Pickle Real Estate

Reading Between the Head-Lines

No end in sight to foreclosure quagmire

2011-05-09 http://www.11alive.com

(MSNBC) — Four years after a wave of rogue mortgage lending sent the U.S. housing market into the worst collapse since the Great Depression, the devastating flood of resulting foreclosures shows no sign of abating. In some ways, the problem is getting worse.

House prices are falling again, forcing more homeowners “underwater” — owing more than their house is worth. Lenders’ shoddy document practices have brought widespread court challenges, slowing the process and leaving millions of homeowners in limbo.

And the foreclosure crisis continues to weigh heavily on the fragile economy.

“Right now, it’s the second-biggest drag on the economy after the surge in oil prices,” said Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.

Full Article Here

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure | Leave a comment

Las Vegas foreclosures catch up with high rollers

2011-04-29 – SFgate.com

Nicolas Cage, the Oscar-winning star of “Leaving Las Vegas,” bought a seven-bedroom home with a panoramic view of the city’s casino-lined Strip in 2006 for $8.5 million. By January 2010, it was in foreclosure.

The next owner, who property records show paid $4.2 million, has put the house on the market for $7.9 million – an “unrealistic” price, according to Zar Zanganeh, the broker handling the listing.

“It’s sad,” Zanganeh said, his high-heeled boots clacking on the marble floor as he gave a tour of the 14,000-square-foot mansion featuring a six-person steam shower and a closet the size of a small apartment. “There’s a lot of inventory, a lot of homes like this waiting for an owner.”

A growing number of high-end homes are selling at a loss or facing repossession by lenders in Las Vegas, which already has the highest rate of foreclosure filings among large U.S. cities. The wave of defaults that began with subprime borrowers and the unemployed has spread to upscale homeowners who see no point of staying even if they can afford to.

Full Article Here:

April 29, 2011 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Real Estate | Leave a comment

foreclosure inventories rise to all time highs

2010-12-01 truthaboutmortgage.com

“Foreclosure inventories rose to all-time highs last month, according to the October Mortgage Monitor report released by Lender Processing Services. As of the end of October, foreclosure inventories were 7.4 times higher than the historical average and rising.”
Full Article Here

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate | Leave a comment

The Housing Double-Dip is Here

2010-12-01 businessinsider.com

The chart (below) depicts the annual returns of the U.S. National, the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite Home Price Indices. The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 1.5% decline in the third quarter of 2010 over the third quarter of 2009. In September, the 10-City and 20-City Composites recorded annual returns of +1.6% and +0.6%, respectively.

Read more:

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

The Nine Most “Inconvenient” RoboSigning Admissions BofA Would Love To Disappear

2010-11-15 ZeroHedge.com

As if the fact that the world economy has once again taken a turn for the worse (rising inflation in China, sinking everything in Europe, endless QE in the US) wasn’t enough, that pesky problem of robosigning and fraudclosure just refuses to go away. And even though the major banks are doing their best to remove any reference of this problem, which will eventually be the final nail in the coffin sealing the first truly global great depression, from the mainstream media, here is a sampling of some of the choicest admissions by robosigners, which will continue to serve as the basis for thousands of lawsuits (both RICO and otherwise) to come. While we know that BofA’s Reps & Warrantees reserve is woefully underfunded (with everyone and their grandmother now seeking to putback RMBS to BofA, anything less than ‘infinity’ is underfunded), we hope Bank of America has set up a sufficiently large legal expenses reserve. It will need it.

1. ‘Just Sign The Documents

Video deposition of alleged robosigner Crystal Moore of Nationwide Title Clearing. Deposition taken by attorney Christopher Forrest of The Forrest Law Firm in Pinellas County, Florida, Nov. 4, 2010

2. A Vice President At More Than 20 Companies

Part 2: Video deposition of alleged robosigner Bryan Bly taken by attorney Christopher Forrest in Pinellas County, FL on Nov. 4, 2010.

3. “Just Look For My Name, And Then Sign”

“Do you have any understanding as to what that term means, ‘for good and valuable consideration’?”
“I don’t usually read the docs when I sign.”
“So it’s not part of your job to review the document. Your job is just to sign it.”
“Just look for my name, and then sign.”

4. No Experience Necessary

“What did you study [in the one year of college]?”
“Nothin’. It was just the basic.”
“General courses?”
“Yeah.”
“Do you have any other additional training or education in banking or finance?”
“No.”
“Real estate?”
“No.”
“Law?”
“No.”

