Housing's Wal-Mart Effect [Ross Kaplan]
Ross Kaplan puts forth a tight little summary of how bargain priced homes don't necessarily pull down the prices of all homes. A great point.
A Bad Neighbor [Boardman]
The Pioneer Press is trying to force feed paid subscriptions on the denizens of St. Paul. When phone companies do this, it's called slamming. We need a new term.
Can't sell it until you fix it [Strib]
Will city requirements that sellers of vacant homes bring them to code before selling hurt or help the housing market? Considering that many of these ordinances require vacant homes be in better repair than currently occupied, for sale properties, it is probably overkill.
MN Small Business & Banking Crisis [TCDP]
Kabit Sethi looks at how the banking crisis might impact small business lending in MN. Lots of community banks means business credit should still be relatively easy, though SBA lending, and riskier "iffy" deals may be tougher to come by, and fewer businesses will qualify as economy slows.
Elsewhere & Otherwise
Stocks: A Bear Case [Market Movers/Portfolio]
An old school way of looking at stocks – though dividend yield, rather than price appreciation – may be telling us that stocks have a lot further to fall. Who knew that people once bought stocks for the dividend income, rather than share price appreciation?
Fed to Cut Rates…And? [Sudden Debt]
Hellsasious posits that further rate cuts are sort of pointless, and what the economy really needs is less debt PERIOD, not more or cheaper debt: "Lowering the cost of borrowing would be great – if there were thousands of healthy businesses eager to borrow and apply the funds to new plant and equipment, to hire new workers and to fund research and development. But, there aren't – that was last century's economic model."
Hunting for Scalps [Economist]
You can bet that authorities will be looking for a few heads to ceremonially lop off as a result of this financial tsunami, though evidence of guilt may prove more elsusive than past crises.
On Dead Dinosaurs:
Crude Oil = $61.00 [The Big Picture]
If you haven't noticed at the pump, oil is way down.
The Oil Cushion [Calculated Risk]
The drop in oil prices should save $12-15 Billion per month for consumers, and may cushion the severity of the economic downturn.