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A Bipartisan Bid on Mortgage Aid Is Gaining Speed
New York Times
Apr 2, 2008

Casting aside partisan differences, Senate Democratic and Republican leaders said on Tuesday that they would work urgently on a package of legislation to help millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure, with the hope of bringing a bill to the floor as early as Wednesday afternoon.

 
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Obama Casts Wide Blame for Financial Crisis and Proposes Homeowner Aid
New York Times
Mar 28, 2008

Senator Barack Obama called Thursday for tighter regulation of mortgage lenders, banks and financial houses, even as he spoke of pumping $30 billion into the economy to shield homeowners and local governments from the worst effects of the collapse of the housing bubble.

 
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McCain Rejects Broad U.S. Aid on Mortgages
New York Times
Mar 27, 2008

Drawing a sharp distinction between himself and the two Democratic presidential candidates, Senator John McCain of Arizona warned Tuesday against vigorous government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis and the market turmoil it has caused, saying that “it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.”

 
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Bush and Fed Step Toward a Mortgage Rescue
New York Times
Mar 5, 2008

“The reality is, prices will fall; there is no way to keep them up,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal group in Washington. “If we have the government get in, either as the owner of the debt or the guarantor of the debt, a lot of the decline will be shouldered by the taxpayer.”

 
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Bankruptcy Act
Wall Street Journal
Feb 26, 2008

Has Harry Reid realized that the just-enacted $168 billion stimulus plan will do nothing to encourage economic growth? On the same day that President Bush signed the bill, February 13, the Senate Majority Leader introduced Son of Stimulus, with plans for a floor vote today.  If all politics is local -- and make no mistake, this hastily-drafted bill is a political stunt designed to gain Senate seats in November -- Senators might ask how costly Mr. Reid's national solution will be for their constituents. Republicans are right to oppose it.

 
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Homeowners May Be Big Winners In Stimulus Plan
Associated Press
Feb 8, 2008

The biggest winners in the economic rescue plan now awaiting President Bush's signature are likely to be Americans with more expensive homes who will be able to refinance their home loans at cheaper rates.

 
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Economic Stimulus Plan Divides Democrats
New York Times
Feb 8, 2008

Congress, facing the prospect of an election-year recession, passed an emergency plan Thursday that rushes rebates of $600 to $1,200 to most taxpayers and $300 checks to disabled veterans, the elderly and other low-income people. President Bush indicated he would sign the measure.

 
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Ease capital requirements for Fannie?
Thomson Financial
Feb 7, 2008

Amid the worst housing crisis in a generation, pressures are mounting for an expanded role by the two mortgage finance companies, even as lawmakers also call for a tightening of the reins on them in the wake of multibillion-dollar accounting scandals.

 
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New Mortgage Rules Benefit Californians, Sort Of
Wall Street Journal
Feb 7, 2008

Just when Californians are tossed a long-sought bone in the mortgage market, conditions on the ground threaten to erode the proposed benefit.

 
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Will New Rules On Mortgages Help Borrowers?
Wall Street Journal
Feb 7, 2008

As Congress moves to lower borrowing costs on so-called jumbo mortgages, lending experts caution that the benefits to borrowers may be limited.

 
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States could unite in subprime lending probe
Reuters
Feb 5, 2008

State attorneys general are talking to each other and could join their separate investigations over the subprime mortgage meltdown, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said.

 
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Economic Aid Plan Passes Senate Test
Associated Press
Feb 4, 2008

An economic aid plan to send rebates of $600-$1,200 to most taxpayers passed a key test Monday in the Senate.  The bill adds $10 billion in tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds to help homeowners refinance subprime loans and adds measures included in the House-passed bill to increase the availability of large mortgages and allow those holding subprime loans to refinance. It would raise the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans and the cap on loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy to $729,750.

 
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Bush budget would lift mortgage bond cap by $15 bln
Reuters
Feb 4, 2008

States and local governments would be allowed to issue an additional $15 billion in tax-exempt mortgage bonds over three years, under President George W. Bush's annual budget proposal released Monday.The Senate is currently considering a measure attached to its fiscal stimulus bill that would lift the cap by $10 billion over the same timeframe, 2008 through 2010.

 
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Stimulus Plan a Scam to Benefit the Rich
SF Gate
Feb 3, 2008

Congress is about to sell us the biggest fraud in American history.  It's been highly touted as an economic stimulus bill that will help millions of Americans - and has the backing of both President Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But, as the old adage goes, nothing comes for free.

 
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Subprime Lenders Get Tax Breaks in U.S. Senate Stimulus Plan
Bloomberg
Jan 31, 2008

Subprime lenders, homebuilders and banks stand to benefit from a $14.4 billion tax break passed yesterday by a Senate committee as part of an economic stimulus package.

 
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How Congress helped create the subprime mess
Fortune
Jan 30, 2008

Lawmakers may say they are outraged, but it was actually two key pieces of legislation that primed the pump for the housing implosion.

 
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Fed Cuts May Prevent Subprime Shock, Analysts Say
Bloomberg
Jan 30, 2008

Ben S. Bernanke is turning out to be a better friend to U.S. homeowners with subprime adjustable-rate mortgages than Henry Paulson, according to analysts at banks including Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp.

 
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A Mortgage 'Tweak' We Don't Need
Wall Street Journal
Jan 29, 2008

In short, if this bill becomes law a mortgage would no longer be a matter between a borrower and a lender, but instead, between a borrower, a lender and a judge. Rather than interpreting private contracts, judges would suddenly be able to rewrite them.

