Berk's Blog

Reasons for Optimism

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Twenty Reasons For Optimism from the Digital Rules Blog
My favorites of the twenty follow: Ben Bernancke as TV star after his 60 Minutes interview, a Fed head that is a real person and talks like one too! And the grownups in the Obama campaign, I mean White House, realized that “making work pay” does no good if it makes 401(k)s shrink – #12.

12. The Obama administration has done a 180-degree turn. They are talking up the economy instead of talking it down. Why? Smarter heads have figured the obvious. Stocks and Obama’s approval ratings dropped in lockstep after the Inauguration. Much as Obama would have liked to blame this on Bush, prices and polls said otherwise.

13. The administration has benched Tim Geithner and made Larry Summers and Ben Bernanke its spokesmen on economic issues. Smart move.

14. Moderate Democrats are pushing back on the excesses of the Obama budget.

15. The massive stealth tax on energy called “cap and trade“is not a slam dunk to pass.16. Union card check might not pass, either. You know it’s a bad idea when even liberal lion George McGovern opposes it. In a TV ad, McGovern said the bill would “effectively eliminate an employee’s right to a private vote when deciding whether to join a union,” McGovern says in the ad for employeefreedom.org. “It’s hard to believe that any politician would agree to a law denying millions of employees the right to a private vote. I’ve always been a champion of labor unions, but I fear that today’s union leaders are turning their backs on democratic workplace elections. … This proposed law cannot be justified.”

19. The clowns are capitulating.
Here is Joe Queenan: “A few weeks ago, I panicked again and moved another hefty chunk out of the market. The Dow was then trading at 7,500; now it is approaching 6,500. I fully expect to panic again at 6,000, probably at 5,000, and might even get in a bit of late-in-the-day panicking at 4,000. Tentatively, I am drawing a line in the sand at the crucial watershed of Dow 3,000, because any hysterical selling beyond that point would be anti-American and counterproductive.”

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows from Mark Perry’s Carpe Diem


McLean, VA – Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE)today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.98% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 19, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.03%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.87%. The 30-year FRM has not been lower since the week ending January 15, 2009, when it hit an all-time low of 4.96% in Freddie Mac’s weekly survey survey.