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Best of the Blogs: Freddie Mac Gets Paid to Obstruct Refinancings


Minyanville's daily roundup of some of the best financial commentary from around the Web.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Feel free to send along your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.

Felix Salmon
Link: Freddie Mac Gets Paid to Obstruct Refinancings
Back in September I noted that mortgage bonds are trading well above par just because investors are well aware that refis are hard to come by for many homeowners, and said that those investors were "taking unfair advantage of the fact that homeowners are locked into above-market mortgage rates". What I never dreamed of was that the investors and the rule-setters were the same people - in this case, Freddie Mac.

Link: Federal Pay vs. Private Sector Compensation
Are federal workers really overpaid? Public sector pay is a subject of long-simmering dispute - examined in previous posts on this blog. Many right-leaning organizations argue that federal workers make more than their private-sector counterparts and that the disparity is growing. Many left-leaning research groups and labor groups argue that the idea that Washington overpays workers is a myth, and that superficial disparities in compensation are due to public employees' greater tendency to have advanced degrees and to be older.

All Things D
Pulse Creates a One-Stop Shop for Election News

Want to pull yourself out of the "filter bubble" and read political news from a wide variety of sources? You might try Pulse's new election section. The mobile news-reading app has compiled some 25 political news outlets, including some significant ones it didn't previously offer, like Fox News and the New Republic.

Link: Under CEO Dick Costolo, Twitter is Growing Up
In its gradual rise from scrappy start-up to a global communications platform, Twitter has long faced crisis after existential crisis. What kind of company is it? How do we become profitable? What the hell do people use Twitter for, anyway? Since 2006, these questions have persisted, plaguing a company still getting its legs in the Valley. (Also Read Twitter Valued at $8 Billion in Latest Funding Round.)

Real Time Economics
Link: A Look at Case-Shiller by Metro Area
The composite 20-city home price index, a key gauge of U.S. home prices, dropped 1.3% from October and fell 3.7% from a year earlier. Nineteen cities posted monthly declines, with just Phoenix showing an increase. Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa posted new index level lows. (For related content, see 12 Housing Themes for 2012.)

Twitter: @Minyanville

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