November 30, 2007

Moral hazard goes off the charts as banks and our goverment talk about voiding contracts and letting teaser rates continue

There are days when the fools in charge of our banks and our government do things so stupid and so short-term, you just have to shake your head in disbelief, and acknowledge the fact that we're run by monkeys. Monkeys trying to win the next election, monkeys trying to earn their next bonus.

This is one of those days.

Goldman Sachs' head Henry Paulson (oops, I mean Treasury Secretary) and the clueless Sheila Baier at the FDIC are due to announce a moral hazard toxic loan "bloodletting over amputation" plan soon.

This "keep your teaser rate" and "Vote GOP" plan would let people who stupidly got into loans and homes they couldn't afford keep their silly teaser rate (just until after Bush leaves office), and people who bought homes they could afford with fixed rate mortgages of course would get screwed in comparison.

Uh, two or three words come to mind:

Moral Hazard.



"Bank Failure" and "Class Action Lawsuits" also come to mind...

Treasury close to subprime aid plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Treasury Department is finalizing a plan with mortgage industry leaders that will hold interest payments steady for many subprime borrowers facing higher rates and possible foreclosure.

The mortgage representatives and regulators are focusing in on restructuring "2-28" and "3-27" subprime loans, which start with a fixed mortgage rate of up to three years but then reset to a much higher rate.

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day

"The light at the end of the housing meltdown tunnel appears to be an oncoming train"

- Joel Naroff, Naroff Economic Advisors

Ho-hum, another day, another run on a multi-billion dollar investment fund

Everyone just go read Manias, Panics and Crashes. Then when you see headlines like this, you'll look up, smile, and then go back to your popcorn.

Florida Freezes Its Fund as Governments Pull Out

Seeking to stem a multibillion-dollar run on an investment pool for local governments, top Florida officials voted yesterday to suspend withdrawals from the fund, leaving some towns and school districts worrying about how they would pay their bills.

Local governments in recent weeks have been withdrawing billions of dollars from the fund, fearing losses on investments in debt related to subprime mortgages. The rush to get out of the fund began even though a relatively small percentage of the fund is invested in subprime-related debt, and it is unclear what losses the fund may sustain.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

What's more infuriating -

The NAR's lies, deception and spin when they put out their horrific numbers showing record drops in home sales alongside happy headlines,


The lazy and corrupt mainstream media copy and pasting the NAR's lies, deception and spin and spoon-feeding that to the American people ("homes sales stable", "home sales rise in October", "new home sales rise")


Having these Commerce Department and NAR home sales reports drastically adjusted downward every month, and then the new month is reported as better than the prior drastically adjusted downward month in order to generate the happy headline

A) NAR lies

B) MSM laziness

C) Bullsh*t reports

(New poll over on the sidebar)

NBC video on the ripple effect of the housing crash

Boom, bust, boom, bust

Thank you Alan Greenspan. You dick.

Ripple effect of housing decline
Ripple effect of housing decline

There's a mini Ron Paul Money Bomb today. Give if you can. And here's one of my favorite clips from the GOP YouTube debate

And then the housing gamblers in the UK got the memo that the real estate casino was closing. Color up mates!

The London papers are ablaze today with the headlines of the housing crash now underway in the UK.

My only question - what the heck took 'em so long to come to their senses?

Blimey! Bollocks! Bugger!

Well, at least "Ponzi Scheme" is understood on both sides of the Atlantic.

House prices falling £65 a day

Fewer buyers and falling prices halt house boom

Is the roof falling in on the housing market?

Special HP open thread for realtors, mortgage brokers, appraisers, bankers and other REIC to come clean and apologize

This special post is accompanied by a 10 minute video of watching paint dry

November 29, 2007

HP'er Homework Assignment: If you could ask Lawrence Yun of the NAR one question, one serious question, what would it be?

Give me your best.

Might need it.

FLASH: New home sales (supposedly) crater 23%, prices crash 13% vs. last year

Let that sink in a bit. New home prices without even including the massive builder incentives and cash-back have crashed 13% versus last year. On a highly leveraged asset like housing, that's bankruptcy or financial devastation for most new buyers who listened to realtors on commission last year instead of HP.

$500,000 home
-13% price decline or $65,000
-7% selling fee or $35,000
-10% incentives/cash back or $50,000
= $150,000 loss in 12 months

Should have rented.

Oh, nice to see our lazy, corrupt and incompetent MSM headline that new home sales were actually up this month. Seriously, someone take them out back and shoot them. The MSM no longer serve a purpose for society.

OK, now I've seen everything. Here's an ad for "buy my Arizona house and I'll marry anyone so they can become a US citizen"

What next? "Buy my Arizona condo and you can sleep with my wife"? Or "use me as your realtor and I'll help you rob a bank"? (Scott - thanks for the link!)

Buy My House In Arizona USA and Become a US Citizen!

Reply to:
Date: 2007-11-28, 3:13AM JT

Buy my 10 room house in the middle of the city in Arizona, USA for $595,000 USD Cash and I will marry you or a relative of your choice!, you can become a US Citizen and bring your whole family over and have a great house to live in!

Please contact me for more information and Please tell me your name? country? and how I can help you?


HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day (for Lawrence Yun and the NAR only)

Mr. Yun,

What exactly is it that makes you think US home sales and prices will rebound next year?

* The record and swelling inventory?
* The worldwide crashing debt markets?
* The millions of REIC losing their jobs?
* The fact that renting is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than "owning"?
* The massive fraud-related demand and prices that will NEVER come back?
* The congressional investigations?
* The disappearance of no-down, no-doc mortgages?
* The looming recession?
* The blowup over at Fannie and Freddie?
* The hundreds of mortgage companies that have failed?
* The tightened lending requirements?
* The complete loss of confidence amongst potential buyers?
* The sea of foreclosures?
* The massive wave of ARM resets
* The destruction of collateralized debt, CDOs and SIVs?
* The loss of buying power of the US dollar?
* The plunging consumer confidence index?

I could go on. But Mr. Yun, please illuminate us. You're the Senior Economist after all, and obviously we have no idea what we're talking about here, since we're just silly little bloggers having fun.

You must know something we don't know Lawrence. Your detailed and sophisticated NAR financial models must be seeing something we can't see.
You must think Manias, Panics and Crashes is just a bunch of hooey. Your studies of past manias and crashes must show that there's no relevance today. And you must have 21 great reasons too (the year round golf, right?).

So do tell. Please share with us your detailed financial modeling and statistical evidence that has led you as an economist to your conclusions. The floor is yours.

The market for existing homes is "hitting the low right now" and heading for a "modest recovery" next year, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors said at the group's annual convention here Tuesday.

NAR expects the national median price of existing homes to decline 1.7 percent to $218,200 for this year and hold steady in 2008.

