October 19, 2008
Credit squeeze, credit freeze, credit system seizures: Everybody knows how severe and painful the global financial breakdown has been - with banks unwilling to lend even to other banks. But what about mortgages and real estate? Can you still get a home loan with less than a 20 percent or 30 percent down payment? Or with a credit score below 720? Absolutely. It would be a big stretch to label housing the sunny side of the market at the moment, but there's a lot more light there than in most other financial sectors.
October 8, 2008
The American people spoke last week, and their rulers ignored them. That's nothing new, I know, but the passage of the bill to rescue Wall Street and other corporate interests from being grievously injured by what they themselves created in a frenzy of runaway greed is the most egregious, morally repugnant piece of legislation to be signed into law since - well, since when? I can't think of anything more ghastly in not only what it does but also what it implies about the future of this nation of ours.
September 21, 2008
WASHINGTON - If everything breaks right, the hit to taxpayers from a broadening government rescue of the nation's tottering financial markets could be minimal. But if it doesn't, there's a big bill waiting for us all. "These measures will require us to put a significant amount of taxpayer dollars on the line," President Bush acknowledged yesterday as his administration continued to work on a multipronged plan to restore confidence in financial markets. "But I'm convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative."
September 19, 2008
30-year mortgages lowest since February WASHINGTON : Rates on 30-year mortgages dropped sharply again this week, falling to the lowest level in seven months, as rates continue to decline after the government's takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac reported yesterday that its nationwide survey found 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages declined to 5.78 percent this week, down from 5.93 percent last week. It was the fifth consecutive weekly decline and pushed the 30-year mortgage to the lowest level since it stood at 5.72 percent the week of Feb. 14. The decreases have accelerated over the past two weeks since the government announced on Sept.
September 16, 2008
'Significant' charge at Glen Burnie Bancorp Glen Burnie Bancorp, parent company of the Bank of Glen Burnie, reported yesterday that it would record a "significant" charge against earnings during the third quarter because of losses from investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to a regulatory filing. The company said it held preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were AAA-rated at the time of purchase but sank in value from $3 million at the end of June to $163,000 after the federal government took control of the nation's two largest mortgage finance companies last week.
September 10, 2008
Privatization proves taxing for taxpayers The collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is an example of a short-term solution resulting in a long-term failure, and of the victory of ideology over reasoned analysis ("U.S. takes over mortgage giants," Sept. 8). Fannie Mae, formerly a governmental agency, was sold to private investors in 1968. Freddie Mac was privatized in 1989, and both privatizations were rooted in the ideology that private enterprise always does a more efficient and effective job than the federal government, and that less governmental regulation always is better than more regulation.