 

 

5. Signing 5,000 Documents Per Day At Less Than A Minute Each

“Can you tell me on any given day how many assignments or other documents you sign?”
“Are you looking for a ballpark average?”
“Ballpark. I certainly don’t expect you to remember exactly.”
“I’d say 5,000.”
“Would that be an average day for you?”
“That would be average.”
“Would it be fair to say that during your tenure at NTC you’ve probably signed an excess of 50 or 60 thousand documents?”
“Yes.”
“Could be higher than that?”
“Yes.”
“With signing so many on any given day, can you estimate for me the amount of time you spend on any given document?”
“Less than a minute.”
“When you’re presented with a document to sign or notarize, do you take any steps to verify any of the information contained in the document?”
“Not in the body.”
“When you say ‘not in the body’ are there any other steps that you take?”
“I’m just looking to make sure it’s been fully signed.”
“Would it be accurate to say that you are presented with a stack of documents to sign, and your practice is to look at the document, see if it’s been signed, affix your signature to it and then move on to the next document?”
“Correct.”

 

 

6. A Disturbing Lack Of Experience

“When you say ‘financial’ are you referring to matters relating to banking?”
“No. We don’t do mortgages in my country. … I don’t have any idea about mortgages when I started here.”

 

 

7. A Strange Definition Of A Mortgage

“Did you take any steps to verify any of the information contained in this assignment before you signed it?”
“No.”
“Do you ever take any steps to verify any of the information in the documents you sign at NTC?”
“No.”

[...]

“What is your understanding of what exactly is a mortgage?”
“When somebody goes to buy a house, they take a loan. And then the mortgage is their paying the banks bank.”
“Can you tell me what your understanding is of the term ‘promissory note’?”
“That’s just the note. Like it says the interest rate and stuff like that on it.”

 

 

8. Management May Have Electronically Signed Documents For One Employee

“Do you play any role in the creation of the documents to which your signature is electronically affixed?”
“No role.”
“Do you have any idea what documents or how many documents your signature has been electronically affixed to?”
“No.”
“Do you ever review those electronic documents after your signature has been affixed?”
“No.”
“So would it be accurate to say that entire process takes place outside of your presence and knowledge?”
“That would be fair.”

[...]

“You play no role in the determination as to whether or not you should be signing the document physically, or whether your electronic signature should be inserted?”
“No.”
“Who makes that decision?”
“That would be someone in management.”
“So someone else in management is making a decision as to whether or not to use your signature to affix it electronically to a document?”
“Yes.”
“And you have no role in that process?”
“Correct.”

 

 

9. Signing More Than 50,000 Documents

“Have you signed assignments or other documents as vice president of any other companies?”
“Yes.”
“What companies have you signed as vice president?”
“I don’t know.”
“You can’t recall any?”
“Mm-mm [No].”
“Can you estimate for me the number of different companies that you’ve signed assignments as vice president?”
“I don’t know.”
“Can you estimate for me how many assignments or other documents in total during your tenure at NTC you signed as an officer or a vice president of a company?”
“I don’t know.”
“Is it more than 10?”
“Yes.”
“More than 500?”
“Yes.”
“More than 5,000?”
“Yes.”
“More than 20,000?”
“Yes.”
“More than 50,000?”
“And out of those 50,000, the only company that you can recall signing as a vice president or an officer is City Residential Lending?”
“Yes.

 

All Videos Here:

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Bernanke tells Jacksonville University students QE is not inflationary

2010-11-11 Forbes.com

The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing programs, QE for short, is not inflationary, said Chairman Bernanke to Jacksonville University students on November 5th, 2 days after Bernanke and company launched QE II.  These asset purchase programs, he said, are not inflating the money supply.

Not so says THE CONTRARIAN TAKE to those same students.  Says THE CONTRARIAN TAKE to Chairman Bernanke, it may be time for Money Mechanics 101, for it appears you do not understand the money creation process.  If you did we don’t think you would have said this:

What the purchases do… is… if you think of the Fed’s balance sheet, when we buy securities, on the asset side of the balance sheet, we get the Treasury securities, or in the previous episode, mortgage-backed securities. On the liability side of the balance sheet, to balance that, we create reserves in the banking system. Now, what these reserves are is essentially deposits that commercial banks hold with the Fed, so sometimes you hear the Fed is printing money, that’s not really happening, the amount of cash in circulation is not changing. What’s happening is that banks are holding more and more reserves with the Fed…

HAHAHAHA…. ok.

Full Article here:

 

November 12, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate | Leave a comment

Global Fed bashing casts shadow over G-20

2010-11-09  CnnMoney.com

Growing criticism of U.S. Federal Reserve policy is fueling global tensions as leaders of the world’s largest economies prepare to meet in South Korea Wednesday.

