Totally off topic today.
Dear Alan Greenspan:
You are an asshole. You kept interest rates WAY TOO LOW for WAY TOO LONG, in an effort to keep the housing market going. You manipulated an entire industry to prop up the rest of the U.S. Economy. Thanks a lot. Many people who had NO BUSINESS buying houses are now in homes that they can’t afford. People are filing bankruptcy, consumer debt is at an all time high, the foreclosures are starting, and you’ve retired. Nice job.
Guess what? Where you created “opportunity” you also created leeches. Investors flooded this market and basically ruined it. Never mind that they bought tons of homes that they planned to flip, but they skewed all the marketing data with their demographics, and threw a monkey wrench into the entire system. The housing industry couldn’t keep up with this demand – the abnormally low rates robbed demand from what could have been a steady future. All the homebuilders packed in the bodies, and everyone worked like dogs.
Now guess what? While you’re enjoying your retirement, every single public national homebuilder is freaking out. They are getting contract cancellations left and right. They are refunding deposits based on technicalities and threats of lawsuits. They are whispering about layoffs. And the people on the outside don’t know this, but a large portion of those in the homebuilding industry are about to hit the pavement looking for jobs. Thank you so much, for you’ve done wonders for our economy. Lower rates so that the rich can get richer, put the housing price out of the average man’s reach and all the rich left the market. Now the rest of the average men, working in homebuilding are about to be out of jobs.
I sincerely hope you are enjoying your retirement. I hope that while you are sipping your Pina Colada, you don’t choke on a pineapple or a cocktail umbrella. Because that would be a shame.
Shit! That’s where I work! (Thank goodness for that degree I’m working towards.)
Greenspan was an administration hack crony that sold America down river. How about this bullshit he spun on 2/23/04: “American consumers might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage. To the degree that households are driven by fears of payment shocks but are willing to manage their own interest rate risks, the traditional fixed-rate mortgage may be an expensive method of financing a home.” Trying to con people into getting an adjustable rate mortgage, when interest rates were inevitably going to hike (and soon). F’in bastard.
Read: The Cunning Realist
And my entire family is in realestate. Well, I’m glad I did something sensible and got a degree in Theatre. Make that two degrees in Theatre.
Wow, this sounds like one of my random anarcho-capitalist libertarian rants about returning to the gold standard and destroying the Federal Reserve Bank. Are you sure we’re not related?
It’s not his fault. He was just a well paid puppet of the World Bank and IMF. This is bigger than our country. We need to follow the money and look behind the man and see who’s back there.
Just take a look at our new Secretary of the Treasury. Would you drop a multi-million dollar a year job for 100k?
Money rules the world and whoever controls the money-those people are not in the limelight; they pay flunkies to do their dirty work. They do not care about the common man in any country. That just means more money for them.
Alan Greenspan didn’t make a move without being told exactly what to do by someone else.
Anyway, I’m with you, I would never get an adjustable rate mortgage. By the way, do your next post on Reverse Mortgages.
Scarlet – it’s a great industry if it’s relatively steady. I do love it so much.
Siryn – Yes, “creative financing.” What a joke. The interest only and adjustable mortgages are the way of convincing everyone that they too can own a home. And it’s not true. Take your income, multiply it by 3 and that’s the house you can afford. No more. If your credit is above 750, you can multiply your income by 3.5, but I’d leave a cushion. By that standard, none of us can afford homes in D.C. and N.Y.
Playful – Damn I love you. You are too cute.
Ninja – That’s me baby! Economically conservative and socially liberal. I think they call me a Libertarian too!
Old Lady – I like you. Welcome to this blog. 99% of the time I’ll be bitching about some guy I dated, but every so often I get pissed enough to change the format up a bit. Reverse Mortgages: The gem promised to millions of elderly to snap up their home at less than market value, pay them monthly and kick them out when it’s over! Who thought of this asinine concept? Oh yeah….a bank.
Sounds like you`re channeling me.
If we went back to a gold standard now, we’d be up shit creek. Wait until our trade deficit is gone… which at this rate will be 2 days after never. F’in Bush.
Siryn, everyone that has a vested interest in maintaining inflationary policies (i.e. government hacks) are the ones who perpetuate the myth that returning to the gold standard would harm us.
It’s not as if we would be diverting productive resources to gold mining by returning to the gold standard. That gold is being mined whether it’s linked to currency or not, so there is no resource saving that comes from having fiat money.
