Two Items From the Department of DON'T SPEND A DIME ON THIS!!!

1. Government-owned mortgage underwriter Freddie Mac is asking for another $10.6 billion, after losing $8 billion.

2. Newsweek is for sale.

At this point, you may be putting your ear trumpet in, leaning forward, and saying "Heh? What's that you say, young fella? How can Freddie Mac be losing money again, when Newsweek's been saying for a year that the recession's over?

Consider this: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing 96.5 percent of the mortgage market. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that new applications for mortgages are finally increasing. We've been following for almost two years as the government has pushed lending standards down even further. And here's the highly respected Meredith Whitney Advisory Group founder Meredith Whitney discussing the coming "double dip" in house prices. (Has the first dip even ended?) That means we'll all be on the hook for a new wave of defaults. So cough up, ya stingy bastitch, it's your patriotic duty.

You may also be typing lots of "OMG"s with your thumbs and saying, "How can somebody be selling Newsweek when it's so awesome?"

That one's even simpler. Check out editor Jon Meacham's year-ago editor's note "A New Magazine for a Changing World," and weep for the brave new world that has such weeklies in it.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ¢ can remember things||

    AMERICA'S BACK!

  • ||

    No one has signed this post. I'm gonna guess it's from Matt.

  • ||

    D'oh! You would've been my second guess, Tim.

  • ||

    Meredith Whitney is a Perma-Bear who gained fame in 2007-08.

    She also gained some new body parts. Good for her.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Good to know you can still make fun of a woman's appearance when you obviously can't refute her arguments.

  • black kettle assoc.||

    A new spokesman!

  • SIV||

    Her husband could kick your ass.

  • ||

    First, the recession will end well before anyone in the mainstream acknowledges it. That's the way it always works.

    Second, when recessions end, there aren't tons of indications that we're still in low-growth mode. Trying to get consumers to buy that we're not in a recession is not, contrary to popular media belief, the only thing that has to change for the economy to improve.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Considering the housing overhang, the impending tax hikes, the uncertainty around what this anti-business (unless you're politically connected and have union employees) administration will do, and the monetary policy games, I think a "double dip" or "triple dip" recession is entirely possible.

    Add in the fact that a Republican president probably won't do much but slow the colossal rate of growth, and it might wind up becoming the Great Recession - imagine Japan 1990-2003.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    1. No one trusts Greece to be able to institute austerity, bailout or not. Greece is nearing sovereign default. European banks have huge exposure to Greek sovereign debt. If Greece falls, European banks take a huge hit. Every time a new proposal is put forth, Greece's bailout gets bigger. No one even knows if the bailout will even happen, let alone that it can solve any of Greece's problems.

    2. Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland are in similar situations. The Spanish Government's projections of revenue, recovery, and debt are beyond optimistic into out-right lunacy. Ireland's saving grace is that legendary Celtic stinginess. Ireland ran out of money and so slashed the budget. The Irish are grumbling but agree it must be done. Spain won't do this, and its unemployment rate is already twenty percent.

    3. More and more homes are going into foreclosure, as the Phantom Recovery isn't creating private sector jobs or providing raises for anyone who isn't a military contractor or a Wall Street crony. In fact, while the regular unemployment rate remained 9.7% last month, the U6 measure ticked up to 16.9% from 16.8%.

    I hate interesting times.

  • Jeffersonian||

    **sigh** If only they had had European-style regulation and taxation, this would never have happened.

  • ed||

    Newsweek wanted to interview a Greek taxpayer but couldn't find one.

  • Tman||

    "These two entities—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

    Whoopsie!

  • ||

    But it was Bushy-Boy who killed the Fannie/Freddie Reform Act of 2005 after it passed the House.

  • Tman||

  • ||

    no.

