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News Link • Federal Reserve

Foreclosure-Gate: More Lies From Bernanke

Recognizing these benefits, our society has taken steps to encourage homeownership. Tax incentives, mortgage insurance from the Federal Housing Administration, and other government policies all contributed to a long rise in the U.S. homeownership rate--from 45 percent in 1940 to a peak of 69 percent in 2004. But, as recent events have demonstrated, homeownership is only good for families and communities if it can be sustained. Home purchases that are very highly leveraged or unaffordable subject the borrower and lender to a great deal of risk. Moreover, even in a strong economy, unforeseen life events and risks in local real estate markets make highly leveraged borrowers vulnerable. Our society did not "take steps" to hand out liar loans and other similar frauds. Homeowners and society as a whole did not design these schemes that were nothing more than asset-stripping frauds. The banks did this, and not only did they keep the loot originally, they're still keeping it. It was ultimately very destructive when, in the early part of this decade, dubious underwriting practices and mortgage products inappropriate for many borrowers became more common. In time, these practices and products contributed to problems in the broader financial services industry and helped spark a foreclosure crisis marked by a tremendous upheaval in housing markets. Now, more than 20 percent of borrowers owe more than their home is worth and an additional 33 percent have equity cushions of 10 percent or less, putting them at risk should house prices decline much further. With housing markets still weak, high levels of mortgage distress may well persist for some time to come. Products and practices that you were personally responsible for allowing to be in the market, to remain in the market, and in fact you both bailed out and lent to institutions that engaged in these fraudulent practices. This crisis was caused by people who acted under your supervision, and you refused to stop them. It is therefore only reasonable to hold you personally to account for the entire mess. If you had one whit of honor you would resign and then go jump off a big, tall bank building. But you have no honor. So instead, you pontificate about how there's this "horrible" crisis even though you had the power to stop it before it happened and refused to do so. A key initiative developed under the leadership of Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans has been the Mortgage Outreach and Research Effort, known as MORE. Oh boy - more financial **** for the proletariat. Excuse me while I go grab I stick before I get "MORE" - the last time you got near me it hurt. A lot. LIAR.

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