Posts Tagged ‘guaranteed’

“The way we treat retirees in this nation is broken…

When the government created Social Security, it was as an anti-poverty insurance program… not a way to pay for your entire retirement. In fact, it began with only a 2% payroll tax and promised to never take more than 6% of a worker’s pay.

That promise was broken.

Today, Social Security takes a combined total of 12.4% of your pay.

And what do you get guaranteed in return?

Nothing.

According to the Social Security Administration’s own website, the Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that citizens have no legal rights to Social Security, no matter how long they paid into the system.

Social Security’s costs this year exceeded its income for the first time since 1982.”

-P.J. O’Rourke

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Well, here we ago again.  Up until now, most of the “questionable” home loans available since the housing meltdown have been rural development loans offered through the USDA.  The questionable part in my mind are the “no down payment required” and “guaranteed loan” aspects.  But, according to a Reuters article, Wells Fargo is again planning to jump back into the “subprime” market.  Why?  Because they are experiencing a downturn in revenue.  Hmm, does this seem like a sound business decision?  (GM is also selling cars to subprime customers to help their sales).  Does this sound promising?

Some interesting points from the Reuters article makes me scratch my head:

1.  “…loosening of credit standards could boost housing demand…”  Shouldn’t demand for housing be boosted because people can actually afford them?  Isn’t it a false demand by any other standard?

2.  “To avoid the taint associated with the word ‘subprime’, lenders are calling their loans ‘another chance mortgages’ or ‘alternative mortgage program’.”  Does changing the name of something actually make it better?  Does duping people make these mortgages safer?

3.  “If the borrower does not meet those hurdles and later defaults on a mortgage, he or she can sue the lender and argue the loan should never have been made in the first place.”  Seriously, then why do we make the purchaser sign on the bottom line?  That point was missed during the initial crisis; purchasers were simply considered victims.  Everyone wants to blame the bank.  Thank you Dodd-Frank!

4.  “Subprime mortgages were at the center of the financial crisis, but many lenders believe that done with proper controls, the risks can be managed.”  I am sure they thought the same thing last time.  Risk is guaranteed to be risky; a la the recent death of the snake handling pastor.

5.  “The bank is looking to lend to borrowers with weaker credit, but only if those mortgages can be guaranteed by the FHA.  Because the loans are backed by the government, Wells Fargo can package them into bonds and sell them to investors.”  And there we have it!  Guaranteed by the government!  In other words, by the American taxpayer!  Let’s see, what would I provide to the American consumer if the government will guarantee it?  Anything!  The second part of the quote explains exactly what they were doing before, turning them into investments.  Subprime investments,  I’ll pass.

It looks like the strategy must be paying dividends.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “Household debt jumps as banks loosen up.”  Wells Fargo knows what works to get people borrowing.  The interesting thing is that they still haven’t resolved all of their issues with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the original crisis, but see no issues with stepping back into those familiar waters.

All I can say is, good luck with that….

Prevent financial illiteracy:  1.  “Our kids must know that they are not entitled to money or wealth…or anything for that matter, even Christmas presents.  They must earn money.”  2.  “Our children need to understand debt.  Debt is expensive.  If you abuse it, it will destroy you.  It robs you of your independence.”  3.  “Our kids need to learn the power of compound interest and the best way to harness it.  Compound interest is the most powerful force in finance.  And it’s mathematically guaranteed.” -Tom Dyson