Recently in Housing Bubble Category

Just One Big Money Pit

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Well, there goes more of our tax money.

(CNBC) When Congress comes back into session next week, it may consider measures intended to bolster the legal status of a controversial bank owned electronic mortgage registration system that contains three out of every five mortgages in the country.

The system is known as MERS, the acronym for a private company called Mortgage Electronic Registry Systems. Set up by banks in the 1997, MERS is a system for tracking ownership of home loans as they move from mortgage originator through the financial pipeline to the trusts set up when mortgage securities are sold.

The system has come under scrutiny by critics who charge MERS with facilitating slipshod practices. Recently, lawyers have filed lawsuits claiming that banks owe states billions of dollars for mortgage recording fees they avoided by using MERS.

Perhaps even more devastatingly, some critics say that sloppiness at MERS--which has just 40 full-time employees--may have botched chain of title for many mortgages. They say that MERS lacks standing to bring foreclosure actions, and the botched chain of title may cast doubts on whether anyone has clear enough ownership of some mortgages to foreclose on a defaulting borrower. The problems with MERS system led JPMorgan Chase [JPM  39.76    -0.26  (-0.65%)   ] CEO Jamie Dimon to stop using MERS for foreclosures in 2008.

Now it appears that Congress may attempt to prevent any MERS meltdown from occurring. MERS is owned by all the biggest banks, and they certainly do not want it to be sunk by huge fines. Investors in mortgage-backed securities also do not want to see the value of their bonds sink because of doubts about the ownership of the underlying mortgages.

It's The Economy, Stupid

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While it appears the Legacy Media continues to beat the drum about signs of recovery (because the corporate masters believe it will make the masses believe and the economy will magically improve) I am listening to the bloggers and economists (in two cases, both) who called the housing bubble and the financial meltdown. You see, I tend to listen to people who actually have a track record of being right.

Interesting that in most cases, they turn out not to be Republicans...........
Helter Skelter.

Although, honestly, I'm not making a post about racial strife. Instead, it's about the topsy turvy run of the markets. Like many bloggers, I'm no expert on the economy. However, considering the last several years, I am hesitant to support an economic plan that meets investor approval.

The New York Times

Wall Street may have panned the broad outlines of the Obama administration's plan to fix the financial system when the proposal was sketched out six weeks ago, but on Monday, investors seemed like they were warming up to its finer points.

Stock markets in New York were heading for a higher opening, and most markets in Europe were higher as the Treasury Department began to release details of a public-private partnership to purchase troubled assets from banks. Shares in Asia also closed higher.

The government hopes that the plan will loosen credit markets and restore normal lending conditions by allowing banks to deleverage billions of dollars in mortgage-related debt sitting on their balance sheets.
You know, I'm just not there. Sorry. Wall Street, and the investors that have the most impact on the stock market, are the same cretins that helped cause the current economic mess we are in at the moment. So, yeah, I think I'll pass on this idea.

See, the biggest problems are the homes valued well below the mortgages the banks hold. And with foreclosure running rampant, I can pretty much speculate dead on that many of those empty houses are deteriorating, making there value even lower. It is, as Atrios has penned, a shit pile.

But then, remember, I am no expert. All those fancy terms, and high-falut'n derivative constructs, are above my pay grade.

Forclosure News

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We've got our Sheriff's sale today, at 10:00 AM. Unless a miracle happens, we've six months to try and find new financing, or to sell the house. 

Econ 101

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Matt Martin over at MNpublius has a link to videos explaining as simply as possible what has gone wrong with our economy this time around. Of course, being it's Friday, I also grabbed the code for this post.

Inexpensive Housing

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Leave it to the Germans to create a home cheaper than most cars.

Hat Tip: Swear Left
Washington Post

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. today called for abolishing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replacing them with highly-regulated utilities that would play a more narrow role in supporting the U.S. housing finance system.
In other words, he is suggesting that they be restored to their original states before the free marketeers decided to convert them to unregulated, free-for-all ATM machines.

