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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Regulation, or deregulation fueled this mess? You decide...

HOUSE OF CARDS
LIBERALS FUELED WALL ST. WOES
By STAN LIEBOWITZ
Bam: Blames lenders for borrowers' lapses.Posted: 3:51 am
September 24, 2008

HOW did America wind up in its worst financial crisis in decades? Sen. Barack Obama explained it this way last week: "When sub-prime-mortgage lending took a reckless and unsustainable turn, a patchwork of regulators systematically and deliberately eliminated the regulations protecting the American people."

That's exactly backward. Mortgage lending took that "reckless and unsustainable turn" because of regulation - regulation driven by liberals and progressives, not free-market "deregulators."

Pushed hard by politicians and community activists, the regulators systematically and deliberately altered financially sound lending practices.

The mortgage market was humming along just fine when, in the late 1980s, progressives decided that it needed to be "fixed." Their complaint: Some ethnic groups got approved for mortgages at lower rates than others.

In reality, mortgage lenders were simply being prudent - taking care to provide mortgages to those who could best afford to make the payments.

The shift began in 1989, when Congress amended the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to force banks to collect racial data on mortgage applicants. By 1991, critics were using that data to paint lenders as racist by showing that minority applicants were approved at far lower rates. Banks were "Shamed By Publicity," as one 1993 New York Times headline put it.

In fact, they found a racial disparity only by ignoring relevant data on applicants' ability to make mortgage payments - such as their assets and credit history.

But the political pressure was intense - with few in politics or media eager to speak the truth. And then, in 1992, came a study from four researchers at the Boston Fed, which seemed to bear out the critics' contentions.

That study was, in fact, based on quite flawed data - but the authors' political, media and academic protectors stifled most serious criticism, smearing the reputation of one whistleblower and allowing the Boston authors to avoid answering serious academic challenges (mine included) to their work. Other studies with different conclusions were ignored.

The very next year, the Boston Fed announced new requirements for banks - rules that have now turned out to be monumentally catastrophic: Adopt "relaxed lending standards" or risk being labeled as racists, and face serious penalties under the federal Community Reinvestment Act.

Gone (as "arbitrary" and "outdated") were traditional lending requirements such as requiring a down payment or limiting mortgage payments to 28 percent of income. (Of course, the loosened lending standards weren't limited to poor and minority applicants - that would be discriminatory.)

The new standards performed as intended: Home- ownership rates, stagnant for 25 years, began a rapid 10-year ascent in 1995, with many new homeowners being lower-income and/or minority families.

The large rise in demand for houses, however, fed a run-up in prices starting in 1997 - the infamous housing bubble. And rising prices hid the great vulnerability of these loans to defaults and foreclosures, because refinancing or selling at a profit was the easy alternative.

Soon, these loans began to be sold in the secondary market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were enthusiastic proponents of relaxed lending standards and purchased large swaths of these loans.

Time after time, Fannie and Freddie trumped criticism by pointing to how they were helping broaden homeownership. Because of the subject's racial overtones, they beat back calls for reform even after financial irregularities were found.

Rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's had no experience with such loans - and imprudently used the misleading bubble-induced performance to incorrectly judge the likely performance of financial instruments based on such loans.

In 2002, the "reformers" declared victory. In a Fannie report, four academic supporters of relaxed standards crowed how these changes were "fundamentally altering the terms upon which mortgage credit had been offered in the United States from the 1960s through the 1980s . . . These changes in lending herald what we refer to as mortgage innovation."
Lucky us.

Now that the popped bubble has left us swimming in foreclosures, the supporters of loosened credit standards seem shy about taking credit for their "mortgage innovations." Instead, they blame subprime lenders for becoming "predatory" - when they were simply taking the Boston Fed rules to their logical conclusion while broadening the mortgage market.

Investors holding mortgage-based assets now want out. Perhaps they deserve a $700 billion refund - since they were sold a bill of goods by "progressive" politicians, academics and government officials who, in the hope of remaking society, insisted that loans based on relaxed underwriting standards were sound.

