Quite a dramatic day, and yes, this does feel like 1989 a bit, though how it will turn out is completely up in the air.

• Fannie and Freddie’s regulator has found it difficult to get mortgage data out of the bank trustees and servicers. This is made even tougher by the fact that the FHFA is operating under an acting director, and President Obama won’t renominate Joseph Smith to head that post. The US Bankruptcy Trustee has had his own run-ins with the servicers. It may not seem like it, but the walls are closing in.

• In a related story, CAP has released its recommendation for the future of mortgage finance and the secondary securitization market. If I had to guess, I’d say that this will mirror the Treasury Department’s approach. And that’s not a good thing, given the analysts I’m hearing from.

• It’s not just Egypt; protests in Tunisia continue and have succeeded in removing additional ministers from the former regime, and protests have also broken out in Yemen and now Jordan.

An amazing account of the protests and fighting in Alexandria today, which ended with the police shaking hands with the protesters.

• There’s no question that vulnerable groups like minorities have been disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis. In a sense, that explains why it’s been forgotten. But the emergence of military families among the victims could change that.

• The “Anonymous” pro-Wikileaks hackers who disrupted many websites face arrest in Britain and FBI searches in the US. More from Ryan J. Reilly.

• GM doesn’t need $14 billion in federal loans for building electric vehicles anymore. The auto industry has really bounced back, it seems. In fact, car sales drove those decent GDP numbers, in part.

• Building up the Afghan security forces will cost another $2 billion to implement. Defense pay-go, anyone? Added bonus: John Bolton would hate it!

• More in the early-session roundelay of members of Congress introducing legislation: Al Franken has a net neutrality bill that goes much further than the FCC’s action; Ed Markey and George Miller released a bill to implement all the recommendations of the Oil Spill Commission. And Ron Wyden has a bill to limit warrantless cell phone tracking, which makes far too much sense.

• Predictably, former derivatives trader Pat Toomey winds up on the Senate Banking Committee.

• Given how well some industries make out with corporate tax breaks, scaling them back to lower the overall rate is a bit of a longshot.

• Every single member of the Democratic side of the House Judiciary Committee wrote a letter today supporting hearings on gun safety legislation. There was not one such hearing in the last Congress. Incidentally, the President has plenty of options on gun control that he could initiate without going through Congress.

• How am I supposed to take a white Governor saying to a black lawmaker “I don’t need your people”?

• This Rep. David Rivera is really not long for Congress. The latest scandal? He paid himself $60,000 in unexplained campaign money while in the state legislature.

• This was quite an exchange in President Obama’s YouTube town hall yesterday.

• I didn’t get an invite to taste all the fine wine at Davos this year. I guess I would have liked to see Aung Sun Suu Kyi speak, but I’ll read the Financial Times interview instead.

• Naked Capitalism has an insider’s take on how Virginia delegates protected MERS and the banks from trouble in the state legislature.

Tragic: gay rights activist in Uganda murdered.

• New videos show the whole “New Black Panther Party” case to be manufactured right-wing nonsense. How many times can you write that?

• Behold the 42 million-person megacity: it’s coming to China.

• More threats on Congressional offices, which always seem to come against Democrats.

• Marcy Wheeler alert: Crazy Pete Hoekstra might run for Senate.

• Joe Biden loves the Onion spoofs about him; so do I.

• This Seinfeld mashup rocks.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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