Good morning! Here’s what we’re talking about on today’s Ilyce Glink Show:

  • Unemployment rolls soar to 5 million. A record number of laid-off people are now receiving unemployment benefits at the same time. Last week, new jobless claims hit 627,000.

  • Wholesale inflation prices surged unexpectedly in January, jumping .8 percent. The conference board said leading economic indicators up .4 percent, up for the second month in a row.

  • Consumer Price Index hit a 53-year low. Consumer Prices are unchanged from a year ago and that is the first time this has happened since 1955.

  • Obama Stimulus Bill – Moral hazard? Did you hear what Rick Santelli of CNBC yelled this week at the Merc? “Do you want to pay your neighbor’s mortgage?” The incentives are heavy for both lenders and borrowers in the Obama bill. Who might get help? Will you qualify?

  • Green tax credits in the Stimulus Bill: Through December 31, 2010: exterior/storm windows/exterior doors, energy Star-qualified metal roof and insulation: 30 percent of the cost to $1,500. Through December 31, 2016: geothermal heat pump, 30 percent of cost, not capped; solar water-heating system: 30 percent of cost or up to $2,000; photovoltaic electricity: 30 percent of cost, not capped; fuel cells: 30 percent of cost (efficiency of at least 30 percent and capacity of at least .5 kilowatt), $1,500 per half-kilowatt of power.

  • Bank nationalization? Will we have to nationalize some of the nation’s largest banks to move on from this crisis? There’s a growing call for this. Bank of America CEO says ” Why nationalize us if we’re profitable?” Great question.

  • The stimulus plan makes COBRA coverage moreyou with 9 months subsidy to those without other means of health insurance. Act 60 days after receiving notice. If your income is $145k/$290k, you’ll pay full tax on 65% subsidy. If your income is $124k to $145k/$250k to $290k, you’ll pay a partial tax. Call the DOL 866-444-3272 or the Georgia Insurance Dept if your former employer doesn’t contact you by April.

  • Apparently, Bernie Madoff never made a single trade in 13 years. You’d think someone at the SEC would have noticed. The SEC increased pressure on Stanford. Turns out, it’s another $8 billion Ponzi scheme with worldwide implications.

  • Housing starts hit their lowest level in half a century, falling 16.8 percent in January from December, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 466,000, according to the Commerce Dept. Housing fell 6.4% in the west and 12.8% in the South. Northeast fell 42.9% and 29.3% in the Midwest.

  • Fed forecasts a much deeper downturn — expect gradual recovery in second part of 2009. George Soros, Hedge Fund manager, says he can’t see a bottom to the market. Paul Volker says industrial production around the world is declining even more rapidly than in the US. “I don’t remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world,” Volker said. (That’s depressing.)

  • UBS is turning over names of 250 account holders as part of a $780 million settlement with US Prosecuters. Some are calling it the end of Swiss banking as we know it. The Swiss say they’re preserving secrecy — whatever that means.

  • David Faber’s CNBC special: HOUSE OF CARDS. This is fantastic. Try to watch it online at

  • gives everyone a say about college campuses. This is a really cool website.

  • The Countrywide name is going away. It’ll become Bank of America Home Loans.

Published: Feb 22, 2009