Merry Christmas From Your Friends At NetNet!


CNBC's Diana Olick on Possible Expanded Role for GSEs(CNBC) "Last week I interviewed an investor who buys foreclosed properties and rents them out long-term for solid returns. He claims that's the only way to right the housing market — get long-term investors to eat up the excess inventory. The biggest roadblock, however, is credit.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both limit the number of investor mortgages. Multiple sources now tell me that the Administration, specifically over at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is considering ways to get more investors into the housing market, possibly with the help of Fannie and Freddie. HUD would not confirm that, but Fannie Mae's chief economist Doug Duncan said it is definitely on the table both at HUD and at Fannie. "

Drinkers Holy Grail -- Or First Steps Down the Road to Neurochemical Serfdom? (Bloomberg) The headline amazes: "Alcoholics May Stop at One Drink With Help From Lundbeck Anti-Abuse Drug" Then we hit the deflationary second paragraph: "The drug, nalmefene from H. Lundbeck A/S in Valby, Denmark, blocks brain signals that make activities such as sex and drinking feel good." A London based analyst called Peter Welford sizing up the demand says: "The market remains an untapped gold mine."

But where will this brave new world ultimately lead? (I'm betting on a dystopian nightmare of brain-addled automatons. Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!)"

Another Twitter Trading Skeptic? (Felix Salmon) Felix Salmon appears toshare some of my skeptical sentiments on the wisdom of Twitter trading. {LINK} Here is his description of a graphical "proof" demonstrating the statistical power of the Twitter trading theory: "To my untrained eye, I have to admit that all I see here is two random lines layered on top of each other. But according to the paper, if you run this data through a Granger Causality Analysis and then a Self-Organizing Fuzzy Neural Network, you get all manner of enticing predictive power out the other end. In the chart, the shaded areas supposedly show the periods where Twitter successfully predicted where the stock market was going." Salmon also makes another excellent point: Whether the trader wins or loses -- Twitter makes a killing selling the data.

Oil Futures Up (MarketWatch) "Crude-oil futures ended further past $91 a barrel on Thursday, bringing weekly gains to about 4%, as investors bid up the contract on the back of expectations for stronger global demand. Oil for February delivery ended up $1.03, or 1.1%, at $91.51 a barrel by the close of floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange."

Positive Consumer Spending Numbers Ahead of the Holiday (Washington Post) "Consumer spending rose in November as incomes also bumped up, according to government data released Thursday morning, solidifying hopes that the holiday shopping season has been a merry one. Spending rose 0.3 percent from the previous month after adjusting for inflation, the seventh consecutive monthly increase. That was driven by a 0.5 percent jump in spending on nondurable goods, such as clothing, and a 0.3 percent increase in services. Spending on automobiles dropped in November after a strong boost the previous month, tamping down the increase in sales of durable goods to 0.2 percent. In addition, unadjusted spending in October was revised upward from a 0.4 percent increase to 0.7 percent, the highest rate in nearly two years."