Here We Go Again: Obama Pushes Banks To Lower Home Loan Standards

Recently, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the following: “One of the key legacy achievements of this presidency will be the important reforms of Wall Street. Those reforms have led to a financial system that is more stable and ensures that taxpayers are not on the hook for bailing out financial institutions that make risky bets.” Evidently the Obama administration has a different definition of “risky bets”, and “taxpayers not on the hook” than most people, because as the Washington Post reports: The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place. … administration officials say they are working to get banks to lend to a […] Read More

The Lost Home Owner: “Soaring House Prices And Lack of Decently Paid Jobs” Affect Young

If it seems like the youngest generation of adults are missing out on starting their lives, and becoming real grown-ups… it might be because they are. And despite what you might be thinking, it’s not just a case of fixation on vapid social media, cultural decline or laziness among millenials that is to blame. There is definitely a problem with the economic realities of the day that is making a major contribution to this growing problem as well. The destruction of opportunity has been perhaps the biggest consequence of the economic crisis of 2008, and it continues to undermine the majority of Americans. Housing and rent prices have soared, along with other sharp increases in the cost of living. Meanwhile, student loan debt has been absolutely crushing (and threatens to topple the economic system once again) and college graduates have been mismatched with a severe shortage of good jobs […] Read More

Meet The “Access To Affordable Mortgages” Act: How Congress Will Create The Next Crisis

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog, Say hello to the next financial crisis, brought to you courtesy of the dumbest new bill of the week: H.R. 5148: Access to Affordable Mortgages Act. Ordinarily whenever an individual wants to borrow money for a mortgage, the bank conducts due diligence… both on the borrower as well as the property. It’s in the banks’ interest (as well as the banks’ depositors) to ensure that the property is at least worth as much as the amount being borrowed. Duh. Congress doesn’t agree. Apparently when banks conduct property appraisals, that seems to unfairly discriminate against some segment of the population trying to buy crap properties. And we certainly can’t have that going on in the Land of the Free. So with HR 5148, Congress aims to exempt certain ‘higher-risk mortgages’ from property appraisal requirements. Curiously, this legislation reverses several provisions in the […] Read More

Why Housing Will Crash Again – But For Different Reasons Than Last Time

Submitted by Chalres Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog, Institutionalizing the speculative excesses that inflated the previous housing bubble has fed magical thinking and fostered illusions of phantom wealth and security. The global housing market has been dominated by magical thinking for the past 15 years. The magical thinking can be boiled down to this: A person who buys a house for $50,000 will be able to sell the same house for $150,000 a few years later without adding any real-world value. The buyer will be able to sell the house for $300,000 a few years later without adding any real-world value. The buyer will be able to sell the house for $600,000 a few years later without adding any real-world value. And so on, decade after decade and generation after generation: a house should magically accumulate enormous capital (home equity) without the owner having to do anything but pay the mortgage for […] Read More

Momentum Stock Fiasco Already Pricked San Francisco Housing Bubble

Wolf Richter   www.testosteronepit.com   www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter San Francisco is unique in many ways, and not only because it gets cold in the summer. Wild boom-and-bust cycles rule the city, and right now we’re in a boom cycle. Medium-rise and high-rise buildings for offices and apartments are sprouting like mushrooms. Cranes dot the skyline. Construction sites are everywhere. Streets are even more congested than usual, with concrete pumps blocking three of the four lanes. Tax revenues are flooding city coffers. Money grows on trees. Rents are soaring. People are getting evicted. And home prices, oh my…. By February, the median home in San Francisco changed hands at $945,000, according to DataQuick (now a division of CoreLogic). That was up a screaming 35% year over year, and 16% higher than the peak of the prior bubble. That peak was in November 2007, the craziest time when nothing could go wrong because stocks were […] Read More

2013: Federal Judge Slams DOJ For Not Prosecuting Wall Street Execs

A federal judge with a history of slamming the regulatory system issued scathing remarks against the Department of Justice on Tuesday for allowing Wall Street executives to escape criminal prosecutions. Speaking at an event hosted by the New York City Bar Association on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan said the DoJ’s “unconvincing” excuses for not prosecuting individuals were “technically and morally suspect.” “[Not] a single high level executive has been successfully prosecuted in connection with the recent financial crisis, and given the fact that most of the relevant criminal provisions are governed by a five-year statute of limitations, it appears very likely that none will be,” Rakoff said. While the DoJ has not said that all the top executives are innocent in the lead-up to the financial crisis, it “has offered one or another excuse for not criminally prosecuting them—excuses that, on inspection, appear unconvincing,” the Financial Times reports Judge Rakoff […] Read More

2013: JP Morgan Buying Its Way Out of Legal Troubles

The announcement that a tentative agreement had been reached between the Department of Justice and JP Morgan (JPM) was surprising only in the size of the penalty the country’s largest bank (and second largest in the world) agreed to pay: $13 billion. It’s the largest penalty on record that any company has paid to settle claims made by the Justice Department. But it’s far from being the first that JPM has paid. In a little over 10 years, the bank has paid out (not counting the present agreement which is still being negotiated) more than $5.2 billion in settling claims ranging from fraud involved in underwriting Enron and WorldCom bonds, and engaging in a “pay-to-play” scheme that brought Jefferson County, Alabama, to the brink of bankruptcy, to wrongly overcharging several thousand military families for their mortgages. This present agreement is the result of numerous charges brought by several aggrieved parties, including the Federal Housing Finance […] Read More