Yun said housing will start to recover next year, if only because people will keep getting married, having babies, changing jobs and retiring, forcing them to buy or sell homes. "The pent-up demand is there," he said.

HousingPANIC Quote of the Day

"We haven't faced a downturn like this since the Depression"

- Bill Gross, chief investment officer of PIMCO,

November 28, 2007

So Lawrence Yun, the discredited "chief economist" of the NAR, reads HousingPANIC and LawrenceYunWatch. OK, we have a message for him...

This is gonna be a bit direct, so sorry HP'ers, but it is deserved, and it is our responsibility:


Shall I go on? Ok.

Lawrence Yun, you go to work every day and do evil. You help ruin lives. Your parents are likely ashamed of you. Your college professors wonder where they went wrong.

Just stop. Be a man. Quit the NAR tomorrow. Come clean. You'll make MILLIONS by doing the right thing, turning against the evildoers at the NAR, versus the thousands you're making today on their leash. You'll be the star of the 2008 Senate Hearings (instead of "I'll take the fifth"). You'll do your family proud. You'll regain your humanity. You'll do good.

Or not.

Seriously, Lawrence, life is too short to be a stooge, a pawn, a hack, a conman, a liar. Life is too short to be the paid shill of the most evil and disrespected organization in America today. Life is too short to spin lies for realtors. Life is too short to be Lawrence Yun. I truly want you to see the evil you're doing in your life, and step away from the dark side. Seriously, Lawrence. Join the forces of good. Send me a note. Quit your job. Be a man.

Meanwhile, HP'ers, here's the latest evil-doing from the man himself, care of Diana's blog at CNBC, followed by his lies to the media earlier today. God, I hope this person finds truth, reason and a sense of purpose. What hell it must be to be Lawrence Yun. Please join me in sending your personal messages to Lawrence Yun, and his masters at the NAR.

Lawrence Yun: "I'm glad we are living in a free society where we have the right for the bloggers to blog and have fun at it. So it's great that people can blog.

In terms of the forecast, we have revised down our forecast based upon all the fresh information that arrives in the latest month and as a result we think it's responsible to modify the forecast incorporating new information.

We have revised down our forecast by, I believe, by 8 straight months according to some bloggers. I have never kept track of it. I just try to make the most accurate forecasts, but because of this information I have been tracking the blue chip forecast on the housing starts, they don't have a forecast for the home sales, but on the blue chip which is comprised of Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and many others, and they have revised down their housing forecasts for 20 straight months.

The fact that NAR is getting a lot of publicity, that's all good for us that people are paying attention to what we are saying, but just factual information, I think everyone from Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs they are revising down their housing market forecast."

And here's the infuriating lies and disinformation Lawrence Yun was forced to put out by the NAR earlier today:

As bleak as the data are, the fundamentals of the market don't support a further decline in sales, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, who said low mortgage rates and job growth should keep sales from falling. While the subprime mortgage market has disappeared, the Federal Housing Administration is picking up its lending.

"I don't anticipate any further major sales declines," Yun said. However, the NAR didn't anticipate the sales declines of the past two years, and it's been predicting a bottom nearly every month since early 2006.

If sales do continue to fall because of negative market psychology aided by "sensationalized" news reporting, "it would be a major concern" and "would raise the risk of an economic recession," Yun said.

Work with me people!

Depending on your role in this housing debacle, I think we see a bit of denial still (shockingly), a lot of fear (homebuilders, lenders, realtors), some desperation (foreclosures, bankruptcies) and the first scenes of true panic (Northern Rock savers, Fannie Mae investors)

But where would you say the majority of Americans are today?

It's been illuminating to follow this chart these past few years. It simply showed us when it came to the Housing Ponzi Scheme what was happening, and what was to come, no matter what realtors on commission wanted you to believe.

People ask me all the time "when will it be safe to buy a house again"?

The answer? When the majority are disgusted by real estate as an investment. When there's true capitulation and despondency. And of course, when you can buy a home and rent it out for positive cash flow. We're still not even close.

You thought HP was tough on Angelo Mozilo? You won't believe what does to him in this youtube video. Ouch.

America doesn't like corrupt and greedy CEOs. Especially orange ones.

November 27, 2007


I never thought I'd see the day that a major US investment bank admitted what we've known here at HP for years - that the United States housing market will suffer a historic crash, and the drop from peak to trough will be sickening. Man, has the world gone HousingPANIC?


A 15% nationwide decline will be horrific folks. A 30% decline will stun even me. I can't even picture how devastating that will be, for the homedebtors who listened to realtors on commission, and for the American and world economies. Banks will fail. Millions will lose their jobs. Cities will go bankrupt. And the US dollar will collapse.

But I think we all need to get our heads around that number folks. A 30% nationwide decline would mean places like Phoenix, Tampa, San Diego, Vegas, Naples, Boston, DC, Detroit, Sacramento and more will see 50%+ declines, and will not just see recessions, they'll see true 1920's type depressions.

Wow. This is gonna be ugly. Get ready. We predicted it, but now we have to deal with it.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The housing slump has increased the chance of a U.S. recession and will further weaken home prices, Goldman Sachs Group said on Tuesday, cutting its stock recommendations on a slew of companies vulnerable to sluggish growth.

In a grim assessment of the U.S. economy's health, the investment bank said the Federal Reserve will have to cut its lending rate to banks by 1-1/2 percentage points to 3 percent in the next six to nine months to avert a recession.

Home prices will likely decline by 15 percent from their peak. But if the United States enters a recession -- which Goldman expects the economy to narrowly escape -- home prices could fall as much as 30 percent nationwide, it said.

Hundreds of thousands of bankers, realtors, appraisers, mortgage brokers & REIC will be losing their livelihoods these next few months. Anyone care?

I mean, these are people too. With McMansions, and big mortgages, and vacation homes, and massive lease payments, and huge credit card bills, and horrific private school tuitions, and Nordstroms cards, and, well, TONS of monthly expenses, helping fuel the world economy.

So shouldn't we have a heart? Shouldn't we feel bad these folks are getting shown the door?



It's everyone for himself when the sh*t hits the fan unfortunately. And I don't think there's gonna be a lot of pity for the investment banker / REIC crowd when they get served their slice of humble pie. Nope, I don't think there's gonna be a lot of pity. What a pity.

New York City-based Citigroup may soon layoff as many as 45,000 jobs in an effort to cut costs, CNBC reported Monday.

"We are engaged in a planning process in anticipation of our new CEO and our business heads are planning ways in which we can be more efficient and cost effective to position our businesses in line with economic realities," Citigroup said. "Any reports on specific numbers are not factual."

FLASH: US Q3 home price drop largest ever recorded

Stupid things heard in 2004/2005/2006:

Nah, home prices never go down!

