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    11/26/2014 - 09:14
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Subprime Mortgages

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Mortgage Standards Are Plunging – It’s Muppet Fleecing Time All Over Again





In February, we highlighted the fact that subprime loans were about to make a returnSubprime Mortgages are Back…This Time Marketed as “Second Chance Purchase Programs.” In that article, we posited that with the “all cash” private equity shops and hedge funds no longer able to make good returns through buying new homes to rent, these investors would need some sucker to sell to in order to realize a return (Blackstone’s purchases have plunged 70% recently). That sucker, as always, will be the retail muppets, and those muppets will be lured in through subprime. This is now starting to happen in earnest. "We're sorry, but on what sort of bizarro crackhead planet is putting 3% down toward an asset mean you are “buying it.” ... The Truman Show rolls on..."

 

 
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The Crisis Circle Is Complete: Wells Fargo Returns To Subprime





Those of our readers focused on the state of the housing market will undoubtedly remember this chart we compiled using the data from the largest mortgage originator in the US, Wells Fargo. In case there is some confusion, as a result of rising interet rates (meaning the Fed is stuck in its attempts to push rates higher), the inability of the US consumer to purchase houses at artificially investor-inflated levels (meaning housing is now merely a hot potato flipfest between institutional investors A and B), and the end of the fourth dead-cat bounce in housing (meaning, well, self-explanatory), the bank's primary business line - offering mortgages - is cratering. So what is a bank with a limited target audience for its primary product to do? Why expand the audience of course. And in a move that is very much overdue considering all the other deranged aspects of the centrally-planned New Normal, in which all the mistakes of the last credit bubble are being repeated one after another, Reuters now reports that the California bank "is tiptoeing back into subprime home loans again."

 
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Greenspan Warned Of Housing Bubble... In His PhD Dissertation





Most are aware of Alan Greenspan’s 1966 essay - written when he was an acolyte of Ayn Rand - in which he sang the praises of the gold standard. Obviously, that early work would later prove awkward for Greenspan, as he held the reins of the fiat money engine known as the Federal Reserve. However, a reporter for Barron's unearthed a copy of Greenspan’s NYU doctoral dissertation, which he took great pains to bury, showing that when his professional ambition wasn’t involved, Greenspan could understand perfectly well  (a) the virtues of a commodity money and (b) the dangers of a housing bubble. If the Austrians are right in laying the blame for the housing bubble on Greenspan’s loose monetary policy following the dot-com crash, then Greenspan can’t plead ignorance: He knew what he was doing.

 
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Why Has Nobody Gone To Jail For The Financial Crisis? Judge Rakoff Says: "Blame The Government"





Five years have passed since the onset of what is sometimes called the Great Recession. While the economy has slowly improved, there are still millions of Americans  leading lives of quiet desperation: without jobs, without resources, without hope. Who was to blame?

"The government, writ large, had a hand in creating the conditions that encouraged the approval of dubious mortgages. It was the government, in the form of Congress, that repealed Glass-Steagall, thus allowing certain banks that had previously viewed mortgages as a source of interest income to become instead deeply involved in securitizing pools of mortgages in order to obtain the much greater profits available from trading. It was the government, in the form of both the executive and the legislature, that encouraged deregulation..."

- Judge Jed Rakoff

 
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Guest Post: The Subprime Final Solution





The MSM did their usual spin job on the consumer credit data released earlier this week. They reported a 5.4% increase in consumer debt outstanding to an all-time high of $3.051 trillion. In the Orwellian doublethink world we currently inhabit, the consumer taking on more debt is seen as a constructive sign. The storyline being sold by the corporate MSM propaganda machine, serving the establishment, is that consumers’ taking on debt is a sure sign of economic recovery. They must be confident about the future and rolling in dough from their new part-time jobs as Pizza Hut delivery men. Plus, they are now eligible for free healthcare, compliments of Obama, once they can log-on. Of course, buried at the bottom of the Federal Reserve press release and never mentioned on CNBC or the other dying legacy media outlets is the facts and details behind the all-time high in consumer credit. They count on the high probability the average math challenged American has no clue regarding the distinction between revolving and non-revolving credit or who controls the distribution of such credit. A shocking fact (to historically challenged government educated drones) revealed by the Federal Reserve data is that credit card debt did not exist prior to 1968. How could people live their lives without credit cards? 1968 marked a turning point for America...

 
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A Tale Of Two Subprimes: Homes And Autos





Whether we want to admit it or not, we find ourselves in pre-revolutionary times at the moment. This doesn’t mean we predict violent upheavals everywhere followed by chaos and bloodshed, it means that the current paradigm is no longer sustainable because it is not longer working. More and more people now recognize this. In case you needed anymore insight into the complete and total insanity of the “elite” Central Planners driving the U.S. economy off a cliff, we have decided to highlight a couple of articles explaining the rapid reflation of two important subprime markets: Homes and Autos. Clearly the only lesson learned from the 2008 crisis was that connected oligarchs can steal all they want with total impunity. There’s only one way this ends. With a complete and total collapse and then a massive paradigm shift. We're quite hopeful our next system can be far better than this one.

