Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Today's links

1---Sell everything, Reuters


"Right now we are in full-blown financial contagion mode, and that means correlations have rushed towards the dreaded 100 percent," Benoit Anne, emerging market strategist at Societe Generale in London, wrote in a note to clients.


"There is no point spending too much time trying to pick and choose when faced with a severe market crisis like the one we are witnessing in front of our screens. Right now, sell everything."...


What struggling emerging markets need right about now is a big sell-off - in the U.S.
Without a substantial downdraft on Wall Street, the Federal Reserve is highly likely to carry on trimming the amount of bonds it buys every month, continuing at its meeting ending on Wednesday by taking it down another $10 billion to $65 billion.
That tapering will accentuate pressure on emerging markets, which have suffered substantial losses on currencies and securities with investors increasingly less interested in discriminating between the weak and the more stable...


Tapering is bad for emerging markets assets in exactly the opposite way the expansion of quantitative easing was good for them: it tightens the global supply of money seeking a better return, and sharpens investors' focus on creditworthiness. That makes it harder for countries like South Africa, Turkey and India to attract the money they need.


2--Yellen Faces Test Bernanke Failed: Ease Bubbles, Bloomberg


The central bank’s easy money policies already have led to pockets of frothiness in corporate debt and emerging markets. The danger is that unwinding such speculative excesses will end up shaking the financial system and hurting growth.
Yellen is “going to be trying to do something that no one has ever done,” said Stephen Cecchetti, former economic adviser for the Bank for International Settlements, the Basel, Switzerland-based central bank for monetary authorities. She needs “to ensure that accommodative monetary policy doesn’t create significant financial stability risks,” he said in an interview. ....


Yellen faces two challenges in dealing with bubbles: she has to identify and deflate them before they get too big and dangerous; and she has to manage monetary policy without causing them to burst in a way that causes havoc in financial markets and undercuts the expansion.
The trouble is that the tools she has for the first task, such as raising capital standards for banks or requiring homebuyers to put down more of their own money, are largely untested in the U.S. They are potentially cumbersome to put in place with multiple regulatory bodies involved and could prove politically unpopular....


Yellen, currently Fed vice chairman, told the Senate Banking Committee on Nov. 14.
“By and large,” she said, “I don’t see evidence at this point in major sectors of asset-price misalignments, at least of a level that would threaten financial instability.” ...


Risk-Taking

The Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy is prompting investors to take greater risks with their money. The extra yield that buyers demand to own older, smaller junk bonds that trade infrequently shrank to an average 0.25 percentage point in the first half of this month from more than 1 percentage point a year ago, according to Barclays Plc data...


The Fed’s forward guidance strategy already has “crumbled,” said Marvin Goodfriend, a former central bank official who is now a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. At 6.7 percent, the unemployment rate is just above the 6.5 percent threshold that the central bank had set for the start of its discussions on raising rates. Yet it’s still buying bonds in an effort to ease financial conditions.


3---Bair, Critic of the Revolving Door, Joins Board of Santander, NYT


Sheila C. Bair, a former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation who once argued that former regulators should be barred from joining the banks they oversaw, is joining the board of Banco Santander, the Spanish bank said on Monday


4---The Federal Reserve is the primary engine of income/wealth inequality in the U.S. Eliminate "free money for cronies," bailouts of the "too big to fail" banks that own the Fed, manipulation of markets, the purchase of impaired private assets at high prices, and all the other tools of financialization the Fed wields to enforce its grip on the nation's throat--in other words, abolish the Fed--and the neofeudal structure that feeds inequality will vanish along with the feudal lords that enforced it.


There is no persuasive evidence that cheap credit enables legitimate wealth creation, while there is abundant evidence that cheap credit fuels speculation, credit bubbles and a variety of financier schemes and scams that create temporary phantom wealth for crony capitalists and impoverishes everyone who wasn't in on the scam.....


You can see the results of financialization in financial profits, which soared in the era of securitization, shadow banking, asset bubbles and loosened or ignored regulation:

Here's how cheap, abundant credit--supposedly the key engine of growth, according to the Federal Reserve--massively increases wealth inequality: the wealthy have much greater access to credit than the non-wealthy, and they use this vastly greater credit to buy productive assets that generate income streams that increase their income and wealth....



The income of the top 5% soared during Fed-enabled credit bubbles:





Since all these distortions originate from the Fed, the only solution is to abolish the Fed.


