Can the GSEs Exist Outside of Government Conservatorship?

The GSEs were government entities for years, then the government attempted to take them private and deny taxpayers were on the hook for a collapse. Now that we know that illusion was a fantasy, are we going to try to spin the same yarn?

Irvine Home Address … 8 CALICO Irvine, CA 92614

Resale Home Price …… $699,000


Give me time to reason,

give me time to think it through

Passing through the season,

where I cheated you

Aqua — Turn Back Time

We are giving Congress plenty of time to think through the GSE problem. Unfortunately, as we pass through this season, the GSEs continue to cheat taxpayers out of billions of dollars.

Our view on housing finance: Don't let Fannie and Freddie return to old neighborhood

As bailouts go, nothing quite matches the torrent of taxpayer money still pouring into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the housing giants that now guarantee nearly half of the nation's $11.7 trillion in mortgages.

To cover loans that go sour, the federal government has already doled out almost $145 billion, and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the final tab will be about $381 billion. That's about half the size of the 2008 bank bailout but, unlike that bailout, most of this money won't get paid back. And even now, there's little talk in Washington about how to fix the problem.

Make careful note of the difference between the GSE bailouts and other bank bailouts. The original TARP bailout was a loan, and most of that is being paid back or through a series of accounting tricks will look like it is being paid back. The GSE bailout is fundamentally different; the GSE bailout is where the losses are finally tallied and paid. The GSEs along with AIG will be the repository of losses for the Great Housing Bubble and the associated finacial system meltdown.

Fannie and Freddie can't be allowed to collapse. The fragile housing market would collapse along with them.

This is unfortunately true. Of course, those who want to see the status quo maintained will make this argument long past the time while it is true.

Nor can they go forever as wards of the state, soaking up taxpayer cash.

Actually they can. The GSEs could become a permanent market prop and absorbing all future losses caused by speculation in the residential real estate market. The only thing stopping that outcome will be political pressure on Congress to change it. If the GSEs or the FHA lose enough money, perhaps something will be done, but for now, these entities are being used as the vacuum cleaner sucking up all the toxic mortgage dirt from the housing bubble.

They also should not be allowed to go back to their unusual former status as publicly traded companies that are also "government-sponsored enterprises." That's why they got in trouble in the first place, paying outsized compensation and backing risky mortgages because politicians of both parties prodded them to do so.

I also believe they should not go back to what they were, but not for the reasons stated above. I don't think they can go back to being private. Would anyone believe the government will not step in again? Isn't that a license to gamble with public money?

Fannie and Freddie need to be rethought entirely, if not eliminated outright. And the time to start planning for that is now.

If the companies are eliminated, the process would have to be gradual. Fannie and Freddie are pretty much alone in propping up the housing market, backing three-quarters of the new loans being made this year.

For that reason, a less radical approach may be in order — one that would make mortgage money available at affordable interest rates while limiting taxpayer exposure to bad loans.

That is exactly what must happen. How to do it is the challenging part.

One intriguing possibility is to gradually replace Fannie and Freddie with non-profit cooperatives owned by banks. That is how MasterCard and Visa used to be structured, and how the 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks are structured today. Those regional institutions — which lend money to banks, which then lend to home buyers — weathered the financial storm in part because of an ownership structure that keeps banks liable for loans they make.

The Obama administration has opted to largely ignore the dilemma for the time being. Failing to deal with the fate of Fannie and Freddie is the most glaring omission in the financial reform bill President Obama hopes to sign by July 4.

Delay could be problematic because, as time passes, a necessary sense of urgency will undoubtedly fade. At that point, expect the companies — and their powerful allies in Congress and the housing industry — to start lobbying for a return to the way things were.

Once people get used to the government backstop for their gambling activities, it will be very difficult to remove. The political pressure will only come from mounting losses, and $400,000,000,000 is a lot of money to lose.

Despite what their critics assert, Fannie and Freddie were not primarily responsible for the financial crisis.

The Right likes to bring this up periodically. The GSEs were not responsible for inflating the housing bubble. The housing bubble was inflated by private-label securities backed by credit default swaps and blessed by ratings agencies. The GSEs were losing significant market share and entered risky borrowing late. The GSEs were reacting to the market not establishing it.

They were late to the game in subprime mortgages and always focused mostly on backing standard, fixed-rate mortgages. But these institutions were founded on faulty premises.

Their "American dream" mission of profitably making risk disappear, so that banks would lend and people could buy their own homes, was always a fantasy. They merely took risks from banks and piled it on the taxpayers. Now everyone is paying the price.

