Fed Announces $60B March Auctions

This is not good. Just printing money causes inflation, inflation will make the poor and the middle class even poorer, and they promised they will keep on doing it until there is nothing left. (WASHINGTON) – The Federal Reserve announced Friday that it will auction another $60 billion in March as it continues to combat […]

Wal-Mart’s distress signal

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — U.S. retailers reported their slowest monthly sales growth in five years, which would further cement fears that American consumers are buckling under the weight of a slowing economy. Leading the way was No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., (WMT, Fortune 500) which on Thursday reported a big miss in its January […]

US recession could be worst in 20 years

WASHINGTON – The chances of the United States avoiding a recession appear to be growing dimmer by the day, and any contraction in the economy will likely last longer and be more severe than other downturns in the past 20 years. Recent reports have shown the US housing market slump and rising defaults in the […]

Massachusetts Accuses Merrill of Fraud

The top securities regulator in Massachusetts accused Merrill Lynch on Friday of defrauding the city of Springfield with subprime-linked investments, casting light on how Wall Street banks sold complex mortgage securities that are now plummeting in value as the housing slump deepens. Skip to next paragraph Stephan Savoia/Associated Press William Galvin, Massachusetts secretary of state, […]

America’s Teetering Banking System: “Where did all our deposits go?”

By Mike Whitney 31/01/08 “ICH” — – Somebody goofed. When Fed chairman Ben Bernanke cut interest rates to 3% yesterday, the price of a new mortgage went up. How does that help the flagging housing industry? About an hour after Bernanke made the announcement that the Fed Funds rate would be cut by 50 basis points […]

FBI quizzes companies over sub-prime collapse

The FBI is investigating 14 corporations for possible accounting fraud and other crimes related to the sub-prime lending crisis. Neil Power, chief of the bureau’s economic crimes unit, would not identify the companies, though he said the cases involved “valuation-type stuff”. The probes included reviews of sub-prime lenders, housing developers and Wall St banks that […]

Borrowers stretched to the limit

In 24 years as president and chief executive officer of Sacramento’s Safe Credit Union, Henry Wirz said he’s never seen such “widespread credit problems in the Sacramento region.” It began last September with rising delinquencies on car loans. By December, the late payments spread to real estate loans. Now, increasingly, borrowers have maxed out their […]

Update: Crash! Biggest fall in shares since September 11

Recession fears wipe £84bn off the value of Britain’s biggest companies as stock markets tumble across the globe By Nick Clark Published: 22 January 2008   It was the day that the fear factor took over. From Asia to South America, share prices tumbled yesterday as the world’s investors gambled that a US recession was now […]

Udate: US recession fears wipe £77bn from London shares

London’s FTSE 100 fell to an 18-month low as markets took a dim view of President Bush’s plan to fight off a US downturn Patrick Hosking and Leo Lewis About £77 billion was wiped from UK blue chip share values this morning as fears of a US recession reverberated around the globe, sending the FTSE […]

Chinese shares close more than 5% lower

    BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) — Chinese shares plunged more than 5percent on Monday, as investors dumped stocks amid liquidity concerns sparked by the huge share sale plan of Ping An Insurance.     The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, tumbled 266.08 points, or 5.14 percent, to 4,914.44, while the Shenzhen Component […]

Calm MFS NZ ‘unfazed’

MFS New Zealand has substantial amounts both borrowed from and loaned to entities associated with its troubled parent company. Queensland-based MFS had about A$1 billion (NZ$1.16 billion), or 70 per cent of the company’s value, shorn from it on Friday over worries about its debt levels. Yesterday MFS chief executive Michael King resigned, replaced by […]

The Fraud of Bushenomics: They’re Looting the Country.

