Let’s talk money: Everything’s going crazy! The White House today announced that “U.S. unemployment would be higher and the budget deficit larger than previously thought,” to the tune of $9 trillion, or $2 trillion more than previous estimates. The new numbers are in line with earlier estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, which will give its own revised figures later today. Meanwhile, President Obama indicated that he will give Ben Bernanke another term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, because he wants to keep intact the team that saved us from another depression and the last thing he needs right now is a tough confirmation battle.
But things are still rough on the recession front. Is there anything that could save us? How about “repackaging old mortgage securities and offering to sell them as new products“? That’s right, Re-Remics (short for “resecuritization of real estate mortgage investment conduits”) are the popular new strategy for bundling risky debt with more secure offerings in order to get that all-important triple-A bond rating. If it sounds a lot like the collateralized debt obligations that helped bring about the recession in the first place, it’s because it is-in fact, some CDOs are being converted into Re-Remics-but this time it will be different, because the only thing that could go wrong is that the housing market loses further value, and we all know that can’t happen, because of, I dunno, magic! Should, for some inconceivable reason, the economy fail to boom again, you’ll be happy to know that your future Chinese overlords are preparing for their roles at the top of the economic ladder by taking each other’s pictures in the Beijing Ikea. It’s a funny old world.