Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

October 26, 2008

Leadership Needed in U.S. Foreclosures

New statistics now share that 2700 Americans lose their homes every day due to the banking and mortgage debacle combined with a sharply declining United States economy. That number is up from 1200 a day one year ago. What do you think? Clearly, Americans are losing ground.

Digital Economy has shared a wealth of information and perspective regarding the foreclosure crisis consuming the American populace. Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, says that the nation is way behind the curve on getting anything done about the foreclosure crisis. The do-it-yourself attitude of the U.S. government has been no help at all. I’m not sure why the FDIC would bother commenting on the foreclosure crisis, but hey, I’m game. What she said next is much more important: “We need to act quickly, and we need to act dramatically to have more wide-scale, systematic modifications.…”

Sheila Bair is voicing something that Americans and politicians have been mouthing for the last year with little results. Part of the problem is the opaqueness of the mortgage system coupled with that of the securitized and bundled loans so prevalent in the U.S. The Federal Reserve would tell you that rules are the problem. Yet, the truth is that there is no speedy way to deal with the crisis. The mortgage process is outdated and hopelessly compromised by the new age of banking greed. Expediency is important to politicians and as a result, the crisis gets nothing more than plenty of lip service.

Naturally, there are plenty of excuses why foreclosure resolution is so difficult:
Homeowners walking away
Job losses
Negative equity
Availability of credit for new loans
Investor speculation
Complex investment banking instruments (mortgage-backed securities)

The credit market is such that no homeowner is able to get a loan, especially from a competing bank. Bankers don’t want any more trouble from strapped homeowners than they already have. If Congress and the Bush Administration had acted faster with determinant action, much of the carnage could have been avoided. Instead, they have placated the public with voluntary programs such as the Hope Now Alliance. Hope Now isn’t bad, it just isn’t powerful enough or fast enough. No meaningful provisions have been adopted to force the mortgage and banking industry to hold more responsibility for the loans they created.

Now, the nation faces a global meltdown of epic proportions. Can you imagine 2700 houses a day being dumped on the U.S. housing market? The fact is that little real U.S. leadership has been shown. Along with the commensurate lack of leadership, bankers and mortgage servicers are still being allowed to run amok. So far, too little, too late is the result of laissez-faire economics that the Bush administration has adopted. Yet the same laissez-faire politicians are providing taxpayer money as bailout grist for bankers and businesses that they deem as too-large-to-fail. America needs something more than a hands-off approach to business/consumer regulations and relations. Americans need real leadership and action with real protection provisions in place. Even if some American citizens are dead wrong in how they have handled their finances, Big Government needs to step up to the plate and hold back the tide of banking greed and process, while forcing foreclosure resolution to work. It is all in the rules and how they are enforced. So far, your United States government has lacked the will to act strongly and decisively. America needs real leadership, not excuses. ~ E. Manning
Selling Short to Avoid Foreclosure
Good New for Cheated Homeowners
Selling Short to Avoid Foreclosure

September 11, 2008

The Con Game of Securitization and Wealth

crisis through securitization

crisis through securitization

According to Federal Reserve’s Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, “One reason for the loosening of standards was the expectation that house prices would continue to rise and even more certainly that they could not fall in all regions at the same time, supporting diversification through securitization.”

This small sentence combined with a summary of all the accumulated evidence maintained by the Federal Reserve shows the propensity for a lack of regard for economic concerns over the immediate concerns of profit.

“Rising prices would enable lenders to recoup their funds even if the borrower was unable to service the loan, mostly because the borrower would be able to obtain extra cash through refinancing. Expectations of house price appreciation facilitated and interacted with the increasing complexity of mortgage securities, including multiple securitizations of the same loan, which made it virtually impossible for ultimate lenders to monitor the creditworthiness of borrowers. This was a task they had outsourced to credit rating agencies. The absence of investor caution and due diligence was especially noticeable for the highest-rated tranches of securitized debt.”

securitized vomit

securitized vomit

Who started the securitization of loans to begin with? Give the government geniuses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac credit for the wunderkind of shaky banking ‘o so many years ago. That is why authorities in banking and in government are quite mum about the evil and deception of securitized bonds. What is worse, they have no intent to change a thing.

