You have to feel for Bernanke. It must suck waking up every morning to this mess.
That said, it's time for him to man-up and RAISE THE F*CKING RATE!
And he knows it.
And people paying $5 a gallon (should) know it.
And Wall Street knows it.
And poor Americans living in or visiting Europe know it.
He just doesn't want to do it before the election, since it's his job to get incumbents re-elected, not do what's best for America.
Check out this video. And coming November if not sooner, get ready for the rate hikes.
Bear Realities: Fed Rate Hike Could Aid Ailing Market, says Schwab's Sonders
June 30, 2008
Isn't it kinda odd that Wall Street and America would be BETTER off if Ben Bernanke and the Fed would actually RAISE rates?
This man is far and away the most important man in America today. And the 2008 election will now decide the course of America for the next 50 years
[I'M BUMPING THIS BACK UP 'CAUSE THE DISCUSSION IS A GOOD ONE...]
The Supremes, made up of seven Republican appointees, three of which are scary-whacko never-should-have-been-confirmed nuts, one true conservative, one moderate, two moderate-liberals and two liberals, decided three landmark cases last week. And thankfully I agree with three decisions, all decided of course by 5-4 majorities.
And all three decisions naturally came down to the one centrist - Anthony Kennedy. The most powerful man in America today.
1) The right to have guns in the home for protection
2) The right to habeas corpus
3) The death penalty only for murder
If McCain is the next president, he has promised to nominate scary-whackos like Thomas, Alito and Scalia, which would throw the court massively out of balance to the far, far, far right. This alone should make McCain a non-viable candidate for America. Period. End of discussion.
It is my hope that President Obama (yes, it's a done deal) will nominate only candidates in the mode of Anthony Kennedy, or Sandra Day O'Conner. Moderates. Level-headed pro-Constitution thinkers. Not conservative nuts. Not liberal goofballs. Moderates. Like Americans in general. Centrists.
So, HP'ers seem like rational, libertarian-leaning people. Do you agree with these three major cases?
Supreme Court, long quiet, ends term with a growl
Looking back on the 69 cases the justices decided in their term, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz said the results confirm the central role of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The court under Chief Justice John Roberts defies easy labels, although it became more conservative when Samuel Alito replaced Sandra Day O'Connor, Cruz said.
He called it an "exquisitely balanced court with Justice Kennedy remaining at the fulcrum of most, if not all, close decisions."
Kennedy wrote the majority opinions in the Guantanamo and rape cases. Kennedy said he discerned a "national consensus" against the death penalty for rapists, but both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama criticized the decision.
Kennedy also was in the majority in the gun case.
June 29, 2008
I'm not sure how old this is but MSM's homepage has a video on Casey Serin today - "The Face of the Mortgage Mess"
Check out Casey's $15k guru CD collection, his murse, and his admission that what he did was illegal..
I'm not sure when this was filmed and it's from some sort of TV show, but it's on the MSN homepage today... Man, I wish that kid was still blogging... And remember, I predicted one day Casey would testify in front of Congress. I still see that day...
Anyone know what ever happened to Casey?
The Face of the Mortgage Mess
We all know the banks screwed up by lending too much cash to borrowers who couldn’t really afford it, but ever wonder just who was qualifying for all that money. Meet Casey Serin.
Here's a beaten-down mortgage broker in Las Vegas that'll walk you through the Countrywide-led Late Great Mortgage Ponzi Scheme
The fact that Chris Dodd rushed legislation to bail out Countrywide and BofA, before holding hearings on how Countrywide and the REIC got the US into this mess in the first place, is not only corrupt it's immoral.
Watch this video and you'll get a better sense of the systemic mortgage fraud that infected the US these past few years, starting with greedy unethical mortgage brokers willing to do anything for a commission, and ending on Angelo Mozilo's doorstep.
I'd love to see guys like this testifying in front of Congress, under oath, about what they knew, when they knew it and who was in on the Big Scam.
I'd love to see current and former Countrywide employees grilled.
And eventually, you just know all of it will lead to The Kingpin himself, The Godfather, Mr. Angelo Mozilo.
Posted by blogger at 6/29/2008
CEPR's Dean Baker - "It would be the height of foolishness to create a house price support program to try to sustain the bubble"
"The housing bubble was an entirely preventable disaster. If the economists and other policy professionals who design economic and housing policy had not been asleep for the last decade, it could have been prevented.
Their incompetence will have serious impact on the living standards of a generation.
It would be the height of foolishness to create a house price support program to try to sustain the bubble.
The basic issue is that there is a huge excess supply at current prices. Unless we impose laws restricting construction to constrain supply, prices will continue to drop. At best, we may delay the decline and allow some current homeowners to sell at partially inflated prices so that the new buyers can enjoy the rest of the crash. That is not good policy."