There's never been a fall in US median home prices, so pay anything anyone asks!

Trust me! I'm a REALTOR!

And here's the reality today (well, almost reality. Of course these numbers don't include the incentives and cash-back being used to clear dead inventory):

S&P Says 3rd-Quarter Housing Prices Dropped by Sharpest Rate in Index's 21-Year History

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. home prices fell 4.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the sharpest drop since Standard & Poor began its nationwide housing index in 1987, the research group said Tuesday.

S&P also reported that prices fell 1.7 percent from the previous quarter, the largest consecutive quarterly decline in the index's history.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Do realtors, mortgage brokers and appraisers know how completely f*cked they are now?

November 26, 2007

FLASH: US banking system on verge of collapse: Senator Schumer calls for federal investigation of $51 billion in loans to Countrywide Toxic Mortgage

Folks, the United States banking system is about to collapse.

If you have money in US banks (especially Countrywide) beyond the FDIC limits, get it out tomorrow. Get it out fast. If you have money in money markets, which are NOT FDIC insured, get it out tomorrow. Get it out fast. If you still own bank and financial stocks, sell them tomorrow. Get out fast, while you still can.

The British government and Bank of England are in a whole heap of trouble for the reckless and stupid decision to bail out failed bank Northern Rock, and now they're coming to the realization they're not gonna get paid back.

But we all knew about the stupid actions in the UK. That's NOT the case in America today, where Countrywide Soon to Go Bankrupt Toxic Mortgage has secretly been fronted $51 BILLION by the
FHLB member banks in order to keep them afloat, backed up by toxic loan paper that is becoming worthless real quick.

I can't believe this is happening. We (and our banks) are run by monkeys. And now even our friend Senator Schumer is freaking out, asking for a federal investigation today. When banker-owned Schumer is scared, you should be scared too.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer on Monday called for federal regulators to probe more than $50 billion in advances made by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta to troubled mortgage giant Countrywide Financial

In a letter dated Nov. 26 to Chairman Ronald Rosenfeld of the Federal Housing Finance Board, Schumer (D., New York) expressed "serious concern" that loans Countrywide Bank was pledging as collateral for those advances "may pose a risk to the safety and soundness of the FHLB system as a whole."

FHLB Atlanta has made $51.4 billion in advances to Countrywide Bank as of Sept. 30, Schumer wrote, citing the most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The amount represents 37% of the bank's total outstanding advances and the $62.4 billion in loans Countrywide has put up as collateral represents 78% of its total mortgage holdings, Schumber said.

"I find these numbers alarming as reports continue to emerge about how Countrywide's reckless and predatory lending practices were a leading contributor to today's foreclosure crisis," Schumer wrote in calling for the probe.





HSBC, in desperate (and obvious) attempt to prevent a $45 billion SIV mortgage cancer firesale, moves the sludge to their balance sheet today

Ah, as the SIV turns...

It's fun to watch these investment banks and their ENRON-like off-balance-sheet shell games. These banks simply got caught holding the bag when the Housing Ponzi Scheme collapsed, and now they're trying to sweep the carnage under the rug. Good luck with that.

First you had Hank Paulson's hilarious "super-SIV", and now you have HSBC doing their own thing today.

It's all a bit complicated, but all you have to know is that the value of this paper has crashed, the banks don't want to "mark to market" or sell on the open market (or else they may simply fail), so they're doing ANYTHING they can to prevent this cancer from being valued. ANYTHING they can.

Of course, in the end, this sludge will have to have values assigned. These are public companies after all. Ones that have auditors I'd imagine. Right?

Even ENRON was able to hide the salami for awhile. But we all know how that turned out... Note I'm now short HSBC via March '08 puts.

HSBC backs SIVs with $35 billion to prevent fire sale

HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's biggest bank, has stepped in to support its two structured investment vehicles -- Cullinan and Asscher -- with funding of up to $35 billion to prevent forced sales of assets.

HSBC one of the biggest players in the structured investment vehicle (SIV) market, will consolidate $45 billion of assets and related funding from Cullinan and Asscher onto its $2.1 trillion balance sheet and set up new debt-issuing vehicles, it said on Monday.

Their woes have led to fears of fire sales of many billions of dollars worth of securities, further hitting prices and sentiment.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

What would you tell people who are considering buying a home today?

In come the waves. The real nasty stuff is still on the way - get ready for the adjustable rate mortgage bomb

You know what's coming. There should be no surprises.

The subprime mortgage crisis is poised to get much worse.

Next year, interest rates are set to rise -- or "reset" -- on $362 billion worth of adjustable-rate subprime mortgages, according to data calculated by Bank of America Corp.

While many accounts portray resetting rates as the big factor behind the surge in home-loan defaults and foreclosures this year, that isn't quite the case.

Many of the subprime mortgages that have driven up the default rate went bad in their first year or so, well before their interest rate had a chance to go higher. Some of these mortgages went to speculators who planned to flip their houses, others to borrowers who had stretched too far to make their payments, and still others had some element of fraud.

Now the real crest of the reset wave is coming, and that promises more pain for borrowers, lenders and Wall Street. Already, many subprime lenders, who focused on people with poor credit, have gone bust. Big banks and investors who made subprime loans or bought securities backed by them are reporting billions of dollars in losses.

Wonk Alert: PBS video report on the mortgage mess and housing crash

Watch the full video. Nicely done. And no, the NAR does NOT want you to see this video.

$2 trillion in housing wealth going away
Foreclosure neighborhoods
Toxic mortgage bombs going off
Unethical mortgage brokers
Stupid ratings agencies
Wall Street out of control greed
Ameriquest insider spills the beans
Political corruption and collusion

November 25, 2007

HousingPANIC quote of the day

In tribute to the housing-bubble created far-flung suburbs, and the owners of gas-guzzler SUVs.

Shame on all of us.

"Every time we put our credit card in the gas pump, we're paying so that the Saudis get rich - filthy, obscenely rich, and that money then ends up going to funding madrassas," schools "that train the terrorists," said Huckabee.

"America has allowed itself to become enslaved to Saudi oil. It's absurd. It's embarrassing."

Arizona Republic's Rolodex-of-Realtors Catherine Reagor finally admits why she wrote so many housing fluff pieces. She's a homedebtor.

This is called conflict of interest, pure and simple. During the dot-com bubble, stock analysts and reporters like Jack Grubman, Henry Blodget and Dan Dorfman were out there pumping stocks in the media without fully disclosing their ownership positions or conflicts. Those days changed, and when it comes to stocks now you have to disclose your interest.

That's NOT the case with real estate. Housing pumpers like Neil Cavuto, Nicholas Retsinas, Mike Norman etc are obvious homedebtors who do NOT want the value of their real estate to fall. So they get out there and cheerlead, without disclosing their personal financial interests.