 
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An Open Letter to the United States Congress: Don't Fall for "Stimulus" Fairy Tales!
National Taxpayers Union
Jan 28, 2008

In addition, the plan will increase the limits for loans purchased or insured by the Federal Housing Administration as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It would increase those loan limits to $725,000 and $625,000, respectively. This expansion of federally sponsored mortgage debt is but a continuation of risky lending practices, backed implicitly by the American taxpayer.

 
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Paulson Says Senate Unlikely to Derail Stimulus Plan
Bloomberg
Jan 27, 2008

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the $150 billion economic stimulus package worked out by President George W. Bush and U.S. House leaders was a "rare bipartisan moment" that's likely to be repeated in the Senate.

 
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Why the Stimulus Shouldn't Stimulate You
Washington Post
Jan 27, 2008

As a general rule, economic policies command bipartisan support only when they're incoherent. Take, for example, the fiscal stimulus package now bulldozing its way through the legislative process. It's poorly conceived, it's unlikely to work, and it's sure to do a lot of collateral damage.

 
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Senators Push to Expand Stimulus
Washington Post
Jan 26, 2008

Shrugging off a personal plea from President Bush, senators from both parties said yesterday that they will push for significant additions to the $150 billion stimulus package hammered out Thursday by House leaders and the administration.

 
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Critiques of Spending Plan Retrace Old Debate
NY Times
Jan 25, 2008

Useful, but flawed and probably not enough: that, in general terms, was the verdict pronounced on the $150 billion emergency spending plan agreed to by the White House and Congressional leaders on Thursday in a bid to stimulate the suddenly sputtering economy.

 
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Big loans could get cheaper
LA Times
Jan 25, 2008

Leaders of the House of Representatives and the White House agreed that the size of loans that can be purchased by government-sponsored mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be increased sharply for a year from the current cutoff of $417,000.

 
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Foreclosure fixes
LA Times
Jan 25, 2008

California lawmakers should stop trying to micromanage the mortgage mess. There's no one-size-fits-all solution.

 
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Stimulus Gone Bad
NY Times
Jan 25, 2008

House Democrats and the White House have reached an agreement on an economic stimulus plan. Unfortunately, the plan — which essentially consists of nothing but tax cuts and gives most of those tax cuts to people in fairly good financial shape — looks like a lemon.

 
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A smart fix for the subprime mess
The Christian Science Monitor
Jan 23, 2008

How can the government help homeowners without putting taxpayer dollars at risk or sending the wrong signals to the housing market? There is no single answer. But the reality is that markets do work, and although credit markets are in distress, progress is being made.

 
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Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae may write down $16 bln
Reuters
Jan 22, 2008

The largest U.S. housing finance companies, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, may report $16 billion in write-downs for the fourth quarter due to the falling value of their subprime mortgage investments, according to Credit Suisse analysts.

 
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If Everyone's Finger-Pointing, Who's to Blame?
New York Times
Jan 22, 2008

Everyone wants to know who is to blame for the losses paining Wall Street and homeowners.  The answer, it seems, is someone else.

 
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Subprime Borrowers Get Easier Terms
Wall Street Journal
Jan 19, 2008

With house prices sliding and defaults on the rise, mortgage companies negotiated easier terms with 370,000 troubled subprime borrowers during the second half of last year, according to industry data released Friday.

 
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FDIC: U.S. "will step in" on subprime if needed
Reuters
Jan 17, 2008

The chief of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp warned on Thursday that if industry solutions fail to help subprime mortgage borrowers, the odds of government involvement will increase.

 
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Report: More foreclosures than workouts
Business Week
Jan 17, 2008

A mortgage industry trade group insisted Thursday that lenders are doing a better job of helping troubled borrowers than outside reports say they are.

 
Link to story
 
 
 

White House Stimulus Fact Sheet
Wall Street Journal
Jan 18, 2008

The White House released on Friday the following fact sheet on President Bush's plans to stimulate the U.S. economy.

 
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Obama's backyard economics session
LA Times
Jan 17, 2008

"The deck has been stacked in favor of the big banks and the big financial companies and not for the consumers and homeowners," he told the residents.  Obama has proposed creating a $10-billion fund to help prevent foreclosures, eliminate some taxes and fees for families who must sell, and offer counseling to homeowners.

 
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Subprime guru drives debate
Politico
Jan 17, 2008

The main intellectual engine driving Democratic responses to the housing crisis isn't headquartered in a flashy Washington think tank or K Street suite, but rather in a restored cream-and-brick building on Durham's idle West Main Street.  It's the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Responsible Lending.

 
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Realtors group predicts US home sales to recover in second half of 2008
Associated Press
Jan 8, 2008

A trade group for real estate agents predicted today that the pace of U.S. home sales will pick up significantly in the second half of 2008, bringing total sales for the year marginally higher than in 2007.

 
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Administration Eyes More Mortgage Help
Associated Press
Jan 7, 2008

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday the administration was exploring what would be a significant expansion of the program to help at-risk mortgage holders.

 
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New York governor to propose subprime bill
Newsday
Jan 7, 2008

Gov. Eliot Spitzer plans to propose a bill in his State of the State address Wednesday that aims to assist homeowners facing foreclosure and to tighten lending standards.