Last week the Fed announced it would pump another $600 billion into the U.S. economy through the purchase of long-term Treasuries, a move known as quantitative easing, or “QE2,” since it is the second round of such purchases.

The move sparked fears that it could reignite inflation pressures, cause a new global asset bubble or spark a so-called “currency war” in which nations devalue their own currencies to keep their own exports competitive.

President Obama will hear those complaints later this week when he arrives at the G-20 meeting in South Korea, a summit of heads of state of the world’s leading economies.

The harshest criticism came Friday from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who told reporters at a conference that, “With all due respect, U.S. policy is clueless.”

“It’s not that the Americans haven’t pumped enough liquidity into the market,” he said. “Now to say let’s pump more into the market is not going to solve their problems.”

Original Article Here

November 9, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Goldman: Real Cost Of Fed “Easing” Will Exceed $2 Trillion — Gold Hits Record High

2010-11-05 Infowars.com

Goldman Sachs anticipates that the real cost of the second round of quantitative easing will be in excess of $2 trillion and will continue well into 2012, while other prominent economists have denounced the Fed’s actions.

The Fed announced yesterday that it would purchase $600 billion in Treasury securities in a statement that left open the possibility of the real cost rising much higher.

“The Committee will regularly review the pace of its securities purchases and the overall size of the asset-purchase program in light of incoming information and will adjust the program as needed to best foster maximum employment and price stability.” the statement read.

As pointed out by Tyler Durden at the Zero Hedge blog, Goldman Sachs has predicted that the real cost of the Fed’s plan will sky rocket.

“We believe that the program will grow significantly beyond the initial $600 billion” remarks Goldman’s Jan Hatzius.

Original Article Here

 

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Stats | Leave a comment

Bank Holiday Rumors Swirl Amidst Currency Crisis

2010-11-05 Infowars.com

With the world on the verge of a currency war as the Federal Reserve follows through on its dollar-killing quantitative easing program, rumors are once again swirling of a “bank holiday,” during which US citizens will be prevented from withdrawing money or at least limited in the amount of the withdrawal they can make.

The bank holiday is rumored to be set for next week, with Thursday November 11 pinpointed as the likeliest date.

According to radio host Steve Quayle, a pastor was told by one of the managers of a prominent east coast bank that banks would close for an undetermined amount of time, and that when they reopened, “all withdrawals

Original Article

 

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Stats | Leave a comment

Is the FED going to lead us to rabid inflation?

Financial upheaval has been matched by political upheaval, and we can only hope that Congressman Ron Paul and his son, Senator in waiting Rand Paul, can build momentum to finally cut out the cancer that is destroying America – by ending the Fed for good.

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Foreclosure timeline exceeding 500 days in some states

2010-11-04  Truthaboutmortgage.com

Foreclosure timelines continue to increase, thanks in part of the recent robosigning allegations and related moratoria, according to the September Mortgage Monitor report released byLender Processing Services.

The average number of days mortgages are delinquent in five judicial states (New York, Florida, New Jersey, Hawaii and Maine) now exceeds 500 days.

Judicial foreclosures generally take longer to process because they are handled through the courts, and we all know how that goes…

Full Article Here:

November 4, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Stats | Leave a comment

Countrywide purchase keeps costing Bank of America

2010-11-04  Charlotteobserver.com

For Bank of America, Countrywide Financial is turning into a fixer-upper home that keeps needing one more budget-busting repair.

In January 2008, then-chief executive Ken Lewis called the Charlotte bank’s $4billion deal to buy the troubled lender a “compelling value.” But nearly three years later, the mortgage unit created by the acquisition is a major headache for Lewis’ successor, Brian Moynihan, and the bank’s shareholders.

Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/11/04/1810176/countrywide-purchase-keeps-costing.html#ixzz14M186V9Z

November 4, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

BofA’s Moynihan `Surprised’ by New York Fed Loan Putback Demand

2010-11-03  -Bloomberg.com

“Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan said he was surprised when the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and investors sent a letter pushing the firm to repurchase soured mortgages pooled into securities.”

