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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:23 PM

STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Thursday, 10 January 2013

[font size=3]STOCK MARKET WATCH, Thursday, 10 January 2013[font color=black][/font]

SMW for 9 January 2013

[center][font color=green]
Dow Jones 13,390.51 +61.66 (0.46%)
S&P 500 1,461.02 +3.87 (0.27%)
Nasdaq 3,105.81 +14.00 (0.45%)

[font color=green]10 Year 1.86% -0.01 (-0.53%)
30 Year 3.06% -0.01 (-0.33%)[font color=black]


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[font size=2]Market Conditions During Trading Hours[/font]


[font size=2]Euro, Yen, Loonie, Silver and Gold[center]




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[font color=black][font size=2]Handy Links - Market Data and News:[/font][/font]
Economic Calendar
Marketwatch Data
Bloomberg Economic News
Yahoo Finance
Google Finance
Bank Tracker
Credit Union Tracker
Daily Job Cuts

[font color=black][font size=2]Handy Links - Essential Reading:[/font][/font]
Matt Taibi: Secret and Lies of the Bailout


[font color=black][font size=2]Handy Links - Government Issues:[/font][/font]
Open Government
Earmark Database
USA spending.gov

[font color=red]Partial List of Financial Sector Officials Convicted since 1/20/09 [/font][font color=red]
2/2/12 David Higgs and Salmaan Siddiqui, Credit Suisse, plead guilty to conspiracy involving valuation of MBS
3/6/12 Allen Stanford, former Caribbean billionaire and general schmuck, convicted on 13 of 14 counts in $2.2B Ponzi scheme, faces 20+ years in prison
6/4/12 Matthew Kluger, lawyer, sentenced to 12 years in prison, along with co-conspirator stock trader Garrett Bauer (9 years) and co-conspirator Kenneth Robinson (not yet sentenced) for 17 year insider trading scheme.
6/14/12 Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years without parole.
6/15/12 Rajat Gupta, former Goldman Sachs director, found guilty of insider trading. Could face a decade in prison when sentenced later this year.
6/22/12 Timothy S. Durham, 49, former CEO of Fair Financial Company, convicted of one count conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud.
6/22/12 James F. Cochran, 56, former chairman of the board of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and six counts of wire fraud.
6/22/12 Rick D. Snow, 48, former CFO of Fair, convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.
7/13/12 Russell Wassendorf Sr., CEO of collapsed brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group Inc. arrested and charged with lying to regulators after admitting to authorities he embezzled "millions of dollars" and forged bank statements for "nearly twenty years."
8/22/12 Doug Whitman, Whitman Capital LLC hedge fund founder, convicted of insider trading following a trial in which he spent more than two days on the stand telling jurors he was innocent
10/26/12 UPDATE: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta sentenced to two years in federal prison. He will, of course, appeal. . .
11/20/12 Hedge fund manager Matthew Martoma charged with insider trading at SAC Capital Advisors, and prosecutors are looking at Martoma's boss, Steven Cohen, for possible involvement.

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[font size=3][font color=red]This thread contains opinions and observations. Individuals may post their experiences, inferences and opinions on this thread. However, it should not be construed as advice. It is unethical (and probably illegal) for financial recommendations to be given here.[/font][/font][/font color=red][font color=black]

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Reply STOCK MARKET WATCH -- Thursday, 10 January 2013 (Original post)
Tansy_Gold Jan 2013 OP
xchrom Jan 2013 #1
Demeter Jan 2013 #20
xchrom Jan 2013 #25
Demeter Jan 2013 #27
xchrom Jan 2013 #2
xchrom Jan 2013 #3
Demeter Jan 2013 #21
xchrom Jan 2013 #4
xchrom Jan 2013 #5
xchrom Jan 2013 #6
xchrom Jan 2013 #7
xchrom Jan 2013 #8
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 2013 #9
xchrom Jan 2013 #10
xchrom Jan 2013 #11
Fuddnik Jan 2013 #13
xchrom Jan 2013 #14
xchrom Jan 2013 #12
bread_and_roses Jan 2013 #15
Demeter Jan 2013 #22
xchrom Jan 2013 #16
DemReadingDU Jan 2013 #17
xchrom Jan 2013 #18
xchrom Jan 2013 #19
Demeter Jan 2013 #23
Demeter Jan 2013 #24
amandabeech Jan 2013 #26

Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:14 AM

1. OH! you took me by surprise!

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Response to xchrom (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:48 AM

20. Likewise, I'm Sure


Morning, X!

