Syndicated from iVoteAmerica
Well, by George, he’s given new meaning to “compassionate conservative” by federalizing the banking and capital systems on his way out of office!
Don’t let the swinging door slap you backside on your way back to Crawford, Mr. President.
According to the Bush Banking proposal, nine major banks have accepted the notion of partial government partnership. These banks are: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Wells Fargo.
Watch this video:
George Bush is implementing the G7′s recommendations for government partnership with American banks. In other words, free money from American taxpayers to shore up the international economy.
Is this the new federal socialization of our economy? Bush said, “The government’s roll will be limited and temporary…” Can anyone name a federal program which, after implemented, remained limited or was temporary?
For the full story, visit this morning’s (Tuesday, October 14, 2008) article by Washington Post Staff Writers Howard Schneider, David Cho and Neil Irwin, entitled “Bush Defends Government Bank Investment.”
URGENT INDUSTRY MESSAGE
REALonomics continues to take a position that the natural market cycles should dictate the recovery and that government sponsored bail out attempts will create additional long term issues and actually stall a real recovery.
Although many in the industry favor federal intervention we are hard pressed to find anyone setting forth specific rationale for doing so. We hear a lot of emotion but not much sound economic reasoning based upon our industry’s historical commitment to traditional capitalism as the driving force behind real estate home ownership.
Wachovia was snatched up by CitiGroup just days ago. According to the FDIC’s website, there have been 40 bank failures since 2000 and NONE of them…yes, that’s right…none of them was bailed out by taxpayers. At iVoteAmerica.com there are predictions of more bank mergers over the next several business days.
Failing banks will continue to be absorbed just as ALL of them have been absorbed to date. After all, the best investment good banks can make today is to purchase assets of failing banks for pennies on the dollar and delivering huge internal rates of return to themselves. Therefore, patience is called for and we ought not to allow ourselves to be influenced by knee-jerk politicians from either party. Forget the election for a moment! Forget your favorite party preference for a moment!
Yesterday, September 29, 2008, the stock market lost more than $1 trillion in value. REALonomics predicts that investors will surface, shifting their investment strategies to more conservative, traditional positions.
NAR is Wrong on Rescue Package
Furthermore, REALonomics believes that the endorsement of the bailout by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is a dead wrong endorsement and a clear indicator of NAR’s desperation with the housing market and its departure from the traditional approach to real property investment where true equity was a necessity to home ownership.
Our core value has always been home ownership as the primary investment for individuals and families. Behind this core value we have heretofore (prior to subprime lending) advised our clients to utilize conservative strategies when purchasing a home, including establishing and NEVER compromising their equity position. Have we decided as an industry that this is bad advice and adopted a dangerous borrow-to-the-hilt value system?
Some of you will remember the days when we encouraged homeowners to build “true” lasting equity that they could rely on when it came time to retire. The home was a person’s primary savings and investment account. I have a question for the RE industry; “Have we decided to depart from this core value position?”
Danger, Danger and More Danger to Owners
What about real estate company owners, our favorite topic? If the bailout occurs with a massive amount of taxpayer dollars used to rescue the so called “toxic mortgages” most real estate company owners will be effectively out of business within a short time as home values will likely plummet to pre 2001 levels. The toxic loans will be discounted to unprecedented levels, impacting literally every property value in metro markets.
If a rescue occurs, all property values in the United States will immediately decline. In fact, the financial institutions are already cutting HELOCs and credit card amounts in a desperate attempt to ratchet the market downward.
If the rescue occurs as currently outline by the Senate and voted down by the House, the ability for the average American buyer to access available real estate investment capital will diminish the market by perhaps another 50%. Although REALonomics is not attempting to inject hysteria into an already highly charged situation, we believe it is important that Realtors® have a clear understanding of the potential long term risks of a bailout by taxpayers.
Just Plain Old Bad Business and Bad Policy
The rescue of bad loans is simply bad real estate business and bad real estate business is bad for the real estate industry and bad for real estate company owners.
Let the market fix itself. The market will repair itself and the results will be less painful than allowing the bailout to prevail. The fact is…actually, the truth is, we are going to be harmed. The only question is how much pain are we going to allow to be inflicted upon the industry?
If we do not allow the market to heal itself and we adopt a taxpayer bailout mentality we will be adopting a fundamental shift in the historical values espoused by the real estate industry and to a large degree we will have socialized real estate, diminishing the value of all Realtors® and the industry itself. Such a shift in policy will create a huge potential for government oversight of the real estate industry and create transaction liabilities for broker/owners, franchisors and let’s not forget appraisers and mortgage lenders.
We encourage you to think deeply upon these things.
We now own what we cannot control. We are witnessing the Federalizaiton of the Financial Systems of America. Backed by a fickle Congress and flanked by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, contrary to their former political beliefs that government should stay out of the private sectors of the economy, took measures today to endorse the Federalization of our money systems.
Q1 - What does this mean to the real estate industry?