 

original article

 

November 4, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Lending, Stats | Leave a comment

Lawsuit Alleges that MERS Owes California a Potential $60-120 Billion in Unpaid Land-Recording Fees

2010-10-25 Zerohedge.com

“MERS is facing class-action lawsuits and civil racketeering suits around the country and their members are being individually named in all these suits. One suit alleges that MERS owes California a potential $60 billion to $120 billion in unpaid land-recording fees.” 

original article

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

And Here’s Another One: Georgia

2010-10-25 market-ticker.org
“MERS does not have the authorized power to send a valid notice of foreclosure within the State of Georgia for those deeds where it is “solely a nominee” and does not have the authority or power under Georgia law to foreclose on a property or engage in an auction of sale on such property where is is “solely a nominee” on such deeds.”

 original article

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Law Expert: MERS Mess Could Have “a Massive Effect on the Economy”

Law Expert: MERS Mess Could Have “a Massive Effect on the Economy”

2010-10-18 – Fire Dog Lake news desk

“So I had a pretty incredible conversation last night with Christopher Peterson, the law professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Utah, who wrote two illuminating Law Review articles about MERS, the shell entity that created an electronic database for the trading of mortgages. I’m going to do my best to summarize the findings of the interview, but I want to stress two things that I learned – 1) this is very heady stuff, tied up in contract law and all sorts of associated legal issues, 2) absolutely nobody in this country knows with any certainty how this is going to play out.

With that as a base, here’s the gist of the conversation.”

original article

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Stats | Leave a comment

PIMCO, Blackrock, NY Fed Seek to Force BofA to Repurchase $47 Billion in Soured Mortgages; Viral Nonsense on “Show Me the Note” and “ForeclosureGate”

PIMCO, Blackrock, NY Fed Seek to Force BofA to Repurchase $47 Billion in Soured Mortgages; Viral Nonsense on “Show Me the Note” and “ForeclosureGate”
2010-10-20 — blogspot.com

“At long last, the real issue regarding soured mortgages has stepped up to the plate. The misguided focus on “ForclosureGate” is but a sideshow compared to Pimco, NY Fed Said to Seek BofA Mortgage Repurchases”

original article

 

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Lending, Stats | Leave a comment

Apartment Rents Rise in U.S. West as Foreclosures Boost Apartment Demand

Apartment Rents Rise in U.S. West as Foreclosures Boost Apartment Demand
2010-10-20 — bloomberg.com

“Apartment rents rose across the U.S. West and South for the third straight quarter as record foreclosures boosted demand for rental housing, RealFacts said.”

original article

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Real Estate | Leave a comment

“Creative” Wall Street and Money-Laundering

“Creative” Wall Street and Money-Laundering
2010-07-06 — firedoglake.com

“I don’t want to get too tinfoil about this. But it strikes me that the efforts to keep Wall Street and all its celebrated creativity intact serves to make it easier for banks like Wachovia to engage in widespread money-laundering. That is, it’s not just shadow banking as it is politely understood, but banking for entire shadow networks, both our own and our enemies.”

original article

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Stats | Leave a comment

More Evidence That Eurobank Stress Tests Are a Garbage-In, Garbage-Out Exercise

More Evidence That Eurobank Stress Tests Are a Garbage-In, Garbage-Out Exercise
2010-07-03 — nakedcapitalism.com

“The stress tests conducted on 19 large American banks by the US Treasury in 2009 were an amazingly effective exercise in salesmanship and sleight of hand. Banking industry experts, including Bill Black, Chris Whalen, and Josh Rosner, dismissed the process as mere theatrics: too little staffing and not enough “stress” in the economic forecasts and loss assumptions (particularly on second mortgage). My pet peeve was that the banks ran the tests on their trading books using their own risk models, the very ones that had performed so well in preparing them for them in the runup to the crisis.”

original article

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Peter Schiff – June 30 2010 – Austerity or Stimulus – Watch Out For Run Away Inflation

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Who Would Finance Mortgages If Fannie, Freddie Disbanded?

Who Would Finance Mortgages If Fannie, Freddie Disbanded?
2010-07-02 — cnbc.com

“Earlier this year, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner laid out a general outline for how the Obama Administration would reform Freddie and Fannie, including insuring that shareholders don’t reap gains while the public pays for the losses.”

original article

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending | Leave a comment

Fed Made Taxpayers Junk-Bond Buyers Without Congress Knowing

Fed Made Taxpayers Junk-Bond Buyers Without Congress Knowing
2010-07-01 — bloomberg.com

“By using its balance sheet to protect an investment bank against failure, the Fed took on the most credit risk in its 96- year history and increased the chance that Americans would be on the hook for billions of dollars as the central bank began insuring Wall Street firms against collapse. The Fed’s secrecy spurred legislation that will require government audits of the Fed bailouts and force the central bank to reveal recipients of emergency credit.”

original article

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Were DOOMED!

We’re doomed!