I got to see the rosy fingered dawn this AM while taking the Kid to her program...and on the way back, a golden pillar rose in the sky, until the sun blazed forth like the perpetual fusion bomb it is. We are crossing the freezing point (upward) as I type.

And guess what! Tomorrow is the WEEKEND! Got anything you want highlighted?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:28 PM

25. The oscars is all I got.

But I haven't seen any of the movies.

That sounds stunning - your morning.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:41 PM

27. It was stunning


That's what I like best about the Midwest. It's flat, and you can see forever.

I don't know anything about Oscars. It's always way past my bedtime.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:15 AM



TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its government were in the final stages of drafting fresh stimulus spending Thursday reportedly totaling more than 20 trillion yen ($227 billion), rushing to fulfill campaign pledges to break the world's third-biggest economy out of its deflationary slump.

Economy minister Akira Amari and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed details of the stimulus package ahead of an announcement expected on Friday, officials said.

Abe took office last month vowing to make reviving the economy his top priority and promising support both to small businesses and big industries such as the auto sector. He and his ministers have sought support for his program from big business in a whirlwind round of appearances at new year parties this week.

"We will work with you and appreciate your cooperation," industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a gathering of Japanese auto executives, describing the car industry as the "main hitter" of the Japanese economy.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:17 AM



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's nominee for treasury secretary, is a premier federal budget expert who would take the helm of the government's main agency for economic and fiscal policy just as the administration girds itself for a new confrontation with congressional Republicans over the nation's debt and deficits.

Obama will nominate Lew on Thursday afternoon, continuing to put a second-term imprint on his Cabinet by choosing yet another close ally to a key government post.

A year ago, almost to the day, Obama appointed Lew as his chief of staff, taking him from his perch as director of the Office of Management and Budget into the White House's tight inner circle.

In selecting Lew to replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Obama not only picks an insider steeped in budget matters but also a tough bargainer. Some Republicans complain that Lew has been unyielding in past fiscal negotiations.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:50 AM

21. Lew has really good populist Democrat record


Perhaps the best nominee Obama's ever had for anything, in that respect. I was pleasantly surprised, listening to the NPR profile.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:18 AM

4. Greece unemployment hits highest rate in European Union


The latest unemployment rate for Greece has risen to 26.8%, the highest figure recorded in the European Union (EU).

The official Greek data for October sees Greece overtake Spain as the country with the highest unemployment rate in Europe.

The Greek economy remains mired in recession and the government is in the process of imposing significant austerity measures.

Athens is cutting spending to meet the terms of its financial bailouts.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:20 AM

5. RBS braced for hefty Libor fines


The Royal Bank of Scotland is in negotiations with UK and US regulators over fines to be paid for its Libor transgressions, the BBC has learned.

BBC business editor Robert Peston says the talks include "other necessary remediation, including a possible senior resignation".

He says the fines will run to several hundred million pounds, more than the £290m fines paid by Barclays.

Last month, UBS paid £940m in fines for attempted Libor rate manipulations.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:21 AM

6. China's surprisingly strong trade data fans optimism


China has reported better-than-expected trade data, adding to optimism that growth in the world's second-largest economy may be rebounding.

Exports, a key driver of expansion, rose 14.1% in December from a year earlier. Most analysts had forecast a figure closer to 4%.

Imports also rose, climbing 6% and indicating stronger domestic demand.