- Dean Baker, June 2008
June 28, 2008
"I've had to fire some clients because they didn't follow protocol or went around me. If they call the listing agent direct, or look up tax records and call the owner, it's unethical, and I won't work with an unethical client."
- Atlanta realtor Allyson Roberts, having us believe that business is so good that she turns away suckers (oops, I mean 'clients'), and reminding us all why realtors are dinosaurs, June 2008
Watch this little Las Vegas realtor roundtable on mortgage fraud, and you'll get a sense of what was really going on out there these past few years.
This little Vegas realtor roundtable is pretty fascinating. Check out the one 6%'er talking about the street of $900,000 homes where cash-back mortgage fraud was rampant, and now the homes are sitting unwanted for $300,000 - $400,000.
So, if the realtors knew there was fraud everywhere, maybe they should have reported it to someone? Oh, wait, that would have stopped the Ponzi Scheme commission checks from pouring in.
Meanwhile, your government is about to bail out the lenders who committed the fraud, and refuses to go after the mortgage fraudsters who broke the law.
Posted by blogger at 6/28/2008
Here's the latest from good little REIC monkey Nicholas Retsinas at Harvard's REIC-corrupted Joint Center for Housing Studies
Home prices in have crashed by the biggest amount since the Great Depression.
There are millions of unsold, still overpriced, unwanted homes.
Foreclosures are rampant.
Congress is running around like monkeys trying to find a way out of the mess.
And yet here's the REIC's good little poodle Nicholas Retsinas, sent out by his REIC masters (i.e. Harvard JCHS sponsors) to pump housing to the all-too-gullible MSM, even after finally admitting to the crash.
Over the horizon, a housing recovery
The current housing market is bleak: home prices and sales are plummeting, foreclosure proceedings are skyrocketing and mortgage rates are on the rise.
When will things be better?
A new study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, "The State of the Nation's Housing 2008," finds the country poised to see an increase in housing demand over the next decade.
"The good news is that we still have a growing population," said Nicolas Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies and one of the study's authors. "As long as you have more households, more people are going to need places to live."
Some background for HP newbies:
* Many of you will remember when Retsinas stupidly went after HP'ers after we called for his ouster. Retsinas did the classic REIC "blame the messenger" after housing crashed, exposing himself for the bought-and-paid-for REIC hack he is:
"HOUSING BUST AHEAD." The headline hints of catastrophe: a dot-com repeat, a bubble bursting, an economic apocalypse. Cassandra, though, can stop wailing: the expected price corrections mark a slowing in the rate of increase -- not a precipitous decline.
This will not spark a chain reaction that will devastate home owners, builders, and communities. Contradicting another gloomy seer, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling."
- Nicholas Retsinas, mocking HP'ers, September 2006
* Here's the Harvard JCHS's dirty list of REIC masters (since removed from their website)
* And this classic rant from Tim Iacono over at SeekingAlpha:
"Adding to the growing evidence that you can work at Harvard and still be a moron, Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies commented "The fundamental problem with housing is oversupply.''
No, the fundamental problem is that a speculative bubble just burst and now everyone is thinking rationally again - home prices are still too high, potential buyers realized home prices are still too high, lenders are now interested in the borrower actually paying back the home loan, and investors don't want to go near securitized debt."
June 27, 2008
My name is George W. Bush. I'm still the President of the United States. But I've completely lost control now. God help you all.
"The alternative to having the banks as participants was a massive federal bailout. They [the banks] benefit, but they benefit by losing less."
- Congressman Barney Frank, stupidly admitting what we all knew was true about the Dodd-Shelby BofA/Countrywide Housing Gambler Bailout Bill, June 2008
And then a few people in America stood up and tried to do something about it. Please check out Fed Up USA (fedupusa.org)
See ya IndyMac. Shouldn't have made all those "liar's loans". Shouldn't have knowingly enabled rampant mortgage fraud. And oh, call some lawyers.
Gee, we didn't see this one coming, did we HP'ers?
Oh, yeah, I guess we did. Here. And here. And here. And here. And that's just for starters.
You'd have to be a total fool to have money (beyond FDIC) with banks like IndyMac. Or WaMu. Or Countrywide.
Get popcorn. And get ready for frog-marches.
Schumer presses regulators for action to avoid disaster from IndyMac; stock plunges
NEW YORK (Associated Press) - The possible collapse of big mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp Inc. poses significant financial risks to its borrowers and depositors, and regulators may not be ready to intervene to protect them, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday.
A wave of IndyMac depositors withdrawing their funds could leave IndyMac "in a disastrous financial situation," Schumer said.
June 26, 2008
The National Review destroys Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide Toxic Mortgage, Chris Dodd, Kent Conrad and our corrupt political system
This editorial was so good, so "spot on", and you know I never do this, but here it is in its entirety.
