*but I thought everything was okie dokie?
Foreclosure filings on U.S. homes set another record
Last month, 360,149 residential properties in the U.S. either were seized or received a default or auction notice, data provider RealtyTrac said. Foreclosure filings set a record as more homeowners defaulted on their mortgages. "We're in a deep hole," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. "There is a whole new wave of foreclosures tied to the cyclical dynamics of the economy." Bloomberg (13 Aug.)
*at least the pumping of the 3Q has been achieved. I wonder which banks gave out auto loans...uh....NONE
"Cash for Clunkers" begins luring fewer car buyers
The frenzy of car purchases fueled by rebates of as much as $4,500 under the U.S. government's "Cash for Clunkers" program has pretty much run its course, analysts said. "We see that interest dying down," said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with Edmunds.com. "It's still high. It's better than pre-clunker levels, but it's off its peak." Reuters (12 Aug.)
Banks' risk management faces test as Lehman collapse fades
Lehman Brothers' collapse will no longer be reflected starting in mid-September in many value-at-risk models, which banks use to calculate acceptable risk-taking. If banks start taking chances, markets could experience an increase in volatility and trading volumes. If not, it will indicate that banks are not simply relying on VAR models. "I think this will be a good test of banks' risk-management areas," said Peter Rothwell, senior manager in KPMG's group for financial risk management. The Wall Street Journal (8/13)
FASB considers expanding mark-to-market accounting
Although many financial assets are required to follow mark-to-market accounting rules, the Financial Accounting Standards Board is considering expanding the regulations to loans and other instruments. "It's a controversial idea, and there's an awful lot of process ahead," said Neal McGarity, a representative of the FASB. "We're technically not even at square one yet." The Wall Street Journal (8/13)
*YEH, the sky is no longer falling. Yeah right!
GDP data show recession has ended for Germany, France
Germany and France caught economists off guard and returned to growth in the second quarter. Both economies expanded by 0.3%. "The data is very surprising," French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said. "After four negative quarters, France is coming out of the red." Reuters (13 Aug.)