FHA To Hike Fees! Will This Stimulate Home Sales? No Way!

As reported today by CNNMoney, beginning April 1,2012 the FHA will be increasing the insuring fee it charges to customers. In fact the initial premium will rise by 75% and the monthly premium will rise by 9%. Recall what happened to Netflix when they instituted a lesser increase. If not I will restate the obvious for you which keeps getting lost in the fog by our leaders. They lost approximately 1 million customers. Our leaders think we are an endless well of cash. We are unwise to allow this thought pattern to continue but I fear the leaders have won via their persistent bribery with the sweat of others.

Now I have been in the home finance game for almost 30 years now and know from where I speak. With no ideological blinders on I can plainly state that virtually all the problems we suffer from in this industry was straight from Washington in the form of bad policy by Congress and even worse policy from the Federal Reserve. The bulk of the lunacy began circa 1996 when a few Clinton appointees decided to turn HUD as well as Fannie and Freddie in to social programs. Add a dose of Greenspan and the rest is history. I am sure it made them feel good at the time as they cashed in their multimillion dollar bonus’s while thinking they were healing a social injustice. They even cooked the books to enlarge these bonus’s. But they were let off the hook and now live large.

I know those predisposed to hate Wall St. and rich Bankers will likely not choose to believe this historical take but I can do no other than be intellectually honest. I saw it happen first hand and believe me did not like what I was watching. I once took pride in my field and by 2003 felt very dirty by association not action. And yes I know what Wall St. was doing but really they were diversifying stupid risk which was mandated on the banking world from Washington under fear of reprisal. Of course they stood to collect fees for their service but that has no bearing on how we got here.

Enough history on how we got to the last four years of utter despair and pain for many good and decent people. Houses lost. Jobs lost. Careers ruined. And we have yet to see anyone from either party implement a true market approach to healing this mess. As stated here before these leaders are totally incompetent. My industry colleagues and I have many solutions but no one will listen to us. At the end of the day we need a stimulation in home buying to ease the glut of inventory.

What would Walmart do if they had millions of microwaves to sell? As they always do they will discount them to the bone to clear room for fresh inventory. How about your local car dealer? I see the ads every week. Too many cars and all must go at any price. Sounds reasonable.

How are we dealing with housing. I will not bore you with the myriad hurdles and roadblocks in place by policies from the same jugheads in D.C. And most of you are aware of how difficult it can be to borrow .05 cents. This has to do with these idiotic policies primarily the one known as Dodd-Frank. Horrible stuff my friends. If you stop by your bank ask them how this is working for them. They will likely cry in fact for what it is worth, one of the most profitable and well run banks in the U.S has closed their doors as it was becoming too ominous to deal in such matters. Sad indeed.

Back to FHA. Talk about a bad move at the wrong time. Let us make it more costly to buy an item nobody currently wants to purchase. How is that for clear thought. I suspect most of you will not be surprised. And here is another little advertised secret for you. Remember that 2% cut in your social security withholding. It sure sounds good but guess who pays? Aside from your progeny, the balance of that short term cut has been added to the cost of a mortgage purchased by FNMA. In effect any new home buyer or refinancer is going to pay more upfront and the next 30 years. Ouch all around and a bummer for the industry as well.

And who gets hurt the most. Those precious first time buyers and many low income buyers our leaders proclaim to care so much about. They will likely be priced out of the market as the costs become prohibitive for them. Now does it get through that they are all full of…pick for yourself as the words I would choose are not printable in a decent society.

Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/business/finance/article/fha-to-hike-fees-will-this/’>FHA To Hike Fees! Will This Stimulate Home Sales? No Way!</a> on Technorati.

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How Is That Green Energy Savings At the Pump Treating You?

Are those countless billions our President is spending on “Green Energy” saving you any money or power yet? Now forgive me at the start if it seems I mock the so called intelligentsia. After all based on their track record, I find them downright stubborn and silly to be kind. Mostly stubborn as they are trying to wish a policy to fruition. Doesn’t work friends or else I would be a 1 percenter.

