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Posts Tagged ‘MORTGAGE’

Seven Reasons We’re Buying a Home and Four Reasons We’re Not

March 28, 2011 Comments off

irvinehousingblog.com

Although the housing bubble and bust may have shattered notions that home prices have nowhere to go but up, Americans haven’t lost their love for owning a home.  In the latest Allstate/National JournalHeartland Monitor poll, homeownership ranked second, just behind raising a family, in people’s definition of the American Dream. Despite new home sales’ drop to a record low, about four-fifths of respondents said that owning a home is still a better financial decision than renting, and nearly nine in 10 homeowners say would buy their home again.

Those results also underscore the extent to which Americans see buying a home as a deeply personal decision. It seems the decision to buy a home is made from the heart, while the decision to rent comes from the wallet.

That is a great way to look at the situation. Most people want to buy and own. Those who look rationally at the costs often chose to rent, not because it’s the most emotionally pleasing choice, but because it’s the most financially sound decision. Those who chose to rent recognize that being house poor is its own form of Read more…

Middle Class Shrinking; Poverty Class Expanding

January 25, 2011 Comments off
No Jobs, No Hope, No Future: 27 Signs That America’s Poverty Class Is Rapidly Becoming Larger Than America’s Middle Class

In the America that most of us grew up in, most Americans considered themselves to be part of the “upper middle class”, the “middle class” or “the lower middle class”.  Yes, there have always been poor people and homeless people, but they were thought to be a very small sliver of the population.  Well, today all of that is dramatically changing.  America’s emerging “poverty class” is exploding in size at the same time that America’s middle class is rapidly disappearing.  You won’t hear it on the mainstream news, but the truth is that the United States has lost ten percent of its middle class jobs over the past decade.  Only the top 5 percent of income earners in the U.S. has had their incomes increase enough to keep up with the rising cost of living over the past 40 years.  The truth is that today there are a whole lot of people aggressively jostling for the small number of good jobs that are actually available and each year millions more Americans are being squeezed out of the middle class.  The number of Americans that are financially dependent on the U.S. government continues to set new records month after month.  The number of Americans that are participating in the labor force continues to go down.  The sad reality is that the “American Dream” that so many Americans used to take for granted is being ripped away from us.  If you still believe that the United States is guaranteed to always have a very large, very prosperous middle class then you really need to read the statistics listed below.

If you told most Americans ten years ago that in 2011 over 43 million Americans would be on food stamps hardly anyone would have believed you.

But yet here we are.

The U.S. economy simply is not producing enough good jobs anymore.  Most of those that are able to acquire one of these jobs have been able to cling to middle class status, but for millions upon millions of others economic desperation has become “the new normal”.

In fact, more Americans than ever seem to have Read more…

Gold is to China as paper currency is to US

January 25, 2011 Comments off

Bill Bonner

We’d still like to see a deep decline in the gold price. Too many people are getting onto gold. Most of them have no idea of what they are doing. Like readers of MONEY magazine, they’re buying the yellow metal as a speculation. Most likely they’re going to lose money. Almost everyone who speculates on gold loses money. Don’t ask us why. It’s just one of those Iron Laws of investing.

Gold goes up for 10 years straight. Speculators notice. They jump on board. And then the train runs off the tracks.

That’s just the way it works.

Besides, remember that this Great Correction is not over yet…not by a long shot. It has barely begun to correct the excesses of the Bubble Era. A quarter of all homeowners are said to be underwater on their mortgages – that still needs to be sorted out. And the whole financial industry – with the collusion of the Fed – is sitting on trillions of dollars’ worth of mortgage backed securities, pretending that they are good credits.

There are still major bankruptcies ahead…and deflation of assets prices. And in all the sturm and drang of it, the price of gold could go down too.

But if you’re acquiring gold, you have some powerful competition. As nations become rich and powerful, they accumulate gold. Those that are getting weak and poor give it up. Here’s The Financial Times with the latest news: Read more…

U.S. Treasury Secretary Admits U.S. Default is Imminent

January 24, 2011 Comments off

By James West

Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary, admitted in a letter to congress dated January 6th, that the United States Treasury would be forced to default on its credit obligations without clearance from congress to raise the amount of money tha the treasury is allowed to borrow.

After citing a list of “extraordinary measures” congress has had to resort to int he past to avoid entering a state of defualt, Geithner stated, “Once these steps have been taken, no remaining legal and prudent measures would be available to create additional headroom under the debt limit, and the United States would begin to default on its obligations. The extraordinary measures include, “suspending sales of State and Local Government Series (SLGS) Treasury securities; suspending reinvestment of the Government Securities Investment Fund (G-Fund); suspending reinvestment of the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF); and determining that a “debt issuance suspension period” exists, permitting redemption of existing, and suspension of new, investments of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF).

That the United States has already defaulted on its obligations is beyond dispute, at this point, as its the rate at which its debt service obligations is growing exceeds the rate at which the United States GDP could possibly grow, meaning that, without drastic cuts to governmenbt spending, the debt can only continue to grow.

Before our very eyes, the so-called leadership of the world’s largest economy is intentionally bankrupting the country and devaluing its currency in what can only be a precursor to rampant inflation. Since the integrity necessary to manage this problem does not exist within the United States political system, the rest of the world has no choice but to stand by and watch the value of their United States Treasury Bills diminish incrementally on a daily basis. Selling them will only exacerbate the problem, but the question must be asked, how long until the remedy is preferred over the miserable condition?

Geithner goes on to say, in a remarkable baring of the national soul,

However, if Congress were to fail to act, the specific consequences would be as follows:

The Treasury would be forced to default on legal obligations of the United States, causing catastrophic damage to the economy, potentially much more harmful than the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. Read more…

Bank of America posts loss on mortgage problems

January 23, 2011 4 comments

Joe Rauch
and Maria Aspan

CHARLOTTE, N.C./NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2011 (Reuters) — Bank of America Corp, the largest U.S. bank, reported weaker-than-expected revenue and a second straight quarterly loss after its limping mortgage business triggered writedowns and legal settlements.


Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch businesses — including retail brokerage and investment banking — were profitable but did not make enough money to overcome the bank’s massive losses from mortgages.

As the financial crisis was ramping up, then Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis bought Countrywide Financial Inc for $4.2 billion. Current CEO Brian Moynihan is still coping with the aftermath.

In the fourth quarter, Bank of America took a writedown of $2 billion to recognize the declining value of Countrywide. The bank also set aside $4.1 billion for legal costs linked to home loans it is buying back from investors, or is likely to buy back.

“Countrywide is still hurting them and it will continue to. It’s like a tooth being pulled — it’s only going to feel good when it’s done,” said Matt McCormick, portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Inc in Cincinnati, which does not own Bank of America shares.

It was not clear how Bank of America’s results compared with analysts’ average estimates, given the profusion of special items in the report. Read more…