There have been worries about the state of China's economy after growth fell to a three-year low.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:26 AM

7. Russian 'Black Money' Threatens To Push Cyprus Out Of The Eurozone


German Bailout Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is trying to avoid any tumult ahead of the elections later this year, has a new headache. Cyprus might default and exit the Eurozone.

Using taxpayer money or the ECB’s freshly printed trillions to bail out the corrupt Greek elite or stockholders, bondholders, and counterparties of decomposing banks, or even privileged speculators, is one thing, but bailing out Russian “black money” is, politically at least, quite another.

Cyprus is in horrid shape. Particularly its banks. Their €152 billion in “assets” are 8.5 times the country’s GDP of €17.8 billion.
“Assets” in quotation marks because some have dissipated and because €23 billion in loans, or 27% of the banks’ entire credit portfolio, are nonperforming. That’s 127% of GDP! And then there are the Russian-owned “black-money” accounts.

Read more: http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2013/1/9/russian-black-money-threatens-to-boot-cyprus-out-of-the-euro.html#ixzz2HZx4dKl2

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:30 AM

8. 3D Printing Brings An Entirely New Dimension To Children's Drawings


You can have your baby's shoes dipped in gold, your child's milk teeth turned into jewellery, and even your foetus scanned and cast in resin.

And now you can have your children's scribbles immortalised in stone, thanks to a project by Spanish designer Bernat Cuni. Crayon Creatures is a new service that takes your child's drawings, transforms them into a digital model, then provides you with a 3D-printed version – in full colour.

Cuni says the idea came from his children's interest in seeing 3D printing in action. "We have a small DIY 3D-printer at home, so my kids are used to seeing ideas turned into objects quite easily," he says. "Whenever I bring something home now, they ask if I made it or bought it. It's interesting they have an idea that there is another source for things than just the shops."

The first stage in the process is interpreting the drawing, to actually understand what it could be in three dimensions. "It can be quite difficult," says Cuni. "My son had to explain that this yellow and blue blobby thing he had drawn was a hamster on a speed boat."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/3-d-printing-brings-an-entirely-new-dimension-to-childrens-drawings-2013-1#ixzz2HZy9YdCM

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:33 AM

9. ETA News Release: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (01/10/2013)

ETA News Release: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (01/10/2013)

Source: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Link: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ui/eta20130020.htm



In the week ending January 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 371,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 367,000. The 4-week moving average was 365,750, an increase of 6,750 from the previous week's revised average of 359,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4 percent for the week ending December 29, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 29 was 3,109,000, a decrease of 127,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,236,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,197,250, a decrease of 26,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,223,250.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 552,043 in the week ending January 5, an increase of 61,944 from the previous week. There were 646,219 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 29 were in Michigan (+15,107), Pennsylvania (+12,483), Wisconsin (+6,748), New Jersey (+3,436), and Missouri (+3,057), while the largest decreases were in Florida (-11,015), Texas (-7,475), Virginia (-3,148), Illinois (-2,755), and Oklahoma (-1,782).

-- -- -- -- --

Good morning, Freepers and DUers alike. I ask you to put aside your differences long enough to read this post. Following that, you can engage in your usual donnybrook.

I have been posting the number every week for at least a year. I seriously do not care if the week's data make Obama look good. They are just numbers, and I post them without regard to the consequences. I welcome people from Free Republic to examine the numbers as well. They paid for the work just as much as members of DU did, so I invite them to come on over and have a look. "The more the merrier" is the way I look at it.

I do not work at the ETA, and I do not know anyone working in that agency. I'm sure I can safely assume that the numbers are gathered and analyzed by career civil servant economists who do their work on a nonpartisan basis. Numbers are numbers, and let the chips fall where they may. If you feel that these economists are falling down on the job, drop them a line or give them a call. They work for you, not for any politician or political party.

The word "initial" is important. The report does not count all claims, just the new ones filed this week.