5---Americans worse off under Obama, Huff Post


As the President takes the podium for the State of the Union, the majority of people watching and listening to his speech will be almost certainly be worse off financially than they were when he took office. That's not allocating blame, just stating a fact. According to the Pew Research Center, in the first two years following the Great Recession, 93 percent of Americans lost net worth. Only 7 percent got wealthier. Forty-three percent of those sampled in a nationally-weighted survey I recently commissioned believe this is a permanent trend....




Among the sobering findings were that nearly 35% of respondents said they had spent retirement or personal savings to supplement their wages. Twenty percent relied only on personal savings; four percent on retirement savings, like an early withdrawal from an IRA or 401k, and eleven percent spent both. According to an analysis of data from the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Census Bureau by the firm Hello Wallet, in 2010, one in four Americans withdrew money from their retirement accounts. And the Transamerica Center For Retirement Studies found a third of un- or under-employed workers made early withdrawals.


Even more arresting: 21 percent of those I surveyed agreed with the statement "In 2013, I borrowed money from friends or family specifically in order to pay household, medical or credit card bills."
All of this adds up to some painful math: Americans, faced with stagnant wages despite pronounced gains in productivity, are spending against their future in order to live today. Here are some of the scenarios we'll see play out in the coming years:
1) Consumers Who Can't Buy (Much)


6---Japan's trade deficit "biggest ever", Testosterone Pit


It’s easy to devalue the yen and quietly confiscate the wealth of the Japanese people. Meanwhile, the trade deficit is elegantly spiraling out of control as Japan Inc. is looking for the greener grass elsewhere.....


It was the worst December trade deficit ever. In December 2010, Japan still had a surplus! It was the continuation of a terrible trend: November had been the worst November ever, October the worst October, September the worst September.... And so on! It was the 18th month in a row of trade deficits, the worst such sequence since anyone started counting, worse even than the 14-month series in 1979-1980....


The devaluation of the yen has added another motivation: the ability to translate profits from foreign operations into yen, which gooses income statements and adds artificial gloss that is then hyped by brokers and swallowed hook, line, and sinker by eager investors.
But companies are not repatriating their foreign moolah, and they’re not actually converting it into yen because it would just get demolished. They’re leaving it overseas, reinvest it overseas, and spend it overseas. And the Japanese economy doesn’t benefit.


7---Steve Keen: Bye Bye, Bernanke, naked capitalism


...on Ben’s own theory of what caused the Great Depression, he could quite easily be found guilty – by a future Ben Bernanke – of causing the Great Recession. The only saving grace would be that once he had made the mistake, he fought to reduce the size of the crisis. But the crisis still occurred, on his watch, and when his Fed did the very things he said the Fed got wrong in the late 1920s.



8---Will China stop the Taper, naked capitalism


The Chinese rebalancing should lead (over time)  to capital account liberalisation and considerably lower current account surpluses. In that event China will by definition be recycling fewer surpluses into foreign market investment including US Treasuries. That will see upwards pressure on yields without the Fed doing anything, though this likely a long term influence more than an immediate issue.
The fourth channel of influence is markets themselves. Will Chinese slowing infect forex and credit market stability enough that the Fed might feel contagion risk warranted slowing taper? JPMorgan asks the question:
The past two weeks have presented surprises from almost ever corner – undershoots on Chinese activity data; stress in Chinese credit/money markets; idiosyncratic developments in Russia, Turkey and Argentina; data wobbles in the US – but only the China ones meet the criteria for potentially being systemic for FX because the underlying issue is opaque and large-scale.
....Combined with interest rate liberalisation, tapering will also deliver higher rate volatility and possibly higher lending rates; hence the recurring spikes in Shibor such as those in June and December 2013 and in January 2014. The resulting tightening could lead to a rise in non-performing loans and defaults, such as the possible one which arose this week with a trust loan product (see Greater China Quarterly Issues, Haibin Zhu, Grace Ng and Lu Jiang, January 24).