The shifting of risk onto the taxpayer is exactly what everyone in real estate wants to see continue. If mortgage risk were properly priced, interest rates would certainly move higher. However, with GSE debt being a defacto government security, the distinction between a 10-year Treasury Note and a GSE mortgage-backed security pool becomes moot: the government will pay both without limitation.

I usually agree with Dean Baker. He was one of the first in Washington to recognize the housing bubble, and his writing has been accurate and insightful. However, I disagree with him on this one.

Opposing view on housing finance: Go back to the old design

A main goal of financial reform should be to promote simplicity and efficiency. In the case of housing finance, this means keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as publicly run companies.

The logic here is straightforward. Fannie Mae was created as a public company in the Depression to establish a secondary mortgage market. Before its creation, banks in various regions could often find themselves overloaded with mortgages and lacking the capital to make new loans.

By buying mortgages from banks, Fannie Mae allowed banks to issue more mortgages while limiting their exposure to risks from the housing market. Fannie Mae played a central role in supporting the postwar housing boom that hugely expanded homeownership.

That was their original function. But now that the secondary market is firmly established, are the GSEs still necessary? Would the secondary market disappear if the GSEs were eliminated. I think not.

The efficiency of Fannie Mae was lessened when it became a quasi-public company, alongside its newly created competitor Freddie Mac. This meant Wall Street-type salaries in the millions and tens of millions, instead of the six-figure paychecks that top-level government bureaucrats draw. It also created an incentive to take excessive risk, since the government would bear the downside from losing bets.

That is certainly a large problem, and the only way I see to eliminate it is to get rid of the GSEs entirely.

Fannie and Freddie got themselves into trouble in the housing bubble by first failing to recognize the bubble and second by jumping into junk mortgages near the end of the bubble. Contrary to claims of political conservatives, the decision to get into the subprime mortgages had little to do with helping moderate-income families buy homes. It was a desperate effort to recover market share from the investment banks.

That is an accurate assessment.

Fannie and Freddie can continue to play an important role in promoting home ownership by going back to the original design. They should be boring publicly owned companies that buy and hold mortgages. Securitization in the context of a government-owned company simply adds unnecessary expense and complication. It is completely unnecessary to supply capital for mortgages, since the companies can raise it directly by selling their own stock and bonds.

The only way I could see keeping the GSEs if they stopped selling mortgage insurance and instead became holders of mortgages as Dean Baker describes. As long as they provide mortgage insurance similar to the FHA and the GSE insured mortgages are securitized, the potential for inflating another housing bubble is greatly increased.

If private issuers can meet the needs of a secondary market better or more efficiently than Fannie and Freddie, then they will have the opportunity to do so. But, the United States does not need a financial industry that cannot compete successfully with government bureaucrats.

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C.

My View: The GSEs cannot go back to the old design

I can remember watching Ben Bernanke testifying before Congress prior to the nationalization of the GSEs. In his testimony, he was incredulous that investors would act as if the GSEs had the implied backing of the US government when they explicitly did not. Perhaps he was the only man in Washington who was surprised when it turned out that the GSEs did have the backing of the US government because when their collapse was imminent, the government stepped in and took them over, and as a consequence, assumed all their liabilities.

How could we plausibly maintain the illusion that we would not do it again? If the GSEs are ever turned back over to the private sector, it will be a laughable facade just as it always was. For the last several decades, the government tried to maintain the illusion that they were not liable for the GSEs, but when a crisis hit, the government immediately stepped in. There simply is no way to establish with any credibility that the government will not do this again, particularly now that there is precedence for it.

If would not surprise me that politicians will want to spin these entities off at some future date. The stock might have value, and the sale might recoup a tiny fraction of the losses. Removing these liabilities from the federal balance sheet will also be appealing, but it will be an illusion — and a rather obvious one at that.

A conservative borrower

The owners of this property owe $550,000 as they extracted a relatively prudent $138,000 in mortgage equity withdrawal. That is conservative by Irvine standards — horrible by any rational standard, but conservative by Irvine standards.