Well, Rolodex-of-Realtors Reagor, who did some of the worst reporting I've EVER seen during the bubble, finally admitted the truth today. Gee, what a shocker. Now if the Arizona Republic would also admit to its readers what percent of its falling revenues come from the REIC, we'd be getting somewhere.

Housing prices still in decline - Home prices in metropolitan Phoenix took a healthy drop in October.

No one who owns a home wants to hear that, including me. But real-estate analysts say home prices in many parts of the Valley need to come down after climbing too high during the frenzy of 2004-05. The decline will help the market stabilize, they say. More buyers will get off the fence, and many sellers will still make a profit.

It's time for the housing crash and mortgage meltdown ENRON moment. Who's it gonna be?

Countrywide? KB Home? Washington Mutual? Fannie Mae? Someone's about to go belly up. Someone big. And then after that, someone else will. And someone else will. And someone else will.

Accounting scandal, SEC investigation, bankruptcy filing, massive write-down, share price collapse, big news on CNBC, panicked investors. Who's gonna be first?

It's not a matter of if. It's a matter of when, and who. The table has been set. Who's coming to dinner? The answer(s) may shock you.

Countrywide Financial denies it's bankrupt

Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation's largest mortgage lender, sought to reassure investors Tuesday, declaring it has ample capital, access to cash and is well-positioned to benefit from the financial turmoil rocking the mortgage sector.

The company's statement came amid rumors the company, based in Calabasas, Calif., could be looking to seek bankruptcy protection and as its stock tumbled, at one point down more than 15 percent. Countrywide shares fell 29 cents, or 2.7 percent, to close at $10.28. At one point, the stock had dropped to a low of $8.21. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock price has been as high as $45.26.

Jim Rogers, who's called Ben Bernanke a "madman", on getting out of the US dollar ASAP and getting into commodities, yen and more

Nice to see Rogers call out Bernanke as a bald-faced liar when he testified in front of Congress (under oath) that Americans won't be negatively impacted by the dollar's destruction.

Ron Paul sits on that committee. He should have immediately called for Contempt of Congress hearings against Bernanke after that statement.

Follow the experts folks. And China. And OPEC. The dollar is doomed. And Bernanke will put the last bullet in the body in just a few days. Invest wisely.

A special HousingPANIC message to the people of America

George Bush is your enemy
Nancy Pelosi is your enemy
Ben Bernanke is your enemy
Hank Paulson is your enemy

Dick Cheney MOST DEFINITELY is your enemy
Harry Reid is your enemy

Chuck Schumer is your enemy

Hillary Clinton is your enemy
Rudy Giuliani is your enemy (but don't worry too much about him)

The Democratic Party is your enemy
The Republican Party is your enemy

The mainstream media is your enemy
Bob Toll, Angelo Mozilo, Nicholas Retsinas and the REIC are your enemy

Realtors are your enemy
Mortgage brokers are your enemy
Bankers are your enemy
The NAR is OBVIOUSLY your enemy

China is your enemy
Wal-Mart is your enemy
Saudi Arabia is your enemy
Ignorance is your enemy

So, what to do?

Stop supporting your enemies.

November 24, 2007

Open thread to talk about Ron Paul December 16 money bomb and his winning New Hampshire primary

Being part of the Ron Paul movement has been the highlight of 2007.

December 16, 2007 will be one of the most important days in the history of US presidential politics.

Enjoy HP'ers. We have a horse in this race.

Register for the December 16 Ron Paul money bomb here

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

So was the housing crash the big topic of conversation at gatherings this Thanksgiving? Or was it the little 800 pound gorilla that nobody invited and everyone pretended wasn't there?

In England, it's definitely still "just don't talk about it, and maybe it'll go away" stage. Fear, but just below the surface.

A special HousingPANIC message for Ben Bernanke

If you f*cking dare cut rates even further, and destroy the US dollar (and savers) even more, especially after your rosy "inflation is fine, jobs are fine, the economy will be fine" report, then you should resign.

You will no longer have any credibility worldwide, and your loyalty to your banker buddies over the American people will have been glaringly exposed.

Ben Bernanke, if you cut again, and destroy the US dollar even more, you will launch a revolution. You can fool most of them most of the time, but not all of them all of the time. And you're REALLY starting to piss me off, you corrupt incompetent treasonous jackass.

Here's Schiff on what's happening, and what's to come:

Despite clear signs of surging prices in the U.S., the Fed took a major step in undermining its own credibility with its most recent forecast that inflation would remain below 2% for the next three years.

As the forecast clearly paved the way for additional Fed rate cuts, Wall Street ignored its absurdity and heralded the announcement as legitimate good news. The celebration is likely infuriating foreign governments, who must be dumbstruck that the Fed can claim contained inflation at home while the declining dollar is fueling massive inflation problems around the world.

In order to maintain their pegs to the dollar, foreign central banks have been forced to print their own currencies to buy all the dollars accumulated by their exporters. This has resulted in upward pressure on consumer prices in their respective nations, with annual increases now reaching alarming rates. Bernanke’s message of benign neglect means U.S. exported inflation will likely increase substantially in the years ahead, exacerbating the inflation problems for those nations now supporting the dollar.

In December, OPEC nations will convene to discuss continuing their dollar pegs. If they were looking for a reason to drop them, the Fed may have just provided it.

Peter Schiff makes Fox News worth watching

Love the Fox News paid monkey pumping the supposed "good news on housing", spinning that new home sales were "up 3%" (vs. the prior horrific month which he didn't mention). I guess he didn't want to say that new home sales had actually PLUMMETED again vs. last year. That would be honest after all. Nice to have Schiff there to piss on his REIC happy spin, and calmly discredit the hysterical (and coked up?) real estate "investor" brought on to back up Cavuto.

I do have to give it up though to Fox News for even having Schiff on. They do it to try to humiliate him (the 'doom-and-gloomer'), but as we all know, he ended up being right on everything, and the right wing REIC stooges like Mike Norman that Fox stacks against him have been fatally and forever discredited.

November 23, 2007

Chew on this: "Fannie and Freddie pullback would devastate economy"

Too big to fail?

Not when you see the stench being hidden in the books of these out-of-control disasters-in-the-making.

And think it's bad now? Just wait until conforming start melting down. It's not just subprime. It's not just Alt-A. It's everything. And Fannie and Freddie are holding the stinking bag.

Now watch your clueless and corrupted Congress try to prop up these disasters. And watch Ben Bernanke freak out, slash rates and absolutely destroy the US dollar - anything to prevent Fannie and Freddie from imploding.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If anyone thinks the current U.S. housing downturn is bad now, things would get far worse if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac were to suddenly stop buying mortgages, a move that would drive up the costs of home loans and devastate the economy.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation's two largest sources of mortgage finance respectively, recently reported combined losses of $3.5 billion. Borrowing costs have skyrocketed and investors have erased billions of dollars in each company's equity market capitalizations.

