Tuesday, September 23, 2008

They just don't get it

The more and more I read about this bailout the more I am convinced our so called "leaders" haven't a clue. The latest is Bernanke's comments that the government should buy all that toxic waste at a price close to the "hold till maturity value". So instead of buying this crap at market values they are proposing to buy it basically at full price or what would have been full price had the market not imploded. There reasoning is that the prices we are currently seeing are "fire sale" prices and they don't reflect the "actual value". Are they freaking kidding me?? They really believe those 700 sq/ft shacks in Compton are worth $500k. This is beyond insane.

News Flash Mr Bernanke, the current fire sale prices are still more than most of this stuff is worth! They are attempting to keep homes unaffordable in the mistaken beleif that they really are worth that much. Even though very few people could afford them under normal underwriting standards.

They would be far better off taking that 700 billion and starting a government backed mortgage program with low, fixed 5% rates. That would thaw the real estate market in a hurry. As long as they used traditional lending standards to ensure that people could pay the loans they might actually make some profit on that 700 billion.

Besides 700 Billion is not going to go very far considering the current rate of defaults is over 50 billion per month. Plus they are proposing to buy the stuff at maturity value which would probably make that 50 Billion per month closer to 70 billion per month.

Oh yea, this just keeps getting better and better.....


Martin Burtin said...

I like your idea, X. They might make a profit on the 700B investment that way. Another idea I had was to spread that cash around in industries that could employ Americans and reduce unemployment and the trade deficit.

I think we need to invest in production of basics like steel, target high tech industries and maybe make some TVs or cell phones here. We need to stop expecting to live by pushing papers back and forth over desks with the expectation that we can earn a living by doing so. We need to grow food, make things, and do so with the purpose to be the best in the world again.

Oldtimer said...

You might want to check those Compton crackerbox prices. I found several that are listed below $150K.

golfer_X said...

They were not $150k at the peak. Yea, they are now and they are still probably overpriced.

Oldtimer said...

Not trying to nitpick, but I think the story in the IE is a lot more interesting than Compton.

The only way a home there got valued at $500K was fraud, and lenders that did full-boat loans at those types of prices will get what they deserve.

Just for numbers sake, I shrank the redfin search for all sales records in part of Compton to 169. It looked like redfin had records for about 7 of 8 houses on each street, so the number of houses was probably just shy of 200. Then looked at sales recorded the last three years. Total was 31 (including 10 likely distressed sales in the last six months), or +/-16%. That plus the house as an ATM guys is the distress in that market.

When you go to parts of Corona, that same exercise gets you near 100% of the market.

golfer_X said...

Anything neighborhood built after 2003 is going to be a disaster area. Unless the people paid cash for the home there's a very high chance they will lose it or walk away. Sycamore Creek, Eastvale and Lake Hills are nothing but foreclosures.

Terry said...

You guys know about FedUpUSA.org, right?

nmoerbeek said...

I am becoming increasingly pessimistic that this is going to be like Japan.

Cher said...

Your blog is great - I read it everyday. I watched Bush last night and have lost total faith in both parties (not that I had much faith in the first place). These 3 quotes from the speech were an eye opener:

"Second, as markets have lost confidence in mortgage-backed securities, their prices have dropped sharply, yet the value of many of these assets will likely be higher than their current price, because the vast majority of Americans will ultimately pay off their mortgages." ----> What planet is Bush on!!!

"The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal."------>What is normal? The bubble?

"And when that happens, money will flow back to the Treasury as these assets are sold, and we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back."----->My Great Great Grandchildren will be paying for this one...

phiphibone said...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Sells Out

MarketWatch is reporting House Speaker Pelosi reassures market on rescue plan.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that financial markets can rest assured that Congress will act on the White House plan to buy up to $700 billion in toxic debt. Pelosi said the exact timing of the House vote would depend on the outcome of closed-door meetings currently underway on Capitol Hill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reassured financial markets that a rescue plan would come to the House floor soon. "Please be assured that we will have a package that will speak to the issue in a very substantial way to send a message to the markets of our seriousness," Pelosi said at a press conference.
The plan of throwing $700 billion at a problem cannot possibly work. What's worse is the structured $700 billion is a mere down payment.

Fax Title: House Speaker Pelosi Sells Out, Don't Follow


The Paulson Plan cannot possibly work, and secret deals behind back doors will not make it any better. Throwing money at any problem never works. All it will do is create other problems elsewhere.

If the Treasury buys $700 billion in toxic mortgages from banks, the government would be setting itself up to be the world's largest homeowner.

