January 30, 2010
Here's a sampling of reader responses to President Obama's State of the Union address. Join the conversation at baltimore sun.com/secondopinion. As far back as 2003 Republicans insisted on MORE regulations on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Democrats opposed it and did not let it happen. The most vocal opponent was Rep. Barney Frank. You can see it all on Youtube. The housing bubble and toxic mortgage securities were only made possible by GOVERNMENT intervention - forcing the banks to give the mortgages to the people who could not afford them - and by the irresponsible Alan Greenspan and his followers' monetary policies flooding the market with cheap money.
December 27, 2009
WASHINGTON - - After hitting an all-time low in early December, the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.05 percent last week and could climb to 6 percent by the end of 2010, if not sooner, according to giant mortgage financier Freddie Mac. The results are noteworthy because rates have not topped 5 percent since the last week of October, when they reached 5.03 percent, based on the results of this closely watched survey, which...
December 25, 2009
Christmas comes but once a year, and the reflections of 2009 have not been pretty for many of us. Like Ebenezer Scrooge, it has been easy to be self-absorbed in our daily survival as our world swirls around us. Like Bob Cratchit, we are equally concerned about keeping our positions as we are about our families' future if those positions are lost. Scrooge's business was lending money to others by taking ownership of their desires, even though many of his clients could not afford Scrooge's financial entanglements, a case not far removed from the folly of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's spending binge that put us all in debt for decades to come.
May 13, 2009
Va. company buys Foundation Coal In a merger that would create the country's third-largest coal producer, Foundation Coal Holdings Inc. of Linthicum Heights said yesterday that it intends to combine with a Virginia competitor in a $2 billion deal. The merger of Foundation and Alpha Natural Resources Inc., based in Abingdon, Va., would create a new company that operates a combined 59 coal mines and 14 processing plants, and is worth more than $3.5 billion, company officials said. The merger is an all-stock transaction valued at about $2 billion, with the new company assuming roughly $530 million in debt from Foundation.
April 23, 2009
The headlines have had a similar ring: A Frederick County man underwater on his mortgage kills himself and his family. A man accused of financial improprieties does the same while staying at a Towson hotel. A top official with Freddie Mac, a company with major money woes, is found dead in an apparent suicide. With the economic crisis showing little sign of easing - and with a known link between suicide and unemployment rates - experts warn that stressful life events such as losing a job, a home or savings can unhinge those who are vulnerable to harming themselves and others.
April 3, 2009
U.S. mortgage rates again at record low WASHINGTON: Rates on 30-year mortgages fell to the lowest level on record for the second consecutive week after the Federal Reserve launched a new effort to assist the staggering U.S. housing market. Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that average rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 4.78 percent this week, from 4.85 percent last week. It was the lowest in the history of Freddie Mac's survey, which dates back to 1971. Rates are down by more than a full percentage point from a year ago. "Mortgage rates followed other interest rates lower this week amid reports of slower economic growth," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a prepared statement.
March 1, 2009
Though the final operational guidelines of the Obama administration's foreclosure-avoidance programs won't be released until Wednesday, key details have begun surfacing on the refinancing opportunities that will be available to an estimated 4 million to 5 million homeowners whose mortgages are owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Under the Obama plan, borrowers who have made their monthly payments on time but are saddled with interest rates...