 
Link to story
 
 
 

Housing Slump May Bottom by Mid-Year: Bush Adviser
Reuters
Jan 4, 2008

The drag on the U.S. economy from a deep housing slump should ease by mid-year, paving the way for stronger economic growth, a top White House adviser told CNBC.

 
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What will we do if big two go bust?
Baltimore Sun
Jan 4, 2008

They don't know it, but taxpayers stand to lose billions as the housing bubble bursts. And in a bipartisan effort to "do something" to save the housing market, President Bush and the Democratic Congress appear set to put taxpayers on the hook for billions more.

 
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Mortgage brokers starting to register
American Public Media
Jan 4, 2008

To combat abusive lending practices, seven states have launched a standardized registry for mortgage brokers. Eventually, regulators nationwide will know about those who fail to register.

 
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Bush to Revive Push for Housing Remedy
Wall Street Journal
Jan 2, 2008

With public sentiment on the economy still sagging, President Bush will make a new push for congressional action to shore up the troubled housing market, a top aide said.

 
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Lender Lobbying Blitz Abbetted Mortgage Mess
Wall Street Journal
Dec 31, 2007

During the housing boom, the subprime industry succeeded at more than just writing mortgages. It also shot down efforts by some states to curtail risky lending to borrowers with spotty credit.

 
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Mortgage Meltdown
San Francisco Chronicle
Dec 31, 2007

Beaming with pride and talking a mile a minute, Johnnie Pitts stacked up piles of legal documents on his living room floor the Wednesday before Christmas. The San Francisco Muni driver had just returned from having his signature notarized on agreements that permanently modify his once-exorbitant mortgage to a reasonable interest rate, allowing him to keep the three-bedroom bungalow on Oakland's MacArthur Boulevard.

 
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Subprime Conduct
Wall Street Journal
Dec 28, 2007

The mortgage debacle and its sleazy backstory -- the teaser rates and other sales gimmicks lenders concocted, and the sales commission they paid brokers, to lure unsophisticated homebuyers into inappropriate and ultimately unaffordable, properties plays like a rerun of the telecom meltdown.  So too does the bad legislation that may emerge, like Sarbanes-Oxley. Exhibit A is Barney Frank's Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act.

 
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That's Debatable: Should state curb subprime loans?
Daily Pilot
Dec 27, 2007

An expanding chorus of state officials are calling for legislation to protect Californians from losing their homes as the subprime mortgage crisis deepens. Do you think state lawmakers should step in with solutions? If so, do you have any suggestions to help with the problem?

 
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Mortgage mess tops 2007 housing topics
Boston Globe
Dec 26, 2007

Every economist will tell you housing is cyclical. If the borrowers in default can find a way to counter the present downturn, there's a great chance they can come out on top.

 
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Pamela Yip: Rate freeze isn't worth 'credit score suicide'
The Dallas Morning News
Dec 24, 2007

Given how important the credit score has become in consumers' lives, it's hard to think that someone would deliberately sabotage this all-important number.  A credit expert raised this prospect in the context of the recently announced plan by the Bush administration and lenders that would temporarily freeze interest rates on certain troubled subprime adjustable-rate home loans.

 
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Let the Fed clean house
Seattle Times
Dec 24, 2007

The subprime-mortgage mess may require more federal intervention, but it should be done judiciously, and for the right reasons.  Let the Fed judge how much strain the system can stand - and, as much as possible, let the players themselves work out their problems according to the rules already in place.

 
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Bailout a bad solution for subprime mortgage mess
Nevada Appeal
Dec 23, 2007

There should be a minimum safety net to catch those who are in dire financial straits. But this doesn't mean the government should pay off their mortgages, or help those troubled financial institutions remain solvent.  If the government bails out these bubble riders, that will only encourage people to jump on the next bubble.

 
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Subprime bailouts are the last thing we need
New Hampshire Business Review
Dec 21, 2007

A bailout is nothing more than the government using its power to force some people to give up their money (or freedom) for the sake of others. Any government "borrower assistance," i.e., borrower bailout programs, such as a Massachusetts' proposal to give struggling homeowners new loans they could not get on the free market, excuse borrowers from the natural consequences of their voluntary risks.

 
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Boston Fed, Banks in $125 Mln Subprime Aid Plan
Reuters
Dec 21, 2007

The Boston Federal Reserve Bank and five U.S. banks unveiled details on Thursday of a $125 million program to help New England homeowners refinance into fixed-interest-rate home loans if they are facing increases in monthly mortgage payments that they cannot afford.

 
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Economy sizzled over summer despite housing woes
Associated Press
Dec 20, 2007

The economy sprinted ahead at its fastest pace in four years during the summer, although it is expected to limp through the final three months of this year as the housing and credit debacles weigh on individuals and businesses alike.

 
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Citizens Against Higher Taxes Opposes Taxpayer Bailout of Mortgages
PRWEB
Dec 18, 2007

Citizens Against Higher Taxes announced its opposition to taxpayer bailouts of subprime mortgages. Such an action would be nothing more than a new taxpayer subsidized program that rescues disreputable mortgage, banking or brokerage firms at the expense of working families, taxpayers and responsible homeowners.

 
Link to story
 
 
 

Fed Proposes New Mortgage Rules
Wall Street Journal
Dec 18, 2007

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday is set to consider a plan that would mark the central bank's biggest regulatory response to date of the country's mortgage turmoil.

