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Friday, September 21, 2007

Various Notes

About the FHA: Rob noted that the House passed a bill to up the FHA loan limit to $730,000. He's right - it's a bad idea for a number of reasons. The first of those is that the last MBA report had FHA delinquencies at 12.58%. I'm just saying, ya know? But overall, I wouldn't freak out over this one. FHA is planning to implement risk-based loan premiums of its own. Mortgage lending is rather inexorable, and riskier loans just keep slowly getting more expensive. Fannie has already done that for subprime, and is planning further tightening moves itself through the end of the year.

The Canadian dollar has reached parity against the US dollar. A very interesting article noting the basic pluses and minuses deriving from this fact.

After throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the situation following Northern Rock, overnight LIBOR is finally falling. Most observers think the kitchen sink is bound to follow; to date the BofE has had to do everything else but the final step of lowering rates. They now have done everything that the Fed did EXCEPT that. They needed to, because if they didn't A&L and Brad & Bing were going to follow in Northern Rock's footsteps.

The probability of an ECB rate cut keeps rising as growth projections slow. Spain's banks have already received some infusions from the ECB.

I experienced mild panic at China's announcement that it was freezing some prices. China already controls prices for some commodities, so it is not as big a move as one would think.

FWIW, the feedback I'm getting is that rates on good mortgages are dropping while rates for risky mortgages continue to rise. This is the desired and expected effect.

I go to Montreal every year on a vacation and have been doing this for the past ten years. It used to be great...a steak dinner in the best restaurants for (USD) $15, lap dances in the strip bars on St. Catherine Street for $3 per song (try it sometime, it really is fun), tickets for the Canadiens games for $20, nights at the downtown Sheraton for $160. So, ok, the party is over. No more tone deaf drunks singing "O Canadaaaaaa", or having a Marlboro in church on Sunday. They can now blow their loonies and toonies here in our casinos instead, while our greenback wilts yellow in the fall. It's their turn to kick us around for awhile but their pro-socialist political slant will figure out a way to squander their newfound wealth sooner or later.

Big John
Chinese Pork 2007 -> Russian Bread & Vodka 1988.

This is a big deal. It shows just how fragile the Chinese economy is. They have to hold it together through Aug 2008 and I stand by my prediction of 3 years ago that it will be a near thing. If they don't engineer a recession they risk an instance of hyperinflation. That damages their international status for a generation at least and risks social upheveal. They have corrupt banks and are inexperienced at central banking. A few scared generals with a few stuffed suitcases and their system could lock up. The last "Weimar Republic" was the incubator for the Third Reich.
Big John - nothing wrong with O Canada, Glorious and Free, but I'll skip the lap dance, thanks. It must be a male thing.

Rob - Scares the heck out of me. I think the Chinese gov is scared. Who the heck has to turn off text messaging to prevent civil unrest?
PS: They hang bankers in China.
The ChiComms shoot bankers and send the bill for the bullet to the family. A good start IMHO. The US stock markets are only this high because so many managers want their "last" Sept 30th ending quarterly closing Christmas bonus before the great reckoning.

The Fed is scared and the ChiComs are scared. This is not a "happy time."
Big John; I'm confused. Did you want MOM to get the L.D. and pay c$3, or give the L.D. and receive c$3

Be careful about that answer because MOM is from the south and the husbands can get pretty funny 'bout that sort of thing.
I'll say! You have no idea of the heartburn that would have resulted if I had arrived home in the jet.
Ah, I hope by now the Chief knows it's strictly platonic.

There would of been room for his used engine.
Engine? Talk about moral hazard!!!! He'd be buying them overseas next!
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