ESPN: “In these dark economic times, there is still one beacon of light: Super Bowl XLII. America’s corporations and citizens might be paring expenses and bracing for hard times in every other respect; but in metro Phoenix this week, the mantra is: Recession? What recession?
The bull market for Super Bowl tickets is the inverse of Wall Street’s bearish one. The average price of tickets sold on StubHub is currently $4,227, a hefty premium from their face values of $700 and $900. Rooms at Scottsdale’s 5-star resorts are going for $3,000 a night (four-night minimum).”
(HT: Welcome Back Friedman)
Here’s a follow-up graph to the one in the post below, this one is through 2007-Q3 for “foreclosures started,” from the Mortgage Bankers Association(MBA). What is pretty obvious is that subprime mortgages in general are not the problem, but subprime ARMs that are the real problem. Subprime fixed foreclosures in 2007-Q3 were actually below the last peak in 2003-Q4, and still aren’t much higher than FHA foreclosures. Foreclosures on prime fixed-rate mortgages haven’t moved much at all in the last 5 years.
Fortunately, subprime ARMs make up only 7% of the total mortgage loans outstanding according to the MBA, or about one out of every 14 loans, and of those subprime ARM loans outstanding, about 1 out 20 were in foreclosure in 2007-Q3, or about 1/3 of 1% of all mortgages.
Interesting chart above from Freddie Mac, showing foreclosures through the middle of 2007. Note that delinquency rates for FHA and VA loans were declining in 2007 and flat for prime conventional mortgages, so the delinquency problems (at least through the middle of 2007) were affecting only the subprime mortgage sector. It will be interesting to see how this changes in the last half of 2007.
Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) — Germany’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in 15 years in January. The jobless rate, adjusted for seasonal swings, dropped to 8.1%, the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg said today.
Comment: We haven’t had an unemployment rate in the U.S. above 8% in almost a quarter century, since December of 1983 (see chart above, click to enlarge), following the longest post-WWII recession in U.S. history (16 months).
Forbes Magazine introduces the Forbes Misery Measure, based on a city’s unemployment rate, personal tax rate, commute time, weather, crime, and toxic waste proximity. The top ten “most miserable” cities, according to Forbes:
1. Detroit, MI
2. Stockton, CA
3. Flint, MI
4. New York City
5. Philadelphia, PA
6. Chicago, IL
7. Los Angeles, CA
8. Modesto, CA
9. Charlotte, NC
10. Providence, RI
Territory size shows the proportion of worldwide GDP, equalised in purchasing power parity, found there in the Year 1 A.D.
Territory size shows the proportion of worldwide GDP, adjusted for local purchasing power, found there in the Year 2002.
From today’s BEA report, “Real Disposable Personal Income increased 3.1% in 2007, the same increase as in 2006 (see chart above).”
In fact, there has only been one year since 2001, when real disposable personal income has grown at a higher annual rate than 2007 – the 3.6% rate in 2004.
Territory size shows the proportion of all cars in the world that are found there.
Territory size shows the proportion of all the motorbikes and mopeds in the world found there.
Territory size shows the proportion of worldwide polio cases that were recorded there between 2000 and 2005.
Territories are sized in proportion to the absolute number of people who died from HIV/AIDS.