2010-06-30 — worldmag.com

“Despite the happy talk coming out of the White House, there is overwhelming and terrifying evidence that we’re heading for an economic cliff next year. It’s going to happen. Make your plans accordingly.”

original article

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Stats | Leave a comment

Bloodbath tomorrow in the stock market?

2010-05-20 Zerohedge.com

Bloodbath tomorrow in the stock market?

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/bloodbath

The correction, soon to be crash, is here: the market had a bigger relative open to close move today than it did on May 6. We closed at the day’s lows on massive volume, despite definitive central bank intervention, regardless whether it was the SNB, the ECB, or the Fed. The central planners have lost control of the market, and all thanks to the inevitable collapse of hyper capitalist Keynesianism coming out of the formerly most communist country in the world. A day of ironies. And it’s not over. Futures are already down another 4 handles. The correction is coming, and it will be a bloodbath. The Fed can not push rates lower. It will print. It is inevitable. It is our destiny.

Update: Futures now 7 handles lower. 46 point move in ES: that is almost a 5% move in the S&P for now.

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

The Fed “Owns Credit-Default Swaps … On Debt Owed by California and Nevada. So the Fed Would Profit If One of Those States Defaulted on its Debt.”

2010-05-13  Washingtonblog.com

What about this one folks…….. “The Fed also owns credit-default swaps — basically, insurance policies that pay off if a borrower defaults on a loan. It holds swaps on the debt of Florida schools, and on debt owed by California and Nevada. So the Fed would profit if one of those states defaulted on its debt.”

Full Article and Comments Here

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Ron Paul: Euro Bailout Will Lead To Currency Collapse

2010-05-10 PrisonPlanet.com

As Europe is bailed out to the tune of nearly $1 trillion dollars, Congressman Ron Paul warns that the constant monetization of debt, allied with taxpayer-funded bailouts, will inevitably lead to runaway inflation and the collapse of paper currencies.

Under the terms of the Federal Reserve’s credit swap deal with the EU – in addition to an additional IMF bailout of which U.S. taxpayers will be picking up 20 per cent ($57 billion dollars) of the tab, Paul pointed out that not just taxpayers but “anybody that buys anything” will be funding the European bailout because of the attendant inflationary consequences.

“The prices are going up already, producer prices are going up, the cost of living will go up so everyone in American will suffer and eventually the whole world will suffer because we cannot carry the whole world with our dollar,” Paul told Fox Business, adding that eventually people will lose confidence in the dollar.

The Congressman agreed with the host that the bailouts would lead to the crash of paper currencies, noting that last week’s stock market turmoil was accompanied by gold acting as a currency rather than just reacting to the value of the dollar.

Full Article Here

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

The Fed’s Hollowing Out Of US Banks

2010-04-29   Daniel Amerman.com

Overview

Have the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented market and banking interventions fundamentally weakened America’s banks?   In this article, we will illustrate how the Federal Reserve has been hollowing out the US banking system.  We will show how the Fed has been creating a banking industry shell that looks strong on the surface, but is increasingly empty beneath that facade, with less and less economic strength, and an ever greater reliance on the Federal Reserve’s monetary creation ability.

Using a single loan as an example, we will explore in step by step detail how almost 10 percent  of US bank assets have been hollowed out, with former investments in the economy being replaced by excess reserve balances at the Federal Reserve. On paper, these balances are the highest quality assets which a bank can own, yet in economic reality, they represent an investment in nothing at all.

Few articles explained the dangerous process of creating an almost entirely artificial mortgage market in 2009, and almost none have explored how participating in this process has transformed US banks in 2010.  When you finish, you may find yourself looking at the new US banking system in a very different way, as well as understanding the powerful economic and personal investment implications.

Full Article Here:

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Willem Buiter Issues His Most Dire Prediction Yet: Sees “Unprecedented” Fiscal Crises, US Debt Inflation And Fed Monetization

2010-04-29  Zerohedge

Doomsday scenarios from the establishment periphery always come fast and furious, especially in our day and age when bankrupt sovereigns are the norm, not the exception. And the “faster and furiouser” these come, the more steadfast the core is in refuting that the reality is much, much worse than portrayed on the mainstream media. Which is why we were very surprised when we read Willem Buiter’s latest Global Economic View (recall that he works for Citi now). In it the strategist for the firm that defines the core of the establishment could not be more bearish. In fact, at first we thought that David Rosenberg had ghost written this. Once the apocryphal truthsayers such as Buiter become mainstream within the mainstream, it is only a matter of time before the marginal opinion shifts to match that of those who have been prognosticating doom all along (for all the right reasons). In the below piece, Buiter presents a game theory type analysis, which concludes that the US and other sovereigns will soon be forced into fiscal austerity. Among his critical observations (we recommend a careful read of the entire 68 pages), are that the US is highly polarized, and that the Fed, which is “the least independent of leading central banks” would be willing to implement “inflationary monetisation of public debt and deficits than other central banks.” The next step of course would be hyperinflation. And Buiter sees America as the one country the most likely to follow this route. Most troublingly, Buiter predicts that a massive crisis is the only thing that can break the political gridlock in the US in order to fix the broken US fiscal situation. Must read.