Stan Liebowitz is the Ashbel Smith professor of economics at the Business School at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 07:38 AM
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So what you support as an idea because the article says so is that minorities (mainly black people) are at the source of the problem
right?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 07:47 AM
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Don't forget this crisis spans across multiple presidencies and party lines. To blame it all on one is narrow minded, and obviously you are.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 07:57 AM
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Sounded unfortunately well balanced to me
Because it was percieved that most of those who were being refused mortgages were black
Hey
Its a racist issue
So change the rules, ignoring the underlying facts
Except it was not a racist issue at all
it was all about earning/payback ability
unfortunately apparently linked to ones skin colour
do white trailer trash not aspire to own a "proper" home then?
Bit like the "pill" causing cervical cancer, as was once "proved"
well statistically more women on the pill developed cervical cancer, than those not on the pill
Real reason, those on the pill were shagging more
Doh
"There are lies, dammned lies, and then statistics" as an old school teaching uncle used to quote.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 10:32 AM
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Let's look at some hard facts. Let's start with a statistical analysis done by AARP back in 2002. It makes hash of the above article, which claims that it was the regulators fault, but to believe that, one must assume the buyers were seeking mortgages based on lax regulation. In reality, most subprime borrowers were contacted by those selling these loans or responded to ads promising easy approval. If the seller initiated contact, targeting unsophisticated buyers with poor credit, how is that the regulators are at fault? It is obvious, reading this study done in 2002, years ago, that this entire enterprise has been a high risk con game from the beginning:

From

Older Subprime Refinance Mortgage Borrowers


Quote:
Use of Broker or Lender
lder subprime refinance borrowers were more likely to have used a broker to obtain their loans. More than one-half (53%) of subprime borrowers used a broker, compared to only one-third (34%) of prime borrowers.

Search Behavior
Sixty-one percent of older refinance subprime borrowers reported that the broker or lender, rather than the borrowers, initiated contact before getting the loan, nearly two times more than reported by older prime borrowers (31%) (Figure 2).

Over one-half (54%) of older refinance subprime borrowers reported that they responded to advertisements or sales calls that guaranteed approval, while only 31 percent of prime borrowers did so (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Older Prime and Subprime Refinance Mortgage Borrowers: Search Behavior

Prime and subprime borrowers differed in their assessment of the importance of several loan features. Low monthly payments, getting approved, and a quick turnaround were the loan characteristics more important to subprime than prime borrowers, while interest rate and mortgage terms were more important to prime than subprime borrowers (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Older Prime and Subprime Refinance Mortgage Borrowers: Importance of Loan Characteristics

Understanding of Loan Terms and Familiarity with the Mortgage Process
Older subprime refinance borrowers were less likely than older prime refinance borrowers to report completely understanding three key loan terms: prepayment penalties, points and fees, and interest rate (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Older Prime and Subprime Refinance Mortgage Borrowers: Completely Understood Loan Terms

Older subprime refinance borrowers were less likely to be familiar with the mortgage process than were older prime borrowers. (Figure 5). Subprime borrowers were less likely to be familiar with their credit records, loan qualification requirements, mortgage rates and costs, types of mortgages available, and basic mortgage terms.
Figure 5: Older Prime and Subprime Refinance Mortgage Borrowers: Familiarity with the Mortgage Process

Mortgage Refinancing
Older subprime refinance borrowers were more likely to report having refinanced more than once in the past three years, and more likely to consider refinancing within the next 12 months to get cash back or consolidate debts than were older prime borrowers (Figure 6).
Figure 6: Older Prime and Subprime Refinance Mortgage Borrowers: Mortgage Refinancing

Borrower Perception of Mortgage Received
Older subprime refinance borrowers were less likely than older prime borrowers to feel they received: the loan that was best for them, rates and terms that were fair, and accurate and honest information. In addition, subprime borrowers were less likely to want the same loan again or to recommend the broker/lender to a friend (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Older Prime and Subprime Refinance Mortgage Borrowers: Borrower Satisfaction

When asked if their loans were different from what they expected, nearly one-half (47%) of subprime borrowers said yes, compared to only 20 percent of prime borrowers. Of those who responded that the loan was different from expected, 71 percent of subprime borrowers and 50 percent of prime borrowers reported that the loan was worse than expected.
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Summary

Older borrowers who were widowed, female, black, and less educated held a significantly greater percentage of subprime loans than older borrowers who were married, male, non-black, and more educated. In addition, they were more likely to have:

* used a broker to obtain their current loan;
* had the lender/broker initiate the contact;
* responded to guaranteed approval advertisements;
* refinanced two or more times within the past three years;
* been dissatisfied with their loans; and
* received a loan different from what they expected.

