REwired

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Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

Now we KNOW the housing bill is a bad idea

We weren't really sure what to think of the recent housing relief package being pushed through the Senate right now -- it does have bipartisan support, after all -- but now we can firmly say we're against it. Why? That's easy. Because CNBC's Cramer is for it. Has nothing to do with the actual merits of the proposal.
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An embarrassment of World-ly proportions

A CBS affiliate in San Francisco got their hands on training videos that probably has execs at Wachovia cringing over how World Savings originated its now-infamous "Pick-A-Payment" loans. From CBS 5's coverage: ... what were World Savings employees instructed to tell these customers? The training videos obtained by CBS 5 investigates provide some clues ...
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School districts bringing the hammer

Foreclosures affect kids too -- and one of the more interesting fallouts tied to soaring foreclosures in California and Florida is that many school districts are finding out that students no longer live where they once did. Parents, often desperate to keep their kids in better school districts, have turned to fudging their addresses in order to prevent their kids from having to go to a lesser school. From the Wall Street Journal:
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A cocktail of fairy tales

Caroline Baum over at Bloomberg must be pandering for media visibility. There's simply no other way to describe the disjointed and rambling piece published over at Bloomberg today -- but, hey, it's getting us to link into it, isn't it?
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Downtown. It's everywhere you want to be.

Tuesday's Personal Journal in the WSJ takes a long look at where housing prices are holding up best -- not surprisingly, it's key downtown metros in some of the nation's larger cities. From the story: Much has been made of the way the nation's real-estate bust is affecting some American cities far more than others. But even within a single metro area, changes in housing prices can show wild variations.
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And the biggest loser is ...

There are plenty of league tables out there about who lost how much on what deal; we've covered and or seen most of them by now. What we haven't seen -- at least, until now -- is a look at just how those losses stack up against employees. The editors at financial news site Here is the City put together a look at how write-downs and related credit losses stack up per wholesale banking employee at key financial firms worldwide. The largest loser?
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The ignonimous end to Marc Dann's political career

We must have missed the drama, but (now former) Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann apparently resigned week after admitting he'd gotten a tad too frisky with a female subordinate. If you missed his initial explanations of the affair, they were stuff of legend; sort of the "I went to sleep and she was there, yadda yadda yadda, and woke up and she was there" variety.
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Is the CRE bust already here?

Amid news Monday that commercial property prices fell the most since 2000, thanks to a quickly tanking retail sector, we can't help but wonder if the CRE bust many have predicted is already here. From Reuters:
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You can almost smell the eBay dollars already

Via DealBreaker's inimitable Bess Levin, comes news that Bear Stearns is making available -- for one last time -- items from its company store. "This is your last chance to get a Bear Stearns hat, fleece, umbrella, duffel bag, teddy bear, etc." the memo reads.
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The cautionary tale of a bank called ANB

HW readers may or may not know that a not-so-small-ish bank in Arkansas, known as ANB, failed last week -- the latest in what the FDIC and other industry experts expect to be a string of bank failures in 2008 and 2009. What you may not know is what brought the bank to its knees. Via the WSJ:
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