Note: The seasonal adjustment factors used for the UI Weekly Claims data from 2007 forward, along with the resulting seasonally adjusted values for initial claims and continuing claims, have been revised. These revised historical values, as well as the seasonal adjustment factors that will be used through calendar year 2012, can be accessed at the bottom of the following link: http://www.oui.doleta.gov/press/2012/032912.asp

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:42 AM

10. OECD inflation up 1.9%


Annual inflation in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries rose by 1.9 per cent in the year to November 2012, according to figures released today.

This compares to a rate of 2.2 per cent in the OECD area in the 12 months to the end of October.

The easing in inflation has been attributed to slower growth in energy prices according to the OECD, which comprises of 34 countries including Ireland. After jumping 5.4 per cent in October, energy prices experienced a 2.9 per cent increase in November.

Excluding food and energy, OECD annual inflation was unchanged for the fourth consecutive month, at a rate of 1.6 per cent.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:07 AM

11. Lew-for-Geithner Switch Ends Era of Tight Fed-Treasury Ties


Timothy F. Geithner’s replacement by Jack Lew as Treasury secretary will end a period of unusually strong ties between the department and the Federal Reserve. For the Fed, the result may be less insulation from critics, yet greater influence in financial market regulation.

Geithner worked closely with Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke in fighting the financial crisis and cleaning up its aftermath, first as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as Treasury secretary. Going through the “searing experience of the panic together” created a bond between the two that “you get from that kind of combat,” Geithner said in a 2010 interview.

“You’ve never had a secretary with the type of credentials” that Geithner had, including his relationships and knowledge as a former Fed insider, said Edwin M. Truman, who has worked at both the central bank and under Geithner at the Treasury. “The only thing that comes close” was when Paul Volcker headed the Fed after being a senior Treasury official.

President Barack Obama will announce at 1:30 p.m. in Washington that he plans to name Lew, his White House chief of staff, to replace Geithner at the Treasury, according to a person familiar with the process.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:28 AM

13. Translation: Goldman Sachs replaced by Citigroup.

I guess it all depends on what your mission is. It sure the hell isn't the public interest.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:31 AM

14. +1

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:08 AM

12. Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman Nominated for Best Actor Oscar


Daniel Day-Lewis, who played the 16th U.S. president in the film “Lincoln,” was nominated for best actor by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as Hollywood prepared to award Oscars for the best work of 2012.

Hugh Jackman also was nominated for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the musical “Les Miserables,” the academy announced today at a press conference. Other best actor nominees included Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Joaquin Phoenix for “The Master” and Denzel Washington in “Flight.”

Nominations bring performers prestige and generate dollars at the box office. “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008’s best film, took in $96.6 million in U.S. sales for News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox Searchlight after the nominations on its way to worldwide revenue of $378 million, according to Box Office Mojo. Comedy writer Seth MacFarlane, host of next month’s Oscars, and Emma Stone, now in the crime drama “Gangster Squad,” announced the nominations at the academy theater in Beverly Hills, California.

“Anybody who says Oscar attention doesn’t mean anything, needs to look at the box-office receipts before and after the nominations are announced,” Phil Contrino, editor of Boxoffice.com, said before today’s press conference. “They get a nice little bump.”

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:32 AM

15. Members of Congress Expected to Spend 5 Hours a Day Begging for Money

Nothing we didn't already know, but still ....


By Alex Pareene
Political Disaster -- Members of Congress Expected to Spend 5 Hours a Day Begging for Money
January 9, 2013

Members of Congress don’t know anything about “the issues” and they spend all their time fundraising, according to both a new Huffington Post story [3] and “an easy inference to make after observing Congress for almost any length of time.”

The HuffPo’s Ryan Grim and Sabrina Siddiqui obtained a PowerPoint presentation given to incoming Democratic freshmen legislators by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the DCCC’s recommended schedule for House members includes four hours spent on the phone begging rich people for money and one hour spent begging rich person for money in person. This is the daily schedule.