 
Link to story
 
 
 

House bill may worsen climate for subprime borrowers
Boston Globe
Dec 17, 2007

In the wake of the subprime crisis, the market has turned against all except "cream-puff borrowers" -- those with no weaknesses. The cream-puffs can borrow today on pretty much the same terms as before the crisis. But borrowers with blemishes on their applications are paying much higher prices and face a much higher risk of being turned down altogether.

 
Link to story
 
 
 

Housing industry looks to Congress for help
bizjournals
Dec 17, 2007

The housing industry is counting on help from Congress to prevent a tidal wave of foreclosures that would further depress residential real estate values.

 
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Left out in cold for rate-freeze
Chicago Tribune
Dec 16, 2007

It may be the only test you flunk if you score too high: It's called the "FICO Test," and it is a key element of the sometimes arcane new guidelines governing which homeowners qualify for "fast-track" interest-rate freezes on their subprime mortgages and which don't. If you've got a FICO of 675, which in a traditional mortgage context should qualify you for reasonably good terms, forget about a fast-track rate freeze. Your credit is too good. But if you've got a FICO of 610 or 620 -- subprime territory by most lenders' standards -- you pass.

 
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Democrats may commit the real mortgage fraud
Chicago Tribune
Dec 16, 2007

Nothing is more fun than doing noble deeds with someone else's money, and right now Democrats are getting ready for a rollicking good time. Contemplating the subprime mortgage problem, with numerous borrowers unable to pay their debts, the party's presidential candidates and congressional leaders have a simple solution: Fleece the lenders.

 
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Senate Votes to Help Strapped Homeowners
Associated Press
Dec 16, 2007

The Senate moved against the worsening mortgage crisis Friday, voting to make it easier for thousands of homeowners with ballooning interest rates to refinance into federally insured loans.

 
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PRO: Government's role will benefit us all
Sacramento Bee
Dec 16, 2007

It's a bailout! That's the refrain from some of the critics of the Bush administration's plan to help certain subprime borrowers, with either an FHA refinancing or a five-year interest rate freeze.

 
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CON: Political fixes only end up hurting market
Sacramento Bee
Dec 16, 2007

The response by Democrats seems to be best expressed by Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who has called for using hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars to prop up subprime barrowers. This "No effort should be spared to save everyone who has taken out a risky loan" approach is not so far from promising everyone a free house.

 
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Poll Finds Resistance to Help for Distressed Borrowers
Wall Street Journal
Dec 15, 2007

A plurality of Americans say the government shouldn't provide financial assistance to borrowers who can't afford their mortgages, a new poll shows. But 41% agree strongly that mortgage brokers should be better regulated.

 
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Dissecting the Bailout Plan
Wall Street Journal
Dec 10, 2007

It is not quite right to describe the new White House plan as a bailout of subprime mortgage borrowers. Actually, it is a bailout for a tiny fraction of those with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), not subprime loans per se. Nearly half of all subprime mortgage rates are fixed-rate loans, and only 32% of ARMs are subprime.

 
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'Compassion' trap
San Diego Union Tribune
Dec 10, 2007

If ever there was a nightmare we should have seen coming, it is the subprime loan default crisis. A massive industry sprung up in recent years devoted to persuading home buyers and existing homeowners to take out irrational mortgages.

 
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Subprime freeze plan: Who's left out
CNN Money
Dec 9, 2007

Distressed borrowers looking for relief from the recently announced White House foreclosure prevention plan may be in for a disappointment.

 
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Loan bailout is not likely to help many homeowners
SF Gate
Dec 9, 2007

The subprime rate freeze plan announced by the Bush administration last week was clearly designed to win votes. I just wonder whose.

 
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Paulson Mortgage Plan Surfaces Too Late to Stem Housing Slide
Bloomberg
Dec 7, 2007

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan to prevent as many as 1.2 million people from losing their homes by freezing interest rates on subprime adjustable-rate mortgages will bring no benefit to the depreciating housing market.

 
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Who Will the Subprime Plan Help?
TIME Magazine
Dec 7, 2007

Don't be fooled. The Bush administration's deal with lenders to get them to freeze interest rates on some adjustable-rate subprime loans isn't really about rescuing lots of homeowners. It's mainly about buying some time for mortgage servicers.

 
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Mortgage relief program a slap in the face to some
Los Angeles Times
Dec 7, 2007

Would-be buyers say they will have to delay homeownership while aid for reckless borrowers keeps prices elevated.

 
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Battle Lines Form Over Mortgage Plan
Wall Street Journal
Dec 7, 2007

Some critics, especially Democrats, say the plan doesn't go far enough to protect vulnerable homeowners against foreclosure. Others, including some homeowners, as well as those who have watched from the sidelines as home prices have soared in recent years, charge that the plan amounts to a bailout for financially reckless borrowers.

 
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Our Plan to Help Homeowners
Wall Street Journal
Dec 7, 2007

After a period of widely available capital, easy credit and unsustainable housing price appreciation, an inevitable correction in the housing market now poses a significant risk to the U.S. economy.

 
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Rate freeze called too little, too much
Chicago Tribune
Dec 7, 2007

With reports of foreclosures at a 21-year high and the U.S. housing market apparently in its worst shape since 1945, the Bush administration pitched its plan Thursday to ease the subprime loan crisis that was immediately lambasted as too much and not enough.

 
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An Open Letter to the United States Congress
Freedom Works
Dec 6, 2007

Market corrections have already begun, with financial institutions writing down bad debts and adopting new lending standards to avoid future foreclosures. Legislation to create new underwriting standards will reduce competition and restrict consumer access to credit.

