Sam.

      Ok. I know. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

      Like

  19. “I’m all for curbing some of the rather nice benefits much of the public sector enjoys. Can we compromise there? Laying them off right now seems like a terrible idea since I’m guessing many, if not most, are like my mom who makes a very modest salary and spends pretty much every last penny of it.”

    I don’t think that is possible. I think Gov. Walker, though ultimately successful, will serve as a permanent example of just how far public sector unions will go in protecting themselves. No politician would willingly subject themselves to it. While you and I can compromise, my perception is that the public sector is unwilling to do so and will use any and all methods to try and stop it.

    I don’t think there is any real “good time” to cut back on state expenditures. In good times, there is a perception that it is affordable and in bad times we suppossedly cannot cut back because it would make things worse. Veronica De Rugby over at NRO had a nice blog post more or less in line with what were talking about.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/315088/more-evidence-spending-cuts-are-best-way-shrink-our-debt-veronique-de-rugy

    Like

  20. It isn’t public sector pay that is the problem. It’s the pension obligations that are simply unmanageable.

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    • Banned-
      It’s the pension obligations that are simply unmanageable.

      Right, and while I have been moonlighting as an employment lawyer recently, I don’t know what impact, if any, firing all these people would have on the pension obligations. I suspect it would vary from one CBA to the next.

      Troll- I don’t think there is any real “good time” to cut back on state expenditures. In good times, there is a perception that it is affordable and in bad times we suppossedly cannot cut back because it would make things worse.

      Well, the fact that there is a perception that runs counter to reality does not transform a “good time” to make cuts into a “bad time.” I would agree that politically there is never a good time, but that has nothing to do with deficits or surpluses and everything to do buying votes. Sort of like how Ryan’s Medicare plan wouldn’t apply to people currently over 55. I’m fine with some transition period to go from the hold system to the new system, but Ryan’s plan is just a bribe to senior citizens who would vote democrat if the Ryan plan applied to them. It reminds of the the scene in Ides of March where they are discussing some public service plan that would only apply to people who are under 18 (ie can’t vote).

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  21. Mark,

    Calling the FL lege a clown state legislature is an insult to clowns. It’s even worse when you have a clown Gov who has to be reined in by the clown Lege, though I have to admit that Rick Scott learned that lesson pretty quickly.

    I have to believe that term limits play a role in the clownish-ness of our state lege.

    Like

  22. Steve Pearlstein put it best on public sector workers & state budgets:

    “It is true, for example, that with additional borrowing and spending, we could rehire laid-off teachers and police officers. That would certainly boost employment in the short term, reduce class sizes and make us all feel safer. But the reality is that, even if the economy were to improve as a result, it would be many years before tax revenues return to where they were at the height of the bubble. At some point, spending by state and local governments will have to be brought down to match the level of taxes that their voters are willing to pay. The notion that once unemployment falls below 6 percent everyone will join hands and finally put the fiscal house in order — well, that’s nothing more than political fantasy.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/steven-pearlstein-signs-the-economy-has-shifted-in-the-right-direction/2012/02/27/gIQAl8abpR_story.html

    Like

  23. Ashot,

    My point is you should cut government when the mood of the country is more inclined to accept it, not when it’s opportune because then is would never happen. Yes, cutting government expenditures now will cause some people to lose their jobs. We cannot afford these people now and adding more debt while waiting for a more opportune time merely increases the cost of these people and, in my opinion, extends the misery for everybody. I don’t see how that is beneficial. However, I think all government is far to big and should be cut back substantially. With an axe. Flesh, muscle and bone.

    For example, I don’t think individuals need a license to drive. I don’t think the requirement stops those who shouldn’t drive nor does it make good drivers better. I think it serves as a way to unnecessarily control individuals as well as a revenue source to fund government.

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  24. Corked by banned, though I give more weight (as should everybody) to my opinion than to Perlstein’s.

    Like

  25. george

    I have had no idea you were a libertarian in sheep’s clothing.

    Like

  26. Don Juan:

    I have had no idea you were a libertarian in sheep’s clothing.