... Newt Gingrich completely dismantled the internal institutions that used to provide Congress with objective information and research [5], both because that information frequently contradicted conservative dogma and because he knew that doing so would force Congress to rely on outside (ideological) organizations for information, which would strengthen the corporate-funded policy shops and think tanks that powered the conservative movement. Now nearly everything Congress “knows” about policy comes directly from self-interested, industry-funded groups. Simultaneously, as Lorelei Kelly recently wrote [5], congressional staff began shrinking, which means expertise was, once again, outsourced — now, increasingly, lobbyists perform the educational function that well-versed staffers used to. [6]

Back up links provided at source.


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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:56 AM

22. Another GOOD Reason to Hate Newt


If you can't buy off your whistleblowers, kill them....

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:42 AM



BRUSSELS (AP) -- The outgoing leader of the group of finance ministers from the 17 European Union countries that use the euro on Thursday gave the clearest indication yet that his successor will likely be Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told a European Parliament committee that "I will probably speak to my successor in a Benelux language about what I think he ought to be doing," referring to the three-country group of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Dijsselbloem's name to lead the so-called Eurogroup, the regular meetings of eurozone finance ministers, has been going round diplomatic circles for a few weeks. The minister has also just finished a tour of several eurozone countries to discuss current financial issues. Juncker said the appointment will be made Jan. 21.

The Eurogroup chief has a key role in negotiating financial policies in the currency union, which is still struggling to emerge from its financial crisis. The Eurogroup works with the region's other leaders - not just national leaders, but also the presidents of the EU and of the EU Commission, the EU's executive body.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:49 AM

17. PonziWorld: The Seeds of Panic Have Already Been Sown

From the blog PonziWorld:

1/10/13 The Seeds of Panic Have Already Been Sown

This is the third straight asset bubble in 12 years - 1. DotCom 2. Housing 3. Now this Debt Monetization bubble. In each situation, there were explicit incentives and malincentives that both inflated the bubble and amplified risks. For the housing bubble, we know that low interest rates coupled with securitization, coupled with lax lending standards, a "laissez-faire" regulatory environment, and all of Wall Street's privately traded and massively leveraged derivatives (CDO/CDS), all combined to create a financial Weapon of Mass Destruction. Granted, in this current era we won't find out what massive risks that Wall Street and the banks have conjured up this time - until after the fact. Yet, we can already discern by looking at public markets some very obvious incentives to increase, ignore and amplify risk, that will combine to create the all new financial WMD...


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:50 AM

18. SEC enforcement chief stepping down


Robert S. Khuzami, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division for the past four years, announced Wednesday that he plans to leave the agency in two weeks.

A former federal prosecutor, Khuzami is largely credited with restoring the reputation of a plodding unit that was ridiculed for its failure to detect Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme or aggressively pursue financial misconduct on Wall Street.

After joining the agency in February 2009, Khuzami revamped the division into a more nimble team that has brought a record number of cases. An early one, which led to a $550 million settlement with Goldman Sachs in 2010, put the agency back on the enforcement map.

The SEC did not comment on who will succeed Khuzami. But the next pick is sure to face many of the same pressures he did, including demands to hold the barons of Wall Street — and not just their institutions — accountable for misdeeds tied to the financial crisis. The successor will be pressed to do so despite severe budgetary constraints, a hurdle that Khuzami alluded to in a farewell message to the hundreds of lawyers he oversees.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:54 AM

19. UK trade deficit shows widening north-south divide


Like every other piece of economic news over the next couple of weeks, the trade data for November was carefully scrutinised for its likely impact on growth in the final three months of 2012. The City is pretty evenly split on the issue of whether Britain will have a triple-dip recession and each new nugget of information is now scrutinised for clues as to whether gross domestic product rose or fell.

For what it's worth, the trade figures were mildly negative. Yes, there was a small fall in the deficit in November, but what really matters is the difference between the shortfall in the third quarter and the shortfall in the fourth quarter. There will need to be a substantial narrowing of the deficit in December in order to prevent the quarterly trade gap from widening.

