Economics and Investing:

Flavio sent us this: Foreclosures Up 14% in December. Flavio’s comment: “I can tell you as a real estate broker for the past seven years that things are getting worse, not better. I began to notice years ago that the media is usually about 4 – 6 months behind in reporting what myself and associates are experiencing in the now. So judging by the how quiet the phones have become, and how quiet they remain the last couple months, I would say the ‘second leg down’ has already begun. It is no longer a matter of if anymore. I give it until August for an all out real estate panic to set in among the public and our political leaders.”

Russia diversifies into Canadian dollars. (Thanks to GG for the link.)

Also from GG: Obama to Nationalize Student Lending with Pending Budget Bill

Items from The Economatrix:

US Homebuilder Confidence Drops

Citi Loses $7.8 Billion in Fourth Quarter

Japan Airlines Files for Bankruptcy

The Housing Timebomb

No Genuine Economic Recovery Happening