Folks, if this BofA/Countrywide Rescue bill goes through, and Bush stupidly signs it, then you'll know just how powerful the REIC is, how deep the corruption and bribery run, and how screwed the United States of America (and your kids, and their kids, and their kids) will be.
It's not just Angelo Mozilo who we now want to see hauled off to jail. No, now it's United States Senators and Representatives too.
By the Editors - National Review
The U.S. Senate is about to enact a massive subsidy for Countrywide Financial less than a week after revelations that the company’s “Friends of Angelo” sweetheart-loan program included two U.S. senators. It seems unthinkable, but it’s true. What’s worse? One of the two senators sponsored the bill.
The principal author of the Dodd-Shelby housing-bailout bill is Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over the mortgage market. Last week, Portfolio magazine revealed that Dodd was one of two U.S. senators who benefited from a program under which Countrywide Financial gave loans at favorable terms to the influential and the powerful. The other senator was Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota.
The allegations against Conrad are damning enough. Though he denies having known he received preferential treatment, Conrad admitted to a Wall Street Journal reporter that he called Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo to ask for a loan on the advice of former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, another beneficiary of the program. (Johnson resigned from Barack Obama’s running-mate vetting team after his involvement in the program was revealed.)
But as powerful as Conrad is, the allegations against Dodd are more disturbing because he wields so much power over Countrywide’s fortunes and because he has used that power to benefit Countrywide. According to Portfolio’s calculations, the preferential loan rates Dodd received on two mortgages could end up saving him $75,000. (Like Conrad, Dodd denies knowing that he received preferential treatment.)
The troubling nature of this arrangement becomes clear when one looks at the fine print of the Dodd-Shelby housing bill. Under the bill, mortgage lenders — of which Countrywide is the largest in the U.S. — would agree to renegotiate their most troubled home loans in exchange for a federal guarantee on those loans. If the borrowers who took out those troubled loans end up defaulting, the government would cover any losses the mortgage lenders incur.
Under the Dodd-Shelby bill, a fee collected from the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would fund this program. The House version of the bill would fund the program with tax dollars. Either way, the program would be “a government buyout of problem mortgages disguised as a refinancing plan,” as David C. John of the Heritage Foundation puts it in his analysis.
Defenders of Dodd’s bill insist that it’s not a bailout, because the lenders have to write down 15 percent of the value of a troubled loan in order to qualify for the program. The lenders, they insist, are taking a loss and bearing the consequences of the irresponsible lending in which they engaged during the housing boom.
But this argument omits the fact that if a troubled loan goes into foreclosure — a most likely destination for many of them — the lender faces an average loss of one-third of the value of the loan. Faced with this kind of loss, many lenders have an incentive to work something out with borrowers anyway, and many already have, taking advantage of the Bush administration’s voluntary Hope Now program to do just that.
The kind of loans that lenders would dump on the government under the Dodd-Shelby bailout would be the most radioactive on their books — the ones likely to default anyway. So concluded the Congressional Budget Office, which found that up to 35 percent of the loans refinanced through the Dodd-Shelby program would eventually default. The lenders wouldn’t have any exposure to those losses — they would be paid back through the fund created by the Dodd-Shelby bill.
And this is where we come full circle, back to Sen. Dodd and his sweetheart deal from Countrywide. The Dodd-Shelby housing-bailout bill would be bad public policy under any conditions. Lenders are already under severe pressure to write down loans for borrowers who still have a chance to make it. The bill is overwhelming slanted toward protecting lenders, like Countrywide, that lowered their standards dramatically on a bet that home prices would never go down and subsequently find themselves holding a lot of bad debt.
Congress should launch a full investigation of Countrywide’s program to influence the powerful; that much should go without saying. But if the Senate passes the Dodd-Shelby housing bailout before such an investigation can run its course — especially if that investigation finds that members of Congress were improperly influenced — it will have allowed Countrywide to take the money and run.
Keep it clean, keep it short, use tinyurl and have at it...
Posted by blogger at 6/26/2008
Here's the chart of Crocs - the company that makes those horrific, easy-to-knock-off rubber shoe things
Looks like the chart for that investment condo in Miami. Or pets.com. Or tulip bulbs in Holland. I could go on.
Fads are fun. Until they aren't.
Meanwhile, what are you all doing in today's crazy market - buy, sell, hold or just staying the heck away?
Posted by blogger at 6/26/2008
It's just money people.
Everyone calm down.
Or get it out of your system like this dude...
Posted by blogger at 6/26/2008
Bitter Renters who refused to gamble and buy overpriced homes with toxic loans, or Bubble Sitters who sold when things got nuts, tell your stories
Some newbies (and Chris Dodd) need to learn some lessons from folks here who made good decisions in their lives, and refused to gamble or buy overpriced homes at the peak...
Too bad couples like the ones in the video in the post below didn't understand. That if you can't afford it, don't buy it. Or don't buy investments that make no economic sense. And above all don't do business with Countrywide.
