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Month in Review, January 2013: Part 1, From the local

14 March, 2013 (14:34) | Bankruptcy, Cambridge, Detroit, Elderly, Euro, Global markets, Greece, Humor, MEEs, Month in review, Public housing, Redevelopment, Rent control, Spain, Speculation |

[Previous Months in Review available here: Dec 12, Nov 12, Oct 12, Sep 12, Aug 12, Jul 12, Jun 12, May 12]   By:David A. Smith   No interval is so gloomy as to be entirely without its lighter side, and for a New England Patriots fan despondent at the team’s elimination from the playoffs, […]

Structured by cows: Part 2, As a cat laps milk

13 March, 2013 (09:00) | Litigation, Rating agencies, Securitization, Standard & Poor's, Subprime, US News |

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   They’ll take suggestion as a cat laps milk.  – William Shakespeare, The Tempest   Yesterday’s post delved into the juicy details deliberately provided by the Department of Justice in its $5 billion lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s, as reported in the Wall Street Journal (February […]

Structured by cows: Part 1, Fastest animal on earth?

12 March, 2013 (09:00) | Litigation, Rating agencies, Securitization, Standard & Poor's, Subprime, US News |

By:David A. Smith   A CDO could be structured by cows and we would rate it. – Unnamed S&P employee cited in Department of Justice Lawsuit   Too chicken to rate my securities?   People like stories, especially parables, especially parables that reinforce our moral views of the world.  Because of this, we should be […]

The least surprising takeover of the century

11 March, 2013 (16:12) | Bankruptcy, Cities, Detroit, Infrastructure, Michigan, Municipal bankruptcy, Public choice theory, Receivership, US News |

By:David A. Smith   In fulfillment of the least clairvoyant prediction I’ve made or am likely to make, Detroit’s governor Rick Snyder has announced that he will appoint an ’emergency financial manager’ to take out executive responsibility in Detroit, and when that happens, it will in effect place the Motor City into receivership.  As reported […]

Cannot we consecrate? Part 2, “I expect we will sell it”

8 March, 2013 (09:00) | Affordability, Cabrini-Green, Canon law, Chicago, Churches, Housing, Land value, Law, Ownership, Public housing, Zoning |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.] By:David A. Smith   Yesterday, using half a dozen articles anchored by this report in the Boston Globe (October 20, 2012) (blue font), I followed the eight-year vigil of continuous trespassing occupancy by parishioners of St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate, which by now has become a set of […]