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Weekend CurbedWire: Market Crisis Round-Up

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These are bizarre times, people. The latest national and local headlines, and how the news could affect/is affecting Los Angeles. The #10 article will make you feel less alone.

1.) What History Tells Us About the Market, WSJ: “In fact, the market is probably wrong again in its obsession over whether this decline will turn into a cataclysmic collapse. Eugene White, an economics professor at Rutgers University who is an expert on the crash of 1929 and its aftermath, thinks that the only real similarity between today's climate and the Great Depression is that, once again, "the market is moving on fear, not facts."

2.) Bailout Won’t Fix Housing Crisis, Real Estate Pros Say, San Diego Business Journal: "While the $700 billion bailout contains some provisions for homeowners in distress — for instance, modifying interest rates on home loans for hardship circumstances — real estate professionals say interest rate reductions won’t solve the housing debacle in Southern California, where property values have fallen by one-third since 2005....Jim Bliesner, executive director of the San Diego City-County Reinvestment Task Force, which leverages investment for housing, says solutions should be tailored to each region, instead of a blanket approach out of Washington, D.C"

3.) Under $400,000, LABJ: "The median price of homes sold in Los Angeles County crashed through the $400,000 level in September and landed at $380,000, according to sale data supplied to the Business Journal. Home prices here have not been that low since early 2004 – about the time the dramatic run-up in home prices was gaining steam."

4.) What You Can Control: Your Credit Score, NY Times: “If you can’t come up with a big down payment, there are still loans available. There is one bright spot for borrowers: The Federal Housing Administration backs certain loans that lenders make to borrowers with down payments of as little as 3 percent, even if their credit scores are below average. If only such programs were available for lower-scoring people elsewhere."

5.) Making Sense of the Meltdown, Downtown News: "I think the early evidence suggests that there really was a market for the Downtown product, but what's happened is that with the pricing being so aggressive by builders and with the softening of both the general economy and the credit markets, that pool of potential home buyers has shrunk considerably.” Raphael Bostic, director of the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development, on the downtown market.

6.) Investor Report: Investing by December 1st, Realty Times; If you're planning to buy investment property and financing it through a lender who sells to Fannie Mae, keep the date December First in mind. Nail down your mortgage commitments quickly -- in the next six weeks if you can. That because Fannie -- who's traditionally been a key source of funding -- plans to load on extra fees across the board for investor loans purchased after December 1st because of market conditions. Freddie Mac is imposing similar fees, but its increases take effect November 7th."

7.) What states are suffering most? Financial Times: Map

8.) Worst Value for Your Money: Worst Markets, Forbes: (OK, LA is ranked WORST, but a lot of these Forbes "lists" are total and utter crap. This one could be dead one, we don't know.)

9.) Greenspan pegs housing recovery to early 2009, MSNBC: Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. housing market will begin to recover in the first half of 2009, according to an article he wrote for Emerging Markets magazine published on Friday." (When did he submit the article?_)

10.) In a Home Like Many Others, Uncertainty in Every Check of the Market, NY Times: "In another charming suburban house, with another old Subaru Outback in the driveway and another pair of squirrel-nibbled pumpkins on the steps, another of us reaches for his laptop computer to check. If a piece of machinery can feel pain, then this laptop winces as it opens."