James Galbraith Says, “A Truly Extraordinary Slump” – No Recovery

Disappointing reports this week on housing starts and foreclosures, as well as the index of leading economic indicators, have cast a bit of a pall on the “robust recovery” story, putting a crimp in the stock market’s ascent in the process.University of Texas professor James Galbraith was never a believer in the V-shaped recovery and says it’s going to take a very long time for the U.S. to recover from a “truly extraordinary slump.”What the optimists are missing is the impact the housing bust is having on both American’s ability to borrow and banks willingness to lend. The resulting credit contraction will prevent this recovery from following the path of those following prior post-war recessions, he says.”There’s no question the U.S. economy has stabilized but [it] remains very weak and will likely continue to be weak,” Galbraith says. “There’s very little sign the benefits that are being felt on Wall Street will be felt in the broader country anytime soon.”Galbraith predicts the unemployment rate will continue to rise into 2010 and decline “very slowly” thereafter. The U.S. economy needs “substantially greater policy intervention,” he says, focused on the following: * Housing Woes: As of Sept. 30, over 14% of American homeowners with a mortgage are either behind on payments or in foreclosure, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. Those figures suggest the real inventory of homes for sale is much bigger than the “official” 8-month supply, as The WSJ reports. The government must do more to prevent foreclosures, Galbraith says. * Smart Jobs: Beyond merely putting people to work, Galbraith seeks policies that would both “create employment and set a strategic direction for the economy,” most notably in the area of renewable energy. * Boomer Blues: With millions of Baby Boomers at or near retirement age, Galbraith advocates aid for new retirees, “so the demographic transition goes more smoothly than it otherwise would. “In sum, Galbraith still says we need a second stimulus package, as we’ll discuss in more detail in a forthcoming segment.

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Commercial Real Estate Market – Next Shoe to Drop

Great Dpression Homless Man

Great Depression Homless Man

NYC Commercial Real Estate Wreckage

Here’s the scary thing about the commercial real estate situation:   It’s not even starting to get better, actually — Things are still getting worse faster says Moody’s.

The Moody’s Delinquency Tracker (DQT) measured a 41 basis point increase in the month of September. The DQT now stands at 3.64%. This represents a 310 basis points increase over the same time last year. The DQT is now nearly 350 basis points higher than the low of 0.22% reached in July 2007.

September had the largest monthly basis point change in the history of the tracker. The 41 basis point increase is slightly larger than the increases in May and June earlier this year. The tracker resumed its large monthly growth after a lower than average change in August.

The average rise in delinquency in the past six months is 34 basis points. This compares to a three basis point average increase for the same six month period in 2008 (April through September). In 2009 the delinquency rate has risen 269 basis points, nearly tripling since the beginning of the year.

The PBS NewsHour took a look at the bearish obsession du jour, the commercial real estate market.  Real estate analyst Bob White took them around to show some of the ugliest cases out there in New York City.


Moody’s Delinquency Tracker - Commercial Real Estate

Moody’s Delinquency Tracker - Commercial Real Estate

Financial Crisis is Becoming Severe

RGE Monitor

RGE Monitor

On Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitor, Nouriel explains why the Treasury rescue plan is very poorly conceived and does not contain many of the key elements of a sound, efficient and fair rescue plan – like a HOLC-style program and the need to recapitalize the financial institutions that are badly undercapitalized. Check out: RGE Conference Call on the Economic and Financial Outlook and why the Treasury TARP bailout is flawed.

The claim by the Fed and Treasury that spending $700 billion of public money is the best way to recapitalize banks has absolutely no factual basis or justification. This way of recapitalizing financial institutions is a total rip-off that will mostly benefit – at the huge expense of the U.S. taxpayer – the common and preferred shareholders and even unsecured creditors of the banks. Check out Nouriel’s Is Purchasing $700 billion of Toxic Assets the Best Way to Recapitalize the Financial System‌ No! It is Rather a Disgrace and Rip-Off Benefitting only the Shareholders and Unsecured Creditors of Banks.

In The US and global financial crisis is becoming much more severe in spite of the Treasury rescue plan. The risk of a total systemic meltdown is now as high as ever, Nouriel explains why the risk of a total systemic meltdown is now as high as ever as the severe strains in financial markets (money markets, credit markets, stock markets, CDS and derivative markets) are becoming more severe rather than less severe in spite of the nuclear option of a $700 billion package.

The next step of this panic could become the mother of all bank runs: a run on the 1 trillion dollar plus of the cross border short-term interbank liabilities of the U.S. banking and financial system as foreign banks start to worry about the safety of their liquid exposures to U.S. financial institutions. Such a silent cross border bank run has already started as foreign banks are worried about the solvency of U.S. banks and are starting to reduce their exposure. Check out: Roubini Sees ‘Silent’ Run on Banks, Urges `Triage’: Bloomberg Radio Interview and BBC Hardtalk Interview with Roubini: “US Bail-Out Special”.