Bailouts | - Part 3

Rethinking Money

The folks at GoldMoney and Bitcoin Magazine talked to some ordinary people in Cyprus after the recent bank bail-in and put together this video that really makes you feel for those who had nothing to do with the bank dealings that got the island nation into such a mess.

The timing and the results are impossible to predict, but you’d think that, at some point, some alternative to the current monetary system is inevitable, though the powers that be will likely go kicking and screaming toward that outcome.

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In this story at the New York Post, economic/financial market skeptic John Crudele suggests that you lower your expectations for tomorrow’s labor report for the following reasons:

As I’ve reported before, the 2.689 million job loss turned into a gain of 243,000 only because Labor’s seasonal adjustment programs expected the job losses to be bigger. The warm winter weather probably kept some people from being put out of work, and this threw off Washington’s calculations.

New York PostWill that same thing happen with tomorrow’s number?

That isn’t likely. Yes, the weather has remained warm. But Labor’s computers are expecting undoctored, not seasonally adjusted growth of more than 800,000 jobs in February.

So there’s less chance that the seasonal adjustments will be pleasantly surprising.

And February isn’t one of those months in which Washington includes a huge guesstimate for jobs added by companies it thinks, but can’t prove, were just started. This so-called Birth/Death Model has been the biggest contributor to job growth — bogus job growth — over the past few years.

Also, John has spotted a link between Tuesday’s stock market dive and Wednesday’s story about the Fed’s latest thinking on the next round of money printing:

Even though one Fed official last week told investors to stop depending on “morphine” from the central bank, the cry for another version of quantitative easing went out less than 24 hours after the Dow Jones industrial average fell 203 points on Tuesday.

Why not give Wall Street what it wants?

Because the Fed’s money-printing operation is leading to higher commodities prices. And as thrilled as I would be to bail Wall Street out again, can’t we at least wait until it really needs our help?

That’s a good question (the second one, that is).

Friday Morning Links: Mortgage Deal Edition

Here are those mortgage deal links I mentioned in the Friday Morning Links post a couple hours ago. It was another one of those days when, in the process of collecting news stories for the links post, there was a virtual avalanche of reporting and opinions on what the Justice Department hath wrought with this deal.

A ‘deadbeat’ bailout – NY Sun
The Mortgage Deal: A Reality Check – NPR
Mortgage deal: What the critics say – CNN/Money
U.S. banks agree to $25 billion in homeowner help – Reuters
Settlement launches foreclosure reckoning – Washington Post
Why the Foreclosure Deal May Not Be So Hot After All – Taibblog
Why Millions Won’t Get Help From Big Mortgage Settlement – ProPublica
Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Mortgage Settlement – Naked Capitalism
Foreclosure Settlement Falls Short, Still Worth the Wait: View – Bloomberg
Is The Foreclosure Settlement A Shadow Bailout For Broke California – Zero Hedge
What the foreclosure settlement means for you – CNN/Money
Mortgage Settlement and Negative Equity – Calculated Risk
Robo-Deal Is All About Lowering Mortgage Principal – CNBC
Banks Not Off Hook With $25B Mortgage Agreement – Bloomberg
Mortgage Plan Gives Billions to Homeowners, but With Exceptions – NY Times
Florida Homeowners Find Little to Cheer in Deal With ‘Gangsters’ – Bloomberg
Mortgage Deal Props Up California House of Cards – Bloomberg
Cramer: This Mortgage Settlement Is Huge – The Street
Foreclosure Deal to Spur U.S. Home Seizures – Bloomberg
The Mortgage Settlement Is Fine – DealBreaker

I’d be lying if I said I’d read all of these (or more than a couple for that matter), but I intend to take a look here this morning. Just based on the headlines, it would appear that the deal is getting a mixed reaction.

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Stockman on the Latest Bank Bailout Proposal

Former Reagan Administration budget director David Stockman doesn’t seem to think too much of the Obama Administration’s proposal to refinance underwater homeowners at up to 140 percent loan-to-value and he shared his views at The Daily Ticker.

Says Stockman:

This is ultimately, at the end of the day, a bailout for JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. They’re the big writers of second mortgages and home equity lines. Those – and there’s two or three or four hundred billion dollars in the top three or four banks – are in great jeopardy in the case of of homeowners who have mortgages, that are primary mortgages, that are way under water on primary mortgages and are likely to default or throw in the keys at some point down the road.

Good point…

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