 
Link to story
 
 
 

The Not Paulson Bailout
Wall Street Journal
Dec 6, 2007

The next time we suggest that the government give advice to the private sector, tie us down until the fever passes.

 
Link to story
 
 
 

Conservatives bemoan mortgage bailout
Politico
Dec 5, 2007

President Bush’s plan to ease the fallout from the mortgage lending crisis is rankling some key conservatives who argue it amounts to nothing less than government meddling.

 
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Fed: Foreclosures not primarily due to high loan payments
Boston Globe
Dec 4, 2007

The recent spike in home foreclosures in Massachusetts is caused primarily by falling housing prices, and not by rising mortgage payments, according to research released yesterday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

 
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Some Cry Foul Over Relief Plan For Borrowers
Wall Street Journal
Dec 4, 2007

The Bush administration's plan to give subprime borrowers a break on their mortgages is already catching flak from an unexpected source: other homeowners.

 
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Big Hurdle For Subprime Bailout: Who to Help?
Reuters
Dec 4, 2007

Implementing the proposed bailout of subprime borrowers who face foreclosure may be so difficult that it will turn out to be no better than the loan modification efforts already underway, analysts said.

 
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No Bailouts for Borrowers
Wall Street Journal
Dec 4, 2007

A taxpayer bailout of distressed homeowners would be expensive, unfair to the vast majority of homeowners and renters who have made prudent financial decisions, and set a troubling precedent that would invite reckless behavior in the future.

 
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HUD says 70 pct of sub-prime loans will not fall into foreclosure
Thomson Financial
Dec 3, 2007

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Alphonso Jackson today predicted 70 pct of all sub-prime loans would not fall into foreclosure.

 
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Subprime mess: Facing consequences, moving on
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Dec 3, 2007

Should it pass, the consequences are clear. Lenders will raise standards to levels that unnecessarily exclude deserving borrowers.

 
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Many Subprime Borrowers May Be Able to Refinance
Wall Street Journal
Dec 3, 2007

Many borrowers with subprime mortgages have reasonably good credit and may be able to refinance into a less costly mortgage by taking advantage of government programs, Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said in a speech this morning.

 
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Subprime Debacle Traps Even Very Credit-Worthy
Wall Street Journal
Dec 3, 2007

One common assumption about the subprime mortgage crisis is that it revolves around borrowers with sketchy credit who couldn't have bought a home without paying punitively high interest rates. But it turns out that plenty of people with seemingly good credit are also caught in the subprime trap.

 
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Experts: Bailout Not Complete Solution
Chicago Tribune
Dec 2, 2007

If lenders temporarily freeze low introductory interest rates on home loans made to risky borrowers before they soar, it would be a modest fix for the country's fractured housing market.

 
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Subprime Bailout: Good Idea or 'Moral Hazard?'
NPR
Nov 29, 2007

Should the federal government bail out lenders and borrowers caught up in the subprime mortgage crisis? It's a simple question but, like everything else surrounding the high-risk, high-cost loans, the answers are far from simple.

 
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Don't Bail Out Fannie and Freddie
Wall Street Journal
Nov 29, 2007

With portfolios of almost $3 trillion, capital of $65 billion, and no obvious end to the fall in home values, the continued solvency of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has to be in question.

 
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Cheney: No bailouts, no tax hikes...more oil
Fortune
Nov 26, 2007

Vice President Dick Cheney wields considerable power on economic policy. In a Fortune exclusive, the free-market fan weighs in on the credit crisis and his biggest fear.

 
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The Fed can already help subprime
NPR
Nov 21, 2007

As Congress searches for ways to clean up the subprime mess and prevent a future one, commentator Robert Reich says the Fed already has the authority to do just that. It just needs to pay more attention.

 
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Mortgage Giant Fuels Worries With Steep Loss
Wall Street Journal
Nov 21, 2007

The wider-than-expected $2.03 billion loss posted yesterday by Freddie Mac for the third quarter makes clear that the mortgage giant and its rival Fannie Mae -- government-chartered companies that buy and guarantee mortgages -- have less power to prop up the housing market than some politicians hoped.

 
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A Swarm of Swindlers
New York Times
Nov 20, 2007

Like vultures, the mortgage lenders began circling the single-family house with the tiny front lawn on Merrill Avenue.

 
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Proposals in Congress Could Leave Taxpayers Footing the Bill in Subprime Mortgage Crisis -- NTU
Fresno Bee
Nov 20, 2007

Subprime mortgage troubles continue as Congress considers proposals impacting taxpayers. The measures would give the federal housing administration or FHA - the largest mortgage insurer - and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - the largest mortgage lender - a larger role in the housing market.

 
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Crunch Worries May Yet Go Way of Y2K
Wall Street Journal
Nov 19, 2007

Amid all of the recent debt-market turmoil, it is important to remember that when people see smoke coming out of a house, somebody usually calls the fire department.

 
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A Silver Lining in the Subprime Meltdown
Louisiana Weekly
Nov 19, 2007

This year's sub-prime mortgage bust has done a lot of damage in a short period of time to the U.S. housing industry and the economy as a whole.

 
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Fannie Mayhem
Wall Street Journal
Nov 18, 2007

Chuck Schumer is lucky Congress ignored him. We're referring to the New York Senator's idea, which he has loudly promoted for months, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should ride to the rescue of the housing market by buying up unwanted mortgages and guaranteeing them.

