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- September foreclosure activity falls 27% | HousingWire
"While foreclosures are clearly becoming fewer and farther between in most markets, the increasing time it takes to foreclose is holding back a more robust and sustainable recovery," Blomquist [Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac] added.
- The Big-Bank Subsidy - NYTimes.com
... while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has developed a plan for "resolving" large financial institutions that get into trouble, key details of this approach remain to be determined. The Federal Reserve has not yet decided the funding structure of bank holding companies — i.e., how much equity and "loss-absorbing debt" they will need to have (and what exactly "loss-absorbing" means).
The Fed has also not yet determined that the "living wills" of big banks are sufficient to allow them to fail — i.e., go bankrupt — without resorting to resolution and without disrupting world markets.
- IMF's Zhu Says China Has Tools to Deal With Debt Levels - Bloomberg
The Chinese government has room to deal with rising debt levels, which has become a "serious concern," according to Zhu Min, a deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund.
While debt accumulation by companies and local government is "way too high," the government has a lot of "policy buffer," including $3.5 trillion foreign reserves, to resolve the problems, Zhu, a former deputy governor at People's Bank of China, said at a panel during the IMF meeting in Washington yesterday. The government has already taken actions to curb borrowing, reducing the chances for an economic "hard landing," he said.
Premier Li Keqiang said last month that China is taking "targeted measures" to address the issue of local debt, and Finance Minister Lou Jiwei has said authorities will regulate note sales to reduce credit risks. Fitch Ratings Ltd. estimates China's total credit, including off-balance-sheet loans, swelled to 198 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 from 125 percent four years earlier, exceeding the growth seen before the banking crises in Japan in the 1990s.
There still seems to be way to much wild speculation going on in Chinese real estate and with Chinese investments in other countries.
They have their work cut out for them. That's for sure. If they can come in for a soft landing without fudging the numbers, it will be an impressive feat. We won't be holding our breath though.
- Bernanke Trounces Tea Party as Mortgage Bonds Advance - Bloomberg
Relative yields on U.S. government-backed mortgage bonds are at about the lowest in almost five months as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke proves more important to the market than Tea Party politicians.
Yields on benchmark Fannie Mae securities dropped last week to 1.28 percentage points more than an average of 5- and 10-year Treasury rates, the narrowest since May 22, according to Bloomberg index data. The spreads, which advanced yesterday to 1.31, have fallen from a 15-month high of 1.51 reached in July, two months before the Fed surprised investors by maintaining its $40 billion of monthly purchases of housing debt.
Investors from TCW Group Inc. to Prologue Capital Inc. say it's no time to bet against the $5.3 trillion market even as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Barclays Plc analysts warn the securities are too expensive and the Treasury Department cautions that spreads could jump if Congress doesn't act soon to expand the nation's debt limit. Speculation is growing that the Fed will further extend bond purchases that represent about 70 percent of new issuance and have left it with $500 billion more of the debt than when a stalemate roiled markets in 2011.
Now, that's more in line with the position we've been taking all along. The Fed will increase QE if necessary, especially under Janet Yellen. Barring a fiscal solution (government spending targeted at solid jobs), that's about the best we may rightfully expect.