Irvine Home Address … 8 CALICO Irvine, CA 92614

Resale Home Price … $699,000

Home Purchase Price … $515,000

Home Purchase Date …. 5/15/2003

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $142,060

Percent Change ………. 35.7%

Annual Appreciation … 3.9%

Cost of Ownership


$699,000 ………. Asking Price

$139,800 ………. 20% Down Conventional

4.91% …………… Mortgage Interest Rate

$559,200 ………. 30-Year Mortgage

$143,255 ………. Income Requirement

$2,971 ………. Monthly Mortgage Payment

$606 ………. Property Tax

$0 ………. Special Taxes and Levies (Mello Roos)

$58 ………. Homeowners Insurance

$380 ………. Homeowners Association Fees


$4,015 ………. Monthly Cash Outlays

-$723 ………. Tax Savings (% of Interest and Property Tax)

-$683 ………. Equity Hidden in Payment

$265 ………. Lost Income to Down Payment (net of taxes)

$87 ………. Maintenance and Replacement Reserves


$2,961 ………. Monthly Cost of Ownership

Cash Acquisition Demands


$6,990 ………. Furnishing and Move In @1%

$6,990 ………. Closing Costs @1%

$5,592 ………… Interest Points @1% of Loan

$139,800 ………. Down Payment


$159,372 ………. Total Cash Costs

$45,300 ………… Emergency Cash Reserves


$204,672 ………. Total Savings Needed

Property Details for 8 CALICO Irvine, CA 92614


Beds: 4

Baths: 1 full 2 part baths

Home size: 2,300 sq ft

($304 / sq ft)

Lot Size: n/a

Year Built: 1984

Days on Market: 5

Listing Updated: 40332

MLS Number: S619220

Property Type: Condominium, Townhouse, Residential

Community: Woodbridge

Tract: We


**WOW**FABULOS** 4 BR UPGRADED home, desirable one bedroom downstairs. Cul-de Sac location off the loop across from the park & pool. 3rd story Attic conversion with approx.400 sqft with window,AC, Fan & phone line, great for bonus/office/den. Customize loft/landing features office with built in bookcase and cabinets.Formal Dining Rm, Family Rm & Kitchen overlook lovely hardscaped & landsaped yard. Great size yard for entertaining. Pergo flooring throughout.MA BR with walk in closet and closet organizers.Many windows makes this a lite & brite home. Inside laundry with window & outside door to the yard. Cozy fireplace & built in speakers in family rm, spacious living rm with high ceilings. Custom walk-in pantry.2 car garage with finished garage attic for storage.UPGRADED bathrooms & Kitchen. Walk to all of the wonderful Woodbridge Amenities. Walking distance to all Schools.

You have to admire the realtor who can put a particularly jarring misspelling in ALL CAPS and between asterisks. **WOW**FABULOS**

lite & brite? OMG! Do you think the realtor did that to get my attention? It worked.

I was contacted by a reader recently who asked about the recent trend toward eliminating formal reception rooms. I use that room in my place for an office, but I like the game room approach. Looks like fun.

40 thoughts on “Can the GSEs Exist Outside of Government Conservatorship?

  1. Freetrader

    When I saw the first picture on the left, I thought, “that’s not a good picture – since you can’t really see the house because of the shade – but it is also a great picture, because with all that shade on a sunny day it gives the house a great feel.” I now realize that the reason for the odd angle and the heavy shade is to obscure that fact that this is a townhouse. Still, it looks kind of nice.

  2. Laura Louzader

    The existence of the GSEs, and the conditions of their formation and the implicit backing of the government during their time as “private” entities give lie to the notion that we are a “free market” economy.

    At no time since 1913 has this country EVER been a Free Market. There can be no such a thing as private/public partnerships, or government-sponsored businesses or government assistance for business formation or loan generation or any type of business activity, in a Free Market economy.

    Without the GSEs and the fully-owned government agencies such as HUD and FHA, we would never have had the Great Housing Rampage, because there would have been no market for the bulk of the mortgages written from 1998 forward, or even from 1980 forward, without them. There would have been no “asset based” lending, as opposed to the more traditional risk-based underwriting, without the implicit or explicit backing of the U.S. treasury.

    If we truly want to prevent another credit rampage, we will sunset the GSEs, and the FHA as well, and HUD (along with HEW and Commerce). These agencies only exist to create debt and inflate bubbles on behalf of our ruling oligarchy.

    1. Geotpf

      Like things were so swell before 1913. A truly pure free market economy (which doesn’t exist and never has, outside a few completely lawless areas or war zones) would be heaven for 1% of the population and hell for the other 99%.

    2. HydroCabron

      The 1913 demarcation line is popular lately.

      I am aware that the structure of our financial system changed that year, but my knowledge of the way business got done before that does not inspire confidence in what I’d call a free market, either. The construction of the transcontinental railroad stands out among many examples: a union of private swindling and public graft which, through deceit and fraud, defrauded enough stockholders, bondholders, and taxpayers to somehow reach the finish line.