The Federal Reserve is still brainstorming new ways to “ameliorate systemic risk. That said, a host of difficult judgments are inherent in how we establish such a system.” That is the trillion dollar question. In the words of Donald Kohn; “How we can structure these requirements and other aspects of regulation to damp, rather than reinforce, the natural procyclical tendencies of the financial system?”

economic usury

economic usury

If the U.S. economy were equated to an automobile engine, we would be running on half the cylinders. The Federal Reserve and other surrogate economists don’t have a clue and are now discussing “solutions” among themselves. Global bankers long for a solution to the trillion dollar question and they want to continue doing the same old things as long as it makes them money for the short-term. The idea is not what is good for any economy, but what is good for quick profits for themselves. That is what banking around the world has come to represent: corporate profit behind the scenes and personal profit while that is possible. Never forget that the Federal Reserve and global central bankers are corporations bent on making a profit, part of a “franchise” of banks that loosely report to Swiss and Roman bankers. They live off of the world; therefore economies are simply tools for wealth. That is the danger nations, governments and peoples face.

Don’t fool yourself. Global bankers are running the world to your peril. However, the sophisticated United States government and others are all for making a profit while they can, oblivious to the danger or convinced that they will live forever while central banking pumps them dry. ~ E. Manning

July 26, 2008

EU Wants Tighter Controls on Securitized Loans

The European Union has looked long and hard at the mortgage debacle in the United States and is planning to take regulatory action at home. Bankers have proved that they cannot be entirely trusted where profits and internal banking instruments are concerned. The European Commission is on top of the matter to avoid a management crisis by EU banking bodies. Naturally, bankers are concerned with their profit margins more than safety or the possibility of fraud.

The EU wants to allow banks to buy so-called securitized loans, loans repackaged as securities, if the selling institution holds back 10 percent in reserves, says a European Union Commission draft for new banking rules. The intent is to implement the rules in the autumn. EU governments and the European Parliament have not approved the plan.

The plan has alarmed the financial industry. The industry claims that the ruling could restrict lending in Europe by driving up the price of loans for companies, home buyers and consumers. Banks think that Europe’s banking and financial market is at risk of becoming overregulated. Clearly, the EU knows that commercial bankers have their brains in their wallets.

Banks are also worried about EU plans to limit the size of loans for interbank lending. The draft plan requires banks to commit no more than a quarter of equity capital for interbank loans. Bankers fear that such a move would lead to new liquidity shortages in interbank dealings.

July 13, 2008

EU: Investment Banking Exposed

The European Union is working on what banks fear the most: transparency to investors. Investors will soon find life easier by having the ability to compare financial statements from banks in the European Union, thus helping to avoid more surprise writedowns and installing confidence.

Governments want to improve transparency in the global financial market that is gripped by the credit crisis. About a year has passed as banks continue write-off huge sums invested in securitized products hit by defaulting U.S. home loans. The European Union sees this as a winning idea that protects investors and the government. Apparently, bankers in trouble will be sacrificed on the altar of “bad luck”.

Beginning in August, EU banks “will be able” to publish their accounts, government sources eagerly announced. Ministers said full disclosure by banks and other financial institutions of their exposures to such distressed assets and off balance-sheet vehicles was essential to bring back confidence in the market. Has the EU considered the possibility of economic backlash? Perhaps, this move is an indicator of the health of EU banks in general. Clearly, government officials in the EU are thinking very differently from the hush-hush economic atmosphere in the United States.

July 10, 2008

Foreclosures Threaten to Consume Economy

Lately, it has been a cruel world for home buyers and banker types alike. The grim cloud of foreclosure hangs in the air like a dark panic. Today, politicians, Wall Street and media pundits spoke about what would happen if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were to collapse, revealing the fact that they are already effectively bankrupt. The fact that the president is openly discussing the plight shows the seriousness of the matter, even though he suggests that the potential of such a collapse is remote at best. The administration suggested that avoiding a collapse through the necessity of bailing out the government mortgage houses would create a U.S. (more…)

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