 
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Subprime crisis: mixed messages
The Rupblican American
Nov 17, 2007

In 1998, the U.S. Conference of Mayors blamed "redlining" for the "homeownership gap" in major cities. Though never documented, that was a common complaint for decades. In reality, the gap had less to do with discrimination than low demand for urban housing and banks' reluctance to lend money to people who can't repay.

 
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House clears mortgage industry reform bill
CBS Marketwatch
Nov 15, 2007

In a response to the subprime lending meltdown, House lawmakers approved a sweeping bill on Thursday that would reform a host of mortgage industry practices.

 
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Fannie Mae's Fuzzy Math
Fortune
Nov 14, 2007

The mortgage lender has quietly changed the way it calculates its bad loans -- and it could be camouflaging steep credit losses, writes Fortune's Peter Eavis.

 
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The Subprime Bailout
The Nation
Nov 14, 2007

You've heard about Nero fiddling while Rome burned, but what if he had been playing golf? Something of that sort occurred this summer as Wall Street spiraled into loss and hysteria.

 
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Mortgage Crisis Extends Its Reach
Wall Street Journal
Nov 13, 2007

In a growing percentage of cases, government-linked bodies are the ones putting up the cash for home loans and taking the risk that a borrower won't pay the money back. Private enterprise's role is narrowing in many instances to the job of arranging loans, providing the initial funding until the loans can be sold, and handling the monthly paper work.

 
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Interest freeze could backfire
Long Beach Press Telegram
Nov 12, 2007

With the housing market in decline and the mortgage industry in free fall, government officials are searching for something they can do to stop the bleeding.

 
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Shelter from the FHA
Washington Times
Nov 11, 2007

While House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank extols the virtues of homeownership and giving opportunities to those never able to afford a home before, the push to ease the requirements for receiving a federally insured loan may not square with the market's present rise in home loan defaults.

 
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Bailouts in Disguise
The American Daily
Nov 10, 2007

As we witness large numbers of defaults on subprime loans--loans extended to those with no credit or bad credit--many are calling for the government to do something to stop the suffering. At the same time, many recognize that a bailout of struggling homeowners would be wrong.

 
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Fannie loses $1.4B in 3Q, warns on '08
Associated Press
Nov 9, 2007

Fannie Mae's third-quarter loss more than doubled to $1.4 billion, reducing year-to-date profits by more than half, as credit losses and mounting mortgage delinquencies sour its outlook into 2008, the company said Friday.

 
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New York Widens Inquiry on Mortgages
New York Times
Nov 8, 2007

The New York Attorney General, Andrew M. Cuomo, has subpoenaed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as he expands his investigation into what he calls “widespread” collusion between real estate appraisers and lenders, including Washington Mutual, to inflate home values.

 
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Fed's Bernanke again reluctant to raise loan limit for Fannie, Freddie
Forbes
Nov 8, 2007

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke today reiterated that Congress should be careful when considering whether to raise the non-conforming loan limit on mortgages that securitizers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase. Testifying before the House-Senate Joint Economic Committee, Bernanke indicated he does not support raising the loan limit, now at 417,000 usd, and said if this step is taken, it should only be temporary.

 
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Anti-predatory-lending bill passes U.S. House committee
Inman News
Nov 8, 2007

In a 45-19 vote, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services this week approved mortgage reform legislation that has drawn fire from some consumer groups and mortgage professionals alike.

 
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Mortgage Rates Back To May 2007 Levels
Mortgage News Daily
Nov 7, 2007

Mortgage rates fell last week to their lowest point in nearly six months according to the results of Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ended November 1.

 
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A Sarbox for Housing
Wall Street Journal
Nov 6, 2007

As early as today, Mr. Frank plans to hold a committee vote on his Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007, which would impose new rules and financial penalties on subprime lenders, while providing new lawsuit opportunities for distressed borrowers... Mr. Frank's bill couldn't come at a worse time, as it will further shrink credit to marginal borrowers, which will mean fewer buyers and extend the housing downturn.

 
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Report: Foreclosures beginning to level off
MSN Money Central
Nov 6, 2007

The number of real estate owned homes surged 24 percent nationwide in October, but foreclosures overall have dropped 12 percent since August, according to a report from Foreclosures.com

 
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NO on H.R. 3915
Artifice, Inc
Nov 6, 2007

In an already tough lending and real estate environment, this bill will put additional unneeded pressure on real estate prices and cause unforeseen harm to homeowners, mortgage professionals and real estate professionals everywhere. It will also limit the choices consumers have in finding a residential mortgage loan to strictly large financial institutions.

 
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Fed: Mortgage Standards Tightening
Associated Press
Nov 5, 2007

More banks have tightened lending standards on home mortgages, the Federal Reserve said Monday in the latest sign of fallout from a spreading credit crisis.

 
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Paulson's Focus on Subprime `Excesses' Shows Goldman Gorged
Bloomberg
Nov 5, 2007

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the U.S. is examining the subprime mortgage crisis to ensure that ``yesterday's excesses'' aren't repeated. He could be talking about himself and his former firm, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

 
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Subprime bailouts: Chump check
CNNMoney
Nov 5, 2007

Responsible loan payers are crying foul about the breaks that delinquent borrowers are getting.