    Then you just haven’t been paying attention to our George! 🙂

    Like

  27. so thinking out loud, if you ended the mortgage interest deduction, would you therefore free up more disposable income into the consumer economy by reducing the percentage of homeowners versus renters? (presuming of course that you can rent cheaper than you can own)

    Like

  28. For example, I don’t think individuals need a license to drive.

    So who files the insurance accident reports in Galt’s Gulch? Or is it just settled in cash before leaving the scene?

    Like

  29. DJ:

    presuming of course that you can rent cheaper than you can own

    You can’t–at least not in SLC if you want/need to be in a house rather than an apartment.

    Like

  30. Benen who must not know much about anything in the real world, confuses tailpipe emissions standards from the EPA with mileage standards issued by the Department of Transportation

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/28/13528869-a-big-step-forward-on-fuel-efficiency?threadId=3552103&commentId=69404068#c69404068

    Like

  31. yello:

    It’s settled by whoever pulls the gun from under the front seat first.

    Like

  32. Banned,

    I’ve tried not to hide my libertarian/Objectivist leanings. I also think the FDA should merely be involved with safety, not efficacy when it comes to drugs, devices and procedures. Yes, I’m that evil.

    Like

  33. Heres an astonishing number. Suicides by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan run at least 25 times the number of combat deaths suffered in those conflicts.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/opinion/sunday/kristof-a-veterans-death-the-nations-shame.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1

    Like

  34. DJ:

    confuses tailpipe emissions standards from the EPA with mileage standards issued by the Department of Transportation

    Actually, from the blog piece, it appears to me that it’s Romney who conflated the two:

    At least for now, that is. Mitt Romney has vowed to kill the higher efficiency standards if he’s elected president, going so far as to promise voters he “would get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks.”

    Steve missed that point–he should have pointed that out.

    Like

  35. michi

    the quoted language from Romney is correct (as far as it goes he may be additionally against fuel economy). it’s the EPA that regulates tailpipe emisssions while fuel economy standards are handled by the DOT

    Like

  36. Obama call thank his lucky stars that he’s not running against Bob Corker. On the other hand Joe Weisenthal gets everything wrong but the spelling of his own name:

    Tennessee Senator Writes Column Blasting Bernanke — And Gets 3 Big Things Provably Wrong

    http://www.businessinsider.com/sen-corker-ft-op-ed-on-bernanke-2012-8#ixzz24sSVB0CC

    Like

  37. DJ:

    it’s the EPA that regulates tailpipe emisssions while fuel economy standards are handled by the DOT

    Yes–my point is that Romney stated that he would “kill higher efficiency standards” (DOT) by getting the EPA out of managing CO2 emissions.

    Like

  38. “Documentary film ‘2016: Obama’s America’ came out of nowhere to burn up the box office”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/documentary-film-2016-obamas-america-takes-michael-moore-esque-approach/2012/08/27/3ecb5198-f07e-11e1-adc6-87dfa8eff430_story.html?hpid=z6

    I read the original piece by D’Souza in Forbes this was based on when it was first published. It was a complete load of crap, riddled with factual errors. No reason that should stop anything though.

    I can’t get over people who think the most right wing Democratic president since Kennedy is a socialist.

    Like

    • banned:

      I can’t get over people who think the most right wing Democratic president since Kennedy is a socialist.

      Great soundbite. But by what metric exactly are you measuring him as the most right wing?

      Like

  39. football thoughts of the night:

    “Back to Sam Bradford.

    When you see Bradford display the obvious signs of Battered Quarterback Syndrome, it’s a concern. Because when a QB is rattled in the pocket, and unable to handle the oncoming pressure, you could line up Jerry Rice and Raymond Berry at WR and it wouldn’t make a difference. If Bradford is going to get antsy as soon as he takes a hit, it’s going to be a long year”

    It’s damn shame, but I’ve seen this happen too many times and the QB never recovers even under an improved OL.

    Also if you saw Tebow the other night, he has the opposite problem. He can’t seem to let the ball go. He’s getting like Steve Blass or Steve Sax in baseball. He can’t throw the ball accurately even when not under any pressure. It’s a head scratcher to see a QB on a pretty good team who is just scared to let the ball go.

