Quote of the Morning

Jeff Matthews nails it:

What happened to the heroic, forward-looking rhetoric great leaders are supposed to provide in times of crisis?

FDR gave us “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Churchill gave us “We shall fight on the beaches.”

George Bush cruises in with “This sucker could go down.”

Afternoon update: OUCH. Largest one-day drop on the DOW, ever.

Barry's Righteous Rant

Over at “The Big Picture”, Barry Ritholtz has been doing terrific work reporting on the shenanigans in the markets and the economy. Today he let rip a rant that’s worth sharing. Here’s a taste:

When this era of excess and absurdity is treated by historians in the future, the question I expect to be asked most is not why many of these people weren’t jailed for their financial felonies. Rather, I expect them to wonder why so many of these folk weren’t placed in protective custody, and heavily medicated, for the only rational explanation for their statements and behaviors is that they have gone so far beyond the bend as to be completely and totally insane.

They Buried The Lede

Deep in the news reports about the government economic stimulus package today was this nugget of information:

To address the mortgage crisis, the package also raises the limits on Federal Housing Administration loans and home mortgages that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase to as high as $725,000 in high-cost areas. Those are considerable boosts over the current FHA limit of $362,000 and the $417,000 cap for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s loan purchases.

For those of us living in high cost of living areas, that has the potential for a much bigger and more long-term boost to the economy than a quick cash infusion, becasue now many more people will be able to avoid some of the ‘jumbo’ loan penalties put on loans that are bigger than FHA guidelines.