Few think the two companies are likely to pull out of the housing market, even temporarily. However, if the stream of home loan failures were to force the companies to suspend new mortgage investments, the market for mortgage bonds would "freeze up," said Tom Sowanick, chief investment officer of Clearbrook Financial LLC

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee a combined $4.8 trillion of U.S. home mortgage loans of more than 40 percent of the total outstanding

November 22, 2007

Baaaaaaaaa!!! Baaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Baaaaaaaaaaaa!!!


Those HP'ers are just a bunch of doom and gloomers!!!

Why do people call us "doom and gloomers"?

I'd bet most of us are simply optimists and realists. I know I am. During the (early part of) the bubble, I was rah-rah, and made some good money on real estate and stocks.

But then when things spun out of control, and it became unsustainable, I looked at the data calmly, and how market participants were behaving, and compared the situation to past manias, and the realist in me decided pretty easily that it was time for a new strategy. And nearly everything predicted here has now come to pass, or is happening in front of our eyes.

And so here we are.

HP is a realist blog folks. I know REIC and homedebtors hate us, thinking we helped stop the party, and are all doom-and-gloom, but we're just telling you how things are going to be, if you care to listen. And deep down, you probably know all of this stuff too (or at least you should), but you're simply in denial, or you're painfully ignorant.

We aren't.

Look back to the "17 reasons" post the other day. The best thing that can happen to America (and the world) now is a crash and a recession. Too many stupid people doing too many stupid things, too many stupid (and corrupt) leaders doing stupid things that will negatively impact future generations, and this is how life stops stupidity and stupid (and corrupt) people. And after the crash, hopefully most of us will be smarter and wiser.

Happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful for what you have. And starting tomorrow, do your best to try to keep it.

Seems like anyone and everyone associated with housing has crashed already. Any companies left to short?

I'm having a tough time finding new candidates, and the easy money has been made with the obvious ones (Fannie, Countrywide, WaMu, KB Home, IndyMac etc). Wish I had been smart enough to have Jan '08 puts, vs. most of mine which executed in October, before the real bloodletting this month. Remember - the market can stay irrational much longer than you think.

So who's left? Who hasn't totally crashed yet that still will? Or still has farther to go, or won't be around a year from now?

Few ideas I'm kicking around today are:

American Express
Auto Nation
Regional Bank Holders (RKH)
Wells Fargo
Retail Holders (RTH)
China (via FXP)

Any ideas or actions? Need some new puts for '08

I'm smelling a bit of "housing revulsion" in the air today. Anyone else getting a whiff of that?

November 21, 2007

This is getting really bad really fast now. I'm not sure any of you understand just how bad this is gonna get

It's not just housing

It's not just the dollar.

It's not just stocks.

Everything is gonna fall now.

Prepare to lose your job.

Prepare for the loss of your savings and buying power.

Prepare for an economic disaster.

HousingPANIC is here.

Bloomberg columnist's message to homedebtors looking to sell: Enough with the balloons, open houses and incentives - just cut the damn price

The whole world is going HousingPANIC now, wouldn't you say?

What took so long?

HP adds one piece of advice to this: Cut the price BIG TIME. Shock yourself at how far and how fast your home's value plummeted. If you want out from under your debt-trap, you're gonna have to shock your neighbors with the new comp on the street.

Or you could hang on, watch your home rot on the MLS for another few months or years, and watch it sell for even less down the road than you could have gotten for it today.

Housing party over. Get out. Now.

Housing Market's Stench Means Cut Price to Sell

ov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Raffles, festive balloons, open houses, car giveaways. Will any of these incentives sell houses? Not at the moment.

You don't have to be particularly creative in a market glutted with homes for sale. The painful reality is that homes are commodities. There are more than 4 million of them sitting out there unsold and more coming on the market every day due to foreclosures. If you really need to sell a house, price is the one lever that will move a property.

Almost everywhere your competition is abundant while buyers are waiting for prices to fall even more. U.S. existing-home prices are expected to drop almost 2 percent this year nationally, according to the National Association of Realtors, and are likely to fall further in areas oversaturated with homes for sale.

``Buyers just want price,'' says Mike Morgan, a Stuart, Florida-based lawyer, real-estate broker and consultant who researches property markets for hedge funds and financial institutions. ``Buyers have become educated and they can easily cut through the fluffy incentives.''

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Are you scared about what's coming next?

Do you think you'll make it through OK?

Looks like someone's been reading HousingPANIC: Here's Paul Farrell at MarketWatch on "17 Reasons America Needs a Recession"

Yes, it's gonna suck. And yes, it's needed. America without a recession is like a bad kid who didn't get spanked.

Sometimes, when someone (or an entire country) has been bad, a little punishment is needed so that it doesn't happen again.

1. Purge the excesses of the housing boom

No, it's not heartless. Not like wartime calculations of "acceptable collateral damage." Yes, The Economist admits "the economic and social costs of recession are painful: unemployment, lower wages and profits, and bankruptcy." But we can't reverse Greenspan's excessive rate cuts that created the housing/credit crisis. It'll be painful for everyone, especially millions of unlucky, mislead homeowners who must bear the brunt of Wall Street's greed and Washington's policy failures.

2. U.S. dollar wake-up call

Reverse the dollar's free fall and revive our global credibility. Warnings from China, France, Iran, Venezuela and supermodel Gisele haven't fazed Washington. Recession will.

3. Write-offs

Expose Wall Street's shadow-banking system. They're playing with $300 trillion in derivatives and still hiding over $100 billion of toxic off-balance sheet asset-backed securities, plus another $300 billion hidden worldwide. A lack of transparency is killing our international credibility. Write it all off, now!

4. Budgeting

Force fiscal restraint back into government. America has been living way beyond its means for years: A recession will cut back revenues at all levels of government and cutbacks will encourage balanced budgeting.

5. Overconfidence

A recession will wake up short-term investors playing the market. In bull markets traders ride the rising tide, gaining false confidence that they're financial geniuses. Downturns bruise egos but encourage rational long-term strategies.

6. Ratings

Rating agencies have massive conflicts of interest; they aren't doing their job. They're supposed to represent the investors, but favor Corporate America, which pays for the reports. Shake them up.

7. China

Trigger an internal recession in China. Make it realize America's not going into debt forever to finance China's domestic growth and military war machine. A recession will also slow recycling their reserves through sovereign funds to our equities.

8. Oil

Force the energy and auto industries to get serious about emission standards and reducing oil dependency.

9. Inflation

Expose the "core inflation" farce Washington uses to sugarcoat reality.