9---Bond Investors Notice that Servicers Let Houses Fall Apart, naked capitalism


Compare the Bloomberg story with this account by Dave Dayen in Salon last July, The Housing “Recovery” Is a Total Sham:
Out on the alphabet streets in this once-thriving Florida community, the houses are dotted with black mold. Some have buckled roofs. Others are hollowed out by fire, or the wiring has been stripped. Pests and critters have moved in as the people moved out. On some streets, half of the homes feature boards along the windows, and ubiquitous “No Trespassing: No Traspasar” signs in English and Spanish. “Those are to keep the drug sales out,” says my tour guide, Lynn Szymoniak of the nonprofit Housing Justice Foundation. “I’ve been stopped doing these tours, cops have told me, ‘you’re not supposed to be here.’”
 At one time, these homes were exciting products sold by Option One, Ameriquest, New Century Financial, and other mortgage lenders who sprouted up during the housing bubble, and disappeared just as quickly….
The inflated sale prices present a serious problem for rehabilitating the community. Ninety percent of these properties are tied up in mortgage-backed trusts for large sums (“When you look them up, you’re just so amazed,” Szymoniak says), and the trustees don’t want to book the losses. So instead of selling off the old inventory, they hold onto it, hoping in vain for price appreciation or just wanting to avoid the reckoning. “If you have to keep investors thinking that you have a $300,000 property,” Szymoniak remarked, “and you want to carry it on the books for as long as you possibly can, then you don’t put it on the market, you just hold it back, and you let it go on forever.”


10--China credit boom headed for the reef, naked capitalism from the FT


A comment at the Financial Times by Ruchir Sharma, Morgan Stanley’s head of emerging markets and global macro, argues that the Chinese credit boom is likely to come to a nasty end. Key bits of this important piece:
Recent studies have isolated the most reliable signal of a looming financial crisis and it is the “credit gap”, or the increase in private sector credit as a proportion of economic output over the most recent five-year period. In China, that gap has risen since 2008 by a stunning 71 percentage points, taking total debt to about 230 per cent of gross domestic product…
Looking back over the past 50 years and focusing on the most extreme credit booms – the top 0.5 per cent – turns up 33 cases, with a minimum credit gap of 42 percentage points. 
Of these nations, 22 suffered a credit crisis in the subsequent five years and all suffered an economic slowdown. On average, the annual economic growth rate fell from 5.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent. Not one country got away without facing either a crisis or a major economic slowdown. Thailand, Malaysia, Chile, Zimbabwe and Latvia have had a gap higher than 60 points. All those binges ended in a severe credit crisis… 
China has hit its ambitious growth targets so consistently that many analysts can no longer imagine a miss. The consensus forecast is for growth of 7.5 per cent this year, right on target. Growth is widely expected to continue at an average rate of 6-7 per cent for the next five years. It is hard to find a prominent economist who forecasts a significant slowdown, much less a credit crisis…
History foretells a different story. In the 33 cases in which countries built up extreme credit gaps, the pace of GDP growth more than halved subsequently. If China follows that path, its growth rate over the next five years would average between 4 per cent and 5 per cent. 
The key to foretelling credit trouble is not the size but the pace of growth in debt, because during rapid credit booms more and more loans go to wasteful endeavours. That is China today…
Those who trust in China’s exceptionalism say it has special defences. It has a war chest of foreign exchange reserves and a current account surplus, reducing its dependence on foreign capital flows. Its banks are supported by large domestic savings, and enjoy low loan-to-deposit ratios… 
These defences have failed before. Taiwan suffered a banking crisis in 1995, despite having foreign exchange reserves that totalled 45 per cent of GDP, a slightly higher level than China has today. Taiwan’s banks also enjoyed low loan-to-deposit ratios, but that did not avert a credit crunch. Banking crises also hit Japan in the 1970s and Malaysia in the 1990s, even though these countries had savings rates of about 40 per cent of GDP. 


11---The housing “recovery” is a total sham, dave dayen                      


Forget the happy talk about the housing crisis being over. The stories from this Florida community will shock you 


12---Poll Finds Americans Anxious Over Future, Obama's Performance, wsj


Since the rise of modern polling in the 1930s, only George W. Bush has begun his sixth year in the White House on rockier ground than Mr. Obama.

At the same time, the public supports many of the themes and policy ideas Mr. Obama looks set to emphasize in his annual State of the Union address to Congress. Large majorities of respondents said they want the White House and lawmakers to focus on job creation and early-childhood education, and a slimmer majority favored increasing the minimum wage...




13---1% not responsible for low mobility? equitable growth
A Better Headline Would be “Mobility Stagnant as U.S. Economy Doubles”

Low mobility in spite of growth is threatening America’s future as the land of opportunity. ...