    Like

  40. Haaahaaahahahaha

    I can’t get over people who think the most right wing Democratic president since Kennedy is a socialist.

    I’ve been arguing that point for three years now and still can’t get anywhere with it.

    Like

  41. lms

    It’s about expectations not reality. For instance even though Wall Street has done stunningly well under Obama considering where they came from, and got away with literally the costliest financial fraud in the nation’s history scott-free, he’s still an “enemy” of Wall Street.

    Like

    • banned:

      For instance even though Wall Street has done stunningly well under Obama considering where they came from, and got away with literally the costliest financial fraud in the nation’s history

      What are you talking about?

      Like

  42. I’m not watching the Convention or any other news tonight but I thought this was mildly interesting.

    TAMPA, Fla. — A divided Republican Party was on full display Tuesday when Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) supporters and other grassroots activists loudly booed House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on the first full day of the Republican National Convention.

    The fight was over the unglamorous rules process that dictates how delegates are apportioned in each state. Paul didn’t sweep the ballot boxes in state caucuses and primaries, but his supporters quietly worked behind the scenes in an effort to take control of state parties and delegate assignments.

    The RNC’s rules committee adopted provisions that would bar this sort of insurgent takeover from happening in the future: Convention delegates would be bound to vote for the candidate who won statewide at the ballot box.

    Twenty Paul backers from Maine were also stripped of their spots as official delegates after the RNC concluded that their election was invalid.

    On Tuesday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called for a full delegation vote on the rules, including the ones the Paul backers opposed. The voice vote of ayes and nays were equal in volume, but Boehner immediately gave it to the ayes, leading to loud boos and shouts from Paul supporters.

    The dismissed Maine delegation was easy to spot on Tuesday. They were all wearing white baseball caps that read “Maine 2012” and had a picture of Paul. Before the vote on the rules, Paul supporters would frequently interrupt the proceedings with shouts of “Seat them now” (referring to the Maine delegation), “We were robbed,” “President Paul” and “Point of order.”

    Like

  43. he’s still an “enemy” of Wall Street.

    Yep John, and it’s amazing for someone who orchestrated the government takeover of health care that his largest corporate sponsors this year are the health care industry.

    Like

  44. I can’t get over people who think the most right wing Democratic president since Kennedy is a socialist.

    Newt Gingrich just used the word ‘socialist’ three times in an interview on the convention floor. I’m not sure he understands what the word means.

    Like

  45. scott:

    He has Bush’s attitude toward the rights of Americans,

    As for fraud, the enitre MBS industry was a giant fraud from the sub-prime loan originators all the way up to the Wall Street institutions that financed their operations.

    Like

    • banned:

      He has Bush’s attitude toward the rights of Americans,

      And what attitude might that be? I’m trying to figure out what it is about this “attitude” that would preclude Obama from being considered a socialist.

      As for fraud, the enitre MBS industry was a giant fraud from the sub-prime loan originators all the way up to the Wall Street institutions that financed their operations.

      What was the fraud being committed by Wall Street institutions?

      Like

  46. scott

    note that I’m not saying that it had always been that way, but by 2007 certainly it was completely corrupt at all levels.

    Like

  47. yes, they bankrolled the operation or in some case bought a direct interest in the fraudulent sub prime orgiinators. Also in the case of Goldman for instance they certainly knew that the MBS they were selling were of a far lower grade than advertised.

    Before you ask me for proof, not single Wall Street firm has been willing to contest these charges in court having been sued by various recipients of the securities and agencies. I haven’t checked in some time, but the last time I did the payouts were in the tens of billions of dollars in addition to an untold dollar amount of actual repurchases.

    Like

  48. good convention line from George Will, Romney doesn’t have to show that he can feel your pain, but that he can fix your pain.

    Like

  49. i’m out, see ya tomrrow!

    Like

  50. As for fraud, the enitre MBS industry was a giant fraud from the sub-prime loan originators all the way up to the Wall Street institutions that financed their operations.

    That is a VERY broad brush….

    Like

  51. “He has Bush’s attitude toward the rights of Americans,”

    Serious question, what rights did you have at the start of Bush’s first term that you didn’t have at the end of his second term?

