Just when CoreLogic, the California-based mortgage data provider, began to wax optimistic about the housing market, the Census Bureau and the S&P/Case-Shiller index doused their enthusiasm with some cold facts and daunting data.
“We need a larger firewall.” So declared Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during a speech in Berlin on January 23, 2012, in which she called on taxpayers of the world to chip in $1 trillion to the IMF to stave off a global crisis. “We need to act quickly or else we could easily slide into a 1930s moment,” Lagarde warned, in an obvious reference to the Great Depression.
In the summary of its “Budget and Economic Outlook” published on Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) noted the supportability of deficit spending even under its “alternative” analysis. Noted the CBO: “Even if the fiscal policies specified by current law come to pass, budgetary challenges over the longer term remain — and the challenges will be much more acute if those policies do not remain in place.” It added:
Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalize private banks which refuse to obey an official mandate and finance the regime’s development projects, sparking more concerns about the future of Venezuela and its ailing economy. The socialist “President” also vowed to step up his failed land confiscation and redistribution schemes.
During a surprise visit to the Washington Auto Show Tuesday, President Obama touted his administration’s efforts in re-energizing the U.S. automobile industry, while castigating those who were "willing to let the industry die." Trumpeting American ingenuity and economic achievement, the President hopes to capitalize on the "government rescue" of General Motors and Chrysler as a political advantage for his 2012 reelection campaign.
Monday’s meeting of the European Union in Brussels resulted in agreement of 25 of the 27 member states to inflict upon themselves and their hapless and increasingly powerless citizenry the tools of international fiscal dictatorship.
Freddie Mac has again entered the spotlight as a new report claims the government-sponsored enterprise betrayed American homeowners after placing multibillion-dollar bets that will pay off if homeowners remain shackled by costly mortgages with interest rates well above current rates. In a scathing new investigation, National Public Radio (NPR) and ProPublica, an independent investigative news service, uncovered multibillion-dollar investments made by Freddie in late 2010 that will only pay off if homeowners remain trapped in high-interest mortgages.
“We are putting colleges on notice,” declared President Barack Obama. “You can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down.”
California has a huge state debt and Washington has a huge national debt. But that does not discourage either Governor Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama from wanting to launch a very costly high-speed rail system.
Greece’s Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, rejected the German idea of imposing a eurozone “overseer” as part of the agreement to keep bailout funds flowing to his country.