Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Links 11-26-2008 Thanksgiving Weekend

HOUSING PRICES AND SALES

October National Existing Home Sales Drop

October National New Home Sales Lowest Since 1982

The Case-Shiller Index, the widely-watched aggregator of prices 20 housing markets, has fallen 17% over the Third Quarter from 2007. This report comes from the period before the stock market crash in October.

LOCAL NEWS


The City of Charlottesville will have to cut Capital Improvement Projects for the 2010 budget. This impacts traffic, parks, trails, neighborhood improvements, and so on. The 2010 figure will be around $16 Million, roughly half of 2009's.

The County of Albemarle, which seems to grow poorer by the day, is looking for funds to keep its easement program going: buying up development rights from propertyowners to keep the County rural. The County also hopes some owners will just go ahead and donate.

The NYT reports on institutions of higher education suffering losses to endowments. UVa is mentioned several times, and COO Leonard Sandridge is quoted. Interestingly, there's no mention of the Missing Billion. Endowments of more than $1B typically have a 35% exposure to risky financial instruments; UVa's exposure is 75%. This detail is not mentioned in the NYT article.


NATIONAL NEWS

Holiday Shopping this Weekend? Maybe Skip the Giftcards

Worst Financial Calls of 2008

Where Was Treasury Secretary Nom Tim Geithner During All the Turmoil?

A Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis

American's Foodstamp Usage at All-Time High

A Wealth Effect in Reverse

The Collapse of Commercial Real Estate

The Worst is Yet to Come: Anonymous Banker Weighs in on Coming Debacle of Credit Card Debt

Fed Risks 'Spitting in the Wind' With Latest Bailout

The Latest Fed Bailout: $600B to Buy Mortgages

Latest Federal Bailout Sets Off Rush to Refinance Mortgages. The new lower mortgage rates--about 5.5% today, and expected by some to move as low as 5%, will help only those who actually have a credit score of 720 or better, and at least 20% equity in their homes. Moody's Economy estimates there are at least 11.5 Million homeowners who owe more than their houses are worth; these are the folks who can benefit from Mortgage Mods.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker named by President-elect Barack Obama to head a new White House panel to help create jobs and bring stability to the ailing financial system.

The first operational audit of the $700 billion financial rescue plan, to be delivered to Congress next Tuesday, is expected to be critical of the Treasury Department’s failure to set up ways to track how its bailout money is being used in the marketplace.

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