Anyone see a problem here? The housing purchase tax credit had the effect of pulling a lot of home sales forward into March and April from the summer months. Unless they resurrect the tax credit (can the Treasury really afford to use taxpayer funds to pay for home sales with all the other trillion dollar problems), expect to see home sales go off of a cliff this summer, right in the heart of the home selling season. I know of a couple of formerly successful real estate brokers who are now struggling to make ends meet. I am also, anectdotally, seeing a LOT of "for sale" and "price reduced" signs pop up all over Denver...
Does anyone besides me find it to be rediculous that Warren Buffet, who owns Moody's stock, was defending the rating agencies today in front of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and defending the agencies' failure to anticipate the subprime crisis? You have to be kidding me. Talk about disingenuous. How can Buffet take credit for being an investment genius and yet feign ignorance over this matter?
The rating agencies have been engaging in fraudulent ratings, in collusion with Wall Street, for over a decade that I'm aware of. Back in 1995 I was on a junk bond desk and I watched an ex-Drexel salesman take his buddy from Moody's out to Chanterelle for lunch and then to a fancy New Jersey country club for a round of golf in exchange for Moody's giving a bond deal we were doing a B3 rating instead of a Caa rating. That rating allowed the deal to get done. Make no mistake about it, rating agencies were fraudulent entities long before the subprime catastrophe became its coup de grace. Here's a link to Buffet's puke if anyone is interested: Yeah right!
And finally, I'm linking an excellent commentary by my colleage "Jesse" of Jesse's Cafe Americain. He opines that based on Obama's patronizingly populist speech today that we can expected another "hot" employment report on Friday and then goes on to point out Obama's words belie the golden truth:
He speech sounded good. And if you do not look too closely at what is going on, and how things are being run, and the lack of actual reform, you might have had a feel good moment. It was about as effectively staged as the case that George W made to the American people for the invasion of Iraq. And it was probably just as phony and self-serving.Here's the link and I recommend reading it: Obama And Staging Appearance vs. Reality