Check out this classic 2006 Bubble Sitting report (at the peak) from ABC News, with the REIC shill reporter who said renting or bubble sitting back then was a bad idea, because you "feed your dog in your home", and Charlie Gibson saying he was in favor of 'owning' (i.e. paying money to a bank) because of "psychic comfort". Here's the reporter's crib notes if you can't see the video.
June 25, 2008
HOMEDEBTORS OF AMERICA - IF YOU HAVE A COUNTRYWIDE TOXIC LOAN AND A RAPIDLY DEPRECIATING HOME, JUST STOP. NO MORE PAYMENTS. NO MORE DEBT. JUST STOP
It wasn't "your home". It never was. You couldn't afford it. You never should have been approved for the loan. You probably committed mortgage fraud to get it. You got caught up in Angelo Mozilo's profit-at-any-cost mortgage-fraud-galore Ponzi Scheme. You believed The Big Lie. You believed debt equaled wealth. And you believed you could live like you were rich.
So let this be your wake up call. Your home is worth nowhere near what you paid. Nowhere near. Your choice now is to simply turn in the keys, walk away, start over and rent (for a fraction of the cost of 'owning'), or you can continue to live the Big Lie, because of your ego and your pride. And those swell granite counter tops of course.
Walk away Homedebtors. Send Angelo the keys. Get on with your lives.
This game is over.
And take some solace in the fact as you start your life over, Angelo Mozilo himself will soon be on his way to jail, his riches confiscated, his reputation in tatters.
Every dog has his day.
[UPDATE] FLASH: COUNTRYWIDE FRIED - ILLINOIS AND CALIFORNIA FILE LAWSUITS AGAINST MOZILO AND COUNTRYWIDE, WASHINGTON STATE TO PULL LICENSE
"Countrywide's conduct has contributed to the high number of foreclosures in and caused significant harm to the public, the market, and scores of Illinois borrowers and homeowners"
- The State of Illinois, from their civil lawsuit announced today against Countrywide Toxic Mortgage and Angelo Mozilo
(Meanwhile, screwed Countrywide shareholders vote on unloading this cancer to BofA later today...)
[UPDATE - CALIFORNIA JUST FILED THEIR LAWSUIT AGAINST COUNTRYWIDE JUST NOW. TWO STATES NOW IN, 48 TO GO. AND THE NOOSE TIGHTENS...]
[UPATE 2] - WASHINGTON STATE TO FINE COUNTRYWIDE AND ALSO PULL THEIR LICENSE
[UPDATE 3] - DESPERATE COUNTRYWIDE SHAREHOLDERS, HAVING LOST ALMOST EVERYTHING THANKS TO INSIDER-TRADING MOZILO, APPROVE FIRE SALE TO BANK OF AMERICA. BUT B0fA MOST LIKELY GOING TO WALK AWAY FROM THIS CANCER. NO, MAKE THAT RUN AWAY.
[UPDATE 4] - ANYONE SEEN ANGELO? LAST I HEARD THERE WAS AN ORANGE MAN IN A WHITE FORD BRONCO ON THE WAY TO MEXICO.
Sorry to the Boomers who overconsumed, who relied on their house for their retirement, and who HELOC'ed themselves into a permanent job at Wal-Mart
The median household headed by those between 45 and 54 in 2009 will have about 25% less wealth than the median household of that age in 2004, according to the report. That household's wealth will decline to $113,268 in 2009, from $150,113 in 2004.
How long will it take for people to trust in the reliability of housing as "the most important investment you'll ever make" again?
Bonus question - how long will it take for people to trust REALTORS again? (he he he)
Posted by blogger at 6/25/2008
MoziloGate Update: Senate ethics committee proposes Senators disclose their mortgage details, may now be investigating Dodd and Conrad
Because the committee almost always operates in secret, there is no way to know how long the early stage of its examination of the mortgage deal could take or whether a formal investigation has commenced. For the time being, at least, the committee has responded publicly only by endorsing increased disclosure requirements.
Never thought I'd see the day. The Senate Ethics Committee doing the right thing. Amazing. Now let's see if the full Senate will vote for this, and if the House will do the same (don't hold your breath).
And then let the good times roll, as we possibly find out one day how bad Mozilo and REIC bribery was.
Ethics Committee Seeks Fuller Disclosure of Senators’ Mortgage Deals
All six members of the Senate Ethics Committee on Tuesday formally proposed more stringent disclosure requirements for senators’ mortgages — a reaction to recent charges that Countrywide Financial gave sweetheart mortgage deals to two Democratic committee chairmen.
Because the committee almost always operates in secret, there is no way to know how long the early stage of its examination of the mortgage deal could take or whether a formal investigation has commenced.
For the time being, at least, the committee has responded publicly only by endorsing increased disclosure requirements.
