Monday, March 17, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
The U.S. dollar has fallen sharply in recent days. It has reached new record highs against the euro and Swiss franc. It has fallen below the JPY100 level for the first time since 1995. At the same time oil and gold have raced to new record highs. News reports, citing analysts at a couple of large investment banks, say the intervention watch has begun. It is not clear what being on intervention watch entails, especially when neither the analysts themselves nor the price action itself suggest that intervention is perceived to be imminent.
Friday, March 7, 2008
It is clear that the financial crisis that began in the US housing market and the derivatives tied to it has metastasized well beyond it, but it remains in the forefront of policy makers concerns. And for good reason, home ownership in the US reached almost 70% before the recent surge in foreclosures. An estimated 1% of homeowners were in some stage of foreclosure proceedings at the start of the year.
The Bush Administration has launched several initiatives to help relieve the pressure on American home owners, including the Hope Now private sector effort to minimize foreclosures. Nevertheless, as foreclosure rates rise, political and economic pressure mounts to do more.