Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

America for Sale: Is Goldman Sachs Buying Your City?


The trend of privatizing public assets and key infrastructure, especially by selling to foreign interests, challenges the very concept of sovereignty. If we do not control our roads, our power grid, our communications, how can we claim to be a free and sovereign nation? Politicians are literally selling out America.

This is the “home equity loan” mentality that made the real estate collapse so much worse after making it simple for people to live beyond their means. This is a functional admission that America is broke – and broken.

I find it disturbing that the people who are most concerned about loss of sovereignty to creditor nations are also the people most passionate to squander our precious assets for a quick buck.

Make no mistake, the costs to the citizens and consumers will go up even more under privatization – it’s just a matter of who we pay to live and function in America. I would rather pay an entity that is legally bound to have our best interests at heart.

Dylan Ratigan: America for Sale: Is Goldman Sachs Buying Your City?

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June 16, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Direction | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Unemployment Is Dragging Down The Housing Market


When the housing bubble burst, it destroyed a crippling amount of middle-cla­ss wealth. A cart-and-h­orse mentality does not produce a constructi­ve perspectiv­e.

Foreclosur­es reduce consumer confidence­, reduced consumer confidence cuts spending, less spending means less profits, less profits spurs layoffs, layoffs drive unemployme­nt, unemployme­nt drives foreclosur­es, …

Widespread foreclosur­es lead to reduced home prices, which lead to underwater mortgages, which lead to loss of wealth, which leads to reduced consumer confidence­, …

Foreclosur­es lead to tightening credit, leading to slowed home sales, leading to reduced home prices, leading to underwater mortgages, …

As the time that a worker spends at a single employer decreases, the need for mobility begins to outweigh the benefits of home ownership, leading to a rental culture in place of an ownership culture – a change that undermines the neighborho­od culture and stagnates the real estate market, leading to lower home prices and less demand for new home constructi­on.

Did I leave anything out? A very great deal, actually.

I am not impressed with economists who look at past statistics and “trends” as an indicator of the present or future. The economy is more complex than that, the present combinatio­n of factors too unique for comparison­s with prior recessions or patterns.

Modern technology is advanced enough to handle much greater complexity than current (failing) economic models seem to consider. Someone should get right on that.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Homeowners Get The Boot For Bad Paperwork While Banks Get Millions For Same


Foreclosure signThree years ago I wanted limits placed on how much the ARMs could reset in a year, in an effort to slow the foreclosures and collapse of real estate prices. I wanted the courts to sort the schemers from the dupes for the same reason.

Republicans would have none of it. They cried sanctity of contract, though these were fraudulently made and deserving of review by the courts. Contracts were sacred (except union contracts) regardless of the harm to the economy. And harm there was.

The financial sector has so badly botched mortgages that sorting it out through due process would take so long that it would freeze the market to the point of another recession. And yet, the banks have earned the losses they are trying so hard to pass on the their victims. Nor can main street absorb any more fiscal abuse if the economy is to recover.

The financial sector has become it’s own worst enemy, and no friend to the economy. They created this recession, and they are not done screwing up. They cannot prove ownership of mortgages or the right to foreclose in untold instances.

Prudent risk and due diligence have given way to unrepentant avarice. Have we reached the time for moral hazard?

They deserve to fail, but they are not the only ones who would pay for their failure.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Regulation | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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