    HR 1461 (GSE Reform Act) passed in 2005 before a pocket veto by Bush

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-1461

  • ||

    Uh, that URL shows it never got to the President.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    It looks like it got killed in The Senate, but then I don't know what a "pocket veto" is.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Basically, the President lets the bill sit on his desk until the window for signing has passed.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Careful here. Normally bills pass by default if not vetoed within (um...double checks with Article I) 10 days excepting Sundays. *But* if congress goes out of session before that deadline, the bill dies a silent death.

    That last case is called a "pocket veto". The image is one of the President folding up the bill, putting it in his pocket and simply forgetting about it.

  • ||

    Exactly. The pocket veto is rare because the President rarely bucks his own Congress.

    The same may happen with Obama on the misguided "audit the Fed" Bill.

    He will rightly kill it.

  • krink||

    A) As already noted, Bush did not veto anything! The bill never reached his desk. It was killed by GIMMECRATS such as Bawney Fwank and the other lefty cocksuckers of Congress.

    B) There's no such thing as a "pocket veto" for the President! That loophole has never been available to him. That's why the few times Bush did veto anything, it immediately went back to Congress. Only the governors of certain states have a pocket veto.

    In short, you're full of shit on all counts and everyone knows it. Now fuck off and die, shrike. No one around here believes your bullshit.

  • ||

    Exactly. The pocket veto is rare because the President rarely bucks his own Congress.

    The same may happen with Obama on the misguided "audit the Fed" Bill.

    He will rightly kill it.

  • Tman||

    Shrike, the bill never got to Bush's desk. How can it be vetoed-pocketed or otherwise- of it never reached his desk?

  • ||

    FEDPIGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    The pocket veto is rare because the President rarely bucks his own Congress.

    No, the pocket veto is rare because it can only happen on a bill passed within the last ten days of a session.

    In any case, Bush didn't pocket veto that bill. He publicly claimed support for it, but it was held up in the Senate. All the Senate Democrats (except perhaps one or two) were against it, and enough Senate Republicans carried water for Fannie and Freddie after an intense lobbying campaign that it died.

    I suppose you could claim that somehow Bush was secretly supporting those doing the opposite of his public statements.

  • engineer||

    Seriously, shrike, DID you get a lobotomy?

  • ||

    EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy|5.5.10 @ 8:30PM|#
    "Careful here. Normally bills pass by default if not vetoed within (um...double checks with Article I) 10 days excepting Sundays. *But* if congress goes out of session before that deadline, the bill dies a silent death."

    This presumes the bill has gotten to the desk of the President, if I'm not mistaken.
    IOWs, if it hasn't passed the Senate out of committee, there's no way there can be a 'pocket veto'.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Yes. The ten days excluding Sundays are measured from the time the bill is presented to the President.

    If it is held up on the Hill, that's a different situation.

  • ||

    EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy|5.5.10 @ 8:30PM|#
    "Careful here. Normally bills pass by default if not vetoed within (um...double checks with Article I) 10 days excepting Sundays. *But* if congress goes out of session before that deadline, the bill dies a silent death."

    This presumes the bill has gotten to the desk of the President, if I'm not mistaken.
    IOWs, if it hasn't passed the Senate out of committee, there's no way there can be a 'pocket veto'.

  • Tman||

    Read your link again. The Senate never voted on the bill. Is that what you mean by the pocket Veto?

    It's my understanding that Bush preferred S. 190: Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 over H.R. 1461, but considering Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which was a Democratic party sponsored intiative that featured the same idea's as H.R. 1461, I don't see why anyone would've thought he would've vetoed H.R. 1461.

  • ||

    S.190 and HR 1461 were the same (Chuck Hagel sponsored the S. 190).

    Mike Oxley (R) House Finance Chair accused Bush of wanting to privatize Fannie via some Social Security privatization scheme.

  • Tman||

    But the bill never got to Bush's desk to sign. How could he veto it if it never got to his desk?

  • ||

    So?
    The bill never got to the President. That makes you a liar.
    And now you're 'well, umming'?

  • ||

    Sorry, this ^ was in response to shrike; should have quoted his weaseling.

