Sunday, June 29, 2008

Are You Registered to Vote?

Are you registered to vote?

What are your candidate's views on the Economy and the Housing Bust?

Thomas L. Friedman says, "Our bank crisis is not over. Two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs analysts said that U.S. banks may need another $65 billion to cover more write-downs of bad mortgage-related instruments and potential new losses if consumer loans start to buckle. Since President Bush came to office, consumer debt has climbed from $8 trillion to $14 trillion.

But with banks still reluctant to lend even to healthy businesses, fuel and food prices soaring and home prices declining, this is starting to affect consumers, shrinking their wallets and crimping spending. Unemployment is already creeping up and manufacturing creeping down.

My fellow Americans: We are a country in debt and in decline — not terminal, not irreversible, but in decline. Our political system seems incapable of producing long-range answers to big problems or big opportunities. We are the ones who need a better-functioning democracy — more than the Iraqis and Afghans. We are the ones in need of nation-building. It is our political system that is not working." Read his complete NYTimes Op/Ed here.

Cleaning up
this housing mess will be left to the next Administration. There are around 10 million households with negative equity. Currently, three million + borrowers are in distress; analysts are forecasting a couple million more will fall behind on their payments in the coming year as home prices fall further and the economy weakens.

But the Bill that's been making its way through congress this Spring/Summer is too little too late...and can't help everybody. (Nor should it, many folks believe.) Read an article about the Bill in today's NYTimes, entitled "As Bill Evolves, Mortgage Debt Is Snowballing."

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