Thursday, February 26, 2009

RepubliKKKans blame the victims

As with denying abortions to victims of rape and incest, now RepubliKKKans want to deny relief to people sucked into buying a home at the top of the housing bubble, enticed by the Greenspan mantra and fantasy that housing prices always go higher.

(Cue Blood, Sweat, and Tears, "What goes up...")

Many home buyers got sucked into atrocious Adjustable Rate Mortgages or refinancing schemes sure to lead to foreclosure.

Just today, local Orlando tv "news," WFTV, reported on lady charged $26,000 in closing costs on a loan giving her $9,000 cash for her home equity. (no link) Then her mortgage payment nearly doubled, from $800 to $1500, when her ARM rate reset.

Mortgage companies made boatloads of bucks as prices went up, some by marketing bad loans to gullible customers.

Banks, mortgage companies, and the scions of Wall Street built a financial house of cards on the backs of people who bought houses in the US.

Even Ace Greenberg, forme chairman of Bear Stearns knew the housing bubble would collapse: saying on Frontline [(Question from Frontline): Did you know the housing bubble was going to burst?

I knew this: I knew that it was crazy to see people flipping houses for profit. The vigorish in buying and selling a house is so big that it's ridiculous. I mean, the house has to go up 5 to 10 percent in value before you're even by the expenses and maintenance and so forth. So I thought that was crazy, and the speculation was crazy. I thought it was crazy to see ads where people would lend you 140 percent of the assessed value of your house. I thought that was nuts. Did I know that grassroots brokers were getting people financing that had no business [buying], that they were falsifying their wages, they were falsifying their ability to carry the mortgage? Did I know it was that bad? No, I did not.]

From the NY Times: [They (AIG) were the worst of them all,” said Frank Partnoy, a law professor at the University of San Diego and a derivatives expert. Mr. Vickrey of Gradient Analytics said, “It was extreme hubris, fueled by greed.” Other firms used many of the same shady techniques as A.I.G., but none did them on such a broad scale and with such utter recklessness.] Emphasis added

From Frontline, Inside the Meltdown
[Why would banks in Switzerland and Japan and Brazil be so focused on homes owned by poor people in America? But you have to see what happened between 2000 and 2007. ... It took humankind centuries to get to $36 trillion, and then it took us six or seven years to double that. And in no time at all there's twice as much money looking for something to invest in, but there aren't twice as many businesses and factories to invest in. They had to find something new. One of the things that was growing the fastest and attracting the most investment was the subprime housing market in the U.S. And then you create these leveraged products off of it, so a billion dollars of subprime loans can support $10 billion worth of structured products. Then you create these credit default swaps on top of those. And suddenly that $10 billion that really is based on $1 billion is actually supporting $100 billion worth of investments elsewhere.

And that actually would have been OK ... if they'd seen it as long-shot bets. ... But what they did was they took this stuff and used it as the building blocks on which they built their financial empires. ...]

Plus the mortgage companies themselves completey let standards fall by the wayside, as evidenced by this story at eye on miami about a man with presumably bad credit buying 3 properties in a 1 month period for $750,000 with no money dow2n.

Resonable people ought to agree the former borrower deserves relief while later schmuck deserves foreclosures.

Yet as Geniusofdespair noted in 2007, "This mortgage monkey business leading to foreclosures is going to crash the housing market."

Yet the RepubliKKKan bloodsuckers, having gotten $millions from developers and mortgage companies and banks, use their undead minions in the press spew to spew venom about "helping those who made bad choices."

Meanwhile, tent cities spring up across the US.

Let us call these what we ought: "Bushvilles."

In Hard Times, Tent Cities Rise Across the Country
In uncertain times, more people nationwide find themselves living in tents, on the streets
By EVELYN NIEVES Associated Press Writer
RENO, Nev. September 18, 2008 (AP) The Associated Press

A few tents cropped up hard by the railroad tracks, pitched by men left with nowhere to go once the emergency winter shelter closed for the summer.

