On Thursday (1/17/2013) The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank released the transcripts of its 2007 meetings. [Late 2007 was when the the great housing and mortgage bubble began to suddenly deflate.]If you depend upon the most knowledgeable economic and financial experts to anticipate the economy’s behavior, and / or to give you advice on how you should behave, so as to grow and protect your assets, the two articles below may cause you to doubt the ability of such experts, and to confirm the existence of Black Swans.(1)
Days Before the Housing Bust, Fed Doubted Need to Act By Binyamin Applebaum – pub. New York Times - 1/18/2013, at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/19/business/economy/fed-transcripts-open-a-window-on-2007-crisis.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130119
Records Show Fed Wavering in 2007 By Jon Hilsenrath and Christina Peterson – pub. Wall Street Journal - 1/18/ 2013, at: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887323968304578249664285846402-lMyQjAxMTAzMDEwOTExNDkyWj.html?mod=wsj_valettop_email
Timothy Geithner's flat-footed reaction is even more amazing when you realize that Geithner worked in the Japanese Embassy, as a Treasury Department attaché, at the beginning of Japan's "Lost Decade".Japan's "Lost Decade' was a financial crisis which began with the collapse of the Japanese commercial real estate bubble. The collapse of the Japanese commercial real estate bubble created problems for the Japanese economy which are very similar to the problems U.S. and global economies have been experiencing since 2008.(2)From a January 18, 2013 New York Times article, "Days Before The Bust, Fed Doubted Need to Act" By Benyamin Applebaum (at the time of the Federal Reserve's transcript's creation William Poole, was the Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).“The outcome would have been different only if the Fed and others had reacted back in 2004, 2005, 2006” to curtail subprime mortgage lending, Mr. Poole, now a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, said on Friday in an interview on CNBC.(3)Footnotes:(1) For more on Black Swans see Wikipedia entry, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory(2) For more on Japan’s Lost Decade see Wikipedia entry, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Decade_(Japan)(3) For the full CNBC interview with Mr. Poole go to YouTube and watch, An Interview with former President of the St. Lewis Federal Reserve, William Poole:More:"The Role of the Government Sponsored Enterprises and Federal Housing Policy in the Financial Crisis”, at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/106248756/The-Role-of-the-Government-Sponsored-Enterprises-and-Federal-Housing-Policy-in-the-Financial-CrisisOn YouTube key-words-search, and watch, a January 1998 PBS NewsHour interview with then President Bill Clinton, titled "Bill Clinton: Laying the Foundation for The House of Cards"
November 1, 2011 Michael Bloomberg - The Good Democrat
Speaking at a business breakfast in midtown featuring Bloomberg and two former New York City mayors, Bloomberg was asked what he thought of the Occupy Wall Street protesters."I hear your complaints," Bloomberg said. "Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I'm not saying I'm sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn't have gotten them without that."But they were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody. And now we want to go vilify the banks because it's one target, it's easy to blame them and congress certainly isn't going to blame themselves. At the same time, Congress is trying to pressure banks to loosen their lending standards to make more loans. This is exactly the same speech they criticized them for."Bloomberg went on to say it's "cathartic" and "entertaining" to blame people, but the important thing now is to fix the problem.--------------------------------------------------A Few Questions: Was it only 'Congress' that created and allowed pressures motivating banks to abandon due diligence banking? Or, did pressure from, and policies supported by, the executive branch play an even greater role, than Congress’s role, in the creation of the housing and mortgage bubble - which led to the financial crisis? Who in Congress supported the policies that created the problem? Which players in the executive branch and its bureaucracy enforced and expanded the Community Reinvestment Act and the Affordable Housing Act?
If you are interested in knowing more about what policies might have contributed to the great financial crises, which began in mid-2006, you will be interested in watching the accompanying two videos.
This video is an excerpt from a longer YouTube video in which Godfrey Bloom discusses some of the problems which led to the financial crisis. This excerpt deals primarily with the Community Reinvestment Act and its role in weakening bank lending standards and credit 'due diligence'. If you are interested in watching the complete discussion key words search for "Godfrey Bloom The Big Sub-Prime Gamble" on YouTube.
Also, in the context of the Community Reinvestment Act's role in the financial crisis, you might want to watch, "Bill Clinton: Laying the Foundation for The House of Cards" - which is a video-clip from PBS NewsHour interview conducted shortly after Clinton was elected to his second presidential term (So, at the time of this interview Clinton had four more years to push The Community Reinvestment Act).
(1) A Bibliography The Role of the Government Sponsored Enterprises and Federal Housing Policy in The Financial Crisis, at:
(2) Peter Wallison, Why I dissented from the Majority Report of The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, at:
On November 5th 2012 (the day before the election) President Obama spoke to a group in Columbus, Ohio.After hearing an excerpt from the speech I began to wonder if he actually believes what he said, or if he's just rearranging history to suit his goals. I hope you will watch the video at the following hyperlink to its end. I think I ask some relevant questions in the last minute, or so.Economics professors will tell you that one of the best ways to create jobs, and to stimulate an economy, is support home building. (Think of all the trades, products and services that are required to build and furnish a home.)But, I've never heard of any economics professor who advocated a long-term policy of providing loans to people who couldn't afford to repay the loans (However, I think some of what are called "Keynesian Economists" seem to favor such policies over as a short term prescription for economic stimulus.)I’ve come to believe that many of the policies embraced by President Bill Clinton produced great economic results during (and, for awhile after) his administration. But, as those policies and political pressures went to excess, they eventually led to the housing bubble and the financial crisis.It seems, the financial bubble that burst during the last year of George W. Bush's administration was a long time in the making.Just a thought . . . .
Burdened by Old Mortgages, Banks Are Slow to Lend Now By Nick Timiraos Wall Street Journal, pub. October 3, 2012
From the article:
Part of the problem lies in changes in mortgage processing over the past few decades. Fannie and Freddie rolled out automated-underwriting systems in the mid-1990s that allowed lenders to punch borrower data into computer systems in order to receive faster approvals or denials.The mortgage bust highlighted weaknesses. Fannie and Freddie did few upfront reviews of loans that they purchased; instead, they screened some of those that went bad, forcing banks to buy back any with obvious signs of negligence or fraud.After the meltdown, the mortgage giants began hiring armies of auditors—called "bounty hunters" by bank executives—to conduct detailed reviews of loan files to spot errors that could justify a put-back.deja vu