Credit Markets Keep the Fed on Track for Another Cut ( Sickly credit markets and a worsening housing slump may force the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again this month despite a less-dire employment outlook.

Democrats Urge Bush to Appoint a "Mortgage Czar" (BUILDER Online) Democratic leaders also call for a temporary raising of the portfolio caps on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Pending Home Sales Index Hits Record Low (BUILDER Online) Despite a significant drop, National Association of Realtors economist predicts stronger figures for November and December.

HUD Faces Opposition to Ban Private Down-Payment Assistance Program (BUILDER Online) The Nehemiah Corp. of America and AmeriDream file lawsuits against HUD to block the ban.

Albuquerque Passes Archeology Law (BUILDER Online) Builders strike compromise with city officials and archeologists.

Texas Parade of Homes Goes Green (BUILDER Online) Green houses mark a first for the North Texas area.

Brokered Out in Maryland (BUILDER Online) Builders work to comply with new sales agent licensing law.

Standard Pacific Choosing Regional Suppliers (BUILDER Online) California-based builder is trying to "act more like a single company" in its purchasing programs.

Earnings Losses for Citigroup, UBS Don't Affect Investor Confidence (BUILDER Online) Despite reported losses, shares jump on an assurance of a strong fourth quarter.

For Baltimore, Housing Slump Slows a Revival (The New York Times) As home sales dry up, tax revenues are fading, foreclosures are surging, hiring is down, and a new caution is inhibiting activity in Baltimore, which, until recently, had been experiencing a surge of new downtown residents.

Washington Mutual Sees Profit Down 75 Percent (Reuters/Yahoo! News) Washington Mutual, one of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders, says it expects a 75 percent drop in third-quarter net income because of adverse housing market and credit conditions.

Morgan Stanley to Lay Off 600 Mortgage Workers (Associated Press/MSNBC) Bank to consolidate operations, says Wall Street is "voting with their feet."

TOUSA Withdraws 2007 and 2008 Guidance (Associated Press/Houston Chronicle) Home builder TOUSA said Wednesday it is withdrawing all 2007 and 2008 earnings guidance due to the weakening housing market.

Builders Liquidate Assets in Desperation Sales ( Builders are finding that they have to sell homes at any price they can get.

Blog: Against the Grain (BUILDER Online) Agree or disagree with the thoughts of BUILDER Editorial Director Boyce Thompson.

BUILDER Business Update (BUILDER Online) A weekly e-mail newsletter with breaking industry news on the business of building homes. Sign up for the BUILDER Business Update and other Hanley Wood newsletters.

Take the BUILDER Poll (BUILDER Online) Have you seen an increase in the last year of jobsite theft?

From the Pages of BUILDER: Design Details (BUILDER Online) Sometimes the littlest design details yield the biggest payoff. Check out more from the current issue of BUILDER.

Robb Crocker is the senior editor for BUILDER Online. Please e-mail any comments, questions, suggestions, and news tips to

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Baltimore, MD.