What Can You Say?

Thanks to Dealbreaker for bringing me this gem:

Bloomberg: Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company under U.S. government control, will loosen rules for homeowners seeking to lower their loan payments by refinancing.

Fannie Mae will drop some credit-score requirements, reduce income-documentation standards and waive the need for appraisals in some cases, according to a notice yesterday to lenders posted on the Washington-based company’s Web site. The changes apply to loans that the company owns or guarantees.

I mean – wow. Deja vu? I already touched on this when GMAC lowered credit standards: it seems the problem may not be so much a lack of capital to be lent by banks, but a lack of qualified borrowers. This FNM statement is especially shocking since it’s basically EXACTLY what caused the mortgage bubble in the first place.

Dealbreaker also had another nice analysis of a WSJ article noting that the central bank cannot prop up prices forever.

At some point someone is going to have to break it to the American people and the world that there is no magic pill. It seems apparent that not even the likes of Helicopter Alan or Helicopter Ben possess the needed capital- even with the printing presses running wide open. Rewriting accounting rules to create the appearance of wealth, buying up nuclear waste at above fair value and trying to re-pump the beach ball of mortgage lending is wishful thinking. The sooner the current administration comes to grips with that, and starts resetting the impossibly high expectations they won the election with, the better. Painful? Yes. But less painful than the fall from grace that will accompany any other path.

As I’ve said many times: it’s a matter of time. You cannot grow or wait your way out of a debt bubble.


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