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Rick Santelli Ranting On Meddling By Fed, Fannie, Freddie, and Housing

Rick Santelli went a little nuts this morning, in a rant that easily qualifies in his Top 3 of all time. The gratuitous rating tends to correlate with the peak dB achieved while screaming at some gratuitous idiot and/or the length of applause by fellow CME floor members. (We also appreciate the advertising). Rick gets wound up based on earlier disclosure by Bill Gross that if the government guarantee of the GSEs were removed, he would only participate in the mortgage market if there was 30% down payments by first time homebuyers (oh, and, tee hee, guess who will be present and providing "eye of the monopolist beholder" advice at next Tuesday's panel). As Rick summarizes: "the people holding, the Treasury or institutions, are locked up in this place where the subsidies can't come out; extrication is going to be difficult much less getting out of the way of anything they may do in the future." Yet what sets Rick off is the debate over why the Fed should not let housing crash to its fair value bottom, instead of artificially pushing rates lower and lower, which benefits nobody except those serial refinanciers who hope to lock in a 30 Year at 0.001%. The screamfest begins at 5:40. And by the way, Rick, whatever you do, don't, don't read the following article by Bloomberg: "Manhattan Luxury Condos Try FHA Backing in Sales `Game Changer'" in which we read that "The Federal Housing Administration agreed in March to insure mortgages for apartments at the 98-unit Gramercy Park development, known as Tempo. That enables buyers to make a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent in a building where apartments range from $820,000 to $3 million." Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the FHA is now insuring purchases of ultra luxury appartment by the ultra rich, affording what is essentially a no money down "NINJA/subprime-like" creep up into the most expensive properties in the world, entirely on the backs of the US middle class. If that "uber-wealthy" don't blow up the FHA, and the $7 trillion in GSE debt, nothing will.

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