 
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Congress asked to help contact at-risk borrowers
MarketWatch
Nov 2, 2007

"If the industry works together, it is possible to reinstate or refinance many of these loans, but only if borrowers respond to offers of assistance," said Brian Montgomery, assistant secretary of housing.

 
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Congress asked to help contact at-risk borrowers
The Huntsville Times
Oct 31, 2007

Lenders helped create the subprime problem, so it makes sense that they should be part of the solution - a major part. The more this problem can be solved by the private sector, the less likely it is that a government bailout will be wise or necessary.

 
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Paulson: US Can Overcome Subprime Crisis
SeattlePI
Oct 30, 2007

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday that the American economy is strong enough to overcome the trouble in the country's housing market although the subprime mortgage crisis may take longer than expected to resolve.

 
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Congress Moves to Reform Mortgage Industry
Banktech.com
Oct 29, 2007

Congress introduced legislation on Oct. 22 to combat abuses in the mortgage lending market and "to provide basic protections to mortgage consumers and investors."

 
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Free Marketeers vs. Interventionistas
Financialweek.com
Oct 29, 2007

Forests have been expended by now on what should and shouldn’t be done about the credit crunch. “Moral hazard!” cry free mar-keteers about government-led efforts to prevent the crunch from turning into a full-blown crisis. Bailouts at best just kick the can down the road, warn these proponents of laissez-faire economics. Better, they say, to let a recession come and be done with it, as if a downturn were some sort of morally purifying ritual.

 
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The Orange Grove: Learn the lessons of subprime
OC Register
Oct 28, 2007

Any government-led bailout of the "subprime crisis" will only operate to rescue shaky mortgage banking or loan brokerage firms at the expense of taxpayers and homeowners. Consumers who have played by the rules should not be forced by their government to pay for the decisions of other consumers who borrowed money they could not, or would not, pay back.

 
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Restraint needed in housing crisis bailouts Common-sense measures will work
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
Oct 26, 2007

If the Legislature and governor act properly, they'll lessen the chance that Michigan will go through a foreclosure meltdown like this again. They shouldn't think, however, that they can paper over every individual mistake that's already happened.

 
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In Defense of ARMs
Wall Street Journal
Oct 26, 2007

The bottom line is that any lending tool -- whether it's a bar tab or a bank loan -- can be abused. But just as we shouldn't get rid of bar tabs, ARMs are worth keeping around. When used responsibly, adjustable-rate mortgages can be a financially sound and cost-effective way for modern families to purchase a home.

 
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Subprime Debacle
NY Sun
Oct 26, 2007

Although the larger consequences of the subprime debacle and housing slump remain unclear, the "let's-fix-it crowd" has marched on stage. Just as the Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco auditing problems spawned the burdensome Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, which led to some publicly-owned companies setting up shop in London, Paris, or Hong Kong, the subprime problems could lead to over-regulation.

 
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Main Street's take: Trouble ahead
LA Times
Oct 25, 2007

Rich or poor, most Americans think the nation is careening toward recession, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll finds. The poll also showed that 40% of the public believe government should step in to help people hurt by the mortgage mess or take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

 
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A subpar sub-prime plan?
LA Times
Oct 25, 2007

Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, announced a new effort this week to contain the meltdown in the sub-prime market. The Calabasas-based company said it would refinance or modify up to 70,000 adjustable-rate loans -- less than 1% of the mortgages it services -- to aid borrowers whose interest rates will ratchet up by the end of 2008.

 
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Let the subprime fight begin
The Politico
Oct 24, 2007

Before embracing a radical restructuring of the relationships between American homeowners and mortgage companies, it's worth reviewing the facts: Roughly 35% of homeowners have no mortgage debt remaining on their homes. Of those homeowners still paying a mortgage, 95% are paying on time. And even in the risky category of subprime adjustable-rate loans, more than 83% are still paying on time.

 
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Let 'market forces' fix subprime woes: Dodge
Financial Post
Oct 22, 2007

The problems that emerged this summer as the credit markets melted should be addressed through "natural market forces," rather than intervention from regulators, the Bank of Canada's governor told international bankers yesterday.

 
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Subprime Bailout: Taxpayer toll
CNNMoney.com
Oct 22, 2007

Those who oppose mortgage bailout proposals say the cost of helping troubled borrowers and lenders will come out of their pockets. But that's not always the case.

 
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Mortgage Security Bondholders Facing a Cutoff of Interest Payments
NY Times
Oct 22, 2007

For all the pain in the mortgage market, investors who hold bonds backed by risky home loans have continued to receive their monthly interest payments until now.

 
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Subprime Bailout: Taxpayer toll
CNNMoney.com
Oct 22, 2007

Those who oppose mortgage bailout proposals say the cost of helping troubled borrowers and lenders will come out of their pockets. But that's not always the case.

 
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Subprime Mortgage Blues
Washington Times
Oct 21, 2007

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke began his Monday evening speech at the Economic Club of New York with the kind of classic understatement that has characterized the utterances of central bankers in general… 

 
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Buyers Pounce on Deals as Homes Go on the Block
NY Times
Oct 21, 2007

The reality is, half the reason 300 homes are being auctioned off is that speculators tried to make a killing and failed to do so.  In Minneapolis, 55 percent of foreclosures this year involved houses not occupied by their owners, according to county records.

 
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The Gloomsayers Should Look Up
NY Times
Oct 21, 2007

“…the whole story about the economy, credit, morality and rescues is about perspective.”

