Weekend reading: 12 Jul 2008

After a brutal week in the market, my goal is to find enough positive stories to compliment the negativity that is the global markets. These round-ups mirror what is in the business press and economic blogs of importance and most of it just plain stinks. I’ll keep it short for that reason. No stories on IndyMac or GM, it’s just too much.

Have a great weekend.

iPhone mania
I have RSS feeds in a number of languages and from a number of countries. If there is one non-financial upbeat story that they all have in common, it’s the iPhone mania that is sweeping the globe. Here are just a few

Some IPhone Fans Stay Camped Out After Day of Delays, Sellouts – Bloomberg
El iPhone cumple: largas colas para conseguir el artículo anticrisis
Jul 11, 2008
– El Pais
Iphonefeber i flera länder – Dagens Nyheter
iPhone 3G uitverkocht bij T-Mobile – Finaancieele Dagblad
Schlange stehen fürs neue iPhone – Handelsblatt

iPhone reviews
Apple iPhone 3G – Product Review PC Pro
iPhone 3G: Great for New Buyers, But Upgraders Beware – PC World
The new iPhone’s 3G wireless radio speeds data surfing, but there’s little else new to justify an upgrade.
Check Out PCMag.com for Everything iPhone – PC Magazine
iPhone 2.0 (Mobile OS) – PC Magazine
The App Store turns the iPhone and iPod Touch into a true smart phone platform, a portable computer capable of doing many different things. That alone is a reason to upgrade.

Now for the financial must-read stories. Drum-roll, please.


The real world
Sleepless and Worried in My House – New York Times
It’s All Over But the Dating for U.S. Recession – Bloomberg

Housing Bailout
This could take many shapes. here is the Fannie and Freddie scenario that is unraveling. Then there is the housing bailout bill that just passed the Senate. Some believe it helps lenders more than homeowners, is laden with moral hazard, and only keeps the market from correcting appropriately. The Bushies don’t like bailouts and are very opposed to the Senate version.

Rescue Debate: Paulson Insists Fannie, Freddie Holders Lose WSJ
By Large Margin, Senate Votes to Help Homeowners and Overhaul Loan Agencies – New York Times

Fannie Sinks, Freddie Recovers in Biggest Trading Day on Record – Bloomberg
Worst Fears Ease, for Now, on Mortgage Giants’ Fate – New York Times
Fannie, Freddie Turmoil May Hike Rates, Slow Recovery – Bloomberg

Business News
InBev Moves Closer to Buyout of Anheuser-Busch With Raised Bid – Bloomberg
Wachovia Sells Broadway Building in New York at Loss – Bloomberg
Lehman’s Stock Slide Hasn’t Hurt Liquidity, S&P Says – Bloomberg

U.K. House Prices Fall Annual 6.1%, Most Since 1993 – Bloomberg

Bank of Canada Poll Has Record Inflation Expectations – Bloomberg
Up and up: Irish inflation hits 5pc with worse to come – Irish Independent

BoI shares take their deepest dive in 20 years – Irish Independent
Swiss banks reveal their dirty secrets – Money Week

Russia, China Veto Sanctions on Zimbabwe’s Mugabe – Bloomberg

Something Rotten in the State of Denmark? – Alpha Sources (bankruptcy of Roskilde Bank in Denmark marks the 2nd major European housing-related bank bust)
Barbara Corcoran: The American Dream Ends – Calculated Risk (Barbara Corcoran is a big housing maven in NYC. What she says is always interesting)
“The GOP’s December Surprise” – Economist’s View
Export Decline Offers More Evidence Of German Slowdown – Euro Watch
LDP panel proposes sovereign wealth fund setup for Japan – Japan Economy News & Blog
Japan Consumer Confidence Fall To Record Low In June 2008 – Japan Economy Watch
Confessions of a Former Inflationist – Mish
Henry Kaufman: Treasury Needs to Stand Behind Freddie, Fannie – naked capitalism
Winners and Losers in the Fannie/Freddie Mess – Market Beat
Fed: No Talks on Discount-Window Access for GSEs – Real-Time Economics
Goldman Economist: GSE Takeover Wouldn’t Balloon Federal Debt – Real-Time Economics

The long and short on Spain is that inflation has reached 5%, the economy is near or in a recession (while the government still denies it), and the housing bust is one of the worst in Europe. Meanwhile family bankruptcies are up 44% and a major housing firm, Martinsa Fadesa, is in crisis mode. On the plus s
ide, Euribor had been declining of late, giving relief to mortgage rates.

Martinsa Fadesa pierde un 33,8% en bolsa por las dificultades para cerrar el préstamo de su deuda – El País
El número de familias en quiebra sube un 44% – El País
La inflación crece a su mayor ritmo en trece años y sube un 5% – El País
Los datos parciales hasta mayo apuntan a un crecimiento cero de la economía española – El País
Los precios de la vivienda nueva bajan un 2,1% – El País
El Euríbor marca su cota más baja del mes – El País

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