    Like

  52. I listened to many of the speeches tonight on the radio starting with Rick Santorum (some in toto and some just hit and miss while doing chores) and was wondering what any of you who saw or listened thought. Santorum I thought was “meh”; for any of you who have ever heard a Mormon give his/her “testimony” in church, that’s basically what Ann Romney’s speech was (so I’m not impressed by her claim that this is the first time she’s ever spoken from notes–this was a speech that she’s basically given hundreds of times over the years at Relief Society events), and I was really surprised that I didn’t think that Christie’s speech was all that great. I’ve seen maybe 10 – 12 of his speeches over the last four years or so and I’ve always been blown away by him, so I was actually a little disappointed tonight. I didn’t expect to agree with his content, but I thought that I would enjoy it more.

    Like

  53. Fraud? What fraud?

    It’s not as if 4 years later Goldman is still setlling cases or anything.

    http://sdnyblog.com/26-5-million-settlement-reached-in-goldman-sachs-securities-fraud-case/

    Like

  54. forgive me Brent;

    GDP grew 1.7 in the seocnd quarter slightly better than expected. For Romney, the bad news keeps coming.

    He needs to call up his friend Netanyahu and tell him he has to launch the airstrike against Iran soon, to put Obama in one of Greg Sargent’s “boxes” on how to respond.

    Like

  55. scott and brent:

    I was wrong:

    “Thought the global financial crisis in 2008 was caused by subprime bonds, collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and other Wall Street engineering? Think again.

    According to a new study, China, not Wall Street bankers, was responsible for the global crisis and the ensuing recession.

    The study from the Erasmus Research Institute of Management says the saving frenzy of the Chinese created the cheap money, which fuelled the U.S. housing bubble and its collapse.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48814165

    Now, how much will I have to pay to settle these outstanding claims against me?

    I can’t risk trying to defend my blogging reputation in open court!

    Like

    • Now, how much will I have to pay to settle these outstanding claims against me?

      I don’t see why you would settle. As far as this reader is concerned, your blogging reputation is already ruined. I think the upside of a trial where you get to further spout your crazy Wall Street theory outweighs the possibility of any additional damage to your already destroyed reputation. To think you blamed Wall Street and not China. I guffaw in your general direction.

      Like

    • Donjuan, Mallaby suggested the Chinese monetarism was key to the bubble in late 2008. Monday night my mens group got off on identifying all the keys to the bubble we remember.

      The certified real estate appraiser said he lost business to others, beginning in 2005, because he would not make inflated valuations. I pointed out the mortgage bankers who were able to acquire reward for no risk by riching up the borrowers. Our retired bond trader said the securities rating houses went nuts, too. I recalled Mallaby on China. Our libertarian said the bubble began with subprime lending and encouragement from the Federal Reserve. Our retired engineer said the effect of the bubble bursting would have been far less if AIG really had money behind those credit default swaps. I lamented that MBSs were the best investment for the conservative retiree that ever were, in 1990. The engineer thought that dicing and slicing MBSs caused the extended complexity of unraveling the damage, and I tried to repeat what Scott had told me about what was good about that, but I got confused, and said I had to go back and read it again.

      Like

  56. ash;

    mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    I have been reading about the Siege of Malta, and am now inspired to become a Knight of St. John in repentance.

    (waiting at the airport for my plane)

    Like

    • I have been reading about the Siege of Malta, and am now inspired to become a Knight of St. John in repentance.

      Yeah, I think martyrdom is your only hope for redemption.

      Added: From wiki: “on 26 October 1530, Philippe Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, Grand Master of the Knights, sailed into Malta’s Grand Harbour with a number of his followers to lay claim to Malta and Gozo, which had been granted to them by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V[2] in return for one falcon sent annually to the Viceroy of Sicily and a solemn mass to be celebrated on All Saints Day”

      A whole island for one falcon every year and a mass that they would have been going to anyway? Did the falcon have to be alive? Did it have to be a specific type of falcon?

      Like

  57. ash:

    “the stuff that dreams are made of”

    Like

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