GMAMX: Goldman Sach’s Muppet Fund of Funds
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U.S. foreclosure filings climbed 28 percent in November from a year earlier and a brewing “storm” of new defaults and job losses may force 1 million homeowners from their properties next year, RealtyTrac Inc. said.
A total of 259,085 properties got a default notice, were warned of a pending auction or were foreclosed on last month, the seller of default data said in a report today. That’s the fewest since June. Filings fell 7 percent from October as state laws and lender programs designed to delay the foreclosure process allowed delinquent borrowers to stay in their homes.
“We’re going to see a pretty significant storm next year,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of marketing for Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in an interview. “There are two or three clouds that suggest a pretty heavy downpour.”
Rising unemployment, expiring foreclosure moratoriums and state efforts that “run out of steam” will push monthly filings toward the record of more than 303,000 set in August, Sharga said. The number of homes that revert to lenders, the last stage of foreclosure and known as “real estate owned” or REO properties, will increase to 1 million from as many as 880,000 this year, he said.
General Motors Corp. has been asked for payments in advance by a small number of auto-parts suppliers after saying it would run out of money by month’s end without U.S. loans, people familiar with the matter said.
GM has rejected the requests, which so far come from a fraction of its 3,600 suppliers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. GM typically pays vendors about 45 days after getting an invoice.
Demands for upfront cash add to the strain on the biggest U.S. automaker as it waits on a short-term industry rescue in Washington and the shift in power to President-elect Barack Obama and a new Congress in January. Obama favors using federal funds to remake the companies and keep them out of bankruptcy.
There will come a moment when the most urgent threats posed by the credit crisis have eased and the larger task before us will be to chart a direction for the economic steps ahead. This will be a dangerous moment. Behind the debates over future policy is a debate over history—a debate over the causes of our current situation. The battle for the past will determine the battle for the present. So it’s crucial to get the history straight.
What were the critical decisions that led to the crisis? Mistakes were made at every fork in the road—we had what engineers call a “system failure,” when not a single decision but a cascade of decisions produce a tragic result. Let’s look at five key moments.
Restaurant jobs, a reliable fallback for many unemployed and immigrant U.S. workers, are shrinking almost as fast as tips left on tables.
The restaurant industry, one of the largest U.S. employers, is experiencing its longest period of job losses on record. Data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that food-service and drinking establishments shed jobs for five consecutive months through November. That's the biggest stretch since 1990, when the government began tracking such numbers.
Major chains like Starbucks Corp. and Brinker International Inc., parent of Chili's, are shutting many locations as customers cut back on everything from lattes to Saturday night dinners out. Weak consumer spending and high ingredient prices have pushed many independent restaurants out of business.
Rio Tinto (RTP Quote - Cramer on RTP - Stock Picks), one of the world's biggest mining companies, plans to cut 14,000 jobs and reduce capital expenditures to $4 billion from $9 billion in 2009 as the global economic downturn has caused sharp falls in commodity prices.
The company said its 2008 dividend will remain at the 2007 level of $1.36.
Rio Tinto said in a press release Wednesday it's committed to reduce operating costs by at least $2.5 billion a year in 2010, and has expanded its "scope of assets targeted for divestment."
Companies:Citigroup Inc | Bank of America Corp | JPMorgan Chase and Co
Reuters | 08 Dec 2008 | 01:22 PM ET
Recent data suggests that many borrowers who received help with mortgage modifications earlier this year tended to re-default on their payments, a top U.S. banking regulator said on Monday.
"The results, I confess, were somewhat surprising, and not in a good way," said John Dugan, head of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in prepared remarks for a U.S. housing forum.
"Put simply, it shows that over half of mortgage modifications seemed not to be working after six months," he said.
Dow Chemical said Monday it would cut 5,000 full-time jobs — about 11 percent of its work force — close 20 plants and sell several businesses to rein in costs amid the recession.
Japan's Sony said it will cut 16,000 jobs, curb investment and pull out of businesses to save $1.1 billion a year as the financial crisis ravages demand for its electronics products.
The job cuts are the biggest announced by an Asian firm so far in the crisis and underscore the challenges facing Sony, which has fallen behind Apple Inc's iPod in portable music and is losing money on flat TVs.
One in 10 American homeowners fell behind on mortgage payments or were in foreclosure during the third quarter as the world’s largest economy shed jobs and real estate prices tumbled.
The share of mortgages 30 days or more overdue rose to a seasonally adjusted 6.99 percent while loans already in foreclosure rose to 2.97 percent, both all-time highs in a survey that goes back 29 years, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report today. The gain in delinquencies was driven by an increase of loans with payments 90 days or more overdue.
New foreclosures fell to 1.07 percent from 1.08 percent in the second quarter as some states enacted laws to temporarily stop home repossessions and lenders increased efforts to modify the terms of loans, Brinkmann said.
Purchases of existing homes in October slid to an annual rate of 4.98 million, lower than forecast, the National Association of Realtors said in a Nov. 24 report. The median price fell 11.3 percent from a year earlier, the most since the group began collecting data in 1968.