Full Article Here

Full Report Here (68 pages)

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

The Economic Policy Error Behind the Stock Market Rally and the Next Phase of the Financial Crisis

2010-04-29  Jesse Cafe’ Blog

The strategy of the Bernanke Federal Reserve and of the Obama Administration’s economic team is fairly clear: prevent the bank failures of the 1930’s by propping up the biggest banks with huge infusions of publicly subsidized capital, and hope that they start lending again as the economy recovers. It is a variation of the ‘trickle down’ theory of economics adjusted by the perceived Fed policy errors of the first Great Depression, with little from the New Deal programs.

Bernanke is famously a student of the first Great Depression, even as General Joffre, the architect of the Ligne Maginot, was a student of the first World War. And Larry Summers is remarkably similar to Marshal Pétain. Tim, on the other hand, seems to be a student of very little, not even apparently of the tax code which he administers, except perhaps the art of being a manservant, a valet to the powerful.

Failure number one of course is that the banks that they chose to support are not responsible commercial banks engaged primarily in lending to small business and localized activity. Those banks are the local and regional banks that are failing in record numbers. The banks they chose to save are those who have heavily contributed to the campaign coffers and job prospects of Washington politicians. Goldman Sachs, for example, is a glorified hedge fund dedicated to speculation and enormous amounts of leverage. One only has to look at the source of their profits to understand what it is that they do with their capital and energy. And it is largely from ‘trading.’

Full Article Here

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Auroroa was pumping out up to 300 billion dollars a month in liars’ loans.

2010-04-21 – Ritzhold.com

” We have known for decades that these are frauds. We have known for a decade how to stop them. All of the major regulatory agencies were complicit in that statement, in destroying it. We have a self-fulfilling policy of regulatory failure because of the leadership in this era.

We have the Fed, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, finding that this is three card monty. Well what would you do, as a regulator, if you knew that one of the largest enterprises in the world, when the nation is on the brink of economic collapse, is engaged in fraud, three card monty? Would you continue business as usual?

That’s what was done. Oh they met a lot — they say “we only had a nuclear stick.” Sounds like a pretty good stick to use, if you’re on the brink of collapse of the system. But that’s not what the Fed has to do. The Fed is a central bank. Central banks for centuries have gotten rid of the heads of financial institutions. The Bank of England does it with a luncheon. The board of directors are invited. They don’t say “no.” They are sat down.

……………..

Instead, every day that Lehman remained under its leadership, the exposure of the American people to loss grew by hundreds of millions of dollars on average. Auroroa was pumping out up to 300 billion dollars a month in liars’ loans. Losses on those are running roughly 50% to 85 cents on the dollar. It is critical not to do business as usual, to change.”

Full Transcript Here

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Commercial Real Estate….. it’s not a matter of if, but when?

2010-04-19 - Calculated Risk Blog

” Moody’s reported this morning that the Moody’s/REAL All Property Type Aggregate Index declined 2.6% in February. This is a repeat sales measure of commercial real estate prices.

Moody’s noted that the share of distressed sales has increased sharply. In 2008 distressed sales were only 4% of all sales, in 2009 nearly 20% of all the repeat sales transaction were classified as distressed. In February 2010, the percent of distressed sales jumped to a record 32%.

Below is a comparison of the Moodys/REAL Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI) and the Case-Shiller composite 20 index.

Notes: Beware of the “Real” in the title – this index is not inflation adjusted. Moody’s CRE price index is a repeat sales index like Case-Shiller – but there are far fewer commercial sales – and that can impact prices.

CRE and Residential Price indexes

CRE prices only go back to December 2000.

The Case-Shiller Composite 20 residential index is in blue (with Dec 2000 set to 1.0 to line up the indexes).

Commercial real estate values are now down 25.8% over the last year, and down 41.8% from the peak in August 2007.

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Foreclosure, Real Estate | Leave a comment

Rolling Stone Magazine article “Looting Main St.”

Wow. What a crazy read.

