There aren’t very many people I detest more than George Soros (though Mishy does come immediately to mind), and his ability to write op-eds and have them published drives me bananas. His latest hogwash from the Financial Times, for example, writing about how more stimulus is necessary when we are close to $14 Trillion in debt. Yeah, just keep digging would be Georgie’s advice.
But the crash of 2008 was primarily a failure of the private sector. US (and other) regulators should be faulted for failing to regulate. Without a bail-out, the financial system would have remained paralysed, making the subsequent recession much deeper and longer. Similarly, the US stimulus package was a necessary measure. The fact that most of it was spent to sustain consumption rather than on correcting the underlying imbalances was unavoidable due to time pressure.
Let’s remind folks, shall we?
The op-ed continues:
Where the Obama administration went wrong was in how it bailed out the banking system: it helped the banks earn their way out of a hole by purchasing some of their bad assets and supplying them with cheap money. This, too, was guided by political considerations: it would have been more efficient to inject new equity into the banks but the president feared accusations of nationalisation and socialism.
Oh really? If you aren’t reading Market-Ticker every single day, you aren’t aware of what is really going on.
Worse, you can count the number of people who went to prison on the fingers of one hand, AND NOT ONE GOT NAILED FOR KNOWINGLY FALSE – MALICIOUSLY SO – SECURITIES SALES.
So they did it again.
This time in houses.
You know what happened. You could have a mortgage to buy a house as long as you were breathing. No income, no job, no assets. They even gave the loan a name – “NINJA.” Bernanke knew this. He was the supervisor of the banks. He didn’t give a ****. He knew damn well this crap was being securitized and sold off to people and that there was no way, on a long-term basis, these loans could be paid off. These loans were given ONLY on the back of rising prices – nothing more.
Prices that had to rise 12% or more a year to cover a once-a-year flip costs – 6% for the buy, 6% for the sell, by the Realtards. Maybe you’re good and negotiate 1% off per side. Ok, the other 2% went to fees – fees that the banks got to keep, even if the paper was utter and complete CRAP.
Again, Bernanke didn’t give a ****.
Again, the bubble inflated. This time in houses. Bernanke claimed in sworn testimony as late as 2006 that there was no bubble and that housing prices reflected “strong fundamentals.”
Again the bubble popped. You know what happened. Millions of Americans lost their houses, millions lost jobs.
AGAIN, TRILLIONS IN WEALTH WERE VAPORIZED AND AGAIN THE BANKS KEPT ALL THE ILL-GOTTEN LOOT!
But this time, when the bubble popped, it popped a bit too early. The banks got stuck with some of their own crap. So Paulson and Bernanke went to Congress and threatened “Tanks in the streets” unless they got $700 billion. They rolled Congress to save their friends who not only should have gone bankrupt, many of them should have gone to prison!
But even that wasn’t enough. We still had a problem, and the market and economy was still falling apart. So Geithner and Bernanke, really the same guy with two faces, went to Congress again and got them to force FASB to make accounting fraud legal. That’s right – “make up a price for this asset and its ok on your balance sheet.” They did it, and heh, the banks were saved (well, not really, but it looks like it.)
So again nobody goes to prison, the same people steal all the money, and Bernanke claims – again – that he couldn’t see it coming – even though he was the guy supervising it all!
What’s worse is that all the crap that was shoved in the box – trillions of it – is still out there, much of it off balance sheet! Essentially every major bank has hundreds of billions of dollars of who-knows-what stashed where nobody can see or value it, exactly as ENRON did, and a couple of them have over one trillion in off-sheet exposure – more than enough to blow their capital to hell several times over if the valuations are not accurate. Yet we can’t see, we can’t examine, and we can’t know.
If I can see this without having a PhD from Princeton, either Bernanke is a ****ing idiot who bought his degree and has an IQ smaller than my kid’s soccer shoe size or he’s a damned liar and has been intentionally misleading the American Public along with Congress for more than a decade.
Ok, so there’s history. None of which Bernanke claims he could “see” with his much-vaunted “models”, remember?
What do you think the banks are doing now, having gotten away with all-but-murder (and maybe some of that too) with not one but two full sets of scams in the last decade?