In addition, these older subprime borrowers were less likely to:

* identify loan characteristics associated with the cost of the loan (interest rate and mortgage terms) as important, while more likely to report quick turnaround, approval, and monthly payment to be important;
* completely understand three loan terms: prepayment penalty, points and fees, and interest rate; and
* be familiar with the mortgage process.

These results suggest that older prime and subprime refinance borrowers had significantly different experiences with refinancing their mortgage. Because home equity is the largest component of the wealth of older households, protecting this equity and expanding access to credit on fair and affordable terms is critical to ensuring the current and future financial security of millions of older Americans.
Note also the demographics:

Race White 58 Black 35 Other 7

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 10:40 AM
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Another analysis, this one a year ago, claims evidence that subprime lenders were intentionally targeting high risk communities, in what can be called "reverse red-lining". Again, I do not see how those who received these loans sought out some sort or preferential treatment, just like in the AARP study, this one again says those receiving loans were targeted for the bum's rush:

From:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/15/ny...on&oref=slogin

Quote:

The N.A.A.C.P. filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles this year against 12 mortgage lenders. The lawsuit accuses the companies of steering black borrowers into subprime loans.

An analysis by The Times of the 2006 data that lenders disclosed under the federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act shows that in New York City, the rate of subprime lending is far higher for minorities than for whites even at higher income levels. For example, 24 percent of non-Hispanic white borrowers earning $125,000 to $150,000 took out a subprime mortgage in 2006, compared with 52 percent of Hispanics and 63 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in the same income range.

For borrowers earning $150,000 to $250,000, the rate of subprime loans was 20 percent for whites, 50 percent for Hispanics and 62 percent for blacks. That analysis looked at all mortgages reported to the federal government, not just those issued by companies identified as subprime lenders.

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development also analyzed the federal mortgage data and found that last year, 58.5 percent of home loans to non-Hispanic black borrowers were high cost, compared to 15.9 percent for non-Hispanic whites. The percentage of loans to Hispanics that were high cost was 45.5.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 10:59 AM
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This study states that single women are the primary demographic group, and again, were targeted by lenders who were selling loans that on the surface were a bad deal for the borrower, not some easy regulatory-driven loan for blacks, as the opnion piece at the start of this thread claim:


Women Most Likely to Receive Subprime Home Loans

December 11, 2006
Women Most Likely to Receive Subprime Home Loans



• Women Most Likely to Receive Subprime Home Loans
• Countrywide to Combat Ethnic Disparities in Mortgages
• Spitzer: Fed Study Confirms Racial Lending Disparities
• Subprime Mortgage Pricing Varies Greatly Among U.S. Cities
• 34 States Join NY's Spitzer in Pressing Civil Rights Probe of Major Banks
• Spitzer Charges Feds Conspiring to Shield Banks Against State Consumer Protection Laws
• Federal Banking Regulator Sues NY's Spitzer
• States Want FDIC Crackdown on Payday Lenders
• Predatory Lending Guidelines Too Vague, Consumers Group Charges
Women are more likely to receive subprime home mortgage than men and these higher rates of subprime lending make it harder for households headed by women to build wealth through homeownership, a study finds.

In 2005, about a third of women took out mortgages with interest rates over 7.66 percent (well above the average prime mortgage rate of 5.87 percent) compared with about a quarter of men, according to a new study released by the Consumer Federation of America.