The US government will own every house that is foreclosed on as well as those where people simply decide to walk away.

Exactly what will the Government do with those houses?
What will the losses be?
How much would it cost to prevent foreclosures?
What about walk-aways?

Questions like these are why Treasury Secretary Paulson and Chairman Ben Bernanke want you to rush passage of this bill. Both want you to pass Paulson's bill before you have time to think.

Please stop and think about the ramifications of quickly passing this bill. If you do, you will quickly see that $700 billion is a mere down payment on problems down the road.

If you are thinking, you will not let this bill pass.

$700 billion could provide a lot of jobs. Bailing out Wall Street will not create a single job, not one. Instead it will cheapen the US dollar causing mortgage rates to rise.

Mortgage rates tied to the 10-year treasury are already up a half point since talk of this ill emerged. Further increases will come if the bill passes.

This bill is already increasing mortgage rates!

It's time to kill this bill and start all over with proposals that will not cost taxpayers a dime. Alternatives from a number of qualified citizens have been presented.

Just because others are willing to sell out to Wall Street in secret back room deals does not mean you have to follow.

I cannot and will not vote for any member of Congress who votes for this bill in its current form or anything remotely close to the current form.

Your Name
Your Phone Number
The phone-in is working. Congress is spooked. We are swamping them with emails and faxes. Bush gave that speech because he is spooked.

Congressional aids have told me they have never seen so many call in.

Check out the New York Times article Lawmakers’ Constituents Make Their Bailout Views Loud and Clear.

Americans’ anger is in full bloom, jumping off the screen in capital letters and exclamation points, in the e-mail in-boxes of elected representatives in the nation’s capital.

Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, has received nearly 17,000 e-mail messages, nearly all opposed to the bailout, her office said. More than 2,000 constituents called Ms. Boxer’s California office on Tuesday alone; just 40 favored the bailout. Her Washington office received 918 calls. Just one supported the rescue plan.

Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said he had been getting 2,000 e-mail messages and telephone calls a day, roughly 95 percent opposed. When Senator Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent who votes with Democrats, posted a petition on his Web site asking Mr. Paulson to require that taxpayers receive an equity stake in the bailed-out companies, more than 20,000 people signed.

“We certainly have never brought in 20,000 names in a day and a half,” Mr. Sanders said, sounding astonished. “For us, that’s off the wall.”

It is much the same on the Republican side. Aides to Senator Jim Bunning, a Kentucky Republican who has called the bailout plan “un-American,” said the senator had received more constituent reaction to the bailout plan than to any issue since the immigration debate.

Representative Ray LaHood, Republican of Illinois, said he had not seen such an outpouring since President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999.
The Battle Is Not Over Yet.

This battle is not over yet, rank and file is not impressed, and the Senate has not yet acted.

Keep Faxing
If you do not have internet faxing get it.

You can use www.faxzero.com to send a fax from your computer for free.

I went with MetroFax. 1000 pages at a very cheap price.
If you are reading this most likely you can afford $12.
Sign up today and fax to your heart's content.

Fax Now!

Contact The House

THIS IS CRITICAL: Please fax AND phone your congressman. Do not bother with any members of the House except for Nancy Pelosi.

Call them one more time with this simple message "If you vote for this bill, you will lose my vote".

Everyone should Email Nancy Pelosi: Email Nancy Pelosi.

Click Here For Congresional Phone And Fax Numbers

The above link can put you in touch with your Congressman, simply click on your state.

Do It. Contact them. Ask for a private meeting. They may grant it. Several people have told me their Congressman was happy to meet with them.

Senate Fax List

Please fax everyone on this list.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R) 202-224-3416 or 202-224-5137 (try both not sure which is correct)
Sen. Harry Reid (D) 202-224-7327
Sen. John Ensign (R) 202-228-2193
Sen. Jim Bunning (R) 202-228-1373
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) 202-224-6020
Sen John McCain (R) 202-228-2862

Sen. Barack Obama 202-228-4260
Sen. John D. Rockefeller 202-224-7665
Sen. Dianne Feinstein 202-228-3954
Sen. Ron Wyden 202-228-2717
Sen. Evan Bayh 202-228-1377
Sen. Barbara Mikulski 202-224-8858
Sen. Bill Nelson 202-228-2183
Sen. John Kerry 202-224-8525
Sen. Daniel Inouye 202-224-6747
Sen. Hillary Clinton 202-228-0282

Those inclined should also fax their own senators as well.

Please send this email to 10 others and have them do the same.
We can STILL make a difference.