May 15 2010

Solving the massive debt problem with more debt. American consumers carry as much debt as annual U.S. GDP. Credit card debt declines but auto loans and student loans go up?

The Federal Reserve has come to the aid of bailing out Greece.  I wonder how many Americans even know that billions of U.S. dollars are going to prop up a failing European country in Greece that got into the mess they are in because of too much debt.  In the end, the Euro is still crashing down because Greece is merely one country out of many with massive debt problems.  Middle class Americans don’t need an extensive lesson in economics to understand this.  If you take on too much debt, at a certain point you will end up paying the piper.  This doesn’t matter if you spend too much money on clothing by charging up your credit card or buying a home that you clearly couldn’t afford.  In the end, a bill comes due.  Unlike Wall Street who operates the Washington D.C. purse strings, you are small enough to fail in their eyes.  If you purchase a home that is too expensive, you will either have to pay the mortgage or end up in foreclosure.  Giant amounts of debt have ruined individuals as well as countries.

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May 13 2010

California state budget and fiscal year problems assure a weak housing market and poor employment conditions for another fiscal year. $3 billion miss in April tax revenues, selling electronic freeway ad space, and 80 percent of income from volatile sources.

The state of California is entering the new fiscal year budget wrangling period.  What the legislature in Sacramento was hoping for in April with generous tax revenues actually turned out to be an absolute bust.  The California housing bubble bursting is still having deep ramifications for the future of the state.  Unfortunately what we are now finding out is Sacramento put blind faith behind the federal government bailing out the state and overly optimistic revenues in April.  None of those have come to fruition and now the hard budget work will begin once again.  In this election year, you’ll be hard pressed to find any politician backing any tax hikes.  So more cuts seem to be in store for the state but those calling for massive cuts fail to connect the dots that unemployed people will not be buying homes or spending freely.  In other words, the economy of California is in trouble for at least the next fiscal year.

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May 11 2010

The ambiguous financial state of housing – 3 issues repeating the housing bubble mistakes; Real estate psychology, down payments required, and bring back lending responsibility to immediate areas.

The overwhelming evidence of what went wrong to create the housing bubble is irrefutable.  It is clear that allowing buyers to purchase a home with little to no documentation was a bad idea.  So why continue doing this today?  It was abundantly obvious that zero down or low down mortgages was a recipe for disaster.  Yet we are still encouraging low down payment loans today.  It is also clear that allowing Wall Street free reign on the housing and credit markets has created the largest credit bubble in history.  Then why allow them to continue as usual as if nothing has happened over the last decade?  The reasons for the housing market are clear to most Americans for obvious reasons.  Manias usually cloud judgment and get the better of those who are blinded by greed.  But typically, after a mania lessons are learned and new enforcement is placed in the market.  None of that has occurred even in the middle of our Great Recession.

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May 9 2010

The retirement myth – 1 out of 3 Americans has no savings or retirement account. Half of Americans have $2,000 or less in their retirement account. 401k new name for Wall Street grease.

Middle class Americans are witnessing the conversion of their retirement accounts into gambling pots used by Wall Street.  The metamorphosis of Wall Street into one giant fraud ridden center moved by investment banking funds has slowly occurred over the last four decades.  Average Americans have sat back over these years since they were given enough hope that they too, by investing in Wall Street managed funds can also become a multi-millionaire if they just try hard enough.  Yet this was all one giant ruse and direct challenge to the middle class to basically allow a bunch of financial predators to siphon off any productive value from the economy.  The 401k for example was a small unheard of investment item two decades ago.  It has now become a larger part of the retirement pie for Americans.

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May 7 2010

FDIC backing 8,000 banks with $13 trillion in assets and a negative deposit insurance fund. FDIC survey finds millions of U.S. households are underbanked. Too big to fail banks add branches and grow even bigger.

The FDIC has a big problem on its hand.  Some would say it is a too big to fail problem.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation looks over 8,000+ banks and protects the deposits at these banks.  Yet this seemingly large number is merely a front for where the assets are congregated.  The top 4 banks of Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citibank make up 55 percent of all banking assets.  This number is absolutely large.  FDIC backed institutions have $13 trillion in total assets.  Even yesterday as Wall Street demonstrated the dangers of concentrated power in a few big investment banks, rumors were flying around that some of the bigger banks made sizeable gains in their trading portfolios.  This brings up many questions for average Americans who are under the impression that their bank is actually keeping their money safe and sound instead of placing major bets on the stock market.

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