The underside of the home mortgage market is not very well known, so the size of threat is being grossly underestimated. It is a sprawling, varied enterprise that no one regulator oversees, making it impossible to know how many mortgages or lenders not insured by the government are in trouble. No public records are available to show who holds the trillions of dollars worth of mortgages that have been turned into CDOs and flogged worldwide. Last fall there were 90,000 non-bank lenders. There could be only half that now. These are state licensed lenders who have made 70% of annual mortgages. You hear about Countrywide and Indymac, but not of the others.
We know federally regulated lenders past due loans were 10.6% last quarter at $6.4 billion. What lurks below the surface we do not know, but we do know it is not good.
The Census Bureau reports that median household come rose 0.7% last year, its second annual increase in a row to $48,201. There may have been a five year recovery, but not for the average Americans.
The median household income last year was still $1,000 less than in 2000. In 2006, 36.5 million Americans were living in poverty, five million more than six years ago, when the poverty level fell to 11.3%.
If you figure in an average inflation rate of 8% for five years you find the average American’s purchasing power has been deeply depleted.
Our Comptroller General tells us the truth but our elected officials do not want to hear that they are bankrupting America. Our media makes mention of what David Walker has to say and then you hear nothing else about the matter. In fact, most of the media doesn’t report what he has to say. The media is rigged, politicians do not care, business interests want the truth to disappear and the public is generally in denial.
America has become an empire and with that mantel has come declining moral values, corruption and a political system that refuses to function in behalf of the American people. Our military has to fight wars based on lies for profit, and is over extended in foreign lands. We wallow in fiscal and monetary irresponsibility by our government. We have more problems than Rome did before the barbarians broke down the gates.
We certainly haven’t learned from history because we know so little of history. In addition we think of only tomorrow, not much further. If America doesn’t wake up and use the brains God has given them we’ll not only be broke but we will be a second-class nation.
Mortgage application volume fell 4% for the week ended August 24th. Refi volume fell 4.2%. Mortgages have gone increasingly delinquent and into default in recent months. ARMs accounted for 15% of all mortgage applications during the week, down from 18.6% during the prior week, and 26.8% yoy. The 30-year fixed as reported by the MBA fell to 6.41% from 6.49%. It should be noted that 142 major lenders have gone bankrupt this year with only several being bought out.
Softening conditions and volatility in financial markets and a softening economy assisted by a collapsing housing and credit market has pushed the consumer confidence index down to 105.0 in August from a revised 111.9 in July. This is the lowest level since 9/05 after Katrina.
One after another the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted.
For daring to report illegal arms sales, a Navy veteran says he was imprisoned by the American military in a security compound outside Baghdad and subjected to harsh interrogation methods. They did the total number on him. He told the FBI that the company he worked for, Shield Security Co. was a Wal-Mart for guns and it was all illegal and everyone knew it. The corruption in Iraq is staggering.
Hundreds of projects will never be finished, including repairs to the country’s oil pipelines and electricity system. $30 billion was allocated for Iraq by Congress and $8.8 billion has been stolen. People who expose these crooks are destroyed. They cannot get jobs, they lose their families; they lose everything. You are dealing with entrenched fascists who give no quarter and specialize in revenge that extends to murder. It is heartbreaking and goes beyond corruption. It is a culture of evil. The government doesn’t care because so many people at the top are in on the corruption. There is no question that our government has forfeited its right to exist.
One of our great corporate citizens Yahoo is fighting efforts to hold it accountable for the imprisonment and alleged torture of two Chinese citizens after Yahoo turned their identities over to the Chinese Communist government. The husband and wife are serving ten years in jail for advocating Democratic reforms.
The Bush-Cheney neocons have taken private enterprise way beyond what is reasonable, desirable and safe. They have turned over national security functions to those not adequately trained, not accountable to the public or law or on the political radar. They have created their own private legions of mercenaries, intelligence analysts, security guards, etc. These mercenaries are answerable only to those who pay them. As a former part of our nation’s counterintelligence apparatus we are enraged that this is going on. This is the Praetorian Guard and the Legions of ancient Roman Caesars and Hitler’s Brownshirts. Someone has to tell us how it is that mercenary company Blackwater can buy combat aircraft? It is incredible that our government allows mercenaries to have their own private Air Force. The D.I.A. is paying $1 billion for private companies to conduct core intelligence that we were paid $300 a month to do.