Links and Quick Takes 1/12/08

Greenhouse ocean may downsize fish PhysOrg

US Video of Iran Speedboats Doctored; Iranians Charge Fabrication Informed Consent (hat tip Angry Bear)

The Fraud of Voter ID Laws American Prospect. For a more colorful treatment, see Space Invaders: Five Million Aliens for Hillary Greg Palast.

Windows Vista, Office 2007 Expelled From British Schools Information Week

Fed Watch: 50bp Looks Like The Right Call Economist’s View. Tim Duy’s latest reading.

Who Wants To Make a Loan? Floyd Norris, New York Times. Norris tells us it’s tough getting credit these days. With all due respect, Norris’ memory of 1991-1992, or better yet, 1980-1981 is pretty faint. Things can, and likely will, get much worse. The problem isn’t that credit is all that tight by historical standards (yet, it is tightening, but not dreadfully so. For instance, my buddies with mid-range commercial builidings can still get mortgages. That dried up completely in past cycles). It’s that a very large number of players have business models that depend on readily available and relatively cheap credit.

Bankers throw in the towel over Rock Telegraph. “One banker said: ‘It was always 50:50. That now looks significantly less likely. Collateralised mortgage assets are not flavour of the month.” Bidders are also growing increasingly dubious that lending banks will put up the £10bn-£15bn of funding they had indicated might be provided.”

Law Makes Debt Relief Harder for Homeowners New York Times

UBS warns sub-prime crisis not over Guardian. This would have been a bombshell on any other day, but the BofA/Countrywide and Merrill $15 billion writedown news put this on the back burner. See the UBS letter to shareholders here.

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