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View Poll Results: Do you support the Paulson Bailout as it currently stands
Yes 49 33.33%
No 71 48.30%
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:33 AM   #61
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What he is proposing is a reverse auction structure where the Federal Government bids for a certain dollar amount of a specific type of security.
There's a reason why financial institutions can't sell these toxic securities in the existing secondary market. Although the reverse auction model seems delightfully capitalistic, it's still socialism. The taxpayer is still buying securities that no sensible investor would want.

From the Post:

washingtonpost.com

Quote:
Firms participating in the bailout would be required to grant the government warrants to obtain nonvoting shares of stock, so taxpayers can benefit if the companies return to profitability.
I wonder how this relates to the outright purchase of the toxic waste on these companies' balance sheets.

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Meanwhile, House Republicans won a major victory, persuading negotiators to include a provision that would require the Treasury Department to create a federal insurance program that would guarantee banks and other firms against loss from any troubled asset, the official said.
OK, now I'm confused. You realize a loss when you sell a security for less than you bought it for. Until you sell it, your loss is only hypothetical. Does this mean that companies that participate in the reverse auction and sell their securities at a loss to the gov't can be made whole again?

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"Many of these assets still have significant underlying value, because the vast majority of people will eventually pay off their mortgages," President Bush said yesterday in his weekly radio address. "In other words, many of the assets the government would buy are likely to go up in price over time. This means that the government will be able to recoup much, if not all, of the original expenditure."
If this were true, there'd be an existing market for these securities.

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Of the $700 billion figure, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said: "Nobody believes that's going to be the final cost."
Ahhh...a little honesty. A refreshing change!
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:49 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by socca View Post
There's a reason why financial institutions can't sell these toxic securities in the existing secondary market. Although the reverse auction model seems delightfully capitalistic, it's still socialism. The taxpayer is still buying securities that no sensible investor would want.
Ever since the creation of the Federal Reserve the government has held a "lender of last resort" role in our financial system. Nearly everyone agrees (Ron Paul probably excluded) that this is not only good, but necessary.

Over the past several years a "shadow banking system" has sprung into being that is outside the ordinary pervue of the Federal Reserve's authority and the oversight normally demanded of lending institutions. Now that shadow banking system is in collapse and, unfortunately, the government needs to innovate to act in its traditional role as a lender of last resort.

You also assume that markets are always rationale. They are not. As with our discussion of housing prices, above, the same is true for financial securities. So tell me, is the proper price for a house the value that it can be bought at if no financing were available, with 9% financing or 6%? There is no answer! If the financing market is not working (which it is currently not) the "market value" of assets collapse to levels that would not be "sensible" in an orderly financing market.

To put it simply, the conditions for a "market solution" do not exist without a functioning financing market.

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Ahhh...a little honesty. A refreshing change!
Paulson said from the very first day that taxpayer money is being put at risk. No one is guaranteeing that the government is going to make money on this deal, although that possibility does exist.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:19 AM   #63
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There's a reason why financial institutions can't sell these toxic securities in the existing secondary market. Although the reverse auction model seems delightfully capitalistic, it's still socialism. The taxpayer is still buying securities that no sensible investor would want.
It is a little more complicated than simple issues of market valuation of the securities. I thought you have previously highlighted a significant component to the current credit crunch -- credit or market phobia, sort of a reverse side of irrational exuberance. This is compounded by the "deleveraging problem" that financial institutions, particularly depository institutions, face when they attempt to down-size these so called "toxic securities" that aren't really that toxic because of underlining credit quality issues -- they are mainly toxic because no one wants to touch them!


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OK, now I'm confused. You realize a loss when you sell a security for less than you bought it for. Until you sell it, your loss is only hypothetical. Does this mean that companies that participate in the reverse auction and sell their securities at a loss to the gov't can be made whole again?
Confusion has crept in because you're not aware of the accounting rules that apply here. For most financial institutions (and you might want to read the quarterly statements of Fannie and Freddie), these securities are being marked down from prior book value (i.e. purchase/cost basis) as they're on the balance sheet! I don't know what the mark-to-market could be for these securities, but once sold they off the books and a gain or loss might be recorded depending on the mark-down that occurred before the sale.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:23 AM   #64
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Except that this plan would simply outrage those homeowners who didn't get checks - a revolution may ensue - at the least many politicians would certainly be voted out of office -

whereas in the alternative - congress doesn't think that joe six-pack would see the Paulson plan as the same thing since he's not missing out on a check somebody else is getting.
Yes it would. The problem with any "plan" is that it's going to give money to somebody who made a bad decision.

IF we do anything, then the prudent people are going to be outraged. So, I'm looking for the least of the evils. One plan gives money to "rich bankers" who should have known better, another only to the home buyers who made the worst possible choices. My plan gives it to everyone who bought during the bubble (though the amounts vary depending on the year you bought and where you bought).