10. Moral hazard

Slow the Fed from cutting interest rates to bail out speculators.

11. War costs

Force Washington to get honest about how it's going to pay for our wars, other than supplemental bills that are worse than Enron-style debt financing.

12. CEO pay

Further expose CEO compensation that's now about five hundred times the salaries of workers, compared with about 40 times a generation ago.

13. Privatization

Stop the privatization of our federal government to no-bid contractors and high-priced mercenary armies fighting our wars.

14. Entitlements

Force Congress to get serious about the coming Social Security/Medicare disaster. With boomers now retiring, this problem can only get worse: A recession now could avoid a depression later.

15. Consumers

Yes, we're all living way beyond our means, piling up excessive credit-card debt, encouraged by government leaders who tell us "deficits don't matter." Recessions will pressure individuals to reduce spending and increase savings.

16. Regulation

Lobbyists have replaced regulation. Extreme theories of unrestrained free trade plus zero regulation just don't work; proven by our credit crisis, hedge funds' nondisclosures, private-equity taxation, rating agencies failures, junk home mortgages, and more. Get real, folks.

17. Sacrifice

"We have not seen a nationwide decline in housing like this since the Great Depression, says Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf. As individuals and as a nation Americans have always performed best in crises, like the Depression or WWII, times when we're all asked to make sacrifices. Pampering us with interest-rate cuts and tax cuts during the Iraq and Afghan wars may have stimulated the economy temporarily, but they delayed the real damage of the '90s stock bubble while setting the stage for this new subprime/credit crisis.

Wake up, the train wrecked. Time to think positive, find solutions, demand sacrifices. End of Story

November 20, 2007

FLASH: Freddie Mac one step closer to insolvency. Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke and Chuck Schumer want to double down.

Time for the revolution anyone?

Fannie and Freddie will implode. The US taxpayer will take on the burden. Banks will shut down. The printing presses will go into overdrive. And Ben Bernanke and Chuck Schumer should be tried for corruption and treason.

Freddie Mac has hired Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers to help it look into raising capital and said it is seriously considering cutting its fourth-quarter dividend in half.

The quasigovernmental company, which buys residential mortgages and mortgage-related securities, made the announcement as it reported a loss of $2 billion for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Freddie Mac attributed the loss to a higher provision for credit losses and a markdown in the value of its assets.

And From CNN:

Mortgage financing firm Freddie Mac rocked the credit markets further Tuesday as it reported a large loss along with an $8.1 billion drop in the value of its assets, as it set aside $1.2 billion to cover credit losses.

The firm reported a net loss of $2 billion, or $3.29 a share, in the period, wider than the loss of $715 million, or $1.17 a share, a year earlier.

US Dollar: "Ben Bernanke and George Bush, why do you hate me so?" Are we on the verge of a total US dollar collapse?

Never thought it'd happen so quick, but it appears the US dollar is going into crisis mode now.
* OPEC talking about moving out of the dollar.
* China talking about getting their reserves out of dollars.
* The Fed lowering interest rates in panic mode, intentionally destroying the dollar.
* Bush and Paulson doing absolutely nothing to protect the currency.
* Supermodels and rappers saying no more dollars.
* Countries with dollar-pegs experiencing hyper-inflation and about to pull the plug
* The dollar hitting record lows against other currencies on a daily basis.
* Americans clueless, some thinking this dollar destruction is a good thing

At what point HP'ers do people around the world throw in the towel and rush out of dollars like Phoenicians are rushing out of condos? At what point does this free-fall turn into a rout? And isn't it amazing that housing panic has led to dollar panic?

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar fell to a record low against the euro and the Swiss franc on speculation a U.S. government report will show a deepening property slump, prompting the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates.

The dollar declined against 13 of the 16 most-active currencies as economists forecast Commerce Department data today will show U.S. housing starts dropped to a 14-year low in October. Losses in the dollar also accelerated on speculation Middle Eastern nations will consider changing their fixed exchange rates to the U.S. currency.

``The dollar is hard to buy,'' said Motonari Ogawa, vice president for interest-rate products and foreign exchange in Tokyo at Morgan Stanley, the world's second-biggest securities firm. ``The markets are fixated on today's U.S. housing data.''

Get ready for the next big trend - huge budget shortfalls for housing bubble cities and states

It's the dot-com meltdown squared for places that had housing loot rolling in, and oh-so-wisely spent it. Now the tax revenues are falling off the cliff, and the cities and states are looking around wondering where all the free money went.

We'll see bankrupt banks, we'll see bankrupt builders and we'll see bankrupt lenders. But brace yourselves for bankrupt cities and states. You'll see services like police, fire, education, and infrastructure cut to the bone, and you'll see tax increases on everything - cigarettes, cars, houses, incomes and more.

Bubbles suck. They make people do stupid things, and they make government, who is run by really dumb people, do REALLY dumb things.

Here's the view from housing-crash-central Phoenix Arizona. Too bad they didn't read HP. And get used to potholes and dumb kids as spending gets slashed.

Maricopa County looks to cut spending

Facing a nasty revenue slump, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a plan today that would cut spending and squeeze more bang out of its $2.2 billion budget.

The spending plan is in reaction to a dark fiscal outlook that could darken considerably more over the next several months and even years. Today's plan is likely the first step to avoid multimillion-dollar budget shortfalls, layoffs and delays of high-profile projects, finance officials said.

"We budgeted with a worst-case scenario in mind," said Supervisor Andy Kunasek. "By the look of things, it appears we weren't as pessimistic as we should have been and revenue are much worse than expected. But we'll make the cuts we have to."

November 19, 2007

Countrywide Toxic Mortgage's stock is now down over 75% for the year. Nice timing on those stock sales Angelo!

Boy, Angelo sure dumped his shares at the right time, eh? Not like he had any inside information or anything. Wonder how the SEC is getting on?

All the HP favorite dogs have now been destroyed HP'ers, on their march toward bankruptcy. Countrywide, IndyMac, First Federal, Washington Mutual, Toll Brothers, KB Home, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the list goes on.

I hope some of you made some $$$ on these dogs. Their downfall was soooooooooo easy to see. Even Angelo could have told you that.

Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM), the government-sponsored mortgage agency, fell 7.6 per cent to $37.58, its lowest level in 10 years, amid investor doubts about the way it accounts for home loan losses.

Shares in fellow mortgage giant Freddie Mac fell 7.9 per cent to $37.50 after Credit Suisse warned it might take a loss of up to $5bn on its subprime AAA portfolio. Its analysts also forecast a third-quarter loss in excess of $1bn when Freddie reports on Tuesday, and cut their price target from $68 to $45.

Other mortgage-related companies suffered large share price falls. Countrywide Financial (NYSE:CFC), was down 12.4 per cent at $10.57, while Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) was 7.3 per cent lower at $18.49.

