Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, already reeling in red ink, are warning they could face additional losses from the weakening condition of mortgage-insurance companies.
Fannie and Freddie together have required capital injections from the Treasury of $112 billion since the government took them over through conservatorship last year. Their need for government support would have been greater without collecting on claims from mortgage-insurance companies. Fannie and Freddie have received payouts of $2.3 billion and $658 million, respectively, from mortgage insurers through September this year.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It is the vacant lot where the home of Susette Kelo once stood.
A decade ago, the town of New London, Connecticut claimed Kelo's house by right of eminent domain. The plan was to demolish the residential neighborhood so that Pfizer could built a massive research and development plant on the adjacent land. Pfizer got the land for next to nothing. Five Supreme Court justices upheld the taking, ruling that although the primary beneficiary was a corporation, it met the constitutional requirement of "public use."
Now Pfizer has announced that it is shutting down the plant.
The Hartford Courant reports:
Here's how the Associated Press describes the vacant lot:
Vacant lot photo credit:
In its third-quarter monetary policy report, the People's Bank of China departed from well-worn language on keeping the yuan "basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level." It hinted instead at a shift from an effective dollar peg that has been in place since the middle of last year.
"Following the principles of initiative, controllability and gradualism, with reference to international capital flows and changes in major currencies, we will improve the yuan exchange rate formation mechanism," the central bank said in a 46-page monetary policy report.
The comments, published just days before a visit to Shanghai and Beijing by U.S. President Barack Obama, set out the possibility of a return to exchange rate appreciation that began with a landmark July 2005 revaluation.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
World corn stocks are the tightest of the past 34 years in terms of days of use; US stocks similar to past several years.
And the corn crop this year is still only 37% harvested -- in mid-November! However, bushels per acre is up marginally in the latest USDA report.
and from Feedstuffs:
This morning the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest supply and demand figures which found that farmers are reaping larger soybean yields than originally expected but this year's corn crop is down slightly.
Monday, November 9, 2009
excerpt from John Mauldin:
"The headlines said unemployment, as measured by the "establishment survey," was down by 190,000; and even though that was slightly worse than forecast, market bulls were cheered by the fact that the number was not as bad as last month's. It is an improvement that we are not falling as fast.
"Well, maybe. What I did not see in many of the stories I read was that the number of unemployed actually soared by 558,000, to 15.7 million, as measured by the household survey. The establishment survey polls larger businesses; the household survey actually calls individual households.
"Let's look at the real number in the establishment survey. If you don't seasonally adjust the number, the actual change in unemployment for October was 641,000, or about 450,000 more than the seasonally adjusted number. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics added 86,000 jobs that they simply guess were created through the so-called birth-death ratio.
"My favorite slicer and dicer of data, Greg Weldon (www.weldononline.com), offers up an even more horrific number. As I have noted before, if you have not looked for work in the last four weeks, the BLS does not count you as unemployed. Quoting Greg:
"Moreover, when we combine the monthly change in the number of Unemployed, with the number Not in the Labor Force, we might consider the result to be a proxy for the actual 'change' in the underlying labor market situation ... in which case, October's figure of 817,000 represents the fourth LARGEST yet, behind last month's (September's) second largest figure of 1,021,000 ... for a two-month combined figure of 1.838 million, in newly Unemployed, or no longer 'in' the Labor Force ...
"... the second LARGEST two-month total EVER posted, barely trailing the December-08/January-09 total 1.955 million.
"Bottom line ... basis this measure AND the 'Total Unemployment Rate,' we could conclude that not only is there NO 'improvement' in the labor market, but moreover, that it continues to DETERIORATE, intently."