  • ||

    S.190 and HR 1461 were the same (Chuck Hagel sponsored the S. 190).

    Yes, and virtually all Senate Democrats opposed it, along with about 10-15 Republicans after a huge Fannie/Freddie lobbying campaign. That's what killed the bill. FWIW, Bush publicly backed the bill.

  • ||

    Is "Bushy-Boy" your secret code name for "the Senate" or "almost all Democrats in the Senate plus 10-15 Republicans?"

    There's a lot of things to legitimately blame on Bush, but on that bill he was on the correct side.

  • LarryA||

    Fannie and Freddy have a rich uncle who'll bail them out, so at least for Rep. Frank, no crisis.

  • meathead||

    I have an extra $5 in my pocket. Will that be enough to buy Newsweek and it's 5 remaining subscribers?

  • .||

    Five? I'm sure there are more dentists than that.

  • ||

    If you're looking for someone to out bid you . . . . . . . . . . .Uh, hello?

  • ||

    This might have nothing to do with anything, but I wanted everyone to know that I found a great website for finding economic info spanning 1790 to 2009 for the US and the UK. It's a calculator program, so all that you have to do is plug in the dates.

    http://www.measuringworth.com/growth/index.php

    This site also includes a cpi type inflation index for the 1800's! Just by plugging in some dates, I was able to see that the unskilled worker income, as well as per capita income, grew faster between 1870 and 1900 than it has since 1971. You guys should check it out and input some dates to see for yourself.

    I was on another site where people were arguing that britain experienced a WW1 boom that ended in 1925 when the UK "rejoined the gold standard" (the classic gold standard didn't exist anywhere in the world after the beginning of WW1, technically). By plugging in the dates, I was able to show how economic growth actually INCREASED between 1925 and 1929, in the UK, and that economic growth had gone negative during the post war years leading up to 1925.

    The gold standard couldn't have possibly caused "The Great Depression," as all data points to a massive pyramiding of wealth from WW1 onward, plus the use of the US dollar in other countries under a gold exchange standard (very different from a true gold standard), leading to a vulnerable world credit bubble that simply burst causing a cascade of devaluation across the globe.

  • Thorbie||

    Wait...so when Newsweek says something, it doesn't automatically mean it is true? What? That's like saying Newsweek prints opinion pieces, despite it being called "Newsweek" and not "Opinionweek." Nice try Reason. Lol.

    I've read a number of Meacham's articles. I think he sums up the idiocy and ideological laziness at Newsweek. He pegged both Palin and Goldwater as small government extremists in opposition to the moderate Reagan.

  • Newsweek Management||

    We all type with our thumbs here!

  • ||

    That's quite a feat, your thumbs being all the way up your asses and all...

  • krink||

    The only reason to buy Spewsweak now that it's up for sale is... for a big horselaugh; specifically, if you happen to be a conservative sugar daddy who's just dying to see the looks on those commies' faces when you announce that you're firing their asses and shutting them down once and for all, and that their "experience" at this communist rag will forevermore be considered a stain on their resumes as you rate them all incompetent and insubordinate on their final employee reviews.

  • engineer||

    Actually, I'd let them keep all their jobs, on the condition that each of them wrote a piece completely contradicting something they'd said in the last year. Since, as noted, Newsweek is really more opinions than news, this shouldn't be too problematic, provided the journalists have no shame. And, considering that they work at Newsweek, they probably don't.

  • ||

    It's a good thing Dan Gross has such full, supple lips with which to fellate the Obama Administration with articles like "The Recession is Over!" and "America's Back!"

  • &||

    Newsweek is where journalists sleep when they're not appearing on MSNBC.

  • engineer||

    I think the huge inflated balloon is actually the perfect analogy for the current "recovery". Little of substance, mostly hot air, and ready to deflate at a pinprick.

  • Sean Dougherty||

    My apolitical take on Newsweek's wrong turn is at my business journalism blog here: Permalink: http://seanreadsthenews.typepa.....-sale.html Edit.

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