I never wanted to buy a house because I thought I was going to grow up to be Mary Tyler Moore, living in an aparment building in a city.
DH talked me into it… sometimes it’s good, other times – when I look at how long I have to pay this damn mortgage – it’s bad.
I’m actually not directly involved, so it’s ok. We’re seeing more of a problem from material increases because of allocating. (Ha, that’s more work talk than I even do at work!)
My perception about returning to the gold standard is based on time – would we have enough dollars to buy enough gold to meet our trade obligations? I don’t think so, especially since the dollar has deflated so much, and we have nasty nasty deficits that are only getting nastier. I think that until our fortunes change, we will be stuck. At least until after the coming depression.
AUA – I do love channeling some AUA-style-hate. It’s fun!
Siryn and Ninja – Oh my. You kids are like, smart and stuff.
Mel – Please say you got a 30 year fixed. Or any fixed. Just not adjustable.
Scarlet – it all trickles down. Now when I try to buy land, the freaking seller is in my pocket, estimating what I can develop and sell for, and backing into his sales number. This is not how it should work. If I’m holding the property, then I get to benefit from the risk. Don’t back me into a specific profit that you determine I should have, damn. This is why my relations with hot broker will get tricky, because this is the stuff we have to negotiate.
No matter what idiots tell you (“you can afford this, especially with our reverse mortgage product”), you always have to know the bottom line. If you can’t afford it, and pay off what you owe, don’t buy it. I blame the idiots who were convinced that their $60,000 combined incomes could buy them $800,000 starter mansions (and let’s not get into the math; cause if you can’t figure out the math for yourselves, you have no business signing contracts for debts of $800,000). Now look at whatchu done? — you gone and given some rich guy a huge mansion at fire-sale auction prices. Who’s the sucka now?
I guess that explains why the builder I used to work for is now offering to cover buyers mortgage and condo payments for the first three months. So glad I traded condos for federal projects.
Wow, this post and comments make me feel like a ditzy renter with an arts management degree! But I’m thinking that’s okay. Between this and Ninja’s rants, and my parents’ ongoing warnings to not listen to marketing and build up my own cash reserve now rather than buy a place and become house-poor, I think I just may rent forever. Until I win the lottery. But I guess I have to play first.
glad i didn’t move to an arm as every mortgage guy I dated (aholes) tried to convince me to do…with them, of course.
This makes me glad we bought our $80,000 home in suburbia in 1977 before all this craziness started. We just keep getting sucked into refinancing repeatedly so, guess what, we still don’t own it free and clear!
Elvis!!! You’re Baaaaack! I’ve missed you!
Kiki – is this the Kiki I know and love? the Kiki who I’ve lost a bit of touch with but who I must lunch with???
Stef – Nope. I disagree – you are better off renting. You have been better off renting for the better part of 5 years now. Don’t feel bad. Pay as you go. You’re much better off I think, than having made an error in real estate that results in bankruptcy or foreclosure.
ChicGirl – an ARM. HA! I don’t even know what to say. I’m glad you didn’t do it either.
Barbara – I’d be willing to bet that you don’t have a loan anywhere near the market rate of what you could sell your house for. I’m also sure you’re fine, having stayed in the same house, not trading up to the McMansion, and getting into big trouble! A little mortgage is good. Interest is deductible!
That’s it, blame the government instead of making individuals take responsibilty for their own decisions.
I’m no ecomomist, but I KNEW that rates could not stay that low indefinitely. So I planned accordingly.
You crazy Americans love to buy things you cannot afford. Wait, I’m one of those crazy Americans.
Um, I ain’t no spleller either. I meant “economist” of course. It sure is good to have Velvet back, even if she is posting about politics. Hah, those DC people and their politics!
Wow! I was right you were a great student! Just came back from a family trip to Florida (Sarasota area) and the housing market there has completely imploded. No buyers at the insane prices and sellers who are being counseled “don’t cut your price yet, this is just a temporary pause.” Guess what? Such sellers are going to be following prices all the way down by the time they cut their prices 20%, prices will be down 30% and so on. Check out “How to Buy a $450,000 home for only $750,000 at http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmay06/RE-ad.html and check out Mish’s blog at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com He frequently has great real estate information.
Ok, see – you KNOW I panic when you start talking about layoffs and hitting the damn pavement while talking about OUR industry!!!! Might as well thank the Donnie Ray gang for my insecurities while we’re toasting to the honorable!