Econintersect: There is only one number in the April 2012 balance of trade numbers for Germany that shows effects of the Eurozone crisis: The balance of trade surplus with the rest of the Eurozone. According to a report in Finfacts Ireland the balance of trade surplus with the rest of the Eurozone countries shrank to a mere €300 million, only 2 % of the overall surplus of €14.4 billion. (Note: The exact numbers can be reviewed in the press release from the Bundesbank, shown later.) The rest of the trade numbers all seem within normal historic ranges.
Econintersect: The NFIB's May 2012 monthly optimism index fell 0.1 to 94.4:
- gains in six out of last eight months
- historically low and consistent with the sub-par performance of GDP and employment growth
- individual indicators were mixed.
NFIB reports usually contain blasts directed at Washington.
“In the last year, small-business optimism has limped along, and today the sector is no better off than it was just over a year ago,” said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg.
Econintersect: News of low inventories being good for the market continue to grow. Most imply it is good news. One of the loudest voices comes from Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist who said:
“The general downtrend in both listed and shadow inventory has shifted from a buyers’ market to one that is much more balanced, but in some areas it has become a seller’s market.”
CoreLogic's MarketPulse report stated:
"....... REOs has slowed over the last 18 months, negative equity has become a positive force in real estate markets by restricting supply in the face of increasing demand".
Econintersect: Last week Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance filed charges against Abacus Federal Savings Bank and 19 former employees for committing mortgage fraud. Does this mean more prosecutions of other banks for crimes committed prior to the housing crisis? There will probably not be more, according to William K. Black, former regulator and current professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Black tells Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia (video follows below) that there is a profound lack of resources in state and federal government to investigate and prosecute banks and employees for mortgage fraud despite substantial evidence of criminal activity. Black also claims that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has discouraged regulators and prosecutors from pursuing large banks for malfeasance and fraud.
Econintersect: It appears that the existence of mortgage fraud is a myth perpetrated by a few firebrand internet types called bloggers. Econintersect has found irrefutable proof of this massive hoax perpetrated by a few reprobates who probably should be pursued for fraud, slander and debasement of commerce, the banking system and country. On Friday morning (8 June 2012) a panel was convened by David Dayen to discuss foreclosure fraud at the Netroots Nation 2012 conference in Providence, RI. The panel was comprised of Neil Barofsky, Lynn Szymoniak and Malcolm Chu. The title of the session: Foreclosure Fraud: How the Banks Broke the Housing Market and How We are Fighting Back. It is because of this session that Econintersect has developed its proof that there is no fraud.