Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Data and More Data

First the good news:
  • Case-Shiller was up again, for the fourth month in a row. It's true that a .27% increase in prices from the prior month is nothing to write home about, but still better than a decline. Year-over-year, prices were still down 9.36%.
Now the not-so-good news:
  • Third quarter GDP was revised lower from an initially ebullient 3.5% rate to a less perky 2.8% annual rate. The downward revision was mostly due to a widening of the trade deficit and lower consumer spending than initially estimated.
In obvious news:
  • Just in case you've spent the last year and a half on Mars, the WSJ reports that lots of folks are upside down on their mortgages, around one out of four US homeowners. The good news is if we keep allowing borrowers access to 3.5% down-payment financing courtesy of the FHA, and prices tick down a bit more, it's going to get worse.
  • Also in the Journal, a report on how banks have trillions in debt coming due, $7 trillion by 2012 and $10 trillion by 2015, and how this could prove to be a bit of a problem when borrowing costs go higher once a.) FDIC guaranteed debt matures b.) interest rates head higher because the Fed has ended its QE program and/or c.) buyers of bank debt actually start to care about credit risk again.
In can-we-really-beat-this-dead-horse-anymore??? news:

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