Want to know the latest about Fannie Mae? You ain’t gonna believe it; they are back to sub-prime lending games.
Thought those great low down-payment deals were gone? Think again. If you’re willing to buy a home foreclosed by Fannie Mae through the new HomePath program, you may be able to purchase one with as little as 3 percent down. Even better, that 3 percent can be a gift from a family member or other third party, or a loan from a nonprofit, or a state or local government.
Sound a lot like those subprime loans that started this housing mess?
The terms are similar, but the big difference now is that to qualify for those favorable terms in the HomePath program, you must choose one of Fannie Mae’s foreclosed homes, and you must buy it “as is.”
Here are the terms you can expect:
- Low down-payment and flexible mortgage terms (fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, or interest-only).
- You may qualify even if your credit is less than perfect, as low as 660, when most lenders want a minimum of 700.
- You can qualify as an investor or owner-occupant.
- Down payment must be at least 3 percent for an owner-occupant, but it must be funded by your own savings or by a gift, a grant or a loan from an employer, a nonprofit organization, or a state or local government. Investors must come up with 10 percent down.
- No appraisal is required.
- No mortgage insurance is required, but the terms of the loan may not be as favorable. You need to look at the options with your lender.
To get these very favorable terms, you’ll need to buy the home “as is.” But if you find the perfect home and it needs some renovation, you’ll be able to quality for the HomePath Renovation Mortgage. This type of mortgage will fund both the purchase of the home and some light renovation.
So the Dodd-Frank FinReg bill is tracking every financial transaction inside the country, but “omitted both an adequate down payment and a good credit history from the list of criteria indicating a lower risk of default as regulators sought to define a qualified residential mortgage.”
This was no oversight. Republican Senator Robert Corker and others proposed an amendment that would have added both a minimum down-payment requirement and consideration of credit history along with the establishment by regulators of a “prudent underwriting” standard. This amendment was defeated.
In early September 2010, Fannie and Freddie’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, following requirements set out in 2008 by Congress, finalized affordable housing mandates that are likely to prove more risky than those that led to Fannie and Freddie’s taxpayer bailout. As required by Congress, these new goals almost exclusively relate to very low- and low- income borrowers. Meeting these goals will necessitate a return to dangerous minimal down-payment lending, along with other imprudent lending standards.
Then add in ForeclosureGate from Market Ticker:
…and one of my current fav articles from Karl:
Since I’m in a particularly malevolent mood when it comes to politics today….
- GMAC/Ally is owned by the US Federal Government. You, President Obama, indirectly through your Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, took it over as part of GM. This happened on your watch and you cannot blame it on Bush.
- We now appear to know that GMAC, along with other firms in the MBS marketplace, including Fannie and Freddie, have been using a series of “foreclosure mills” that are emitting tens of thousands of fraudulent affidavits that have been used to dispossess Americans of their homes. (See Tickers here, here and here.) There is plenty of question as to whether those foreclosures are proper or whether the original securitizations were valid in the first place.
Question #1: Mr. President, are you going to call a full-stop to all such foreclosures, reverse all that have occurred as a consequence of what appears to be massive and pervasive document fraud, and take personal responsibility for the mess in firms you took over as President of The United States?
Question #2: When will you be directing Eric Holder, your Attorney General, to investigate and file indictments against the officers, directors, and actors in these apparent foreclosure-mill scams?
Question #3: If it is proved that (1) the securitizations were not proper in the first place, and (2) not only were they improper but they were knowingly put together with either actual knowledge or reckless disregard for this fact, will you force the banks that were involved in constructing these intentionally-defective instruments to eat them?
Question #4: Yes, I know that if you do what is asked in Question #3 the banks will all blow up. Every one of them. There is some $1 trillion of this bogus non-agency MBS trash out there. I don’t care. Yes, I meant it when I asked if you would allow The American People some justice – just this once – from all the scams, frauds and schemes – even if it sinks your best friends on Wall Street!
That’ll do for starters.
Well folks, you get the idea; we are totally screwed and because the economy didn’t completely collapse, they are back to their old games with relish. Flipping this Congress and then this White House to CONSTITUTIONAL CONSERVATIVES will alleviate many of these problems.