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More chum for the real-estate sharks

By Michael J. Smith on Friday February 13, 2009 08:24 PM

From Reuters:

Obama to unveil foreclosure plan, big lenders wait

U.S. President Barack Obama will unveil a plan to stem home foreclosures on Wednesday, a spokesman said, and major U.S. lenders said they had stopped foreclosing until details of the program have been firmed up....

Bank chief executives said at a Congressional hearing earlier this week that they would agree to temporarily halt foreclosures until the White House can unveil a program to help mortgage borrowers....

Those bankers -- hearts of gold, right? They just want what's best for all of us. And in the meantime, of course, if Uncle gives their debtors money to pay off those bad loans -- that couldn't hurt either. In whose pocket -- after all -- does the money end up?

A suspicious person might entertain the thought that the bankers are maybe not all that happy about the idea of owning tens of thousands of unsaleable piece-o-shit McMansions. Perhaps... they'd rather not foreclose? Perhaps they prefer debt slavery, on a mass scale?

A Reuters report on Thursday of the Obama administration's mortgage plans triggered a U.S. stock market rally.
At this point it's a safe bet that anything that cheers up the stock market is bad news for the rest of us.
The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that sales of foreclosed homes helped drag the median price of existing homes to its lowest level since 2003.
Aha. The man behind the curtain. Foreclosed "homes", it turns out, just aren't worth very much. All these cheap houses on the market -- bad. Very bad. People might actually be able to afford a roof over their heads. And then where would we be?

Comments (9)

Al Schumann:

I think the money matters less to the bankers than the possible loss of controlling power.

Individually, all the bankster CEOs are doing fine. Anything short of a complete social collapse is going to leave them better off than everyone else. Even in the event of complete collapse, there's always a chance to play quisling. For the top ranking banksters, the institutions they use as vehicles are fungible. They can wreck one company after another and still be assured of the opportunity to do it again. If worse comes to worst, they can go into politics for a while to recharge their mojo, and then make a comeback. What keeps them rising to the top is the utility of their skill sets. It's not everyone who can extract surplus value from the institutional investors and rentiers at the nominal top of the food chain down to the saddest punters staggering under usurious mortgages and credit card debt. As there's no shortage of vastly rich useful idiots hoping to gain an advantage over other vastly rich useful idiots, the social arbitrage can go on forever.


" All these cheap houses on the market -- bad. Very bad. People might actually be able to afford a roof over their heads"

indeed...if the burden of household debt can be shucked
but then yer the m jackson s optimum
a credit score drop out ....renter
and rents sink too

problem comes on the income side

as stalking the job markets
ever smaller game for the hunter


a foreclosure holiday has its hazards
to the loanholder class

yes all banks by the complusion to conform
resolves the part whole problem
if most banks forebare voluntarily
in a group effort to unspoil each others
collateral value thru slowing
the after seizure resale market
that only aides the cheater banks
that keep forclosing thru out
and face "the reward "
of a shallower flowing sellers' market

uncle can enforce a cartel move here
to the benefit of all ...bankers

and if this is coupled
with hold in place relief
for the lowest hanging on households
all the better of course

in general
an orderly rationalized liquidation
is the best liquidation

it leads to the most extensive
longest lasting ...genocides


"Perhaps they prefer debt slavery, on a mass scale?"

they the bankers
like lots of activity
lots of runs past their toll booths

they the loan holding class want their portfolio to "improve"
defaults generally aren't improving moves
now in a balanced portfolio
the demand for mbs can wain as it has

no i doubt debt slavery has a concious crowd of heads husbanding it

outside the wouldn't it be luverlee
day dreams
of the highest most
far seeing of the uber acquirers
but its said that these paragons
hardly speak the truth of their desires
even to each other

ghoulish power creeps
and other orwellian figments aside
most such system wide thought
occurs inside the brains of
the luftplanners of the right
and the paranoid class poets of the left

as for the bidness cullers of greatest surplus
they only have eyes for the next pigeon

but like a scared cow
the pour soi and the en soi
are decidedly different beasts

and speaking strictly en soi

a house mortgage and its big nut
do drive us critters to sell more of our time more regularly more cheaply more often
and when at the job site to perform more gracefully our appointed tasks


note the beautry of the scared for sacred
some times mr yeats guides my index finger from
his roost
in some curled set of higher dimension


a class clash based society often demonstrates what appear to be
" intentional features"
features one might use to prove
a higher design even if only profane in origin

us recovering metaphysicals
know all to well...
that way lies
and prolly unwanted pregnancy


to sum up: what a beautiful political invention -- a program to help poor folks like us, while mainly benefiting the noble peers of the land.

Mike Whitney on Counterpunch yesterday observes that Geithner (completely misdescribed as "over his head") is doing exactly what he's supposed to -- assure that the big four national banks (who hold 40% of the nation's bad debt, and are technically bankrupt) remain in private hands.


I agree that Geithner's doing exactly what he's supposed to do, but there seems to be a stylistic clash with Obama's Phase I approach to governance. (You know: Collect Republicans.) Phase II (Tim's department) is proving to be a bit more difficult to sell. But gnomes always seem to land on their feet.

Peter Ward:

"a class clash based society often demonstrates what appear to be
'intentional features'
features one might use to prove
a higher design even if only profane in origin"

Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that global society is designed, as much as possible, for the benefit of Power, and designed so intentionally. Declassified planning documents, e.g, show the US government's preoccupation with Third World liberation movements and what to do stop them--and their actions are totally consistent with their words. That is not to say that everyone near the top understands the imperial nature of things, but most feel its spirit. Furthermore, imperial tendencies can be observed in virtually all institutions; agents in schools, universities and business do everything they can to prevent the empowerment of subordinates (in the job context, destruction of unions are an obvious example, since a goal of the unions, beyond improving wages and working conditions, is bringing democracy to the workplace). One can easily test this truth of this claim for oneself--go and demand from one's boss a greater say in the management of the company one works for.

It may be a coincidence that advisers demand the the political economy be set up a certain way and in fact it is, as we as one can tell, set up that way. It's a matter of irrelevance. Our reaction will have to be the same either way--get these scumbags out of power, build a society that responds to what we want not what an "opulent minority" (to use the phrase of the Founding Fathers) wants.

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