Rebecca Christie and Jodie Shen of Bloomberg:
The two companies, the largest sources of mortgage financing in the U.S., are currently under government conservatorship and have caps of $200 billion each on backstop capital from the Treasury. Under the new agreement announced today, these limits can rise as needed to cover net worth losses through 2012.
The Obama administration is “beginning to realize it’s not getting better and it’s not likely to get better” soon in the housing market, said Julian Mann, who helps oversee $5.5 billion in bonds as a vice president at First Pacific Advisors LLC in Los Angeles. “They don’t want the foreclosures now, so they’re saying, we’ll pay whatever it takes to continue to kick the can down the road.”
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now are using a combined $111 billion of the total $400 billion lifeline.
More thuggery from the US Dept. of State. Buenos Aires Herald:
Arturo Valenzuela, the US envoy, said Argentina lacked “legal security” [for investment] and had good words for the governments of the 1990’s in the country [cf. Carlos Saul Menem who left Argentina in such straits that it was forced to default on its bonds and who ran a scorched earth political campaign against the husband of the current president, i.e. the Kirchner quoted below].
The Peronist deputy [Nestor Kirchner] called the comments “regrettable” and “disrespectful” towards the country. Kirchner also accused him of “believing viceroys still exist.” In the same speech, Kirchner also blamed the US for “the dawnfall of the most important economies in the world.”
“We must tell this man Arturo Valenzuela that the lack of legal security was caused by them,” he said in reference to the United States.
State Dept. response, Colonel Crowley at the helm:
QUESTION: And what about the trip of Mr. Valenzuela to Argentina? There were some comments – they are not really very friendly from the Argentinian Government.
MR. CROWLEY: I think Arturo Valenzuela returned from a trip to multiple countries in the region over the past few days. I think he thought it was a very successful trip. He had, I think, lengthy public comments while he was in Argentina. There was one passage during those comments that got some significant attention, and we have been in touch with Argentina to clarify his comments since then.
QUESTION: May I ask something else? It is regarding the – some comments Secretary Clinton made last week regarding this country for having relations with Iran. What did she mean by that? She sent like a warning to those countries – Latin America. I don’t know. Could you please clarify the –
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, I thought her comments spoke for themselves. We – I think we believe that countries should choose their friends wisely.
Again the schoolmaster.
The plane on which Bolivian president Evo Morales was flying was forced to land due to a hydraulic problem.
Via Honduras Oye, Flashpoints says that the death squads, led by Guy Philippe, are out with impunity in Haiti. Guy Philippe is a former police officer and cocaine trafficker whose forces–armed with brand new M16s strongly resembling those shipped by Bushco to the Dominican Republic– were used to massacre Lavalas officials and oust Aristide. He is now staying in a hotel leading his political party. He still has an open warrant for his arrest from the DoJ and DEA but is able to walk around freely. Lavalas is being barred from participation in the elections. Oh– and in the parking lot of the hotel were cars with diplomatic license plates, including some cars of the Rene Preval Administration. Bill Clinton is serving as the public face for all this.
From Eva Golinger:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez revealed today on his Sunday television and radio program, Aló Presidente, that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, have illegally entered Venezuela’s airspace during the past several days. “A few days ago, one of these military planes penetrated Venezuela as far as Fort Mara,” a Venezuelan military fort in the State of Zulia, bordering Colombia.