If I were a politician and felt that we had to do something, I would take my chances with this idea before the Paulson plan. I'd always describe the plan as a partial offset to the losses that the buyers incurred when the bubble popped. The people who aren't getting checks are still better off because they didn't lose anything in the bubble.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:39 AM   #65
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A lump sum mortgage payment may not help because folks who are defaulting face a monthly payment problem, not a principal balance problem. Restructuring the loan with a smaller balance and lower monthly payments or escrowing the money to cover a portion of the monthly payment could work in theory. However this idea faces a huge logistics problem. How do you administer this program on several million loans?
The beauty of this is that you don't need the borrower and lender to work out a compromise restructuring. Borrowers can simply set up escrow accounts and make monlthly payments out of them. If the borrowers prefer to use the escrow account to cover only a fraction of each monthly payment, while paying the rest from their funds, they can do that. I assume some will make a small lump sum payment to get current, then do monthly payments after that. I imagine some people would use the gov't money to pay 100% of their monthly mortgage payment for a couple months while they pay off their credit cards - that's works too.

I can see logistical problems, but notice all the gov't has to do is see if the borrowers meet the requirements of the program, then put a single deposit in a regular bank account with a restriction on the account that all checks coming out have to go to a specific mortgage holder. (I expect that banks would soon be advertising the services they can provide in helping you apply for the gov't program with the expectation that you will use their account when you get the money.) I don't know if this is any harder for the gov't then trying to set up a reverse auction system for thousands of incredibly complex mortgage backed securities.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:12 PM   #66
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OK, now I'm confused. You realize a loss when you sell a security for less than you bought it for. Until you sell it, your loss is only hypothetical. Does this mean that companies that participate in the reverse auction and sell their securities at a loss to the gov't can be made whole again?
I think the confusion arises from the fact that the insurance proposal pushed by House Republicans is a lousy idea. Paulson said it wouldn't work. I'd tend to agree with him. I think it is being included to get consensus around a bill. I assume it will be included as a tool available to the Treasury but with no requirement to use it. If that's the case I fully expect Treasury to ignore it.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:24 PM   #67
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I can see logistical problems, but notice all the gov't has to do is see if the borrowers meet the requirements of the program, then put a single deposit in a regular bank account with a restriction on the account that all checks coming out have to go to a specific mortgage holder.
How does the government screen the million of applications to prevent fraud (e.g. FEMA debit cards)? How does the government audit millions of accounts to make sure they are set up and used properly? How does the banking system set up and administer millions of special accounts were nothing of its kind currently exists? How are millions of homeowners educated about the program? These are not small problems.

I agree a reverse auction has logistical challenges of its own. But the auction structure is somewhat "off the shelf" having been used for different purposes over a very long period of time.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:38 PM   #68
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Buffett can be accused of "talking his book", but I don't think so . . .

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Billionaire Warren Buffett told congressional negotiators that if they can't agree on a proposed financial bailout, the nation will face "its biggest financial meltdown in American history,"
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:39 PM   #69
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I assume it will be included as a tool available to the Treasury but with no requirement to use it.
This is the way I understand it, also.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:42 PM   #70
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So not much has change since late Thursday afternoon - but now those that were against it have come on board? Why?
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:56 PM   #71
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I'm not sure I buy into all of this "the sky is falling", "the world is going to end" hype. I can't exactly say why, but it just smells of high pressure sales hype. . . .

I'd kind of like to see a bit of crisis happen before we take very expensive emergency bail-out measures to prevent this predicted "apocolypse"
If you don't see the failure of Bear Stearns, Lehman, AIG, Fannie, Freddie, WaMu and the teetering of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Wachovia, etc, etc, as a "bit of a crisis happening" I'm not sure what you think would qualify.

I'd only add that my preference is to install sprinklers before the building burns down or, to paraphrase an old expression, close the barn door before the horse has left.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:34 PM   #72
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Hmmm, lots of recent confusion in this thread, excepting the posts of Audrey h1. I guess people don't realize that a $300 billion homeowner rescue plan, using the FHA program, was passed last July. There seems to be conflation over the immediacy of a credit crunch, potentially choking all credit markets and throwing us into a real recession, and homeowner housing stability.

If you're really concerned about homeowner stability, then there is a painless way of ensuring that: give bankruptcy judges the ability to cram-down home mortgages. That's a very controversial step, which the Democrats tried to add to the bailout bill. Only one candidate has addressed that issue squarely, btw, as far as I can tell.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:42 PM   #73
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I'd only add that my preference is to install sprinklers before the building burns down or, to paraphrase an old expression, close the barn door before the horse has left.
The horse has been stolen, ridden on an airport runway, molested by gypsies, diced up for soup and the hooves have been sold to the glue factory. But Congress is working to keep 'Murica strong!
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:47 PM   #74
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Hmmm, lots of recent confusion in this thread, excepting the posts of Audrey h1. I guess people don't realize that a $300 billion homeowner rescue plan, using the FHA program, was passed last July. There seems to be conflation over the immediacy of a credit crunch, potentially choking all credit markets and throwing us into a real recession, and homeowner housing stability.