The bigger picture is that there has been little change in the trade deficit for the past two years. Just like the economy, the UK's trade performance has flatlined, with a quarterly deficit excluding oil and so-called erratics (items such as aircraft and precious stones) bunched in the £21bn-24bn range. Any benefit from the 25% depreciation in sterling in the two years following the start of the financial crisis in 2007 has been wiped out by the crisis in the eurozone and the slowdown in global trade.

Any rebalancing of the economy – and it is certainly not happening at present – has to start from a position where Britain is running an annual trade deficit in goods of close to £100bn. The shortfall in goods is being aggravated by a worsening oil balance, with the deficit likely to reach £4bn in the final three months of 2012. The days when the North Sea could be relied on to cover up the deficiencies of manufacturing are long gone.

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:41 PM

23. The latest foreclosure horror: the zombie title



Joseph Keller doesn't expect he'll live to see the end of 2013. He blames the house at 190 Avondale Avenue.

Five years ago, Keller, 10 months behind on his mortgage payments, received notice of a foreclosure judgment from JP Morgan Chase. In a few weeks, the bank said, his three-story house with gray vinyl siding in Columbus, Ohio, would be put up for auction at a sheriff's sale.

The 58-year-old former social worker and his wife, Jennifer, packed up their home of 13 years and moved in with their daughter. Joseph thought he would never have anything to do with the house again. And for about a year, he didn't.

Then it started to stalk him.

First, in 2010, the county sued Keller because the house, already picked clean by scavengers, was in a shambles, its hanging gutters and collapsed garage in violation of local housing code. Then the tax collector started sending Keller notices about mounting back taxes, sewer fees and bills for weed and waste removal. And last year, Chase's debt collector began pressing Keller to pay his mortgage, which had swollen, with penalties and fees, from $62,100.27 to $84,194.69.

The worst news came last January, when the Social Security Administration rejected Keller's application for disability benefits; the "asset" on Avondale Avenue rendered him ineligible. Keller's medical problems include advanced liver disease, hepatitis C and inactive tuberculosis. Without disability coverage, he can't get the liver transplant he needs to stay alive.

"I can't make it end," says Keller. "This house, I can't get out."

Keller continues to bear responsibility for the house because on December 23, 2008 - about two months after he received Chase's notice of sale - the bank filed to dismiss the foreclosure judgment and the order of sale. Chase said it sent Keller a copy of its court filing on December 9, 2008. Keller says he never received any notification. Either way, his name remained on the property title.

The Kellers are caught up in a little-known horror of the U.S. housing bust: the zombie title. Six years in, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally liable for houses they didn't know they still owned after banks decided it wasn't worth their while to complete foreclosures on them. With impunity, banks have been walking away from foreclosures much the way some homeowners walked away from their mortgages when the housing market first crashed.

"The banks are just deciding not to foreclose, even though the homeowners never caught up with their payments," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, a real-estate information company in Irvine, California.

Since 2006, 10 million homes have fallen into foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac, a number that in earlier, more stable times would have taken nearly two decades to reach. Of those foreclosures, more than 2 million have never come out. Some may be occupied by owners who have been living gratis. Others have been caught up in what is now known as the robo-signing scandal, when banks spun out reams of fraudulent documents to foreclose quickly on as many homeowners as they could.

And then there are cases like the Kellers, in which homeowners moved out after receiving notice of a foreclosure sale, thinking they were leaving the house in bank hands. No national databases track zombie titles. But dozens of housing court judges, code enforcement officials, lawyers and other professionals involved in foreclosures across the country tell Reuters that these titles number in the many thousands, and that the problem is worsening.

"There are thousands of foreclosures in limbo, just hanging out there, just sitting, with nothing being done," says Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka, whose pending court cases tied to derelict properties have doubled in the past two years, to 1,000. He says the surge is due largely to homes vacated by people who fled before an imminent foreclosure sale, only to learn later that they remain legally responsible for their house.

