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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More Viscous Cycle

by Tanta on 8/01/2007 09:51:00 AM

This is not going to be all Bloomberg all day. I hope.

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Railroads, chemical producers and insurance companies are blaming the worst U.S. housing slump in 16 years for their earnings woes.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., the second-biggest U.S. railroad, said lower shipments of housing products and lumber reduced second-quarter earnings. DuPont Co., the third-largest chemical maker, said slumping demand for kitchen and bathroom countertops was partly responsible for its profit drop. Genworth Financial Inc., the former insurance unit of General Electric Co., said earnings will be at the ``lower end'' of its forecast this year as mortgage-insurance claims increase.

``The subprime slime is oozing,'' said Gary Shilling, president of A. Gary Shilling & Co. in Springfield, New Jersey, who correctly predicted the recession in 2001. ``As home equity evaporates, that takes out the foundation of strong consumer spending growth, which has been the mainstay of the economy.''