Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Credit flow hinges on big-bank ‘stress-test’

Commentary: Workouts won't stop 'inevitable foreclosures'

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Weakness overseas has overtaken the U.S. economy as the chief worry in financial markets -- knocking the knees from under the stock market -- but in perverse benefit has made it easier for the Treasury to borrow and held mortgages below 5 percent. That shift in fear center this week has created the misimpression that markets actively dislike Obama's financial rescue plans. Certainly, these plans are far from full-effect, and the most important one (credit fix) still hazy, but don't buy the scaremongers selling helplessness and incompetence. That was last year. Tuesday brought news of extraordinary declines in Asian gross domestic products and exports, followed by similar news from Europe, and of new bank exposure there in loans made to Eastern Europe. The most disturbing thought from Europe: the low but rising threat of a national default going dominoes and exposing the euro currency. Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Belgium and Portugal desperately need to devalue their curr...