Links Anzac Day

Cure For Honey Bee Colony Collapse? Science News

The Unloved Guardian. I find Samantha Morton to be a brilliant actress, and had no idea of her horrific history, which she used as the basis for a film.

Information and the illegal market mechanism Trevon D. Logan Manisha Shah, VoxEU. Information asymmetry and male sex workers.

New Worries for Next Tier of BanksNew York Times

Recession, Far From Over, Already Setting Records Floyd Norris, New York Times

Tracking Loans Through a Firm That Holds Millions New York Times. This is scandalous, and I don’t scandalize easily these days. How can a clearinghouse have so little accountability? But we see this many places, starting with credit bureaus. A destructive pattern that has legal backing.

British economy shrinks at fastest rate for 30 years Guardian

Is Pastor Joel Osteen The Next Alan Greenspan? Susan Lee, Forbes

NPR Conspires With Realtors to Fleece First Time Home Buyers Dean Baker

Expert on Wealth Wins a Top Economics Honor Wall Street Journal. Congrats!

IMF Emerging Markets Veteran on the U.S. James Kwak

Day 3 of the “Why Won’t #Krugman Post On Bill Black?” Lambert. The MSM, and Krugman appears to be falling in line, is treating Black like radioactive waste.

More Servicers Approved for Treasury Funds Housing Wire

Geithner Sounds Darker Tone Than G-7 Wall Street Journal. Mirabile dictu. A bit of candor? If he keeps this up, I might have to concede he is growing into his job. But with Summers a force to be reckoned with, I don’t harbor much hope.

Frank urges White House on Tarp payback Financial Times. So who bought and paid for Frank? These firms were desperate for help, and now we’re going to let them slip the leash? Bill Proxmire must be spinning in his grave.

TALF Disappointment and the Fed’s Balance Sheet Tim Duy

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Richard Kline

    Samantha Morton . . . there’s a tough and savvy broad. I’m not surprised to hear of her sorrows. There was a certain hardness to her in the few of her films I’ve seen that tends to be acquired one way. Her way. She made it; too few do. The strip near where I work is a magnet for the same, version PacNW. And her dealer told her to get an education!: take wisdom where you find it.

  2. Bob Goodwin

    Re: Barney Frank.

    I am no fan. I think he deflects attention from the politics that are part of the core of our crisis.

    However if you read his argument, it is not nuanced or evasive. I disagree with him, but it is a legitimate point of view:

    For the ‘tall’ banks, The government can claim success by taking their money back, and letting them buy planes.

    For the other banks, politics require that we limit their comp and planes, and there will be no further public money. Next in line is for the bond holders to take a haircut.

    Implied in this is that if Goldman returns funds, they will never get them back, and the losers will be the Goldman shareholders and bondholders.

    Again, I disagree, but it is a rational point of view.

  3. Eleanor

    Re the photo: I do not think this is going to turn out well. Is this American capitalism face to face with the large cat of reality?

  4. jules

    Re: MERS

    I was an escrow officer for almost 30 years before getting laid off last year. The following paragraph from the MERS article is just another line of B.S. from the lending industry.

    “But unlike common stocks, whose ownership has traditionally been hidden, mortgage-backed securities are based on loans whose details were long available in public land records kept by county clerks, who collect fees for each filing. The “tyranny of these forms,” the white paper said, was costing the industry $164 million a year.”

    I’m willing to guess the average cost of filing an assignment with the County Clerks office is between $15-$25 per mortgage. Hardly a deal breaker for the poor mortgage companies. In addition they often charged an assignment recording fee to the borrower at closing and it was becoming common to see a “MERS” fee on closing statements. Mortgage companies managed to file documents for decades and the title companies could see who was the rightful mortgage holder of record. In fact, there was a time when the title company would not issue a payoff check to a mortgage company without an appropriate assignment filed with the County Clerk. There was no other way to know for sure the right mortgage cocmpany was being paid off. During the last 10 years many title companies have “looked the other way” and not made this a requirement, thus fueling the lack of proper notification.

    I suspect the real reason mortgage companies didn’t want to continue filing their own assignments is because MERS sold them a “line” about how they could save money by eliminating employees who used to oversee the filing of assingment documents. There was and is a lack of knowledgable employees at the mortgage companies to handle what was once considered a simple legal document. The corporations have gutted the industry by offshoring and centralizing in order to save a buck for the stock holders. And this is what you get …. a mess.

    Keep up the good work!


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