Then others appeared — people who had lost their jobs to the ailing economy, or newcomers who had moved to Reno for work and discovered no one was hiring.

Within weeks, more than 150 people were living in tents big and small, barely a foot apart in a patch of dirt slated to be a parking lot for a campus of shelters Reno is building for its homeless population. Like many other cities, Reno has found itself with a "tent city" — an encampment of people who had nowhere else to go.

From Seattle to Athens, Ga., homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the most visible rise in homeless encampments in a generation.

Nearly 61 percent of local and state homeless coalitions say they've experienced a rise in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007, according to a report by the National Coalition for the Homeless. The group says the problem has worsened since the report's release in April, with foreclosures mounting, gas and food prices rising and the job market tightening.

"It's clear that poverty and homelessness have increased," said Michael Stoops, acting executive director of the coalition. "The economy is in chaos, we're in an unofficial recession and Americans are worried, from the homeless to the middle class, about their future."

The phenomenon of encampments has caught advocacy groups somewhat by surprise, largely because of how quickly they have sprung up.

"What you're seeing is encampments that I haven't seen since the 80s," said Paul Boden, executive director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project, an umbrella group for homeless advocacy organizations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore. and Seattle.

The relatively tony city of Santa Barbara has given over a parking lot to people who sleep in cars and vans. The city of Fresno, Calif., is trying to manage several proliferating tent cities, including an encampment where people have made shelters out of scrap wood. In Portland, Ore., and Seattle, homeless advocacy groups have paired with nonprofits or faith-based groups to manage tent cities as outdoor shelters. Other cities where tent cities have either appeared or expanded include include Chattanooga, Tenn., San Diego, and Columbus, Ohio...

In Seattle, which is experiencing a building boom and an influx of affluent professionals in neighborhoods the working class once owned, homeless encampments have been springing up — in remote places to avoid police sweeps.

"What's happening in Seattle is what's happening everywhere else — on steroids," said Tim Harris, executive director of Real Change, an advocacy organization that publishes a weekly newspaper sold by homeless people.]

Friday, February 20, 2009

California RepubliKKKans marching off the cliff.

No one likes to pay taxes.

But even the dimmest bulb should realize a $42 BILLION needs to get paid by raising SOME.

Not so Cali RepubliKKKans in the legislature who fired their leader in favor of 1 who apposes taxes.

Jeepers, even Governor Terminator can do the math:

[''Our caucus is pretty solid in terms of not voting for a tax increase,'' said Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks. ''We know the dire situation the state is in, but we do more damage by taxing Californians.''

Schwarzenegger criticized that stand during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. He said there is no way to close the $42 billion deficit without tax increases.

''If you think that you can do this without any increase in revenues, then you have a big math problem,'' Schwarzenegger said. ''I despise revenue increases. I hate taxes. But when you're faced with that kind of a reality then that's where you have to go.'']

Wonder when Governor great tan of Fla will get such an epiphany?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why do Republikkans hate American jobs?

Let me put this in terms even Michael Steele, current chairman of the Republikkkan National Committee, can understand.

When you go somewhere and peform a task and someone gives you $ for doing so, that's a job.

As an unemplyed CAD drafter, I damn well know paycheck equals job. Hell, let ME design roadways for 3 years.

Sure a road contract ends, but you can feed yur family in the meantime and then go onto the next contract or job if the economy ever improves.

Of coursee Stephanoupolis can't understand Steele's argument because it's INSANE!

[STEELE: What this administration is talking about is making work. It is creating work.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that's a job.

STEELE: No, it's not a job. A job is something that -- that a business owner creates. It's going to be long term. What he's creating...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So a job doesn't count if it's a government job?


STEELE: Hold on. No, let me -- let me -- let me finish. That is a contract. It ends at a certain point, George. You know that. These road projects that we're talking about have an end point.]

As a small-business owner, I'm looking to grow my business, expand my business. I want to reach further. I want to be international. I want to be national. It's a whole different perspective on how you create a job versus how you create work. And I'm -- either way, the bottom line is...

STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess I don't really understand that distinction.]