Saturday, October 10, 2009

F.H.A. May Need Bailout

A year after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac teetered, industry executives and Washington policy makers are worrying that another government mortgage giant could be the next housing domino.

Problems at the Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees mortgages with low down payments, are becoming so acute that some experts warn the agency might need a federal bailout.

Running questions about the F.H.A.’s future — underscored by interviews with policy makers, analysts and home buyers — came to the fore on Thursday on Capitol Hill. In testimony before a House subcommittee, the F.H.A. commissioner, David H. Stevens, assured lawmakers that his agency would not need a bailout and that it was managing its risks. (more)

Central Banking: A Blight On Humanity

Impeccably reliable sources have informed me that as recently as Sept. 30, 2009 – the last possible day of trade in the Sept. 09 gold futures – a number of well-heeled market participants “bought” substantial tonnage worth of gold futures on the London Bullion Market [LBMA] and immediately told their counterparties they wanted to take instantaneous delivery of the underlying physical bullion.

The unexpected immediate demand for substantial tonnage of gold bullion created utter panic in at least two banks who were counterparties to this trade – J.P. Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank – because they simply did not posses the gold bullion which they had sold short [an illegal act which in trading parlance is referred to as a “naked short”]. (more)

Jim Sinclair interview by David Williams in South Africa: Gold & Inflation

Robert Fisk Talks About His Bombshell Report To Russia Today

In the following interview Robert Fisk explains a report he wrote about China and other G-20 nations talking about replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency for a basket of alternative currencies.

Fisk also says that if the U.S. dollar is replaced it will be a devastating hit to the country’s political dominance and it will deal a crippling blow to the severely battered U.S. economy.

The Five Stages of Collapse

The US is an oil importer, burning up 25% of the world's production, and importing over two-thirds of that. Back in mid-90s, when I first started trying to guess the timing of the US collapse, the arrival of the global peak in oil production was scheduled for around the turn of the century. It turned out that the estimate was off by almost a decade, but that is actually fairly accurate as far as such big predictions go. So here it is the high price of oil that is putting the brakes on further debt expansion. As higher oil prices trigger a recession, the economy starts shrinking, and a shrinking economy cannot sustain an ever-expanding level of debt. At some point the ability to finance oil imports will be lost, and that will be the tipping point, after which nothing will ever be the same. (more)

Failed Economic Policies and Rising Unemployment in the United States of America

If the birth/death ratio is removed, U-6 is in reality 21.3% total US unemployment. The estimate is that 824,000, more jobs may be extracted from the payroll count for the 12-months ended next March. Such a revision would be the biggest since 1991. The BLS is underestimating job losses deliberately and has been for a long time. That would mean September’s loss would be some 300,000 not 263,000.

Such a revision would put job losses not at 4.8 million but 5.6 million jobs.

This is how government has operated for some time and will continue to as long as we allow them too.


The Weak-Dollar Threat to Prosperity

If you want to know why the dollar has been falling this week and gold hit a new high, look no further than the weak jobs numbers last Friday and the weak communique issued over the weekend at the G-7 meeting in Istanbul. Deploring "excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates" isn't exactly a ringing defense of the greenback. And 9.8% unemployment convinced markets that monetary policy will remain loose regardless of dollar weakness.

Bond buyer Bill Gross of the Pimco fund summed up the situation nicely in a recent CNBC interview. Asked whether low interest rates will weaken the dollar, the influential allocator of global capital said: "I think that's part of the administration's plan. It's obviously not announced—the 'strong dollar' is always the policy, so to speak. One of the ways a country gets out from under its debt burden is to devalue." (more)

To Our Rescue: Asia Steps In to Support Dollar

Asian central banks bought U.S. dollars early in the global session on Thursday to weaken their own currencies, traders said, as the slumping greenback threatens smaller export-driven economies.

Asian central banks said to be intervening in currency markets overnight by buying dollars included South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and possibly, Indonesia, according to analysts.

Emerging market Asian nations, already struggling with the tepid U.S. recovery and weak demand for their exports from the world's largest economy, have been doubly hurt because their currencies appreciated against the dollar, prompting repeated intervention. (more)

World Financial Report, Oct 9, 2009

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The Economist October 10th - October 16th 2009

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Business Week - 19 October 2009

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