Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Today's links

1---US Plots Conquest of Venezuela in Wake of Chavez' Death, LD

2---US Embassy Officials Expelled from Venezuela, Government Warns of “Conspiracy Plans, venezuelanalysis

The enemies of the country, who aim to destroy democracy, have decided to go ahead with plans to destabilise Venezuela and damage the crux of a democracy...they have intensified the attacks against the economy and against goods and services,” Maduro said, referring to the scarcity of certain food and hygiene products that the country is currently experiencing.

Maduro argued that the “national and international right wing” were taking advantage of the “difficult circumstances” Venezuela is going through as a result of the “delicate state of health of President Chavez”.

Doubt over the cause of Chavez’s cancer
Further, he said, “We don’t have any doubts that the historical enemies of the country have searched for a way to damage the health of President Chavez... that he was attacked with this illness,” alluding to the possibility of a “scientific attack”.

“Just like what happened to Yasser Arafat... Eventually there will be a scientific investigation into President Chavez’s illness,” he said.

3---The NINJAs Are Back: Buy Life Insurance, Get A No Doc Mortgage Loan For Free, zero hedge

First we got GM subprime interest-free car loans, then we got subprime ABS securitizations, then we got soaring student loan defaults and delinquencies, then we got the opportunity to sell and short student loan exposure, and now, finally, the credit bubble is complete as FastFunds Financial Corporation is proud to announce that it has acquired exclusive mortgage servicing rights for an "Innovative New Mortgage Product." Why is it so innovative? Because it requires no credit verification, no credit history, no docs and needs no personal guarantees. In other words, it is the very worst of the worst lending practices we saw in 2006: the NINJA.
But there is a twist: "all that is required to qualify for a mortgage loan is qualifying for a life insurance policy, a down payment that usually amounts to 10% of the purchase price and verification that the borrower has the financial ability to pay the monthly payments."

In other words: buy life insurance, get a subprime, no doc mortgage for free.

Ye olde days are truly back.

From the FastFund credit bubble peak press release:

NET LIFE is a development stage enterprise that has developed and is offering an innovative new mortgage product that is not based on credit history (no doc) or personal guarantees. It is only secured by the underlying collateral and a life insurance policy on the borrower. Therefore, all that is required to qualify for a mortgage loan is qualifying for a life insurance policy, a down payment that usually amounts to 10% of the purchase price and verification that the borrower has the financial ability to pay the monthly payments. NET LIFE believes this mortgage product will be attractive to a wide spectrum of potential borrowers including:

  • first time homebuyers;
  • borrowers who have experienced prior financial difficulties such as foreclosures, bankruptcies, late payments or credit problems; are presently employed and whose current income would qualify for a mortgage loan; but who couldn't otherwise qualify; and
  • borrowers who may wish to bypass the traditional paperwork involved in the typical underwriting process but who would otherwise qualify.
4--Grillo's 5 Star Movement can count on Stiglitz star-power, gazette

Stiglitz will help Grillo

5---The Great Senior Sell-Off Could Cause the Next Housing Crisis, Atlantic

6---Russian Leader Demands Investigation of Chavez’ Death, infowars

7---Michael Pettis on Misguided European Optimism , Mish

8---As Fears Recede, Dow Industrials Hit a Milestone, NYT

Ordinary investors, who have largely sat on the sidelines of the market, will be asking themselves whether it is time to start investing in stocks again, given the gains that have taken place.
“What’s amazing about this bull market is that people still don’t think it’s real,” said Richard Bernstein, chief executive of Richard Bernstein Advisors, a money management firm. “We think this could be the biggest bull market of our careers.”
The Dow broke through with a gain of 125.95 points, or 0.9 percent, closing at 14,253.77 on Tuesday. Since hitting a low in March 2009, with the panic of the financial crisis still fresh, the market measure has more than doubled.
The recovery is remarkable because the American housing market remains weak, Europe still has moments of severe instability, and fiscal battles drag on in Washington...
Central banks do matter. Central banks have always mattered,” said David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates, who started work as a Wall Street economist on the day the stock market crashed in 1987.
The looming question is what will happen when the Fed stops its stimulus. Mr. Rosenberg said that after the crisis the stock market declined sharply on two occasions when the Fed signaled that it might temper its monetary easing
Stocks are approaching all-time highs. At the same wages and salaries, after taxes and inflation, are declining year over year. How can stocks keep going up without the economy leading the way or even following behind? Simple. It is a case of supply and demand in the stock market.

Ever since July 2011 when QE 2 ended, companies have been using some of the record amounts of cash on their balance sheets to reduce the total number of shares outstanding by about $1 billion each and every day. Why? All that cash was earning virtually nothing because of low interest rates. By the way, that $1 billion of corporate buying is net of all share sales, whether by companies, insiders or investors.

Then there’s the fact that this year, the Fed for the first time since the end of QE2, has resumed directly adding $4 billion each and every trading day into the bond and stock markets.

Therefore, we have more money chasing fewer shares. That is the only reason stocks are going up. So what if the economy is on its ass? What difference does that make in a drugged stock market? Isn’t it obvious that stock prices most likely will keep going up as long as the narcotic of free money keeps the investing public all doped up?

10---China housing bubble, 60 Minutes

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