“….There was so much money to be made bilking these dizzy Southerners that banks like JP Morgan spent millions paying middlemen who bribed — yes, that’s right, bribed, criminally bribed — the county commissioners and their buddies just to keep their business. Hell, the money was so good, JP Morgan at one point even paid Goldman Sachs $3 million just to back the fuck off, so they could have the rubes of Jefferson County to fleece all for themselves…..”

Full Article Here

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Loans slump may point to house price fall

2010-04-12- smh.com

Our Country is currently doing 50,287 loans a month per article above.  These include all types of home loans, purchases, refinances, construction loans, HELOC’s, etc.  This does not mean 50,287 homes have been sold or taken off of the market.

Our same Country is losing 290,631 homes a month to foreclosure.  These numbers do not include the hidden inventory nor does it include all the mortgages that will adjust in 2010, 2011, 2012 causing the foreclosure number to go up and removing even more potential buyers.  I always go back to the fact we were at an all time high of homeownership in our country’s history before the bust.  Where do we plan to find more buyers?  We have lost close to 5 million buyers because they lost their homes to foreclosure.  Minimum lending requirements require you to be 3 years removed from a foreclosure discharge date before they will be able to buy again.

A LOT OF INVENTORY WITH VERY FEW BUYERS!

SUPPLY AND DEMAND.  IT’S A VERY SIMPLE NUMBERS GAME.

HOME PRICES WILL CONTINUE TO FALL WAY BELOW WHERE THEY CURRENTLY ARE FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THERE ARE NO BUYERS TO REMOVE THE SUPPLY.

Full Article Here

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Rosenberg: The Only Story Is Deflation, And Consumer Spending Is Only Up Due To Mortgage Walkaways

2010-04-08 – businessinsider.com

“In this morning’s Breakfast With Dave note, David Rosenberg of Gluskin-Sheff hits on a theme we discussed the other day, about the impact of Obama’s “Extend & Pretend” mortgage policy. As originally argued by Paul Jackson at HousingWire, it’s the fact that millions of families are essentially living mortgage-free which explains the seeming disconnect between sagging housing and rebounding consumer spending.”

Full Article Here

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Real Estate | Leave a comment

BofA to have 45,000 foreclosures per month by December of 2010.

2010-04-08 – irvinehousingblog.com

“Lenders are trying to figure out how their massive Ponzi Scheme collapsed. They are relearning lending again because everything they thought they knew was wrong. When you get down to the heart of the matter, borrowers are carrying too much debt which is killing them financially and emotionally”

I attended a local Building Industry Association conference on Friday 26 March 2010. The west coast manager of real estate owned, Senior Vice President Ken Gaitan, stated that Bank of America, which currently forecloses on 7,500 homes a month nationally, will increase that number to 45,000 homes per month by December of 2010.

Full Article Here

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

IVE BEEN HIDING FOR Q1 – 2010 It seems…. (but now I’m back)

I apologize to everyone about the lack of updates. Work has been…. well…. work. It seems transactions take 3 – 4x as long and nearly 9 of 10 are either Short Sales or Bank Owned real estate.  It seems that the banks are controlling the market, the interest rates and now, most of the real estate for sale.  We have tax credits expiring, we have the FED’s backing out of buying Mortgage Backed Securities, we have hundreds of billions $$$ in loans left to adjust and we have an ENORMOUS pool of Commercial Rela Estate scheduled for default in the next 4 years. Things are about to get really interesting, so I’ll get back on my horse and keep you all up-to-date.

Happy Navigating, Jason Pickle

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims: 457,000

2009-12-03Calculated Risk Blog

“In the week ending Nov. 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 457,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 462,000 [revised from 466,000]. The 4-week moving average was 481,250, a decrease of 14,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 495,500.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Nov. 21 was 5,465,000, an increase of 28,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 5,437,000. The 4-week moving average was 5,541,500, a decrease of 75,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 5,617,250.”

Full Article Here

December 4, 2009 Posted by | Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Stats | Leave a comment

Dubai Shows Limits of Government Rescues, Roubini’s Das Says

2009-11-30 Bloomberg.com

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) — The worldwide decline in equities spurred by Dubai’s efforts to reschedule its debt is a sign that government spending alone won’t be enough to protect financial markets, according to Arnab Das of Roubini Global Economics.

Stock volatility will probably jump as countries and companies default on loans, said Das, the head of market research and strategy at RGE, the advisory firm founded by economist Nouriel Roubini.