      1. matt138

        Deceit and fraud are never successful long term business models in a free market. The function of govt is not to perpetuate but to punish companies who break the law.

        Many argue that in order to avoid catastrophe, govt must step in and save such companies. Unfortunately, shortsightedness fails to see that saving such companies IS THE CATASTROPHE.

        Socialized mortgage market is a disaster. Tell anybody we should abolish FHA, Fannie, and Freddie and they look at you as if you are nuts. How did we get so far down this road?

    1. Geotpf

      The title you give for your link has nothing to do with the link itself, of course. You could have said “Federal Housing Finance Agency demands Fannie and Freddie force the poor to eat babies” or “Purple Monkey Dishwasher” and been just as accurate.

      1. lowrydr310

        That’s not my link, nor is it my title. I borrowed that in its entirety from IHB News 6-5-2010 which is really “Housing Bubble News from” on Wed Jun 2 2010.

        I don’t think it’s that far off either; it talks about a duty for Fannie and Freddie to serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families in three specified underserved markets. This essentially encourages lending to typically ‘poorer’ borrowers.

  3. Planet Reality

    We are 5 years into the housing bubble “collapse” of Irvine.

    This looks pretty close to peak pricing, I bet it sells quickly. There is no denying, the Irvine market has been a safe haven. Of course it will collpase this “winter” 5 years into the “collapse” LOL.

      1. Planet Reality

        Wake me up when we are no longer seeing near peak Irvine pricing, Irvine homes selling like hot cakes, with a steady stream of cash down payments, and foreclosures and NODs galore. What exactly is going to change? 5 years into the epic Irvine “collapse” inching up near peak pricing.

        1. matt138

          Irvine has holding power yes. this means it takes longer for a “decade worth of price appreciation” intoxication to wear off. it will take a while.

          Snapshot analyses are your achilles heel. For now, you are right.

        2. Talia

          Give them time. If we get a few more years of near peak pricing, even the sheeple who regularly post on this blog will realize a “collapse” will not happen. Go sideways long enough and you easily fix the bubble excesses with no real (nominal) drop in pricing.

        3. lowrydr310

          When was the pricing peak in Irvine, 2007? How many homes were purchased then, specifically with 5 year option ARM loans? We’re only now seeing the resets from loans made in 2005; my guess is that people who need to unload are able to do so and at least break even.

          We’re at the beginning of the option ARM recast/Alt-A wave, therefore I conclude that it’s too early to predict what will happen. I would have said that doom and gloom is upon us over the next 3-5 years, however given that things aren’t as bad in Irvine as I thought they would be right now, I really don’t know what will happen. Irvine is one weird market.

          1. Planet Reality

            Big deal rates are re-casting lower. That may not matter in markets like Riverside where housing prices have crashed 50% with 20% unemployment and a downward spiraling economy. When rates are resetting lower in Irvine at near peak priing and cash buyers buying, you can figure out what that means for Irvine.

          2. freedomCM

            I think that you do not understand the term “recast”, as you are using it as one should use “reset”. and you are assuming that people affected are paying a standard IO loan, not an optionARM teaser.

            The rates are “resetting” lower. Recast means moving from IO to an amortizing status.

            and if you are paying an optionARM at 2% on your $900k Irvine mansion, the rate reset to LIBOR plus 2% means doubling your mortgage rate. If it is also recasting, your payment will go to 4% of $900k plus principal, effectively quadrupling your payment.

          3. Planet Reality

            Right, so there are lots of assumptions that need to be made, but let’s start with the facts:

            1. Irvine is near peak pricing
            2. Rates are lower
            3. You don’t have an Irvine specific chart

            Forget the facts, let’s see the overall reset chart which is littered with areas like Vegas and riversde, and most of lower class america LOL.

          4. irvine_home_owner


            I have to chime in here because I think there is a common misconception concerning how OArms work on in the comments section of this blog.

            I’ve gotten into this before but an OArm doesn’t STAY at the teaser rate and then recast after 5 years, it moves up yearly and then after X years (usually 3), it uses whatever index plus the margin as a monthly adjustable rate.

            So if a teaser started in ’05 at 2% and then got up to 5-6% and then stayed there… if they were able to make through the first 5 years, the recast is less of a sticker shock then you think. I know people who’s current OArms are 4.89%. They want to refi but have been quoted 5.125% fixed so they are waiting a little longer.

