Category Archives: Monetary Policy

Tea Party Darling Paul Ryan – typical politican

Proving once again the old adage: government creates the problem, then volunteers to solve it for you, at a cost of course. The tea party’s latest darling, Paul Ryan – WI, R, takes a swing and a miss on political consistency and the budget.

While better late than never in trying to reduce the size and scope of the budget as well as the deficit, let’s not forget that it was Paul Ryan who was part of the problem in growing government and the deficit.  Ryan has supported the 2003 Medicare expansion, the No Child Left Behind Act, TARP, the GM & Chrysler bailouts, and ethanol subsidies.  But, hey, NOW it’s a problem, and he’s gonna fix it for you.

Why Is There a U.S. Mint Coin Shortage?

Ron Paul wants to know! And so should you.

Daniela Cambone over at Kitco News explains:

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has one question for the U.S. Mint: why is there a coin shortage?

He is aiming to get to the bottom of this during a scheduled April 7 hearing of his U.S. House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy to examine the bullion programs at the U.S. Mint.

“We are going to try and find out what the Mint has done so they can give us a better answer as to why there is a shortage. Why can’t they keep the supply of coins up?” said the congressman in an exclusive interview with Kitco News.

Demand for precious metals in the futures markets and in physical gold bullion coins increases as the dollar weakens, which often leads to coin shortages.

Part of the problem lies in manufacturing the blanks, said Paul. The blank planchets are not made at the Mint, which hasn’t had the production capacity for this stage of the minting process since the budget cuts of 1981.

READ THE REST……….

The foreclosure mess isn’t going away (it’s only going to get worse)

Zachary Roth over at The Lookout, a Yahoo News blog does a great job of summarizing why the foreclosure mess isn’t going away, in fact, I say it will only get worse.  Roth explains how the banks played fast and loose, if not outright violated the law, in foreclosing  on  homes.

And I particularly like sending a SWAT team to evict a little old lady.  What jackass judge signed off on that!  Just remember that the next time someone says that the actions of cops are reviewed and signed off by judges.

We’ve told you before about how big banks cut corners on paperwork over the last few years in order to speed struggling homeowners into foreclosure. And a “60 Minutes” report that aired last night offers fresh anecdotal reporting on just how irresponsible–and potentially fraudulent–the banks’ practices were. Meanwhile, compelling video of a grandmother being evicted from her home by a SWAT team last week suggests the banks aren’t slowing down their rush to foreclosure and eviction.

Banks profit by processing a vast number of homes into foreclosure as quickly as possible. But as “60 Minutes” details, many of the mortgages at issue were bundled and sold from one Wall Street investor to another during the housing boom, with scant attention paid among financial players to the actual underlying ownership documents. And as the foreclosures unwind in a slew of court proceedings nationwide, many banks have produced dubiously rendered legal documents that seek to shore up the ownership paperwork long after the original mortgage transactions were on the books. In some cases, financial institutions paid contract companies who employed an army of “robo-signers”—office workers who forged signatures on mortgage documents that were then used to initiate foreclosures.

READ THE REST………

And be sure to click through and watch the 60 Minuets piece. Oh, the bank VICE-PRESIDENTS in question, actually paid $10 an hour. Then again that’s probably all the real bank presidents are worth.

However, Roth does get thing wrong, and unfortuneatley it’s not minor!

All 50 state attorneys general are currently conducting an investigation into the foreclosure mess–including cases that involve forged documents like these. And Shelia Bair, head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, told CBS she thinks the banks should have to pay billions to set up a compensation fund for those who are being forced to accept foreclosure without proper documentation.

But if you thought all this might have chilled the banks’ zeal to push struggling borrowers from their homes, think again.

The 50 AGs are NOT looking out for you and I, they are trying to find a way to paper over and legitimize the actions of the bank.  More on that here.

The 27-page fluff-piece is now out where we can see it….

Let’s be blunt: There’s no “there” there.

The entire document is a rehash of what servicers had a legal mandate to do right up front.  Accurately apply payments.  Respond to inquiries.  Operate in good faith.  Use a NPV test for HAMP (was in the HAMP program originally.)  Document the assignment chain before foreclosing.

There’s exactly one substantive change, in that HAMP did not prohibit “dual-track” (that is, foreclosure while attempting modification.)

Essentially every other item in this 27 pages is something that Servicers already had a legal duty to do, either as a fiduciary to the investor or just through the ordinary covenant of operating in good faith (You know, the original standards that all businesses are held to that aren’t actually racketeering outfits and gangsters?  Yes, that.)

There’s no prosecution for all the bad affidavits, despite them being apparent acts of perjury.

READ THE REST………..

Halloween Horror: Night of the Living Fed! by Fund Manager Jeremy Grantham

http://www.cnbc.com/id/39868154

Fund manager Jeremy Grantham, long a Federal Reserve critic, issued a blistering attack on Fed policies Wednesday, likening its strategy of low interest rates and monetary easing to a Halloween horror movie that is dangerous and destabilizing to the economy.

Night of the Living Fed by Jeremy Grantham

“In almost every respect, adhering to a policy of low rates, employing quantitative easing, deliberately stimulating asset prices, ignoring the consequences of bubbles breaking, and displaying a complete refusal to learn from experience has left Fed policy as a large net negative to the production of a healthy, stable economy with strong employment,” Grantham, chief  investment officer of GMO, an investment management firm in Boston said.

Grantham’s quarterly note to clients came with a mock horror movie image titled, “Night of the Living Fed: Something Unbelievably Terrifying.” Click here to read the rest of the article.