(Send links, videos, pics to optionarmageddon at gmail with subject “link” … Thanks to Doug D.—$37—for the tip!)
The Case Against the Mortgage Interest Deduction (NYT Economix) “Subsidizing interest payments encourages people to leverage themselves to the hilt to bet on housing markets.” Interesting that in 2007 a French court struck down Pres. Sarkozy’s proposed mortgage deduction as unfair to renters. The U.S., by contrast, is bending its tax code even more in favor of home buyers.
JP Morgan cuts dividend 87% to preserve capital (CNN Money) This ridiculously overdue move will, according to JPM, “ensure that our fortress balance sheet remains intact – even if conditions worsen significantly.” That’s hilarious that they feel the need to add the modifier “fortress.” When banks feel the need to talk about how well-capitalized they are, it’s time to run for the hills…
House Democrats Propose $410 Billion Spending Bill (Yahoo) The proposed budget is 8% higher than the previous fiscal year’s. It includes approximately $3.8 billion worth of earmarks.
Obama Budget Summit Meets with Skepticism (US News) Nearest I can tell, all that was accomplished at this “summit” was a pledge to reduce the deficit to $533 billion by 2013. That would be 17% higher that last year’s record budget deficit. The summit’s participants acknowledged the need to reform health care this year (the present value of our medicare obligations are the primary culprit behind the $60 trillion figure to the right). I’m skeptical that Congress and the Administration will make any commitments to substantially reduce health care expenses…
Court Orders Thain to Testify about Merrill Bonuses (TradingMarkets.com)
Rev. Al Soaks up Boycott Bucks: Biz Giants Pay or Face Race Rallies (NY Post) Sharpton’s shakedowns aren’t as impressive as Jesse Jackson’s. Note in the article how Sharpton’s National Action Network has chapters all across the country, but all “donations” still go through his office in NY…
A Dollar Saved is Not a Dollar Hoarded (RealClearMarkets) “Saving does not mean not spending. It means not spending for purposes of consumption, [which] makes possible equivalent spending for production.” Echoes Kasriel’s arguments published on OA yesterday.
The Case for Natural Money (Mises.org)
House Prices: Real Prices, Price-to-Rent, and Price-to-Income (CalculatedRisk) Fantastic analysis of house prices.