Home Prices Post a Record Decline

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CNN Money

NEW YORK ( -- The home price plunge stayed on a record pace this summer, according to a widely watched gauge of national real estate markets released Tuesday.
From my point of view this is a DUH! moment in reporting. Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to read the story about a dog biting a man.

NEW YORK ( -- Bush administration officials have had talks with the nation's automakers about providing possible federal help for the cash-starved companies, a White House spokeswoman said Monday.

Spokeswoman Dana Perino, responding to questions at her daily press briefing, said a decision had not been made yet about whether federal help will be offered to General Motors (GM, Fortune 500), Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) and Chrysler LLC.

No. Do you understand me? If not, let me say this again; NO!

Look, the underlying problem is being totally ignored. This whole economic fiasco is being caused by mortgages defaults. Giving money away to the big boys does nothing to confront the root cause, which is still going to be laying deep at the base of the economy.

Damn it, if they need money, so do I. Give me enough to get caught up on my mortgage, and I'll pay it back in as quick a time as the big boys.

He said many of the evictions involve renters who are paying their rent on time but are being thrown out because the landlord has fallen behind on mortgage payments.

Mortgage companies are supposed to identify a building's occupants before asking for an eviction, but sheriff's deputies routinely find that the mortgage companies have not done so, he said.

"These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care who's in the building," Dart said. "They simply want their money and don't care who gets hurt along the way.

"On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today."
Good on him. Especially the part about taxpayers having to fund their investigative work for them. And get the heartless corporate bank response:

The Illinois Bankers Association opposed the plan, saying that Dart "was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices." The association said Dart could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court eviction orders.

"The reality is that by ignoring the law and his legal responsibilities, he is carrying out 'vigilantism' at the highest level of an elected official," it said. "The Illinois banking industry is working hard to help troubled homeowners in many ways, but Sheriff Dart's declaration of 'marshal law' should not be tolerated."
What we have here is a budding example of fascism returning to America. When innocent people -- who have done nothing wrong except rent from someone financially insolvent -- are thrown to the street without warning there is something wrong with our country.

Furthermore, where are the cries from the Conservative Christians, the partners of the Corporate American arm of the Republican Party? Why are we not hearing about the abandonment of the teaching of compassion? Why are they not up in arms about an obviously overt, unjust, and heartless act of greed? Is it possible that these God Loving Christians believe Jesus is more sympathetic to corporations than to the meek? No. Can't be. I would never expect such blatant hypocrisy from the...... OUCH!

Damn, there I go, biting my tongue again.........
Raw Story

A senior Bush official told Allen the Administration had no desire to herald the Democrats who shepherded the bill through their congressional committees, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA).
My God, can he be any more childish and immature? He's a spoiled little brat who is throwing a temper tantrum because he couldn't get his way. But he has been childish and immature on numerous occasions.

The Independent

As he prepared to fly out from Japan, he told his fellow leaders: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
President Bush made the private joke in the summit's closing session, senior sources said yesterday. His remarks were taken as a two-fingered salute from the President from Texas who is wedded to the oil industry. He had given some ground at the summit by saying he would "seriously consider" a 50 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2050.

Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them", he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked her real difficult questions like, 'What would you say to Governor Bush?'" "What was her answer?" I wonder. "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'" I must look shocked -- ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel -- because he immediately stops smirking.

New York Times

In short, in a nation that holds itself up as a citadel of free enterprise, the government has morphed from lender of last resort into effectively the only lender for millions of Americans engaged in the largest transactions of their lives.
All things said and done, it is the government that controls the money. From printing, to distribution, to control of credit, etc., etc., etc. The government is the Alpha/Omaga. There is just no way to get around this simple fact. That is why the cry about getting government out of our lives makes no sense. Without it we have no security, no safety, no pursuit of happiness.

Also, if free enterprise is so damn self-sufficient and efficient, why the hell are we encountering a recession? Why are we seeing one financial crises after another?

And yes, all the following are rhetorical. If I had the answers to those questions, I would be a billionaire to rival Gates.

Actually, I do have a hunch. It has to do with leadership and competence. The state of our country has much to do with who sits in the Oval Office.

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Guy Andrew Hall

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.


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