 
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IMF says beware of knee-jerk subprime rule
Reuters
Oct 20, 2007

Greed may have played a bigger role than lax regulation in the subprime crisis and supervisors should be wary of slapping new rules on banks in a knee-jerk response, a senior IMF official said.

 
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Fix Rates to Save Loans
NY Times
Oct 19, 2007

A government bailout is not the answer. Bailouts erode market discipline, raising the likelihood of repeat episodes. And efforts to expand refinancing options will help only those borrowers who have enough equity to refinance. 

 
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State toughens rules on mortgages
Boston Globe
Oct 18, 2007

Massachusetts will impose some of the nation's most stringent regulations on the mortgage industry in an effort to curb practices that have led to record numbers of foreclosures.

 
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Paulson Credit Push Earns Jeers From Free-Marketers (Update2)
Bloomberg
Oct 16, 2007

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan to shore up asset-backed commercial paper is drawing criticism from free-market advocates, who say it risks shielding banks from the consequences of poor decisions.

 
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Paulson: Subprime help needed - but no bailout. Treasury Department is walking a tightrope on help for mortgage borrowers.
CNNMoney.com
Oct 16, 2007

"I have no interest in bailing out lenders or property speculators. Still, we must recognize the very real harms to families affected by the housing downturn," Paulson said in prepared remarks for a speech given Tuesday at Georgetown University.

 
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The United States of Subprime
The Wall Street Journal
Oct 11, 2007

Data contradict the conventional wisdom that subprime borrowers are overwhelmingly low-income residents of inner cities. Although the concentration of high-rate loans is higher in poorer communities, the numbers show that high-rate lending also rose sharply in middle-class and wealthier communities.

 
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Subprime Mortgage Crisis Unlikely to Cause Recession in California, Says Union Bank Economist
Morningstar
Oct 11, 2007

Keitaro Matsuda, senior economist for Union Bank of California, today released his October 2007 Economic Report focusing on the California economy and the subprime mortgage crisis.

 
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Greenspan Sees Weaker Housing, Slowing Growth
The Wall Street Journal
Oct 10, 2007

In his remarks, Greenspan said. “If it wasn’t subprime, it would have been something else.” –Deborah Lynn Blumberg

 
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Subprime mortgages getting a bum rap
The Sacramento Bee
Oct 6, 2007

Not a day goes by that the subprime loan crisis fails to make headline news. What's rarely reported, however, is that subprime mortgages -- high-interest loans to lower-income borrowers -- have provided the keys to homeownership for millions of Americans previously locked out of the market.

 
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Lew Uhler: Bailouts Wreak Havoc on the Economy
Newsmax.com
Oct 5, 2007

Washington provided a massive bailout of the savings and loans. The big banks ran to Washington when their deadbeat Third World borrowers couldn't pay. Now a gaggle of homeowners, mortgage lenders, and investors are marching, their hands eagerly outstretched.
 
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Schumer: Subprime mortgage fix should be flexible
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Oct 5, 2007

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said lawmakers only want to help people who live in their homes. In his home state of Nevada, he said 20 percent of the foreclosures in Las Vegas involve properties that were bought by speculators who don't live in the home.

 
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Subprime: Bailout backlash - Not everyone favors helping troubled homeowners, lenders and investors stung by the subprime crisis.
CNNMoney.com
Oct 3, 2007

As the list of proposed remedies to the subprime crisis has grown longer, the chorus against helping troubled borrowers has gotten louder.

 
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Impact of foreclosures not in crisis stage - yet
The Miami Herald
Sep 23, 2007

Bottom line: The scary foreclosure and delinquency rates you're hearing about are for real. But they're highly concentrated -- among loan types, local and regional economies, and especially prevalent among investors in formerly high-flying markets.

 
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Uncle Sam: Subprime Lender
WSJ.com Opinion Journal 
Sept 22, 2007

Massachusetts will impose some of the nation's most stringent regulations on the mortgage industry in an effort to curb practices that have led to record numbers of foreclosures.

 
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What Not to Do about Subprime Failures
Capitalism Magazine
Sept 18, 2007

As high default rates on subprime loans continue, various state and federal officials are eager to “do something” to counter the failures--especially to give aid to the homeowners who bought mortgages they couldn’t afford.
“This is exactly the wrong approach,” said Alex Epstein, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute.

 
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Bush's Credit Issues
HumanEvents.com
Sept 17, 2007

Banking regulators should punish fraud in peddling mortgage products. And since bank deposits are insured by the federal government, the feds have some say in the loan portfolio as far as a bank’s solvency as a whole. But the government, and especially the federal government, should not be the judge of whether law-abiding American adults can “handle” a mortgage any more than whether they can “handle” the purchase of a firearm.

 
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It’s Monetary Policy, Not a Morality Play
New York Times Economic View
Sept 9, 2007

Both President Bush and Congress are preparing plans to assist homeowners facing foreclosure. Many of these proposals are political pandering, designed to win votes by easing the pain of homeowners. Yet someone else is paying the bill, so protecting people from their mistakes in this way does not promote the general public welfare. In any case, these proposals should be evaluated on their (often slight) merits, rather than seen as a quid pro quo for another bailout already made.

 
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Make a Bad Mortgage: Take the Hit
HumanEvents.com
Aug 2, 2007

It's never a pretty picture when investments go bad. So it is with so-called "subprime" mortgages made to borrowers with imperfect credit.  Losses are mounting and some lenders are looking for a bailout. Government should say no.

 
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