Shares slumped from Shanghai to Brazil and European shares fell the most in seven months yesterday after Dubai World, the government investment company burdened by $59 billion of liabilities, sought to delay repayment on much of its debt. Governments have spent, lent or guaranteed $11.6 trillion and central banks held interest rates near zero percent to end the first global recession since World War II.

“We’re bound to see a rise in risk aversion,” Das, who is based in London, said in an interview. “The Dubai situation signifies that although the major central banks around the world have stabilized the financial system, they can’t make all the excesses simply disappear. We still have to work out those balance sheet stresses. The recovery is proceeding, but significant challenges still lie ahead.”

Full Article Here

December 3, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Wells Fargo Chief Economist: “There is no clear, easy way out for housing”

2009-11-28 Mish’s Global Economic Blog

“If there is no clear, easy way out for housing, then there is no clear, easy way out for Wells Fargo. Wells is sitting in a huge pile of Pay Option Arms in bubble states like California, where prices still have a long way to correct.”

Full Article Here

December 3, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending | Leave a comment

Why Your FDIC-Backed Bank Could Fail

2009-11-26 Elliotwave.com

“The following analysis by Bob Prechter is excerpted from the free Club EWI report, Discover the Top 100 Safest U.S. Banks. With 130 bank failures expected by the end of this year, we hope you’ll find this information more valuable than ever”

Full Article Here

December 3, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure | Leave a comment

Case-Shiller Still Predicts Massive 45% Fall From Today’s Values

2009-11-24 MLImplode.com

The 10 major cities in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index have risen 5% from their April low, but the index is still predicting a massive 45% fall from today’s values.

The index is still showing a current loss of 30% from the high in June 2006. Based upon a trend generated from the actual prices of 1987 to 1997, and generated forward in a linear projection, the index will fall a total of 62% before it reaches the trend norm.

Full Article Here


November 25, 2009 Posted by | Foreclosure, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Geithner Bond Wise Men Bury Warning as Options Rise

2009-11-16bloomberg.com

“The options market shows investors are growing increasingly wary that U.S. debt sales may push yields higher even as inflation remains in check.”

Full Article Here

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Stats | Leave a comment

The New Flipping: Short Sales

2009-11-16heraldtribune.com

“The FBI recently added short sale flipping, dubbed “flopping” by some mortgage fraud experts, to its list of recognized real estate fraud.”

Full Article Here

 

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate | Leave a comment

Investors strategize for Fed’s exit from MBS market

2009-11-16reuters.com

“Investors who reaped robust gains in U.S. mortgage-backed securities by piggy-backing on the Federal Reserve’s $1.25 trillion buying program are bracing for the end to the central bank’s support — and positioning themselves for a new round of profits as prices cheapen.”

Full Article Here

 

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending, Real Estate, Stats | Leave a comment

Ambac Faces 99% Chance of Default as Deadline Looms, Swaps Show

2009-11-14 Bloomberg.com

Ambac Financial Group Inc.’s bond- insurance unit faces a 99 percent chance of default, credit derivatives show, as financial institutions brace for the second-largest bond insurer to file a capital update with regulators later today. ”

Full Article Here

 

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments | Leave a comment

New CMBS Tax Rules Miss Underwater Factor, BofA Says

  2009-09-22   Housingwire.com

The market for commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) experienced a rally last week following the issuance of new guidelines regarding acceptable loan modifications within real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs).

The total reach of the new rules may not go so deep, however, as to help some underwater borrowers, according to one research firm.

Full Article Here

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Lending | Leave a comment

$30 billion home loan time bomb set for 2010

2009-09-21  sfgate.com

“Next year, many option ARM payments will begin to readjust, slamming borrowers with dramatically higher monthly mortgage bills. Analysts say that could unleash the next big wave of foreclosures – and home-loan data show that the risky loans were heavily used in the Bay Area.”

Full Article Here

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Lending, Stats | Leave a comment

Is Pent-Up Inflation From Fed Printing Waiting On Deck?

2009-09-21blogspot.com

” Inquiring minds are wondering about the possibility of “pent-up” inflation from the massive expansion money supply by the Fed. Our search for the truth starts with the question “Which Comes First: The Printing or The Lending?” This is a critical question given the massive expansion of base money by the Fed as shown in the following chart.”
Full Article Here

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Lending | Leave a comment

House Prices Won’t Return to Peak Until 2020: Moody’s Analyst

2009-09-21  housingwire.com

” At least another decade will pass before housing prices return to peak 2006 levels, according to an analyst at Moody’s Economy.com.”

Full Article Here

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Banking, Foreclosure, Investments, Real Estate | Leave a comment

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