 
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Frontrunning: September 5





  • BOE Leaves Policy Unchanged as Carney’s Guidance Assessed (BBG)
  • Surprise or not, U.S. strikes can still hurt Assad (Reuters)
  • Samsung Gear: A Smartwatch in Search of a Purpose (BusinessWeek)
  • 'Jumbo' Mortgage Rates Fall Below Traditional Ones  (WSJ)
  • Capital Unease Again Bites Deutsche Bank  (WSJ)
  • Technical snafus confuse charges for Obamacare plans (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan subject of obstruction probe in energy case (Reuters)
  • U.S. Car Sales Soar to Pre-Slump Level (WSJ) - i.e., to just when the market crashed
  • BoJ lifts assessment of Japan’s economic health (FT)
  • Dead Dog in Reservoir Helps Drive Venezuelans to Bottled Water (BBG)
  • Russia Boosts Mediterranean Force as U.S. Mulls Syria Strike (BBG)
 
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Guest Post: Trying To Stay Sane In An Insane World - Part 2





This insane world was created through decades of bad decisions, believing in false prophets, choosing current consumption over sustainable long-term savings based growth, electing corruptible men who promised voters entitlements that were mathematically impossible to deliver, the disintegration of a sense of civic and community obligation and a gradual degradation of the national intelligence and character. There is a common denominator in all the bubbles created over the last century – Wall Street bankers and their puppets at the Federal Reserve. Fractional reserve banking, control of a fiat currency by a privately owned central bank, and an economy dependent upon ever increasing levels of debt are nothing more than ingredients of a Ponzi scheme that will ultimately implode and destroy the worldwide financial system. Since 1913 we have been enduring the largest fraud and embezzlement scheme in world history, but the law of diminishing returns is revealing the plot and illuminating the culprits. Bernanke and his cronies have proven themselves to be highly educated one trick pony protectors of the status quo. Bernanke will eventually roll craps. When he does, the collapse will be epic and 2008 will seem like a walk in the park.

 
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Guest Post: 10 Reasons Why Obamacare Is Going To Ruin Your Medical Care... And Your Life





The bottom line is that Americans are losing more and more of their medical freedom.  By 2015, so many workers will be trapped in the government-run health insurance exchanges that there will be no going back to the private plans we have today. At this rate, single-payer proponents will drive private insurance companies out of business, which has been their intention all along. Obamacare is a hodgepodge of new regulations, requirements, and penalties. Here are the ten most important points that doctors should tell their patients.

 
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Frontrunning: June 3





  • BIS lays out "simple" plan for how to handle bank failures (Reuters) - Are we still holding our breath on Basel III?
  • Deficit Deal Even Less Likely - Improving U.S. Fiscal Health Eases Pressure for a 'Grand Bargain' Amid Gridlock (WSJ)
  • IRS Faulted on Conference Spending (WSJ)
  • Deadly MERS-CoV virus spreads to Italy (CNN)
  • Turkish PM Erdogan calls for calm after days of protests (Reuters)
  • Financial system ‘waiting for next crisis’ (FT)
  • Russia to send nuclear submarines to southern seas (Reuters)
  • China Nuclear Stockpile Grows as India Matches Pakistan Rise (BBG)
 
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The Gods Of The Marketplace





Investors borrowed $384.4 billion in April, a 1.3% gain from the previous month and a 29% rise from the same month last year. This is an all-time record for margin debt and it exceeds the previous high mark set in June 2007. Some may see this as an increased sign of investor confidence but we are not among them. To me this is a giant red warning flag blowing in the financial breeze indicating the leveraging of dumb money making very risky bets. We are once again in the crack house of substance abuse! In each age the gods of the marketplace show up once more. The packaging may be different but the powder is the same. Each dealer uses the same line, "Nothing addictive here."

 
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Ben Bernanke Speaks - Live Webcast





The Chairman is about to take the lectern to discuss bank structure and competition at the SIFI conference at the Chicago Fed. His prepared remarks are likely to be a little less exciting than the Q&A where the world will be watching for the words "buy, buy, buy", "mission accomplished", or "taper". Charles Evans will be his lead out man. Finally, since Bernanke will be discussing shadow banking, or the source of some $30 trillion in shadow money always ignored by Keynesians, Monetarists and Magic Money Tree (MMT) growers, a topic we have discussed over the past three years, here is the TBAC's own summary on how Modern Money really works.

 
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