Open thread for homedebtors

What's it like to know the 'value' of your home is dropping? And that your 'equity' is going away?

* Did you think of selling and then talked yourself out of it?
* Did you use the housing ATM and wish you hadn't?
* Do you blame the bubble blogs and MSM for calling the cops on the housing party?
* What interest rate are you at, and is your loan fixed or adjustable?
* When did you finally realize that home prices were tanking?
* If you had to sell today, how far from the peak has the price come down?
* Or do you simply consider your house a home, and don't stress about all this housing crash stuff?

When will the National Association of Realtors and their army of 6%'ers be forced to admit their role in the Great Housing Con?

I know "never" is the likely answer, seeing that the NAR is one of the biggest contributors to our corrupted Congress, but I think the Great Housing Crash is going to cause such a populist stink in 2008 that even politicians who've accepted the NAR's dirty money will turn on them in order to keep their jobs.

And watch for the Presidential candidates to really start honing in on the housing crash and the NAR as an issue, especially Ron Paul and John Edwards.

I'd like to see one realtor, just one, write a mea-culpa, and apologize for the damage that commission-hungry realtors inflicted on their fellow Americans these past few years. Just one realtor with a conscience, just one realtor with a soul.

For HP's realtor readers, this is your chance. Make a name for yourself in the industry. Turn on the monkeys at the NAR. Stand up. Do the right thing. And come clean here.

November 18, 2007

Iran nukes the US dollar at OPEC meeting

Cheney isn't gonna like this one!

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad has a point - the US is taking the oil, and leaving behind little green IOUs. At one point, the suckers wake up.

This is gonna get ugly.

Ahmadinejad: OPEC Members Interested in Converting Cash Reserves Into Non-Dollar Currency

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that OPEC's members have expressed interest in converting their cash reserves into a currency other than the depreciating U.S. dollar, which he called a "worthless piece of paper."

"They get our oil and give us a worthless piece of paper," Ahmadinejad told reporters after the close of the summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. He blamed U.S. President George W. Bush's policies for the decline of the dollar and its negative effect on other countries.

"All participating leaders showed an interest in changing their hard currency reserves to a credible hard currency," Ahmadinejad said. "Some said producing countries should designate a single hard currency aside from the U.S. dollar ... to form the basis of our oil trade."

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

Anyone getting the feeling 2008 is gonna be quite the ride?

Give us some predictions here...

Everything that's wrong with US politics today is represented by Senator Chuck Schumer, the rent boy of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and more

Senator Charles Schumer is simply an obedient little rent boy servicing his big investment bank masters, doing their bidding regardless of what's best for his constituents and America.

Chuck Schumer is shamelessly and obviously corrupt. But the entire US political system has been corrupted by a campaign financing system run amok. Now Schumer (and his best buddy Ben Bernanke) are calling for corrupt and deceptive house-of-cards Fannie Mae to take on $1 million Jumbo loans .

Sick folks. The system is sick. And Schumer represents the disease.

Top Contributors

1 Goldman Sachs $458,440
2 Citigroup Inc $399,716
3 JP Morgan Chase & Co $325,200
4 Morgan Stanley $298,946
5 Bear Stearns $230,350
6 Merrill Lynch $226,150
7 UBS Americas $222,000
8 Credit Suisse Group $199,044
9 Lehman Brothers $181,450
10 Time Warner $167,500

And in related news:

Schumer wants Fannie and Freddie to be able to take on $1 million loans

If Bernanke's congressional brain fart becomes law, taxpayers will no longer just be serving as the backstop for private companies charged with assisting in the national goal of expanding affordable housing. (That was the original mission of Fannie and Freddie, as pointed out by the good folks at Housing Doom, who brought this story to my attention.) Nope, if Ben gets his way, you and I will be forced into the business of guaranteeing loans for Americans who simply have to have that 4,500-square-foot McMansion.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) thinks this is a peachy idea.
Chuck -- who, of course, said absolutely nothing about the problems and excesses in lending while the housing bubble was inflating
-- has been making hay about the correction for months.

That's understandable. After all, his Wall Street constituents -- Citigroup (NYSE: C), Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), and Wachovia (NYSE: WB) -- need a major metaphorical Heimlich to save them from choking on a diet of bad-loan dog food of their own making.

A taxpayer-sponsored plan to let Fannie and Freddie buy up big loans would certainly help them out, providing the "liquidity" that real investors -- quite rightly -- are loath to provide these days.

BUBBLETALK - Open thread to talk about the housing crash and mortgage meltdown

Post article highlights (use for the link), random thoughts and word from the street here...

Yup, right on schedule, it's getting ugly out there (no matter what realtors on commission tell you)

November 17, 2007

We should have thought of this one sooner. Forget burning down the house - watch desperate homedebtors and unemployed REIC torch their cars now

Falling behind on that toxic mortgage and massive auto lease (like a lot of folks in Scottsdale)? Ex-mortgage broker or realtor with no work? What to do? Hell, just torch your car! This $90k Mercedes ain't looking too good. But why is a $90k Mercedes parked in an apartment lot in the first place I'd have to ask... Ah, ya gotta love the end of a massive credit bubble. It all falls apart now.

Thanks to dirtyscottsdale for this gem, and for all the $30,000 millionaire lampoonings you'd ever want in one place

The vehicle in question used to be a Mercedes-Benz G-Class; aka a $90,000 Jeep Liberty.

My complex is full of $30k Milli’s and this happened. Apparently I am not the only one who has connected the dots since Scottsdale PD won’t let anyone move it until they are done with their investigation.

As a service to us all, please spread the word that any d-bag feeling overwhelmed by the 30k Milli lifestyle who wants to torch their car for insurance $$$ should do so way out in the desert and report it stolen.

We interrupt the NAR's happy spin and sea of lies for a word from Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs

Folks, this is some pretty scary stuff. And now it's not coming from some loony little blog like this one. Nope, it's coming from the largest financial institutions in the world.

Batten the hatches. Here comes the storm.


Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said Thursday that housing is in the worst shape since the economic devastation of the 1930s.

"We have not seen a nationwide decline in housing like this since the Great Depression," Stumpf told those attending a Merrill Lynch & Co. (NYSE: MER) investment conference.

He anticipates hard times ahead for home owners in financial straits -- and their bankers.

"I don't think we're in the ninth inning of winding this," Stumpf said. "If we are, it's an extra-inning game.

"The losses have turned out to be greater than expected because home prices have declined faster and deeper than expected"


Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, made waves today with a note released last night that put possible credit losses from mortgage defualts at $2 trillion, due to leverage. Hatzius’s anlaysis have drawn attention before: Back in March 2006, Hatzius said U.S. housing was overvalued by about 20%, based on historical relationships between monthly mortgage payments and median household incomes.