The New York Times made it official. The Economy is a problem! So, now, at last we can discuss it. Not just discuss it, in rapid order “recession” became the word of the day, from White House, Congress, the Fed and the media. It’s blamed, mostly, on the subprime crisis. But that’s not the problem. […]

Shares suffer biggest fall since 9/11

The FTSE 100 on Monday suffered its biggest one-day fall since the attacks on the World Trade Centre more than six years ago as the worst fears about the prospects for the global economy took hold. In a tumultuous session, the index was down as much as 5.7 per cent to 5,571.0 as dealers capitulated […]

Bernanke: Juice the economy ‘quickly’

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Thursday that legislators should enact a fiscal stimulus package in order to help beleaguered consumers as recession fears grow. The comments by Bernanke, who testified before the House Budget Committee, came as a cascade of more bad news about the housing, financial and manufacturing […]

Citigroup’s Layoffs Could Reach 24,000 This Year

Citigroup plans to announce a writedown of as much as $24 billion and layoffs that could total as much as 24,000 due to subprime and credit-related losses, CNBC has learned. Oliver Quillia for cnbc.com Citigroup plans to announce a $24 billion writedown and layoffs that could total as much as 24,000. The plans will be […]

US credit crisis pushes up NZ mortgages

The US credit crunch has finally hit New Zealand home-buyers directly in the form of rising mortgage rates. Westpac yesterday raised its fixed rate mortgages by 20 points, taking its two-year fixed rate from 9.4 per cent to 9.6 per cent. The increase matches moves by New Zealand’s largest bank, ANZ National, within the last […]

MORTGAGE MELTDOWN

New proposals to ease our great mortgage meltdown keep rolling in. First the Treasury Department urged the creation of a new fund that would buy risky mortgage bonds as a tactic to hide what those bonds were really worth. (Not much.) Then the idea was to use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy the […]

Fed seems poised to lower interest rates

A lot has changed since the Federal Reserve hinted two months ago that it might be finished cutting interest rates for a while. Credit has become harder to obtain, Wall Street has convulsed again and the housing slump has intensified. As a result, policymakers at the central bank now appear to have changed their minds […]

Florida Just First to Face National Run on the Bank: Joe Mysak

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — Florida officials are going to meet today to talk about the crisis in the state’s Local Government Investment Pool. I don’t know what they are going to talk about, but I know what they had better decide. The State Board of Administration runs the pool, and its three trustees, Governor Charlie […]

Bank loan funding costs at 10 year peak

The Good Returns mortgage rate table is awash with red this week as lenders push rates up even though there has been no change in the official cost of borrowing in New Zealand. A general re-pricing of home loan rates appears to be underway, with increases from some banks of up to 30 basis points, […]

Dollar Crash: The Real Challenge For OPEC

At its recent summit in Riyadh, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries faced an unprecedented crisis: the price of oil was edging up towards the $100 per barrel mark, as the dollar itself was continuing its inexorable slide on all financial markets. Although the Saudi hosts were eager to keep the dollar’s agony out of […]

Goldman Sachs Was Wrong & 2 Million Families May Lose Their Homes

What’s going wrong in the financial sector is not so unusual after all. One of the funniest moments in the great credit crunch of 2007 came in the summer. “We are seeing things that were 25-standard deviation events, several days in a row,” said David Viniar, CFO of the smartest financial firm in the world, […]

Saudi minister warns of dollar collapse

The dollar could collapse if Opec officially admits considering changing the pricing of oil into alternative currencies such as the euro, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister has warned. Will Opec pour oil on troubles? Prince Saud Al-Faisal was overheard ruling out a proposal from Iran and Venezuela to discuss pricing crude in a private meeting […]

The Last Dead Bull on Wall Street

By Mike Whitney   11/11/07 “ICH” — – Whew! What a week for the stock market. On Wednesday the market took a 360 point nosedive followed, two days later, by a 220 point belly-flop. By the time it was over, the trading pits looked more like a sausage-packing plant than the world’s financial epicenter. After the […]

Stock Market Mayhem and Bush’s Moral Swamp

By Mike Whitney           “It’s scary out there—there’s blood on the streets” anonymous Wall Street trader 11/05/07 “ICH” — – Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve dropped its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.5% citing ongoing weakness in the housing sector. As expected, the stock market rallied and the Dow Jones Industrial Average […]

Chancellor makes credit crunch warning

Alistair Darling warned this morning that the UK has entered “an unparalleled period of financial uncertainty” following the departure of Charles Prince from Citigroup.The chancellor called on the banking community to be candid about the damage caused by this summer’s credit crunch and the crisis in America’s sub-prime mortgage market. “We need to get to […]

Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’

By Grant Ferrett BBC News Food prices have risen as more land is used to produce biofuels A United Nations expert has condemned the growing use of crops to produce biofuels as a replacement for petrol as a crime against humanity. The UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, said he feared […]