June 24, 2008
We're back to 2004 when it comes to home prices (even more when you factor in inflation). So how far will the way-back machine go?
Home prices in 20 major U.S. cities have dropped a record 15.3% in the past year and are now back to where they were in 2004, according to the Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday by Standard & Poor's.
Prices in the 20 cities are now down 17.8% from the peak two years ago. The biggest declines were seen in Las Vegas, Miami and Phoenix, with prices falling by 25% or more in the past year. Prices in 10 cities have fallen by more than 10%.
Las Vegas, down 26.8% in the past year; Miami, down 26.7%; Phoenix, down 25%; Los Angeles, down 23.1%; San Diego, down 22.4%; San Francisco, down 22.1%; Tampa, down 20.4%; Detroit, down 18%; Minneapolis, down 15.5%; Washington, down 14.8%; Chicago, down 9.3%; New York, down 8.4%; Atlanta, down 7.5%; Cleveland, down 6.8%; Boston, down 6.4%; Seattle, down 4.9%; Denver, down 4.7%; Portland, down 4.7%; Dallas, down 3.4%; and Charlotte, down 0.1%
"Congress wants to have a nationwide housing bill ready by July 4. That's ironic, since not much about its bipartisan legislation seems to foster independence. Quite the opposite. Capitol Hill's attempt at helping Americans saddled with mortgage debt amounts to little more than a bailout."
- Peoria Journal Star editorial board, June 2008
(Sorry Chris Dodd, your corrupt POS lender and gambler bailout legislation ain't playin' in Peoria)
So, how much do you think we could get for the Grand Canyon? Or how about we sell 'em Wyoming. Or maybe New Jersey. Yeah, let's sell 'em Jersey.
They gotta do something with all those dollars. They can't just go swimming in them every day - that gets old. And they can only have so many hookers and cocaine parties.
I don't know if the world has ever seen a wall of money like this one. To be held and spent by so few.
Thank you George Bush. Thank you Dick Cheney. A couple of oil men who got control of the world's greatest economy and proceeded to sell it to the Arabs.
And thank you Americans, who have no desire to conserve or consume less, and got us into this mess.
Gulf to earn $1.3 trillion from oil in two years
KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - The oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are projected to earn close to 1.3 trillion dollars in oil revenue in 2008 and 2009, a Kuwaiti economic report said on Saturday.
The six-nation alliance -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia -- earned 364 billion dollars from oil in 2007, the Al-Shall Economic Consultants said in its weekly report.
The GCC oil revenues are projected to reach 636 billion dollars in 2008 and 657 billion dollars in 2009, Al-Shall said.
Oil powerhouse Saudi Arabia's earnings in the two years will be just under 700 billion dollars. The kingdom posted 194 billion dollars in oil revenues in 2007.
June 23, 2008
Sure is bizarre to see Democrats looking to spend hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars to bail out corrupt mortgage lenders, and the GOP pushing back.
You'd think the GOP would be in favor of bailing out big financial corporations like Countrywide, BofA and Wells Fargo. But maybe they're finally coming to their senses, and they're now gonna get back to protecting Americans from free-spending Democrats. Even if their corporate buds would benefit from said spending.
Strange days indeed. Meanwhile, this Chris Dodd Housing Gambler BofA Countrywide Bailout bill is dead. D-E-A-D dead. The Dems may still stupidly pass it, but Bush will veto it right quick, and they won't have the votes to override.
So screw you Chris Dodd. You lose.
Yet Another MoziloGate Smoking Gun - BofA tells Dodd how to spin his mortgage lender bailout plan. Too bad (for Dodd) that the memo got leaked.
"We believe that any intervention by the federal government will be acceptable only if it is not perceived as a bailout of the bond market"
- Quote from leaked confidential BofA position paper that became Mozilo-corrupted Senator Dodd's BofA/Countrywide Bailout Bill, June 2008.
(Note that this paper states that over $1 trillion in US mortgages - which of course Countrywide wrote the most of - are currently at risk of default, and predicts that over $400 billion, or 43% of all subprime mortgages ever written, will default)
June 22, 2008
"Meanwhile, until it is clear how much Countrywide will benefit from Senator Dodd’s proposed $300 billion mortgage rescue – and exactly how Mr. Dodd came to do business with Countrywide – Congress should call a halt to legislating bailouts. Taxpayers deserve no less."
- WSJ Editorial Page, June 2008
HousingPANIC demands that the Senate immediately move to an Article 39A Session. Why? Because Senator Dodd ordered the BofA/Countrywide Code Red
DODD: What the hell's going on? Harry Reid, what the hell's going on?
I did my job. I'd do it again.
Now I'm getting on a plane and going back to my
REID: M.P.'s, guard the prisoner.
Guard the prisoner.
DODD: What the hell –
REID: Senator Dodd, you have the right to remain silent. Any
statement you do make can be used against you in a trial by
court-martial or other judicial or administrative
proceeding. You have the right...