I suppose you have noticed by now if you had your weekly refill at the local station. It was surely a shock to me. As ABC News reported today ” We are headed for record gas prices in 2012″. CNN also added that we are back to people stealing gas right out of your tank. An occurrence I had not heard of since the 70’s. And in case you hadn’t noticed on Wall Street today several of the upper end eateries were clocked as recent polls released showed people would opt for less expensive dining to offset higher fuel costs. As always the poor will be hardest hit and I have no idea what the Department of Energy is doing.
I will grant alternative forms of energy are an admirable goal. I just think we are on the wrong track and have been since President Jimmy Carter jumped on the solar bandwagon in the late 70’s. For the life of me I still do not understand how a windmill or solar panel will fill my gas tank. Perhaps 100 years from now the technology will make this a reality. For now we are throwing money away via subsidy to connected firms which are or will ultimately go the way of the dodo.

If we had any brains or wise people in D.C., we would have asked those poor people in Spain. After all they started some 15 years ago and have spent some $50 billion dollars to ” go green”. The results: they are right behind Greece in the handout line having spent this fortune and implemented silly regulations which ultimately drove out some 50,000 businesses to safer confines. Duh I could have told Spain that with one phone call.

Basic economics dictates you can’t force something down our collective throat. If there is a market then the people will flock. It is that simple. As for my opinion I say open the USA to
oil exploration as we know we sit on more oil than anyplace on the planet. At least 100 years worth according to the US Govt. Why not use it? Oh that is right, we do not want to offend a few bugs or bug lovers. That is not a true argument as with the technology we have today the process is cleaner than me pumping gas.

I recall the year 2008 and the media was in a frenzy over gas prices. Day and night we heard that Halliburton owned Bush. Yet Bush left office and the National average for gas was $1.81 per. We will be above $4.00 per by next week and I have heard nary a peep. Well actually Jay Carney who is the paid spinner for the President stated just today that there is “no magic solution” to gas prices. The man can’t be serious. But of course he wrote for Time magazine which tells me he knows little of economics. But he sure is for green subsidies. I guess that is what you learn in journalism school. Not reporting news, but policy agendas to get you a premium job as a paid hack.

But why the howls against Bush and his oil buddies and not mouses whisper over the current price of oil under Obama. I know conclusively they are his big offensive line. They will block for him and screw the poor who are hit hardest by $4 a gallon fuel. As long as the Hollywood set is happy, so is the President.

But finally the voices are being heard as the citizenry is more engaged and yes more angry. It hurts in the pocketbook. The media has no choice but to respond and as is their pattern they are using shall I say excuses such as the exogenous events in Iran as to deflect blame from their preferred leaders. If only they offered the same considerations to Mr. Bush as opposed to outright accusations of collusion. These lame attempts will not stand the light of day and the pain is yet to be felt as we approach the heavy driving season of Memorial Day.

I for one can’t tolerate the hypocrisy and the low level of reportage I am witnessing. Green is a failure and stop wasting our money on it. When the right scientist comes up with the right idea I will support him as we should all. For now stop the charade and stop the cover up for the worst energy policy or lack thereof we have suffered as a nation. A total failure of a policy and one sure to create a massive headwind on an economy that is rising in spite of this lunacy.

We are indeed creative and resilient. We will survive this calamity as we have in the past. This is why we are blessed for living in what is still the most free system on earth. In honor of George Washington. We can use another like him.

Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/business/article/how-is-that-green-energy-savings/’>How is that Green Energy Savings at the Pump Treating You?</a> on Technorati

The United States of…..Greece? Can It Happen Here?

No doubt you are all aware of the events currently transpiring in Greece, the birthplace of democracy as well as my ancestors. It deeply saddens me to see a beautiful nation unravel in such a humiliating fashion and to a once proud people. Was it necessary and how did they get to this point. Equally important is the question, “Can America avoid this inevitable problem coming to our shores”.