Clearly we are entering spooky waters wherein we dared never enter before. REALonomics believes the move by the government will paralyze the industry making home buying and selling incredibly difficult, if not impossible, in some already paralyzed markets. Home and commercial property values will assuredly decline even more, reducing the networth of the industry and its investor and home owner base.
Q2 - What does this mean to the mortgage industry?
Expect huge consolidations greater than the Bank of America’s absorbtion of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. With this consolidation of the financial titans, mega titans will be created and essentially be required to submit to a new set of tightly regulated lending rules. It will be harder and harder to borrow and lend. This will create a over-regulation of the market and further drag on mortgage recovery.
Q3 - What does this mean to Americans?
Each of the more than 300 million people in America, including those born yesterday, will end up with at least a $100,000 debt hanging over their heads. This is the representative figure that is the accumulation of the current escalation of the national deficit and the new estimated $2 trillion dollar bailout of the financial markets.
The government bailout of the private sector of the market means that each of us was just handed a tax bill or, we might call it a “cash call” because we are collectively the new owners of the private problems of borrows and lenders.
Ron Paul (R, TX) was correct when he told Ben Bernanke, in essence, “you are going to bankrupt the American people with your money policies.”
The average American family is essentially, on paper, wiped out by this move and the impact on the real estate and mortgage industries was just extended to perhap a decade or even more.
Q4 - What does this mean in terms of the election?
This is the easy question and the answer is more finger pointing, more investigations, excessive government snooping (there needs to be some), lots of drama on the political stump and a great deal of harm to John McCain, who is already having difficulty coming out from the shadow of Bush’s foreign and domestic policies.
But it also means trouble for Barack Obama. He can forget about his national health care program for all Americans, he can forget about taxing anyone, much less those earning incomes above $250k and he can kiss his “no-new-energy-if-it-means-drilling-coal fired plants-and-nuclear-power” policy good by.
In essence the damage done to both candidacies is substantial and the next 45 days are going to be like the wild-wild-west as we run up to election time. To vote in the Presidential poll, visit www.iVoteAmerica.com.
The most remarkable thing about today’s move to “take-over” is that it represents a profoundly fundamental shift in our capital market value system and establishes a whole new mechanism for creating a way to further tax the American people. Make no mistake about it, you just got taxed and to pay the tax bill you were forced to financed the payments over time. There was paperwork, no disclosure and no recource for any of us. All of this is taking place right before our eyes without much of a whimper or a voice of protest.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has outlined the Bush blueprint that proposes revamping the regulation of the nations financial oversight. Is this plan beneficial to the real estate, mortgage and title industries? Furthermore, how will this impact Wall Street, if at all?
Is this, as Paulson claims, good for “working Americans?” See our previous REALonomics post.
Watch the Paulson video here.
Back track mentally to 2004 and the market boom.
Meet Vernon and Mary Ummel (ages 71 and 60, respectively), San Francisco area residents.
Enter Mike Little, agent with ReMax Associates in Carlsbad, California, the destination market for the Ummels and their relocation plans. Toss in Geoff Mountain, a co-owner and Broker of the firm.
Fast forward to purchase contract executed by the Ummels in the amount of: $1.2 million.
Add a twistÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Mr. Little also managed the mortgage piece for the Ummels.
Factor thisÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the seller was a real estate agent.
Throw this into the soup: The Ummels claim no comparables were shown to them prior to contract and that better values were available at the time they purchased and the appraisal amount was not disclosed in writing prior to close.
There’s more. The Ummels have already settled part of their suit with the mortgage company and the appraiser. Translation: Errors and Omissions insurance paid off the Ummels..
The claim by the Ummels is that they were duped, so to speak, into buying a home that was not the best bargain in the neighborhood, since others, they claim, were being sold for close to $175k less. The agent didn’t exercise fiduciary, so they claim.
On Monday, the lawsuit lands in Superior Court.
Imagine a jury of peers judging this oneÃ¢â‚¬Â¦most of whom will own properties in California that are probably not worth what they once were. Ouch!
All the earmarks are here. Agency, disclosure, price opinions, ABAs, RESPA and more.
Is the class action blame-game lawsuit trend about to evolve, complete with vulnerable adult statutes in play and treble damages? Lawyers are no doubt salivating and Errors and Omissions companies shaking in their boots.
According to other news outlets, Mike Little calls Ms. Ummel a Ã¢â‚¬Å“nut job.Ã¢â‚¬Â Hmmm…not nice. Mike, here’s some advice from REALonomics; if you did say that, shut up.
This puppy could go either way, not because of the validity of the suit but because the consumer (remember them?) (a) loathes the industry; (b) wants to blame the industry for the decline in values; and (c) jurors may be sympathetic for self-serving reasons (their own property values).
Our opinion: The suit, if properly contested with adequate counsel, will fail and we hope the brokerage firm does not settle, which could open a pandora’s box to E&O claims.
Keep an eye on this.