DODD: I'm being charged with a crime? I'm – that's what this is – Biden! Biden!!
I'm being charged with a crime? I'm-that's what's
happening? This – I'm-this is funny, you know that, this is –
I'm gonna tear your eyes right outta your head and piss in
your dead skull. You fuc*ed with the wrong Senator!
REID: Senator Dodd, do you understand those rights as I have
just read then to you?
DODD: I saved homeowners. Angelo Mozilo was – there was weak link.
I saved homeowners, you hear me?
You fuc*in' HP'ers.
You have no idea how to defend the Real Estate Industrial Complex
All you did was weaken mortgage lenders today, HousingPANIC. That's all
you did. You put homedebtors in danger. Sweet dreams, HP'ers.
LA Times: Did Bank of America write the Dodd bailout bill?
Those following the progress of the Dodd-Shelby mortgage rescue plan in the Senate might want to check out two solid pieces of enterprising reporting on the bill this weekend.
First, the Examiner's Tim Carney reports that the bailout section of the Dodd-Shelby bill is, in the words a lobbyist, "exactly what Bank of America and Countrywide wanted."
Is there a connection between Bank of America and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.)? There is. Carney: "Bank of America's political action committee (PAC) has donated $20,000 to Dodd since he became chairman of the banking panel 17 months ago. From January 2007 to March 2008, Bank of America employees have donated at least $50,400 to Dodd's campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics."
National Review's the Corner follows up, citing an internal Bank of America document:
"National Review Online has obtained an internal Bank of America "discussion document" on the subject of the FHA Housing Stabilization and Homeownership Retention Act of 2008, a.k.a. the Dodd-Shelby mortgage-lender bailout bill .... This discussion document (dated March 11, 2008) would appear to support the contention that BofA essentially wrote the bailout section of the bill."
The United States Ponzi Scheme, as explained in a beautiful presentation by Ross Perot on perotcharts.com
Ross Perot is back, with his beautiful new website perotcharts.com. Nice to see someone speak up on the debt, deficit and entitlement bomb, after George Bush and a corrupt and incompetent Democratic Congress did nothing, and I mean NOTHING, these past seven years.
Watch the preso, the whole thing, and have at it.
Or, be like 99% of Americans, and continue to not give a sh*t.
I love charts. A picture is worth a thousand declining dollars they say. Or a thousand dishonest politicians. And it'd be nice if Perot would run again, just to get his voice into the debate.
After reviewing his presentation, for starters and off the top of my head, here's a Top 10 economic to-do list for America. Have at it...
- Raise the retirement age - dramatically and soon. Start at 70 and go from there
- Mandatory high-deductible health insurance and subsidized grocery and drug store walk-in clinics
- Pull the US military out of every foreign country within eight years
- 5% across the board reduction in government spending and jobs
- Make savings accounts tax free. Double or triple retirement account maximums.
- Lower the US corporate tax rate to 20%
- Sell off US government assets (not the Grand Canyon, but buildings and land for starters)
- Line-item veto, no ear-marks, and balanced budget amendment
- Vote every incumbent out of office, blow up the two-party system, and start over
- Eliminate the income tax and switch to a consumption-based tax
Is everything spinning out of control?
Interesting, isn't that what HP'ers have been saying for awhile?
And remember, to hit bottom, we have to hit bottom (got that, NAR?). And when we've hit PANIC and capitulation and despondency, you'll know what to do. You'll be the calm one. You'll be the prepared one. If you're still standing that is, and not out getting drunk with your disheveled and despondent countrymen.
Here's the AP story on the wire today:
By ALAN FRAM and EILEEN PUTMAN, AP
Is everything spinning out of control?
Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.
Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.
The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.
The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year's presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order — and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, "Yes, we can."
Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction.
"As we discussed it may not be a meltdown for the general economy but in our world it will be. Wall Street will be hammered with lawsuits. Dealers will lose millions and the CDO business will not be the same for years."
- Arrested Bear Stearns toxic loan hedge fund manager Ralph Cioffi, in his intercepted March 2007 email subject line "FEAR". Meanwhile, he was out pumping the funds and raising more cash from clueless investors. And now the US taxpayer holds $29 billion in unsaleable likely-worthless Bear Stearns garbage.
Posted by blogger at 6/22/2008
The US spends around $700 billion a year on the military and foreign wars. About half of all worldwide military spending. Any questions?
Posted by blogger at 6/22/2008
Working for these ENRON2008 candidates has to kinda suck.
I feel for the people losing their jobs, but WaMu should serve as a message to future generations - when you find yourself working for an unethical, corrupt, dirty company like WaMu, get your ass in gear and go find a new job.
Life's too short to work for WaMu. Or Countrywide. Or Indymac. Life's too short to knowingly enable rampant crime. Life's too short to lose your life savings on your corrupt company's crummy stock.