When people move out after receiving a notice of a planned foreclosure sale and the bank then cancels, municipalities are left to deal with the mess. Some spend public funds on securing, cleaning and stabilizing houses that generate no tax revenue. Others let the houses rot. In at least three states in recent months, houses abandoned by owners and banks alike have exploded because the gas was never shut off. Unsuspecting homeowners have had their wages garnished, their credit destroyed and their tax refunds seized. They've opened their mail to find bills for back taxes, graffiti-scrubbing services, demolition crews, trash removal, gutter repair, exterior cleaning and lawn clipping. At their front doors they've encountered bailiffs brandishing summonses to appear in court. In some cities, people with zombie titles can be sentenced to probation - with the threat of jail if they don't bring their houses into compliance.

"These people have become like indentured serfs, with all of the responsibilities for the properties but none of the rights," says retired Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Professor Kermit Lind.

Banks used to almost always follow through with foreclosures, either repossessing a house outright — known in industry parlance as REO, for real estate owned — or putting it up for auction at a sheriff's sale. The bank sent a letter notifying the homeowner of an impending foreclosure sale, the homeowner moved out, the house was sold, and the bank applied the proceeds toward the unpaid portion of the original mortgage. That has changed since the housing crash. Financial institutions have realized that following through on sales of decaying houses in markets swamped with foreclosures may not yield anything close to what is owed on them. By walking away, banks can at least reap the insurance, tax and accounting benefits from documenting the loss — without having to take on any of the costs and responsibilities of ownership, according to a 2010 Federal Reserve paper. A walk-away also enables them to "sell the unpaid debt to debt collectors, sometimes noting to the court that the loan has been charged off," according to a Case Western Reserve University study released in 2011.

No regulations require that banks let homeowners know when they change their minds about a foreclosure. So they rarely do...Banks say that because they are not the legal owners of these homes, they aren't required to maintain them, pay taxes on them, or take any legal responsibility for them. Homeowners legally own their properties until the day of sale. And it's not until that day, the banks point out, that a homeowner's name vanishes from the title....


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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:54 PM

24. How We Get Jobs Back on the Table By Bill Scher



...Part of the President’s initial offer to the House Republicans that got shelved as focus turned to a smaller compromise included “$50 billion stimulus package in FY13″ and a “Mass refi mortgage proposal”. Presumably these proposals will return in short order. An under-appreciated fact about Obama’s past bipartisan agreements is that he never allows an imperfect deal to foreclose his future options. In December 2010, during the negotiations over the expiring Bush tax cuts the President rejected an appeal from Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer to give up the $250K threshold for higher rates and accept $1M, because that would mean never being able to secure revenue below that point. Better to punt the whole issue for two years and wait until he had a stronger mandate. Similar logic shaped the 2011 debt limit deal which manufactured the whole “fiscal cliff,” logic that has borne out so far.

Nevertheless, progressives in Congress should further push the envelope. The American Society of Civil Engineers says we need to invest more than $400 billion a year for five years just to repair our infrastructure. Some legislative language to that end would help drive the debate. The additional money would not need to all come from our government. Don’t forget that in 2011 there was a bipartisan bill, backed by both the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for an “infrastructure bank” that could attract $60 billion a year of private investment with just $10 billion of federal loans...



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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:58 PM

26. Thank you for the great cartoon.


Really, when is the last time that anyone in the administration or congress (other than Bernie Sanders) has talked seriously about the jobs situation.

The percentage of the workforce actually working is scandalous, and there is no data on how many people working have taken substantial pay and benefit cuts since 2008.

The media totally ignores the problem, too. MSNBC seems to ignore the issue, and with Current sale, there seems to be nothing on the horizon that might take up the cause.

Even here on DU, many seem to be outright hostile to jobs threads in GD.

It seems that nothing, nothing will ever really be done.

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