Prior to assigning blame for this debacle let us look at what the people are struggling through. Forced austerity by leaders other than their own if they are to receive the funds currently needed for the bare necessities. Think about that for a moment. Suppose the countries who finance our massive debt stated and implemented a policy of not another nickel lent to us until we cut Social Security spending by 10% annually and lay offs of 20% of our civil servants. I need not tell you how that would play out. But this is what the Greeks have been forced to endure for almost two years and it is at a breaking point.

The anger and pain felt by the average citizen is palpable. It is now turning to a flat out rage. I pray it ends well but regardless it will be no cake walk. Wage cuts, pension cuts, complete lack of medicines as no supplier dare ship to Greece as they question it’s ability to pay. Not easy to watch let alone know I have family suffering this unfolding mess. As to the rioting and building burnings in Athens one would think they are at war.

This is not intended to excuse Greece from the behavior that got them here. No that is the same old story and I have witnessed it first hand many a time. It is simply put a socialist welfare state. Believe me I hate to state this but it is fact. The politicians promised and delivered free health, education, benes galore and all in exchange for a vote. What they did not bother to tell the citizens is they have been putting it on the Amex card for the past 40 years. Now the bill has come due.

But try to explain that to an 80 year old pensioner. Or a minimum wage worker whose income is being mandated by some other country to be cut in half. Very difficult indeed. But this is what politicians worldwide do. They buy votes with other peoples money. It might have been a President from 20 years ago who is long gone and not concerned with the effects of legislation he signed which scored for him/her at the time and theoretically had some merits or good intentions behind it but failed as a long term policy.

Redistribution just never seems to work does it? I suppose if it did many now defunct regimes would be world powers and less the afterthought they truly are.

So imagine my surprise when President Obama unveiled his $3.8 Trillion budget for next year. He knows the treasury will likely collect $2.5 trillion at best so what is he thinking? Is he that oblivious to the goings on in Europe or the fact that he is smashing deficit records in this country bigger than any Barry Bonds records ever imagined. That puts us at four years running with trillion dollar deficits. At this rate we will be in the hole well over $20 trillion if he is reelected and nothing changes in his second term which seems highly likely.

I only point out the latter as something to consider when you go to the polls this year. My friends we simply can’t survive at this current pace of spending. I guess at my age why should I care. That is a scary thought as I care deeply but am sure many do not. Try to think of how posterity will treat us. Use that vote wisely for the betterment of our nation and please say a pray for my Greek brethren. We the people can overcome. But it must be we the people, not some strangers in D.C.

Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/politics/article/the-united-states-ofgreece-can-it/’>The United States of…..Greece? Can It Happen Here?</a> on Technorati.

“Power Tends To Corrupt, And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”

The Honorable Lord Acton was right. If only we had the likes of him in this day and age we would not be so depressed as we witness the almost daily debacle known as “Presidential Debates” Talk about a side show circus. As for me I can’t stomach more than a highlight or two. This is degradation at its worst.

Lord Acton also stated “it is much easier to govern one’s self than to govern others”. He obviously has never met 21st century politicians. Their egos run so deep and their condescension so severe that in their eyes we are viewed as mindless lemmings. Judging from the cheers roared over the inanities spouted from the mouths of these blow dried former cell phone salesman, I suppose I understand their narcissism to a small degree. What I hear makes me quiver and not in a good way.

Obama came in as a man of the people or so he claimed. Of course he now leads the life of a Saudi Shiek. No less a liberal than Al Hunt is reporting only today that the level of arrogance in this administration is unsurpassed in its scope. No kidding Al. Where you been the last four years? Oh that’s right you where providing cover with the rest of the media until you could no longer tolerate this level of hubris.

