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

What do lawn care and the mortgage meltdown have in common?

We swear we thought we'd seen it all. Every possible tie into the mortgage meltdown -- lumber sales slowing, Home Depot and Lowe's seeing profits dip, paper sales off. You know, the standard items tied to housing. But now we've seen it all. Because we found Rescue Rick. Leave it to our chum RR to tie the mortgage mess to a need for better lawn safety. Yes, lawn safety. His bottom line: Think before you invest. It hurts. Think before you cut. It hurts.
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Say what? NAR's Yun Named Among 'Most Accurate' by USA Today

Perhaps proving that the USA Today isn't really so much a newspaper as it is light reading for those whose delicate minds can't process actual news -- we dare you to find a story anywhere in the paper longer than 1,000 words -- the chart-toting daily named National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun to its list of top 10 most accurate forecasters.
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How Did HUD Pull Home Prices?

Inquiring minds want to know. In an upcoming story, we'll be looking at how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development pulled its housing price values. Want to know why? Because we can't quite figure out why some areas in Idaho saw their lending limits raised, while a place like Las Vegas was passed over. There's also the itty-bitty problem of the new lending limits in the Golden State often not even being in the same ZIP code as the median prices published by the California Association of Realtors.
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Wall Street, eating its own

Dealbreaker -- one of our all-time favorite sites over here at HW -- had a brief little ditty up earlier today about Lehman Brothers. Similar to our story, but without the whole bit about the stock taking a bath in afternoon trading. Anyway, 52 comments later and it's clear that someone at Lehman didn't take their morning dose of __________.
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Quote of the Day

Attributed to Christopher Whalen at Institutional Risk Analytics: "...what fair value accounting is doing is forcing everyone to write anything they can't value today to zero. That's a wonderful, classical approach to accounting, but if we do that we're going to deleverage our financial system in a way that will make the 1930s looks like a trial run." This, from an interview on Bloomberg TV Monday morning. Want to see the whole thing?
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