From 1971 to 1993, U.S. real Gross Domestic Product increased from $5.0 trillion to $9.7 trillion (accounting for population growth, the real per-capita Gross Domestic Product grew by 54% in the same time period). So an alternate framing of this story would be that the U.S. economy nearly doubled in size but mobility did not budge.



If we can't expect private savings to turn negative in a big way, and we keep the government budget balanced, then there is one other way for the income accounting identity to hold. If the economy shrinks due to insufficient demand, then savings will fall more than investment. At some point, this will give us a large enough excess of private investment over private savings for the national income accounts to be in balance.


If it is not clear, we are bringing the national accounts into balance in this story with a shrinking economy and rising unemployment. That is what happens if we run a balanced budget in the context of having a large trade deficit. The deficit hawks may yell and scream that they don't want to shrink the economy and have mass unemployment, but this is what they will get if we have deficit reduction without a clear plan for reducing the trade deficit


16--PEW: More people accept that they are "lower class", NYT


One of the odd things about America has long been the immense range of people who consider themselves middle class — and are deluding themselves. Low-paid workers who would be considered poor by international standards, say with incomes below half the median, nonetheless considered themselves lower-middle class; people with incomes four or five times the median considered themselves, at most, upper-middle class.
But this may be changing. According to a new Pew survey (pdf), there has been a sharp increase in the number of people calling themselves lower class, and a somewhat smaller rise in the number calling themselves lower-middle, so that at this point the combined “lower” categories are close to a plurality of the population — in fact, closing in on, um, 47 percent:

Pew
This is, I believe, a very significant development. The whole politics of poverty since the 70s has rested on the popular belief that the poor are Those People, not like us hard-working real Americans. This belief has been out of touch with reality for decades — but only now does reality seem to be breaking in.

17--Money and class, Krugman, NYT

By security, I mean that you have enough resources and backup that the ordinary emergencies of life won’t plunge you into the abyss. This means having decent health insurance, reasonably stable employment, and enough financial assets that having to replace your car or your boiler isn’t a crisis.
By opportunity I mainly mean being able to get your children a good education and access to job prospects, not feeling that doors are shut because you just can’t afford to do the right thing.

If you don’t have these things, I would say that you don’t lead a middle-class life, even if you have a car and a few electronic gadgets that weren’t around during the era when most Americans really were middle class, and no matter how clean, sober, and prudent your behavior may be.

Now, according to that Pew survey (pdf), in early 2008 only 6 percent of Americans considered themselves lower class — far below the official poverty rate! — only 2 percent upper class, and 1 percent didn’t know. So 91 percent of Americans — roughly speaking, people with incomes between $15,000 and $250,000 — considered themselves middle class. And a large portion of these people were wrong.

18---
Reuters: Corporate profits are so high because wages are so low.
Source: MacroScope
Source: MacroScope


19---Chicago's Zombie problem, HW


Since a zombie property is a foreclosure that has not been resolved for more than three years, usually because neither the borrower nor servicer has a strong incentive to assume responsibility, the houses are likely to be poorly maintained or blighted, which in turn threatens the stability of surrounding communities...


From 2008 to 2010, 8.7% of foreclosures filed in Cook County, Illinois, were zombie foreclosures, accruing to more than 5,800 zombie properties in the city of Chicago. But this is just the beginning.


20---Margin Debt Soars To Record High; Investor Net Worth Now Doubly Negative From 2007 Bubble Peak, zero hedge


21--Fukushima contamination everywhere, RT


Contaminated fish may have been caught and delivered anywhere. From now on one should bear in mind that it's impossible to check the entire fish catch for radiation. This is what the co-chairman of the Eco-Protection international environmental group, Vladimir Slivyak, says about the situation in a comment.
 "Russia has been considering setting limits on catching marine products and fish in the Far East. But no restrictions have officially been imposed thus far, to the best of my knowledge. But some moves may eventually be made," he said.
 As regards atmospheric contamination, the crippled Fukushima plant radionuclides are known to have reached California and Mexico eight days after the disaster. Russia was unaffected by the propagation of radiation, says Maxim Shingarkin....


 tests in California found that the blue-fin tuna caught in coastal waters were contaminated, according to the globalresearchreport.com portal. The contaminated water has most likely reached the area, since radioactive iodine levels have grown more than 200 times. The level of caesium-137 has also grown along the entire length of the US West Coast, the radioactive caesium was found in local berries and mushrooms. Meanwhile, local residents have reported more frequent bird deaths recently. Radionuclides have made it even to the Alaskan coast, causing a decline in the sockeye populations there. Some experts claim we are yet to see more consequences of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.