If you're really concerned about homeowner stability, then there is a painless way of ensuring that: give bankruptcy judges the ability to cram-down home mortgages. That's a very controversial step, which the Democrats tried to add to the bailout bill. Only one candidate has addressed that issue squarely, btw, as far as I can tell.
that's a very dangerous precedent since you are modifying a legal contract after it has been signed. it was done in the depression and I bet the reason we have fannie mae is because it scared foreign investors from the US mortgage market.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:49 PM   #75
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This is the part that I object to in the Tentative Agreement of the Paulson proposed taxpayer Bail Out. I strongly object to using taxpayer money to buy someone else a house. I paid for my own home and expect everyone to do the same.



Quote from Summary of legislation:

The government can use its power as the owner of mortgages and mortgage backed securities to facilitate loan modifications (such as, reduced principal or interest rate, lengthened time to pay back the mortgage) to help reduce the 2 million projected foreclosures in the next year
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:56 PM   #76
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The government can use its power as the owner of mortgages and mortgage backed securities to facilitate loan modifications (such as, reduced principal or interest rate, lengthened time to pay back the mortgage) to help reduce the 2 million projected foreclosures in the next year
Ummm, considering that the gummint has been shrieking at the top of its lungs for over a year that this is exactly what private market lenders ought to be doing, it should come as no great surprise that they will do the same once they own the actual loans. Last I heard, this is known as a loan workout and has been done for both commercial and retail loans for decades or centuries.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:14 PM   #77
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The horse has been stolen, ridden on an airport runway, molested by gypsies, diced up for soup and the hooves have been sold to the glue factory. But Congress is working to keep 'Murica strong!
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:16 PM   #78
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If you don't see the failure of Bear Stearns, Lehman, AIG, Fannie, Freddie, WaMu and the teetering of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Wachovia, etc, etc, as a "bit of a crisis happening" I'm not sure what you think would qualify.
....
Actually, I don't think the "failure" of those institutions equate to "apocolypse" - (I can see how it does in the world-view of folks like Mr Paulson) - hordes of homeless children in soup lines is an apocolypse. I'll support a govt program to feed/house them. Is that predicted here?

I think it'd have to be worse than it's been the past week to qualify for government bail-outs of wall-street.

My house (3rd one) was purchased with way over 20% down - 15 yr fixed - excellent credit ratin (am I scared of falling real estate values? well, over the short term maybe but over the long term No - it'll always be worth at least close to what it would cost to build, no? - I didn't buy my house as a speculative investment as did some others); my investments are conservatively allocated; I have a 10 yr old truck, 15 yr old van, & 20 yr old boat; I've lived a quite conservative/responsible financial life - why should I buy into this "scare" & pay-up for these speculators (those on wall-street & main-street alike) - particularly when it goes against my economic & political philosophies

How certain are we the predicted ensuing credit-crunch wouldn't correct itself in 6 months, or perhaps a year or so, if left alone anyway (after a corporate shakeout & a little pain on main-street of course). Perhaps some on main-street need to feel a little pain? Perhaps a couple of years of tight credit would be good for the country!

How certain are we this bail-out is going to really prevent much pain on main street anyway? Seems to me the bail-out portion is simply designed to alleviate the immediate pain of wall-street - I expect wall-street (being the dispassionate animal it is) will inflict whatever pain on main street it feels it needs to, regardless.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #79
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that's a very dangerous precedent since you are modifying a legal contract after it has been signed. it was done in the depression and I bet the reason we have fannie mae is because it scared foreign investors from the US mortgage market.
You sound like a recalcitrant lender. The limited homestead exemption in most states is a legislative modification of the contract. We give bankruptucy judges and bank receivers (i.e., the FDIC) the power to affirm, deny or repudiate any executory contract, except they cannot affect the security or collateral behind a promise or contract. I think a bankruptcy judge should able to re-write the contract where one can prove some predatory lending practice, or where the debtor can't really pay the current mortgage but has enough income to pay something. A bankruptcy judge should be able to "recast" or modify the mortgage and "cram it down" the lender's recalcitrant throat, if this benefits all creditors, and keeps the debtor in his home.

Not sure this is any more dangerous than states, like California, having strict foreclosure laws, i.e. that one cannot get a deficiency judgment against the debtor when the lender/mortgagee forecloses on the property. In other words, the lender in California never gets the entire benefit of his bargain (or borrower's promise to pay his mortgage), unless the property value exceeds the debtor's IOU.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:21 PM   #80
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hordes of homeless children in soup lines is an apocolypse. I'll support a govt program to feed/house them. Is that predicted here?
Yes.
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