Posts Tagged ‘Main Street’

Notes From Underground: Geithner and Schumer put more dung on the fire to heat up the Chinese currency battle

September 19, 2010

The news over the weekend was was not market moving. The Center Right coalition in Sweden looks to win re-election, which is a very rare occurrence in the model welfare state of Europe. The Swedes have weathered the recent financial crisis fairly well, since they learned their lesson from the financial pains they endured in the early-to-mid 1990s. In fact, the Swedish crisis has provided some of the best solutions for policy markers in the U.S. and Europe as they seek ways to ameliorate the credit stresses that have been plaguing the developed economies for two-plus years. The biggest problem for the Swedes is the anti-immigration party of Democratic Sweden polled stronger than anticipated, which means they will have seats in Parliament for the first time. The move to the right is something to watch for in the EU as the fiscal austerity programs begin to take hold. If the right can rise in the Swedish Utopia, governments in the rest of Europe have to take note.

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Notes From Underground: Bill Gross calls for “full nationalization”of the mortgage finance system

August 17, 2010

The housing confab was the big story Tuesday as the Obama administration was trying to figure out how to put the biggest slush fund to work. Last Christmas Eve, the U.S.Treasury–under the spell of eggnog and mistletoe–nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by removing the caps on the losses that the two GSEs would be allowed to absorb.We don’t know where “PIMCO’s” Bill Gross was but we had assumed that the removal of loss caps was nationaliztion by stealth. Now as the largest holders of MBSs next to the FED,┬áhe is openly calling for outight government control of the mortgage market because Gross doesn’t believe there is room for the private sector. Yes, he is correct if the mortgage market reverts to NINJA loans and other zero-down types of nonsense. However, if the originate-to-distribute model were to be restructured so that only deserving loans were made, private lenders would be lining up to get into that business. We caution our readers to understand that today’s conference on GSEs was meant to give some type of cover to an already conceived plan of how Fannie and Freddie can absorb more losses and for the Obama team to gain some political advantage.

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Notes From Underground: Unemployment today and the Drama Queen takes center stage

August 5, 2010

All eyes are now focused on the release of the U.S. employment data. This has taken on a new level of importance as the inflation/deflation argument heats up. The pundits have woken up to the fact that without robust job growth the U.S. will remain mired in a deleveraging quagmire. All the economic modelers and Greenspan put followers cannot understand how you cannot have growth and an equity rally with zero interest rates … hmmm, they must have been sleeping like MOTHRA while Japan deflated.

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