"The high levels of subprime lending among women compromise their ability to steadily accrue equity by paying off their mortgage -- one of the easiest and most effective pathways to building wealth in America," said Nancy Register, Associate Director of Consumer Federation of America and National Director of America Saves, a social marketing campaign to encourage lower- and moderate-income households to save and build wealth.

The study examined 4.4 million mortgage originations throughout the country where borrowers identified their gender. CFA examined borrower incomes based on the Area Median Income where they lived to analyze comparable borrowers across the country.

The CFA analysis found that the subprime disparity between women and men increased for women with higher incomes relative to men with similar earnings. Although women earning below the area median income were 8 percent more likely to receive subprime loans than similarly earning men, women earning more than double the area median income were 50 more likely to receive subprime loans than men with similar earnings.

"Evidence suggests that women have slightly higher credit scores on average than men and similar credit usage patterns, yet the fact that women are more likely to receive more expensive mortgages at all income levels undercuts the lending industries calm assurances that borrowers are priced based on their creditworthiness," said Allen Fishbein, Director of Housing and Credit Policy at CFA.

Black and Latino women had the highest incidences of subprime lending -- and the gap between them and white men increased as incomes rose. Black women earning double the area median income were nearly five times more likely to receive subprime home purchase mortgages than white men with similar incomes and Latino women earning twice the area median income were about four times more likely to receive subprime purchase mortgages than white men with similar earnings.

Black women make up half the African American purchase mortgage borrowers and Latino women make up nearly a third of Latino home purchase mortgage borrowers.

"For the African American and Latino communities, women are a key driver in achieving homeownership. The high rates of subprime lending to African American and Latino women -- even those earning double the prevailing local income -- may make it harder to sustain homeownership in these communities because of the high monthly payments on subprime loans," said Patrick Woodall, Senior Researcher at CFA.

Among the study's key findings:

• Women are more likely to receive subprime and high-cost subprime mortgages: About a third (32.0 percent) of women borrowers receive subprime mortgage loans of all types compared to about a quarter (24.2 percent) of male borrowers -- making women 32 percent more likely to receive subprime mortgages than men. More than one in ten (10.9 percent) women received high-cost subprime mortgages compared to about one in 13 (7.7 percent) men -- making women 41 percent more likely to receive higher-cost subprime loans with interest rates above 9.66 percent.

• Women are significantly over-represented in the pool of subprime mortgages. Although women make up 30.0 percent of borrowers for mortgages of all types, they make up 38.8 percent of subprime borrowers -- a 29.1 percent over-representation.

• Women are more likely to receive subprime mortgages of all types regardless of income, and disparity between men and women increases as incomes rise. For purchase mortgages, women earning double the median income are 46.4 percent more likely to receive subprime mortgages than men with similar incomes. In contrast, women earning below the area median income are 3.3 percent more likely to receive subprime mortgages. Women earning between the median and twice the median income are 28.1 percent more likely to receive subprime purchase mortgages than men.

• Black and Latino women are the most likely to receive subprime loans and white men are the least likely to receive subprime loans at every income level and the gap grows with income. Black women earning below the area median income are nearly two and a half times more likely to receive a subprime purchase mortgage than white men and Latino women earning below the area median are nearly twice as likely to receive subprime purchase mortgages as white men. The gap is much higher at incomes above twice the area median income. Upper income black women are nearly five times more likely to receive subprime purchase mortgages than upper income white men and upper income Latino women are nearly four times more likely to receive subprime loans than upper income white men.

CFA says the findings raise important public policy concerns especially as adjustable rate mortgage rates rise and monthly payments reset upward this year and next. Adjustable rate mortgages are now the predominant product in the subprime market.

The subprime market provides higher cost credit predominantly to borrowers who are un-served by the prime market and is fertile ground for abusive predatory lending practices.

Growing delinquency and foreclosure rates for these loans demonstrate that some borrowers are placed into mortgages with unsustainable terms and payments.