            I don’t think the OArm is the harbinger of death it is illustrated to be in the more premium areas, most of the distressed ones have either been modded, foreclosed on or refi’d. I would assume everything else that is left… the owners can afford.

            Remember, OArms started way before 2005 yet I haven’t seen the demolition those recasts should have caused the last 2 years… at least in premium OC.

          5. IrvineRenter

            Actually, we have witnessed a great deal of carnage from these loans. You and many others seem to forget that these distressed loans are accumulating in shadow inventory. Of the 3000 or so loans that are delinquent in Irvine, many are likely Option ARMs. What we haven’t yet seen is this inventory make its way to the market. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because you haven’t seen it yet that it isn’t there.

          6. avobserver

            Sure. It was also a FACT that JDSU was selling for $200 a share on one of those days 10 years ago. I remember that because a friend of mine told me it was a good deal to buy JDSU @ $200/share – on that very day. Saying something is safe haven just because it is near its peak price today means little to me. Come on, with all these “unprecedented measures” from Fed/gov’t, supply restriction, 0% rate, tax credit, GSE bailout, FC prevention … “near peak” price is all they had to show for??? Under any normal circumstances price should have shot thru the roof by now. OC RE market peaked in summer 2007. So we are only 3 years onto the declining side of the curve. Who knows which direction the market will go in the next 10 years. Way too early to call the game when we are not even done with the first quarter.

            But anyone genuinely believes Irvine RE is a safe haven (for at least next 10 years) should definitely jump in with both feet and scoop up a few properties. Look around at today’s global market place – how many investments can you still call a safe haven? Everything seems more or less a gamble.

            I wish Irvine RE were safe haven. I would rush to buy a house in Irvine right away if someone can present a convincing case as to why (1) all the positive market conditions that support its current price level, such as low mortgage rates, gov’t policy support, supply control, squatting, rich foreign buyers etc… will very likely remain unchanged for the next 5-10 years; and (2) all the negative market conditions, such as stagnant economy, structural high unemployment rate, credit contraction, debt overhang, job outsourcing, financial insolvency of local gov’t at every level, etc, will quickly go away and not become a drag on the market for the next 5-10 years.

            If there is strong evidence that both (1) and (2) will likely hold then I would agree that Irvine is in fact a safe haven and call my RE agent tomorrow.

          7. irvine_home_owner


            So why are prices so high in Irvine? From what I recall, this is Year 2 of “The Carnage” (I have seen those OArm Apocalypse graphs here since 2008) and it hasn’t been as bad as predicted.

            3000 loans delinquent? What percentage is that of non-distressed homes? How does that compare to the rest of OC, the rest of California or the rest of the US? Please give me some perspective here because numbers without comparison are just numbers.

            You know, when Woodbury 2010 Collection opened up, just like everyone else, I had my doubts that it would do as well as The Irvine Company was hoping… 700 new homes in a bad economy with high unemployment. Guess what? Over 400 of those homes are in contract in under 6 months. 3 of the tracts are in their last phases with more finishing and TIC is opening up 3 more neighborhoods with more to follow. You would think that all that new inventory would put a dent into pricing… instead TIC RAISED prices EVERY PHASE!

            So I look forward to those 800 homes you say are waiting in shadow inventory… because if 700 new homes can’t make a dent… maybe 800 old ones will.

          8. Planet Reality

            The Woodbury shadow inventory devastated the market by making prices go up, please let’s see more carnage. More price increases. Why people here expect anything different after 5 years is insane.

          9. wheresthebeef

            Planet, some days I just want to smash a pie in your face. Have a good day!

          10. tonye

            I was thinking about the same thing. Right now the real problem is not the GROWTH of the shadow inventory but the SIZE of the shadow inventory.

            However, if the growth of the shadow inventory is slowing down, then that means that at some point the size of the shadow inventory will stabilize and eventually shrink,

            Think first and second derivatives here.

            So, is the growth of the shadow inventory slowing down?

            Is the growth of the growth (acceleration) of the shadow inventory gone negative?

            If so when?

            I suppose this is what the Fed is trying to do by keeping interest rates absurdly low: ensure that less people get into trouble with their loans so that anyone who was going to get into trouble with their teaser rates would have done so.

            A reasonable way of containing the problem.. except my mother lost money on some Fannie Mae bonds… dude, I’m I pissed at the broker and the Feds or what?

    1. Eat that!

      You can thank my children, and their children for all they have done for you and your false equity supports.

  4. lowrydr310

    $700K for a Townhouse that comes with a cool $380 monthly Homeowners Association fee. Is this the Irvine premium?

