January 15, 2012

Boosting Prices So The True Economic Recovery Can Begin

Readers suggested a topic on the latest revelations and proposals from the central bank. “Is it perhaps really true that ‘Nobody could have seen it coming’? It isn’t as though an army of gadflies didn’t try to warn the Fed about where things were headed.’ ‘Newly released transcripts of Fed meetings during Bernanke’s first year as chairman show that, among Fed officials, he often expressed the most concern about housing. But no official, according to the transcripts, recognized the extent of the damage a housing bubble would cause. A year later, the housing market’s collapse helped send the nation into its worst recession since the Great Depression.”

“In September 2006, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, then a Fed official, expressed confidence that ‘collateral damage’ from housing could be avoided.”

A reply, “As long as the banksters have limitless QE to ward off a financial reckoning day for their fraud, hubris and avarice, Timmay’s assertion that collateral damage (for his bankster accomplices) can be averted is largely true. As far as taxpayers, savers, and our children, that’s another story entirely.”

Another added, “This to me is the saddest part of the whole story. When the bust is finally allowed to run its course, most in the populace will be unable to connect the dots. Due to the time lag in reaction to the original actions that brought us here, the current President, Congress, business and civic leaders at that point in time will be blamed and probably demonized. Some maybe even physically threatened as the true architects of this mess slink away scott-free to some Brazilian ranch to ride out any visceral reaction.”

To which was was said, “That is the game. Since you are from NY, note that we have not yet begun to pay for the retroactive public employee pension enhancements of 2000. Neither the unions nor the state legislature want any connection between that deal and rising taxes/service cuts.”

“Moreover, many CEOs who leveraged up in the 1990s were lionized, whereas those dealing with the fallout ever since are considered failures who are overpaid. The reality is they were overpaid in the 1990s, too.”

Another, “I think you are right, except that we are in busting mode and those in office are very reluctant to shatter the illusion. It’s a choice between villified now and revered later or celebrated now and vilified later.”

“Our last President impulsively said ‘This sukker’s going down’ and then his lips were sewn shut. Most people wanted to believe that the nasty bailouts would really save our sorry behinds. Isn’t working out that way. The Pres we have now just smiles and reads from the promtor. I was hoping he would go all JFK. Hasn’t happened.”

One had this, “The very fact that Bernanke was paraded around as an expert on the Great Depression, just before the collapse tells you they knew everything. The fact that Hank Paulson took the job as treasury secretary so he could cash out at the top tax free saving 200 million dollars so he could move into treasuries just before the crash tells you they knew everything that was coming. One look at where they invested would tell you if they knew what was coming.”

And finally, “Is the Fed’s White Paper proposal to use taxpayer-funded GSE losses to revitalize the housing markets merely a ploy intended to further enrich Goldman Sachs? Massive injections of printing press money could work wonders to revitalize the value of shi#@y mortgage assets.”

The Wall Street Journal. “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recently approached the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and offered to buy a multibillion-dollar bundle of risky mortgage bonds that the Fed acquired in the 2008 bailout of American International Group Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.”

“The New York Fed responded by quietly canvassing a few securities dealers for bids on the bonds Goldman wanted to purchase, seeking competing offers to determine whether Goldman’s offer represented the best value for the bonds, the people said.”

The Sun Times. “When Charles L. Evans talks, people listen. The president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago recently spoke to about 200 business leaders at a presentation sponsored by the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club. They came to hear his personal perspectives on the current economy — and one of the topics was housing. Evans said that a more vibrant housing market is one of the key improvements needed to boost home prices and lift the overall economy.”

“He further noted that the Fed had recently been criticized by some Congressional leaders for issuing a special white paper on housing issues, which also suggested potential policy solutions. Whether perceived as contentious or not, Evans felt the paper focused needed attention on solving the distress sale crisis and improving valuations so that true economic recovery could begin.

“The National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors strongly agree with Evans and other Federal Reserve leaders, too. Both NAHB and NAR endorse specific recommendations in the above-noted white paper — such as loosening mortgage lending and refinancing criteria for credit-worthy borrowers.”

“The overall message is clear. Federal Reserve leaders know it, as do builders and Realtors. Much more must be done to solve the housing crisis — even if those solutions prove politically unpopular. ”

“By Julie Morse, a licensed Realtor in Illinois and Wisconsin.”

Bits Bucket for January 15, 2012

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.