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Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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FTH- when you start answering your own threads its pretty clear your into your demonize deflect mode.
Lets get back to the real premise, congress pushed banks and mortgage companies

"And this is exactly what Mr. Frank attempted to prove when the housing market started to go south. He encouraged the companies to guarantee more "affordable" mortgages, thus abetting their disastrous plunge into subprime and Alt-A loans. He also pushed for, and got, an increase in the conforming-loan limits to allow Fan and Fred to securitize and guarantee larger mortgages. And he pressured regulators to ease up on their capital requirements -- which now means taxpayers will have to make up that capital shortfall."

Fannie Mae's Patron Saint - WSJ.com

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pcunningham42 View Post
FTH- when you start answering your own threads its pretty clear your into your demonize deflect mode.
Lets get back to the real premise, congress pushed banks and mortgage companies

"And this is exactly what Mr. Frank attempted to prove when the housing market started to go south. He encouraged the companies to guarantee more "affordable" mortgages, thus abetting their disastrous plunge into subprime and Alt-A loans. He also pushed for, and got, an increase in the conforming-loan limits to allow Fan and Fred to securitize and guarantee larger mortgages. And he pressured regulators to ease up on their capital requirements -- which now means taxpayers will have to make up that capital shortfall."

Fannie Mae's Patron Saint - WSJ.com
I see no proof of that. I can post a dozen or so more if you like, or you can just google "Subprime borrower statistical analysis". It will tell you the same story over and over, sub-prime borrowers were targeted by unscrupulous lenders who knew they were selling bad loans to people who have a hard time qualifying for prime loans - I see no evidence of some regulatory scheme driving this market, it was driven by sellers who had a product to sell, who targeted this product to an audience that had the willingness to buy it - low income single women, of all races, for the most part, and those who were refinancing existing mortgages in order to wring out paper gains that would later evaporate. I see no big push by moveon.org to peddle these mortgages, what I do see is a poor attempt by the author to compare the apples of mortgage racial profiling to the oranges of selling a financial product cobbed together to get around the strict rules of obtaining a first-class mortgage, in fact the studies suggest that the subprime mortgages are exactly the type of predatory lending practice the CRA was designed to prevent, a new method to sell garbage to minorities, as one of the studies says, would have qualified for a decent mortgage if the lenders had been ethical. Where exactly does Barney Frank fit into all that? First off, he is a Congressman, an office that can only legislate, and that with the consent of 500 other people. How does "he encouraged" actually work? He had no directive powers, those powers reside with the Secretary of the Treasury. And how did he "push for and get", what exactly was it he got? No reference to a law or regulation, just some generalistic claim.

In the end, you are pushing bullshit, and I am posting facts. In studies back to 2002 the conclusions were that these loans were bound to create big defaults later, not because of some congressman, but because the lenders wanted short term profits by bundling these crap loans together into "mortgage backed securities" and it was they, themselves, that decided to loan these borrowers money anyway on the mistaken assumption that rising property values would continually be writing these borrowers a paper equity check. Any assumption that a risk is a good risk because one assumes a particular value has some guarantee of always being on the rise is a stupid assumption, in and of itself increasing the risk of the investment.

The defaults on the loan, if held by a regular bank, would be handled in an orderly manner like any shit loan that gets covered by the loss reserve, the problem at hand is that these loans became security instruments with a variable market value, so now one did not just take a loss on a loan, one took huge losses on the securities involved. If I hold a bundle of mortgages, and 10% are in default, then it means that the entry of cheap property on the market of repos will drive the values of the other, performing assets in my portfolio down, and that more properties will be in danger of foreclosure as mortgagees become upside down in property value vs loan balance. This devalues the entire bundle, and my own credit comes into risk. The large investment banks that shit the bed died of that, not some right wing fantasy pushed by a shithead yellow-ribbon waving sucker talk show host, you know, the chump who told you Saddam had WMDs. Now he is selling this turd: It's all dem niggers fault! Same shallow, slogan-think.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

Last edited by FeelTheLove; 09-24-2008 at 12:52 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Scheme? I said nothing about a scheme.

This is about self enrichment by House democrats

“I want [Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae] to help with affordable housing, to help low-income families get loans and to help clean up this subprime mess. Otherwise, why should they exist?”

- Rep. Barney Frank, earlier this month.

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