    I have nothing against townhouses (that what I’ll be looking for when I’m ready to buy) but I would expect a lower price than a SFR, especially when it’s 500 feet from the 405. I wonder if there’s any freeway noise outside?

    1. Geotpf

      This isn’t even really a “townhouse”. It has a shared wall, so I would call it a “condo”. A townhouse, IMHO, has no shared walls, but shared common areas and no private yard beyond maybe a patio. I also wonder if the third floor attic conversion is permitted or not.

      But, yeah, that’s the Irvine premium. The final sale price, based on all of Redfin’s autocomps, will have either a 6 or a 7 as the first digit, followed by five more.

      1. IrvineRenter

        A townhouse is a condominium with a shared wall and no units above or below. This is in contrast to a stacked-flat condominium where the owner occupies an area bounded either above or below by another unit.

        1. irvine_home_owner

          In Irvine (and probably many other cities)… the lines blur between condo, townhome, detached condo, detached townhome and SFR.

        2. Geotpf

          When I think of “townhouse”, I think of “detached townhouse”, but it seems you are correct.

        3. Perspective

          IR’s description matches my understanding of a townhouse and describes my townhouse.

          I have a friend who “owns” a unit in Avenue 1 (Irvine condo complex). We both spent mid-$500s (at slightly different points during the bubble). However, the differences between my “townhouse” and his “condo” could not be more drastic. He’s very aware of these differences and after many visits to my place is reduced to simply nodding his head in disgust (with himself) now when he visits.

          The biggest difference is parking. I pull into my attached garage, and I’m home. He pulls into a parking structure, drives upward in a circle multiple levels until he reaches his cramped parking space. He then must navigate long hallways to get to his unit.

          The other big difference is neighbors. I share one wall that is separated on each side by stairwells (sound barriers). He shares walls on each side, above, and below (like all large Irvine apt complexes). Needless to say, he complains about their noise and they his.

  5. Eat that!

    I look at that kitchen and I think $499K not $699K. Theres’ no way in H I would ever, ever put down $699K for POS condo, townhome or whatever you want to call it. That is absolutely not an upgraded kitchen unless it was upgraded from an open fire pit. Good God, are we this stupid again!

    1. Alan

      Yes about the kitchen, but I am wondering how many “home offices” does a place need? It looks like 3 in this place, though the one in the attic just has a couple of empty, wornout desks. Someone put in quite an effort to haul those things up there though. Even when it needs 2 (or 3?) incomes to pay for such a place, do they all require separate home offices? Live in a smaller house with less wasted space and save the money!

  6. newbie2008

    The banks need to have the FHA, other govt entities and GSE make new loans as fast as possible. The govt can demand payment for loss from by banks for the origination of the prior defective loans and can return the defective loans to the origining banks, if still in business. With the new loans, those defects can be corrected — risk now known and stated, income now verified, low down payment risk very well known and stated, appraisals now real.

    Where else will the govt take the risk and let all the profits go into private hands?
    Historically, I don’t know of any truely 100% free market economies except for the little guy. The big guys have always had sweetheart deals and allays will have them. It’s a matter of limiting the plushness of those deals and having the govt getting some cut from those deals other than staying in office. It doesn’t matter where — Eastern block, Western countries, north or the south, third world, etc. Names and locations change, but human nature doesn’t change.

    1. newbie2008

      Forgot to mention that the defective loans are non-performing loans. The new loans will also be non-performing loans but will not be defective. They will be just a bad investment that the taxpayers will be stuck paying the investors/noteholders. The best scam will be the banks will rebuy the non-performing loans at a discount and be paid the full amount by the federal govt. That will be another sweet deal for the banksters.

    2. matt138

      That is the importance of limiting the scope of govt.

      The govt is our servant. It is our duty to understand it is a necessary evil and limiting it is crucial.

      The system will always be gamed. The larger it is, the dumber it gets, and gaming grows rampant.

  7. Tyler D.

    What’s with the “Yes to Prop 16” banner? It’s not what you think. Look who is funding it. You’ve been tricked, too.

  8. DarthFerret

    Ahh, the not-so-gentle thundering of the I-405 just outside the door of your $700K 4BR condo. HELOC abuse is about all that these units are good for.

    From at least Blue Lake S to Fallingstar, the I-405 just ROARS at those houses all day and night. I’m all the way in by Alton, and we can still hear the noise from the 405 at night, although it’s mostly just in the background for us. I can’t imagine paying so much money for one of these audio prisons.


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