“Estimates of the likely credit losses on outstanding mortgages have grown sharply in recent months. A back-of-the-envelope calculation using past default experience in different home price environments now suggests losses of around $400 billion. … [O]ne sometimes hears that it is just equivalent to one bad day in the stock market. But this analogy is wrong.”

“[I]f leveraged investors see $200 billion of the $400 billion aggregate credit loss, they might need to scale back their lending by $2 trillion. … This is a large shock. It corresponds to 7% of the total debt owed by US nonfinancial sectors (households, nonfinancial companies, and government).”

“Our conclusion is that the likely mortgage credit losses pose a significantly bigger macroeconomic risk than generally recognized.”

November 16, 2007

Bank of England head Mervyn King warns of worldwide stock market crash

Well, there's something you don't see every day.

But then again, you don't see the biggest debt, credit and real estate bubbles in recorded human history go bust every day either.

You live in interesting times HP'ers. Just how interesting is still to be seen.

Markets poised for severe fall, says King

The Bank of England Governor has issued an extremely unusual warning on world stock markets, indicating that shares may be heading for a major fall.

Mervyn King said the full impact of the credit crunch had not yet been felt on equity markets in the West and in developing countries, saying that the possibility of share price falls were one of the biggest risks facing the world economy.

"It is very striking that despite the developments we've seen in the last three months , despite the stresses and strains in the banking sector , equity prices are higher now than they were in August," he said, unveiling the Bank's Inflation Report, which said the strength of share prices had been "surprising".

He added: "This is true around the world, and in emerging markets they're 20pc higher. There must be some downside risks there.

December 16th: The Ron Paul Money Bomb 2 is one month away. A day that will blow up the 2008 GOP presidential campaign

Think your money market funds are a nice safe places to park your cash? Wrong. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Guess who was one of the biggest investors in toxic SIVs and CDOs?

Money market funds.

Your money is not safe in these safest of safe funds. Get it out. Now. If you need to park cash, get it into FDIC insured accounts or US t-bills that even though the dollar will devalue, unlike money market funds you won't lose your principle.

Do it today. You'll be glad you did.

GE Money Fund Breaks the Buck; Others Scramble to Cover Losses

A short-term institutional bond managed by General Electric Asset Management suffered such extreme losses from mortgage and asset-backed securities that it has offered investors the option of redeeming their holdings at 96 cents on the dollar.

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), and others, are reportedly propping up their money-market funds in a frantic effort to cushion against possible losses on debt issued by structured investment funds.

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day


Who do you admire?

Who do you despise?

(extra credit if you get mine)

November 15, 2007

Ron Paul on the stupid US foreign policy of trying to police the world (while going bankrupt in the process)

Nothing to do with housing. Yet everything to do with the over-extended mess we find ourselves in today.

Ron Paul: A Republican Takes the Lead Against the War

"We are now spending close to a trillion dollars a year, when you add up every single thing we do overseas.
You could start off easily cutting $100 billion. Bring the troops home, you could save $200 billion the next year. And maybe $250 billion the year after that.

Quit paying to blow up bridges in Iraq and then paying to rebuild them. Bring that money home. Our bridges are falling down. Our levees are falling down. The only way we can get enough money is by stopping this insane foreign policy of running this empire that we can't afford. Policing the world? It's impossible.

I say, just quit it. Let's come home. Bring the troops home. Quit spending the money. Get rid of selective service. Don't have the draft. And no more wars like this. It's a real tragedy and a real black mark on our record."

Here's the United States Housing Crash in all its ugliness - Fortune magazine does the P/E on the housing bubble

Nice to see the MSM reporting on the price to rent ratio for housing - just a few years too late to save people from the worst financial mistake of their lives, and just a few years later than the bubble blogs, but at least the truth is now finding a way out.

Here's how bad home prices will crash city by city, based on historic rent yields.

What a shocker - Florida, California, Arizona, Balt/DC - all the usual suspects, all the cities that got infested by REIC, fraudsters, flippers and greed.

Look out below. And rent.

Column headers are city, current price to rent ratio, 15 year average, and expected 5-year price decline (in today's dollars not the devalued ones coming up)

Miami 27.2 16.0 -41.1
Los Angeles 26.7 16.0 -40.3
Baltimore 20.7 12.6 -39.1
Washington DC 26.0 15.9 -38.9
Seattle 38.0 23.3 -38.7
East Bay CA 50.9 31.6 -38.1
Orlando 23.8 14.9 -37.2
Long Island 24.5 15.7 -36.1
Ft Lauderdale 24.5 15.7 -35.9
San Jose 42.5 27.2 -35.9
Palm Beach Fla 27.1 17.6 -35.1
Phoenix 21.5 14.0 -34.6
New York 17.8 11.7 -34.6
Portland, Ore. 31.7 20.8 -34.3
San Diego 34.0 22.4 -34.2
Norfolk 26.8 17.9 -33.3
Philadelphia 18.6 12.5 -33.2
Orange County 36.2 24.3 -33.1
Salt Lake City 24.1 16.3 -32.7
Las Vegas 27.9 18.9 -32.3
Richmond 24.9 16.8 -32.3
Sacramento 28.7 19.4 -32.2
Tampa 21.4 14.5 -32.2
InlandEmpire CA 27.5 18.8 -31.6
Charlotte 26.2 18.2 -30.5
North/Cen NJ 20.6 14.4 -30.2
Jacksonville 20.1 14.3 -28.8
San Francisco 38.2 27.4 -28.3
Raleigh 26.8 19.4 -27.7
Honolulu 35.2 25.5 -27.4
NATIONAL AVG 22.8 16.9 -25.9
Milwaukee 24.2 18.1 -25.0
Atlanta 19.5 14.8 -24.0
Nashville 26.8 20.5 -23.8
San Antonio 17.7 13.5 -23.6
Boston 23.2 18.0 -22.4
Denver 24.4 19.1 -21.7
Hartford 18.7 14.9 -20.0
Minneapolis 19.3 15.5 -19.8
Chicago 22.7 18.3 -19.7
Oklahoma City 15.5 12.7 -17.9
Stamford, CT 26.4 22.0 -16.6
Memphis 21.5 18.1 -15.9
St. Louis 16.6 14.0 -15.7
Austin 19.1 16.3 -14.5
Houston 16.5 14.3 -13.4
Kansas City 16.8 14.8 -11.5
Pittsburgh 11.9 10.6 -10.9
Columbus 18.9 16.9 -10.4
Dallas/FortW 17.8 16.1 -9.4
New Orleans 16.1 14.8 -8.1
Cincinnati 16.3 15.1 -6.9
Indianapolis 15.6 14.9 -5.0
Detroit 10.3 10.9 5.8
Cleveland 13.2 14.3 8.5