22---NSA, GCHQ mapping “political alignment” of cellphone users, wsws
 
New information made public by Edward Snowden reveals that the governments of the United States and United Kingdom are trawling data from cellphone “apps” to accumulate dossiers on the “political alignments” of millions of smartphone users worldwide.
According to a 2012 internal UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) document, the National Security Agency (NSA) and GCHQ have been accumulating and storing hundreds of millions of user “cookies” —the digital footprints left on a cellphone or computer each time a user visits a web site—in order to accumulate detailed personal information about users’ private lives.
This confirms that the main purpose of the programs is not to protect the population from “terrorism,” but to facilitate the state repression of working class opposition to widening social inequality and social counterrevolution. The programs do not primarily target “terrorists,” but workers, intellectuals, and students.


The collection of data regarding the “political alignment” of cellphone users also suggests that the governments of the US and UK are keeping lists of those whose “political alignments” are of concern to the government. Previous revelations have shown how the NSA and GCHQ “flag” certain “suspects” for additional surveillance: the most recent revelation indicates that suspects are “flagged” at least in part based on their “political alignment.”


The legal rationale behind this process points to a growing movement to criminalize political thought in the US and UK.


23---As Ukrainian regime totters, oligarchs call for talks with right-wing opposition, wsws


The central issue facing the working class is developing its own, independent struggle against the Yanukovych regime and also the fascistic, Western-backed opposition forces, whose program is utterly reactionary. The support of US and EU politicians for the opposition reflects their hopes that, if the opposition rules Ukraine or a rump state in western Ukraine, it will enable them to step up operations against Russia and the Middle East.


In seeking to control Ukraine, US and European imperialism are pursuing broad geo-strategic aims. The country controls two of the three major gas pipelines connecting Russian gas fields to European markets—the Transgas and Soyuz pipelines, accounting for approximately 80 percent of Russian exports to Europe. Ukraine also hosts key naval bases used by the Russian navy during its deployments last September to oppose US plans for an attack on Syria....


Most of the street battles around Independence Square, like the takeovers of regional administrations, were waged by only a few thousand protesters, mobilized by the fascistic, anti-Semitic Svoboda party and Right Sector group. The ability of such forces to destabilize Ukraine testifies to the unpopularity and the narrow social base of Yanukovych’s reactionary regime...


Speaking to the Guardian, Klitschko praised the oligarchs and boasted of his close ties to them. “In private conversations, all the oligarchs support the idea of the rule of law,” he said. “The leaders change, the rules change, and the lack of set rules means business groups can’t be sure they will keep their assets.” This statement points to the anti-worker agenda driving both the Western-backed opposition and the regime. Both are dedicated to defending the reactionary capitalist oligarchy that emerged from the restoration of capitalism in the USSR in 1991. The conflict between Yanukovych and the opposition is only over which geo-strategic orientation—to Moscow or, for the opposition, to the EU—will more reliably preserve the “assets” monopolized by the oligarchs.


The current political crisis and opposition protests emerged last year, when Ukraine faced the possibility of state bankruptcy over a $15 billion debt to international banks. Yanukovych first negotiated deep austerity measures as part of a deal to establish closer ties to the EU. His decision to back away from the deal and seek financial aid from Russia—fearing the social explosion that mass cuts to energy subsidies and social programs would create in the working class—triggered opposition protests.
Both the pro-EU opposition and the Yanukovych regime are united, however, in their insistence that the international banks will be repaid, and that the costs will be borne not by billionaire oligarchs, but by working people. As different factions of the ruling elite plan for violence and crackdowns—by the opposition’s fascistic goon squads or the regime’s security forces—they are united in their hostility to the working class, and fear of its opposition to their austerity agenda.
This situation is an indictment of the restoration of capitalism in the USSR in 1991 and of the reactionary impact of Stalinism on the political consciousness of the population.


