Interesting Housing News Links (March 20, 2009)

* Leave the deduction (Write A Letter)

It is not embedded in the nation’s founding documents. But to generations of Americans, the mortgage interest tax deduction has been viewed as all but a fundamental right.

* Battered Housing Market Gets Booster Shot (CBS News)

Battered Housing Market Gets Booster Shot CBS Evening News: Will Fed’s Cash Influx And Record-Low Mortgage Rates Give Industry A Makeover?

* Private inspections of food companies seen as weak (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar)

WASHINGTON – The mortgage meltdown exposed the weakness of self-regulation in financial markets. Now the salmonella outbreak is doing the same for the food industry.

* WASHINGTON (AP) Rates on 30-year mortgages plunged this week to the lowest level since

WASHINGTON � Rates on 30-year mortgages plunged this week to the lowest level since January, and may fall further after the Federal Reserve launched a new effort to prop up the flailing housing market.

* Fed action sends mortgage rates below 5% (Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune)

Less than a day after the Federal Reserve said it would double its purchases of mortgage debt, fixed rates on conforming 30-year mortgages fell well below 5 percent, and there’s thought rates may stay there for a while.

* California cities top jobless list (Sacramento Business Journal)

Three inland California markets are saddled with the nation’s worst jobless rates — 15.7 percent in Fresno, 15.1 percent in Stockton and 13.8 percent in Bakersfield. Toledo has the highest unemployment rate outside of California, 13.3 percent.

* Animals in the News: Parrots, cats and a cruelty law (Donna J. Miller, Plain Dealer)

Dogs and cats aren’t the only pets being shed by families wrangling with rising prices, unemployment or foreclosure.

* Daily backgrounder – March 20 (Akron Beacon Journal)

Stocks traded lower Thursday as investors worried about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s plans to pump more than $1 trillion into the financial system.

* Bay Area home sales rise as prices fall (Sacramento Business Journal)

The number of Bay Area homes sold beat the year-ago mark for the sixth straight month in February as prices continued to fall across the region.

* The Hazards of an Extended Mind (Greensburg Daily News)

Perhaps you have never heard of the phrase extended mind. It refers to the fact that a person will trust information to be kept somewhere other than inside ones head. Here is how it works.

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