It is not only Obama I criticize here today. Have you seen the moronic debates by the Republicans? All candidates sound equally arrogant, silly, petty bordering on school grade behavior. I expect wise leadership not gutter sniping. I mean after all Iran and Israel are on the verge of nuclear war and we hear pablum about, oh who cares it is not important what any of them has said to date.

For perspective I must steal a quote from one of my famous ancestors. “Those who are too smart too engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber”. Plato. I might add and forced to listen to the endless babbling.

I might sound as if I am concerned for my country, but that would be far from the truth. Indeed I am so confident in the creativity and resourcefulness of us “average citizens” and our ability to overcome all obstacles, that regardless of what these no nothings who win the election lottery of life (sorry Dick Gephardt) impose on us we will thrive as we figure our way around their respective lunacy and prosper as abundantly as the good lord intended. So pay no attention to those people behind the curtain. They mean nothing to you anymore. Send them all back to Oz as that is where they belong.

Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/politics/article/power-tends-to-corrupt-and-absolute/’>”Power Tends To Corrupt, And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”</a> on Technorati.

$16,000,000,000,000 And Growing! Wake Up People!

Excuse my ignorance but I believe I have enough zeroes in the figure. At the rate this debt is growing I am likely wrong as it will change by the minute. All I can say is WAKE UP people! Turn off American Idiot and pay a moment of attention. Do you have any idea what the whores in Washington are doing if not to you then to your progeny?

The U.S. debt now stands at 100% of GDP. Economic historians tell us that when the figure approaches 130% of GDP, the nation in question will fall. Is this what we want? Who is minding the store? The House of Whores, er excuse me our elected representatives. As if they care. They have theirs. That is the root of the problem. The more they dispense to their special interests, the more they receive in contributions and perks and insider stock tips. Yes they are comfortable indeed. Are you? Will your children? 50k and counting per person. Let us look at a trend and you can decide if it is a good one.

The federal budget for the years:
1960- $97 billion
1970- $195 billion
1980- $590 billion
1990- $1.2 Trillion
2000- $1.8 Trillion
2008- $2.9 Trillion
2010- $3.5 Trillion
2012- $3.7 Trillion Notice any trends? It does not matter as it is indeed scary and economically unsustainable. Yet our “leaders” gloss over, nay dance around the topic every two years yet do nothing about it. Can you blame them. Just the mention of a measly 1% cut and the citizens are ready to rebel. Have we become a selfish nation? Sure looks that way to me at least for those at the government trough. Not intended to offend those but what else can I say. These figures are enough to wake one from a coma if not outright death. And this is just the annual spending side. Let us have a look at the total debt.

Total debt for the years:
2000- $5 Trillion
2008- $9.5 Trillion
2012- $16 Trillion
2016- $24 Trillion est.based on current spending levels. Remember Greece has brought the world to its knees and they have total debt of $385 billion. I am not here to alarm you but to offer insight into the path we are on yet I rarely hear word one on the topic in the media.

Yes I know about the calls for tax the rich and such but as mentioned before the “rich” have about $1.6 Trillion all told. Not a drop in this bucket. For the life of me I do not understand let alone comprehend what the President has to say on economics. No surprise as this is his first job as best I can tell. As to the Democrat leaders, I find them clueless on most topics. How about the Republican leaders? They might have a clue but are too stupid as to its implementation. They fear the bad press they might get. So a three legged chair about to fall. Doesn’t inspire confidence does it?

So what to do. Well as this might sound as I suffer from “Schadenfreude” I will put your mind at ease and answer with a severe not! The Euro/China problems unfolding will be a benefit to this nation. But we are not out of the woods. Recall an attempt by Congress last year to cut a paltry $1.4 trillion over ten years. It got nowhere. If we really care for this fine nation and its yet to be born children, we will yell to Washington loud and clear…ENOUGH!

Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/politics/article/16000000000000-and-growing-wake-up-people/’>$16,000,000,000,000 And Growing! Wake Up People!</a> on Technorati