Capitalist restoration has led to a social disaster in the Ukraine. From 1990 to 2000, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell from $90 billion (4 percent of the world economy) to $31 billion (1 percent of the world economy). The fruits of what economic growth has taken place since then have gone overwhelmingly to a layer of super-rich, parasitic oligarchs who looted Ukrainian state assets during capitalist restoration.
In 2008, the net worth of Ukraine’s top 50 oligarchs was $112.7 billion, or two-thirds of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Their personal holdings gave them controlling stakes in businesses amounting to 85 percent of the country’s economy


24---Obama's legacy, wsws


Obama's principal domestic initiative, the health care overhaul, is a gigantic fraud, aimed not at expanding health care, but slashing it....


* Obama oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in world history.
The 2008 bailout of the banks and the “quantitative easing” programs begun under Bush have been vastly expanded under Obama. His administration has made available virtually unlimited resources for speculation by Wall Street. Over the past five years, the Federal Reserve has purchased more than $1.5 trillion in essentially worthless mortgage-backed securities from financial institutions, and even more in US Treasuries. It has printed trillions of dollars and injected them into the financial markets.


As a direct consequence, the stock market has soared. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has more than doubled since the first months of Obama’s first term. The net wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans has risen accordingly, from $1.27 trillion in 2009 to over $2 trillion today, an increase of 60 percent, or more than $700 billion. Ninety-five percent of all income gains between 2009 and 2012 went to the wealthiest one percent of the US population.


Corporate profits are higher than ever, while wage growth is at the lowest level since the end of the Second World War. In the aftermath of the Obama administration’s 2009 restructuring of the auto industry, real wages for auto workers have fallen 10 percent and wages for manufacturing as a whole have fallen 2.4 percent. As a result of the collapse in wages, for the first time in history the majority of Americans receiving food stamps are working age.


           Attacks Meant to Draw Attention Away From Civilian Deaths


26---Meet the new breed of Ukrainian revolutionaries – ‘Pravy Sektor’ (Right Sector) radical movement, RT


Radical nationalism is a dark, blind force, isn’t it? So this is how they can eventually set their whole native land, worshipped by them, on fire. ...


What comes as a double surprise is the latest news that ambassadors of several EU-member states, the US and Canada have paid another visit to Maidan to meet Pravy Sektor activists and learn how ‘the headquarters of national resistance’ operates. ...


The core of Pravy sektor is made of the activists of radical groups, including ‘Trizub’, ‘Patriot of Ukraine’, as well as UNA-UNSO and the ‘Svoboda’ (Freedom) ultra-right party, which made international headlines after winning nearly 10 percent of votes at the last parliamentary election in Ukraine.


The icon of the modern Ukrainian nationalist movement is Stepan Bandera – the notorious leader of the previous generation of Ukrainian nationalists who were fiercely fighting against the Soviet army during the Second World War. Gangs of cutthroats, obsessed with the idea of a unified Ukrainian state were hiding in the thick forests of Western Ukraine and hobnobbing with fascist Germany in an attempt to find a ‘senior brother’ to defeat the ‘Soviet occupants’.


Bandera, who was killed by a Soviet spy agent in 1959 while living in exile in post-war Munich, was later proclaimed ‘a martyr’ and a ‘national hero’ by the offspring of the founding fathers of the Ukrainian ultra-right movement.


27--End of 2013: 1,280,000 were at least 90 days past due, DS news


BKFS’ data also reveals that 3,243,000 properties were at least 30 days past due (but not in foreclosure) at the end of the year, while 1,280,000 were at least 90 days past due. A total of 4,488,000 properties were at least a month delinquent or in foreclosure.
The total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate as of December 31 was 2.48 percent, according to the company—down 0.74 percent on a monthly basis and 27.90 percent yearly. The total number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory was 1,244,000.


28---Seeing past the spin: 1,280,000 properties 90 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure
 , HW


Really good news: In December, foreclosure and seriously delinquent (90+ days) inventories reached their lowest levels since 2008. Also, foreclosure starts were down 23% for the entire year. The total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate hovered at 2.48%.
By volume, the number of properties 30 days or more past due, but not in foreclosure, came to 3.24 million.
In addition, there were 1.28 million properties 90 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure.
The number of properties in the foreclosure pre-sale inventory ran to 1.25 million, while the number of properties that were 30 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure hit 4.48 million.


29---High prices causing new home sales to wane, mreport


30---Economic mobility hasn’t changed in a half-century in America, economists declare, WP



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