Rising Tide of Anger at Germany over Bailout Obstructionism (Financial Times) No surprises in the first graf here: Everyone seems to agree on two things: 1) The Germans want bondholders to experience some pain; and 2) the official German explanation for why involves the language of 'systemic' concerns about sustainability: "German officials insist their campaign to get private bondholders to shoulder more bail-out costs is not just about domestic considerations. The government is more concerned that the current system—which condemns well-managed states to bailing out badly managed ones—is unsustainable." Straight forward enough. But graf two is very interesting: "But even some of those well-managed states have expressed anger at German tactics. Countries such as the Netherlands, Finland and Austria, all normally allies of Germany in economic governance issues, have raised questions about Berlin’s behaviour." How inscrutable indeed are those backroom discussions in Farnkfurt!
Mortgage Apps at 4 Month Low on Rate Jump (CNBC via Reuters) Bad news, on two fronts? "The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes loans for home purchases and refinancings, fell 14.4 percent to 713.6 in the week ended Nov. 12, the lowest since the July 9 week. Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages surged to a two-month high of 4.46 percent in the week, up from 4.28 percent in the previous period. The rate last month reached 4.21 percent, the lowest level in the survey, which has been conducted weekly since 1990."
Britain to Help Ireland in Debt Crisis? (New York Times) "The British government signaled Wednesday that it could offer direct financial assistance to Ireland even though Britain is outside the euro zone, as the European Union struggled to contain a resurgent debt crisis." It makes you wonder about the politics—and the web of economic relationships—when non-Euro nation seems willing to lend. Interesting.
Government to Benefit for Oversubscription of GM IPO? (Wall Street Journal) Apparently so. More questions doubtless to follow: "Under the increased IPO size, the Treasury Department would see its stake reduced to as little as 33 percent from the current 61 percent. Canada ownership would fall to as low as 9.3 percent from 12 percent while the United Auto Workers' stake would decline to 13 percent from 20 percent. There are still slated to be 1.5 billion shares outstanding after the IPO."
Better Day in Market Today? (Yahoo via MarketWatch) After yesterday's dismal end, let's hope so. Reassuring retail numbers heading into the holiday season might bring cheer to investors all around. "U.S. stock futures began to rebound Wednesday from the prior day’s rout, as discount chain Target Corp. predicted robust holiday sales and Europe began working on a possible rescue plan for Ireland."