What we need now is a wave of whistle-blowers. Time for some heroes.
Washington Mutual cuts 1,200 jobs after big losses
Washington Mutual Inc (NYSE:WM - News) said on Thursday it eliminated 1,200 jobs, following mortgage losses that some analysts have said will keep the largest U.S. savings and loan from turning a profit before 2010.
The cuts affect roughly 3 percent of the thrift's employee base. Washington Mutual has said it ended March with 45,883 employees, down from 49,403 at year-end.
In an e-mail, Washington Mutual said it was cutting jobs that support its home lending unit, centralizing some support functions, and focusing on "mission-critical activities." It said the cuts were meant to boost efficiency and restore profitability.
At the end of 2005, well before the housing crisis began to take hold, the thrift had employed more than 60,000 people.
June 21, 2008
Obama (aka Robin From the Hood) will raise taxes on those making over $250,000 a year. Has the backlash against 'the rich' started?
Obama, being a traditional "raise taxes, soak the rich" Democrat, is focused on giving tax breaks to poor and middle class, while making the rich pay big-time. It won't work, as the rich hide their incomes better than your local stripper, and raising their taxes will actually drive down tax receipts, but I guess he'll just have to wait to find that out (again).
Too bad we couldn't short Hummers and F-150's...
Used Truck Trade-In Values Plunge, Deepening Auto-Sales Decline
Plunging prices for used pickups and sport-utility vehicles are deepening U.S. automakers' sales slide, with Ford Motor Co. the latest company to feel the pinch.
Gasoline near $4 a gallon helped send prices for used large pickups and SUVs tumbling at least 21 percent in May, Atlanta- based Manheim Consulting estimates. That cuts trade-in values, pushing light-truck sales down 16 percent in 2008, compared with less than 1 percent for cars.
``Regular consumers don't need larger SUVs or pickups; it's a lifestyle choice,'' Standard & Poor's equity analyst Efraim Levy in New York said in an interview. ``If it's getting to be a bad investment, it's not worth buying a new one right now.''
June 20, 2008
The Dem and Rep support of FISA, retroactive immunity and illegal wiretapping shows just how corrupted and anti-constitution your government now is
How did it get this way?
Why have we lost our way?
Because of you, the American people.
You (or your neighbors) apparently don't care anymore.
Fourth Amendment - Search and Seizure
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
With the recent FBI arrests, the growing MoziloGate scandal, the massive price declines, and the House and Senate readying a Housing Gambler bill, do you feel we've turned a new corner in the ongoing housing crash saga?
In other words, is Act III - The Finale, now upon us?
Meanwhile, ask yourselves why members of Congress don't have to detail their real estate holdings and transactions on their financial disclosure forms. Ask yourself why Congress is trying so hard to put a floor under (their own) home prices with their Housing Gambler bailout plans. Ask yourself where the $250,000/$500,000 no-tax property-sale windfall law came from. Ask yourself what the NAR and NAHB get for their massive "donations" to Congress.
Your leaders are corrupt. The REIC runs DC. And the FBI and the Justice Department need to step in and investigate MoziloGate, because the House and the Senate and their corrupt leaders will not do it themselves.
AP Exclusive: Reid Got $1M in Land Sale
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.
In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews.
And then the 6%'ers sent flyers in the mail promoting that they sold a house. Any house. Even a crack den covered in graffiti.
HousingPANIC "It's Feeling Like ENRON All Over Again Ain't It" Pre-Frog-March Intercepted E-mail Quote of the Day
"the subprime market looks pretty damn ugly… If we believe the [CDOs report is] ANYWHERE CLOSE to accurate I think we should close the funds now."
"The reason for this is that if [the CDO report] is correct then the entire supbrime market is toast… If AAA bonds are systematically downgraded then there is simply now way for us to make money — ever."
- Matthew Tannin, arrested Bear Stearns toxic mortgage hedge fund manager, from an intercepted email written in April 2007, as the funds collapsed and the managers denied any problems
Oh, the humanity...
June 19, 2008
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi don't think MoziloGate hearings are necessary. HousingPANIC tells Reid and Pelosi to go f*ck themselves.
Vote 'em out HP'ers.
All of 'em (except Ron Paul)
Your leaders are corrupt.
DC needs an enema.
And Reid and Pelosi should be investigated as well.
Meanwhile, Dodd's $300 billion Countrywide/Housing Gambler giveaway is dead on arrival. And the GOP and Fox News are rallying on this issue as the corrupt Democrats fiddle.
Memo to McCain and Obama - you better get on the right side of MoziloGate in the next 24 hours, or you're in a heap of trouble yourselves.
Housing rescue bill could be slowed by Republicans
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative Republicans in the Senate were seeking to slow the completion of an election-year housing rescue designed to help hundreds of thousands of homeowners avoid foreclosure and boost lawmakers' standing with voters.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said Wednesday he was working on ways to stop the bill, which he said would "reward stupidity on the part of people who bought homes they couldn't afford."
