Saturday Reads Around The Internets for January 22, 2011

Welcome to the weekly roundup of great articles, facts and figures. These are the weekly finds that made our eyes pop.

Banks Want Pieces of Freddie & Fannie Mae

The New York Times reports Banks want to securitize mortgages with a government guarantee:

Wells Fargo and some other large banks would like private companies, perhaps even themselves, to become the new housing finance giants helping to bundle individual mortgages into securities — that would be stamped with a government guarantee.

The banks have presented their ideas publicly through trade groups. Housing industry consultants and people familiar with recent meetings at the Treasury Department say these banks view the government’s overhaul of the mortgage market as a potential profit opportunity. Treasury officials have met with executives from several institutions, including Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, according to a public listing of the meetings.

Incredible, instead of regulating derivatives which caused the Financial Crisis, banks now want to make them and get the government to guarantee them.

We Gives Businesses Our Money, They Move to China

Remember all of those green jobs, the jobs of the future? Evergreen Solar is moving 800 jobs to China. They claim they could not obtain financing unless they did. Look at the U.S. taxpayer subsidies given to this company. This is why one must put strings attached to hire U.S. workers in America before giving any sort of tax breaks or subsidies. Else, these companies take your money and run to China.

Evergreen was helped in just about every way imaginable. The Boston Globe reported that it received $21 million in direct grants, $22.6 million in tax credits (that were unrealized because of low profits), $17.5 million in loans, $13 million in infrastructure upgrades to roads and electrical transmission lines, and 23 acres of space (worth $2.3 million) for $1 per year. Furthermore, as Ed Glaeser uncovered, the National Renewable Energy Lab provided $3 million in R&D funding in 2002. Likewise, the state has a variety of programs--from renewable portfolio standards to tax incentives--that are designed to stimulate demand for solar energy.

China is Not Selling U.S. Treasuries

EconomPic Data gets it right. In spite of the latest Treasury report showing China's holdings of U.S. Treasuries dropped, $11.2 billion, one must also notice the U.K. holdings increased $33.3 billion. China is using U.S. subsidiaries to buy up more of U.S. debt. Hey press, helps to read the actual reports instead of typing headline buzz.

Chinese State Bank Makes U.S. Acquisition

Wall Street Journal:

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. on Friday signed an agreement here to acquire a majority stake in Bank of East Asia Ltd.'s U.S. subsidiary, becoming the first state-owned Chinese bank to make an acquisition of a U.S. deposit-taking institution.

Instead of speaking Spanish like we thought, it looks like we should be studying Chinese.

Massachusetts Supreme Court to Decide Who Owns What on Improper Foreclosures

Following the Ibanez case, we have another critical court case up for consideration. If the property was improperly foreclosed on and it was sold later, who really owns it now? Naked Capitalism has been following foreclosuregate intensely:

Oh boy, if you think the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision on Ibanez, which raised serious questions about the validity of transfers in mortgage securitizations, turned heads in the banking industry, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

The SJC is considering what has the potential to be another widely-watched case, Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez. Note this case was heard at the lower court level by the same land court judge, Keith Long, that ruled on Ibanez, and the SJC in large measure affirmed Long’s take in that case. The issue is key: whether a buyer can own a piece of real estate acquired from a party that lacked the right to foreclose upon the previous owner.

Keith Olbermann is Fired

My special comment: Between all of the misinformation on cable noise, from economic fiction spewing Ali Velshi to lobbyists and million dollar pundits spinning up nonsense, this is the removal of one more clanking gear, no doubt to be replaced by another one. One of the better overview articles, out of thousands.



Mortgage Brokers

The little mortgage broker is now regulated while the bank loan officers have an easy way to license. More capture of the real estate industry and meantime blame the little guy for the problems.

$311 Billion drop in savings, retirement

This is another post worth reading, from the WSJ blog. It shows people are living off of savings and pulling money out of their retirement accounts.

That said, I went looking for where exactly this data came from, it has to be an older release and I believe it's Z1, but when I looking for the raw data to verify it, I couldn't find it.

Not that I don't believe this is true, I'm sure it is, but I wish these people would cite specific sources, not just "BEA" or "Federal Reserve". There is a lot of data and statistical releases from government organizations, so, which one?

It also goes to Q3 and I really did go digging around, a good 2 hours and I couldn't figure out how he arrived at this figure...

Anybody know how he did, please share with the rest of the class.

One scary chart.


Please cover the SOTU nonsense and tell me how G.E. is going to restore U.S. manufactuing [sic].

Krugman on SOTU preview

Krugman already summed it up, but what is actually said, versus economic statistical reality, I'll try to write up a post on it.

One thing I'm noticing already is how we're getting the same bogus rhetoric of the Bush administration on job creation. Krugman really nailed it too.