Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Treasury Rates Hit Zero; Refinancing Doesn't Help

Two quick stories that point to bad things to come. Short-term treasury rates hit rock bottom today:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors are so nervous they're willing to accept the same return from government debt that they'd get from burying money in a coffee can -- zero.

The Treasury Department said Tuesday it had sold $30 billion in four-week bills at an interest rate of zero percent, the first time that's happened since the government began issuing the notes in 2001.

That is raw fear folks. Why in the world would you PAY MONEY TO LEND TO SOMEBODY ELSE? Stupid, just plain stupid. The other is even more depressing:
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than half of all homeowners who had their loans modified to make the payments more affordable in the first half of the year are already in default again, banking regulators said Monday.

The new data raise questions about whether government money may be better spent on creating jobs, rather than averting foreclosures, said John Reich, director of the federal Office of Thrift Supervision office at a housing industry forum sponsored by his agency.

Sad, sad, very sad. And unsurprising. And government money should NOT be spent "creating jobs." It should be left to the people who earned it in the first place. They will do better things with it than the government ever could. I simply cannot resist one further comment on the automaker-bailout:
All three executives, including Ford's Alan Mulally, agreed that a multibillion-dollar bailout deal would include a supervisory government board that could order major restructuring of the companies if deemed necessary for survival -- similar to the results in many reorganizing efforts under bankruptcy law.
Does anyone else find it ironic that now the federal government of the United States of America, the largest debtor in the world, is now lecturing US automakers on what they need to do to become profitable? Is this not a joke? It is simply ludicrous that the same politicians that are fiscally running this nation into the ground are lecturing others on keeping their financial house in order. The US will run at least a trillion dollar deficit this year. I'm now guessing next year it'll be two. The only reason the US government is not bankrupt is that it has the power to print money. Otherwise, it'd make the big three look like paragons of efficiency. What a cruel, cruel joke. The world must be about to implode.

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