Amid rising foreclosures and growing public anxiety about the sagging economy, Democrats and many Republicans were eager to push the bill through the Senate and could begin voting on it as early as Thursday. They hoped to send the bill to President Bush before Congress breaks for a weeklong July 4th vacation.
However, a group of conservative Republicans, including Coburn, threatened to block the measure in light of allegations that Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., one of its architects, and Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., received preferential mortgages from Countrywide Financial Corp. through a special program for friends of the embattled firm's CEO.
FLASH: FBI arrests over 300 realtors and mortgage brokers in mortgage fraud sweep. FINALLY!!! And only another million or so to go...
And after they're done arresting the realtors and mortgage brokers, they can move on to the millions of mortgage fraudsters. I think Casey Serin might still be in the country.
And then... of course... they can put the kingpin himself into the paddy wagon..
Angelo Mozilo - they're coming to get you!
(UPDATE: New classic frog-march image from today's headline story on HuffPo. FBI release here. Frog-march video here)
Hundreds swept up in mortgage fraud arrests
WASHINGTON - The FBI says it has arrested about 300 real estate brokers since March — including dozens over the last two days — in its crackdown on incidents of mortgage fraud that have contributed to the country's housing crisis.
One law enforcement official put the losses to homeowners and other borrowers who were victims in the schemes at over $1 billion.
The Justice Department and FBI plan to announce the recent arrests — including apprehensions in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and suburban Maryland — at a news conference set for Thursday afternoon in Washington.
Two former Bear Stearns managers in New York were also included in the sweep, becoming the first executives to face criminal charges related to the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.
HP EXCLUSIVE: John McCain has taken $1,000 from corrupt Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo. HP calls on McCain to return the toxic cash and disavow Mozilo
Not only should John McCain return the $1,000 in tainted cash given to him on March 26 of this year, he should disavow Mozilo's support, immediately call for a formal Senate investigation into Mozilo's bribing of McCain's fellow Senators, and he should vote against the Senate's laughably-corrupt $300 billion Angelo Mozilo and Housing Gambler Bailout Plan.
I find it especially interesting that McCain would accept cold hard cash from Mozilo, even after saying this about Obama's connection to former Fannie CEO James Johnson, who's now resigned:
“I think it suggests a bit of a contradiction talking about how his campaign is gonna be not associated with people like that. Clearly he is very much associated with that"
Being funded by Mozilo in this environment is like taking money from a drug dealer. And Mozilo's stench will be seen throughout the halls of power, once the investigations begin.
Enjoy the feeding frenzy on this on HP'ers. MoziloGate is gettin' fun...
Props to Newsmeat - the campaign donor search engine..
Investor's Business Daily calls for formal investigation of MoziloGate, says Dems are "afflicted with corruption"
And the MoziloGate drumbeat grows louder...
BARBARA BOXER AND HARRY REID - YOU CANNOT IGNORE US. AND BARACK OBAMA AND JOHN MCCAIN - YOU BETTER GET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF MOZILOGATE AND CALL FOR INVESTIGATIONS, AND DO IT QUICK.
YOU WILL INVESTIGATE THESE MATTERS, YOU WILL DO IT PROMPTLY, AND YOU BETTER DO IT BEFORE ANYONE VOTES ON DODD'S $300 BILLION COUNTRYWIDE / HOUSING GAMBLER BAILOUT.
A number of top Democrats have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, suggesting corruption in the party linked to the recent home-mortgage meltdown.
These sweetheart deals cry out for an investigation. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, does too. On Wednesday, he called for hearings to find out who in Congress got "preferential treatment" on mortgages with Countrywide, the nation's largest home lender.
The Democrats' initial response has been to stall. They hope the problem will disappear until after the election. Given the media's lack of curiosity so far — a small handful of news organizations, including our competitor, the Wall Street Journal, have pushed this story ahead — it looks like the Democrats might get their wish.
But the problem won't go away, and neither will we.
These revelations suggest that, at the very least, the Democratic Party is afflicted with a kind of corruption that taints all recent decisions on the subprime crisis. They need to investigate it fully, immediately and without prejudice — or risk having it blow up in their faces.
You can't make this sh*t up: Newest realtor marketing ploy in California - buy a home and get cash back for a gay wedding.
(write your own punchlines here ____________)
Whether choosing to make California their primary or secondary residence by buying a home in San Diego, domestic partners seeking to take advantage of the new Same Sex Marriage Law in California can now get their wedding reception or a honeymoon getaway compliments of Wellsford Realty.
With the purchase of a condo or home using their services, Wellsford Realty is rebating 33% back on the commission which can be used to celebrate their wedding day or plan that long awaited perfect honeymoon.
Hat-tip to Luke for the report