With the passage of a $26 billion state aid package last Tuesday, Congress has now approved over $1 trillion in spending and tax measures to stimulate the economy , according to economists Alan S. Blinder of Princeton University and Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. The Washington Post breaks down the spending: > click for larger…Read More
Proving that there’s almost limitless potential for new versions of its iconic pony car, Ford Motor is reaching back 42 years to dust off one of its most famous names.
It’s bringing back the Mustang Boss 302. The original Mustang Boss 302 made its debut in 1968. Following its pattern, Ford is adding performance parts, a fancy paint job and a famous name to try to evoke nostalgia for a more carefree era.
Power is 440 HP; Ford hasn’t disclosed prices yet, but Ford marketing says the Boss 302 will be more than a Mustang GT ($29,645), but less than the Shelby GT 500 ($48,645).
Photos after the jump . . .
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Janet Tavakoli is the president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, and has more than 20 years of experience in senior investment banking positions, trading, structuring and marketing structured financial products. She is a former adjunct associate professor of derivatives at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business. Author of: Credit Derivatives & Synthetic Structures (1998, 2001), Collateralized Debt Obligations & Structured Finance (2003), Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obligations (2008), and Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street (2009).
Arianna Huffington’s new book, Third World America: How Our Politicians are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream, paints a grim picture of the State of the Union:
“Every day, Americans, faced with layoffs and tough economic times, are forced to use their credit cards to pay for essentials such as food, housing, and medical care—the costs of which continue to escalate. But, as their debt rises, they find it harder to keep up with their payments. When they don’t, banks, trying to offset losses in other areas, turn around, hike interest rates, and impose all manner of fees and penalties…”
Third World America, P. 77.
Our mediocre grammar school and high school educational system continues its downward slide. The Great Recession is squeezing school budgets. We are failing our children, our most important resource of all.
In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s infrastructure a near failing D rating:
“Flip on a light switch, and you are tapping into a seriously overtaxed electrical grid. Go to the sink, and your tap water may be coming to you through pipes built during the Civil War. Take a drive, and pass over pothole-filled roads and cross-if-you-dare bridges. The evidence of decay is all around us.” P. 95.
The over-hyped American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 earmarked only $72 billion of the $787 billion appropriation of taxpayer dollars to projects to improve the country’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile, multi-national corporations avoid taxes, sheltering $700 billion in foreign earnings to end up with a measly $16 billion (2.3%) tax bill. GM is among those companies, yet it took almost a half billion dollars in bailout loans. Boeing and KBR Halliburton are among the defense contractors that avoid taxes, while enjoying government contracts worth tens of billions.
Banks (not Fannie and Freddie) Crippled the Housing Market
Fannie and Freddie do not make loans. They purchase mortgage loans and earn fees for guaranteeing payments on the loans. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, in 2006, Fannie and Freddie accounted for 33% of total mortgage backed securities issuance. In the first half of 2010, they accounted for around 64% of new issuance. They were forced to pick up the slack and buy more when Wall Street’s private label securitization Ponzi scheme blew up.
Fannie and Freddie are Wall Street’s dumping ground. They would have had problems on their own, but their problems would not have been close to their current scale, and they did not create the housing bubble.
Congress twisted arms to make Fannie and Freddie buy more than $300 billion of phony “AAA” rated mortgage-backed securities from banks, not counting loans that didn’t meet their stated requirements. Today Fannie and Freddie want banks to repurchase tens of billions of these loans, since they fail to meet representations and warranties, and the banks are fighting this obligation.
Top subprime lenders included Wells Fargo; Countrywide, purchased by Bank of America; Washington Mutual, now part of JPMorgan Chase; CitiMortgage, part of Citigroup; First Franklin (now closed), purchased by Merrill Lynch, which was purchased by Bank of America; ChaseHome Finance, JPMorgan Chase; Ownit, partly owned by Merrill Lynch, which was later purchased by Bank of America; and EMC, part of Bear Stearns, which was purchased by JPMorgan Chase. Most of the rest depended on massive loans from Wall Street. Many of these lenders were sued by states for fraud and paid billions in settlements.
The Aug Nat’l Assoc of Home Builders index was 13, 2 pts below expectations, down from 14 in June and at the lowest since March ’09 when it was at 9. Both Present conditions and the Future outlook fell while Prospective Buyers Traffic remained unchanged at a depressed 10. In particular, buyers traffic in the…Read More
The 1st August industrial figure out, the NY manufacturing survey was about in line with expectations at 7.1 vs the consensus of 8.0 and is up from 5.1 in July but which was down sharply from the June level of 19.6. The components though were mixed as New Orders fell 13 pts to -2.7, the…Read More
Here’s a stat that seems all but inevitable: China’s GDP has just passed that of Japan, to become the 2nd largest country’s economy in the world, after the US. (note these are nations, and not regions, like North America, Europe, Asia). “China surpassed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy last quarter, capping the nation’s three-…Read More