I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is!

Friday, October 24, 2008

New economic stimulus plan unveiled


It looks like someone has finally come up with an economic stimulus plan that might actually work. The federal government has committed over $750 billion for various bailouts mostly to help financial institutions and the executives that caused this economic mess we are in. And as you will know, before they are done that number will be north of a trillion dollars. How much of that will trickle down to the hard working populace that are paying for it? Almost none. It’s a bailout for them, not us.

In the last attempt to stimulate the economy checks of $300 per individual or $600 per family were distributed. Did that help? Well maybe a little, but not very much. What did you do with yours? If you are like me you don’t have any idea.

So… now a plan that might actually help the recovery. This plan was conceived by a non-partisan group of congressmen, and you won’t hear about it elsewhere for days. I have an exclusive.

The Plan
Starting in January 2009 the federal government will grant $1,000,000 to 100 people each day for the first 20 work days of each month. The money will be tax free and distribution will be decided by some sort of lottery system yet to be determined. Each month 2000 people will receive $1,000,000 tax free. That will be 24,000 new millionaires in 2009. The plan will run for 10 years and therefore will result in 240,000 new millionaires and the total plan would have cost the taxpayers $240 billion. That is less than 1/3 what the bailout cost and remember the bailout was for the financial institutions.

There are a few qualifiers to participate in the lottery:
1. Participants may not be younger than 30 or older than 70.
2. Recipients must commit to a minimum of 20 hours per month of meaningful community service. Active military personnel are exempt from this requirement until the end of their active duty term.
3. Participants may never have been convicted of a felony.
4. Recipients must be U.S. Citizens.
5. If a recipient has ever filed bankruptcy the debts discharged must be paid from the $1,000,000 up to a maximum of $500,000.

Just distributing this much money will stimulate the economy, but wait… there’s more! Look at the benefits.

A lot of people will be doing community service… Good for the country.

Some recipients will invest the money… Good for the economy.

Some will start businesses creating jobs… Good for the economy

Some will spend it all on stuff… Also good for the economy

This will no doubt create excitement among citizens… Good for the country.

This plan could also help the U.S. regain it’s rightful spot as a world leader. Other countries may well follow our lead and institute similar programs… and the world’s economy rebounds.

There you have it… pretty sweet huh?

There is one false statement in the above. It is “This plan was conceived by a non-partisan group of congressmen.” This plan is really the brainchild of a guy in Missouri named Eric. My son Eric Weeks owns this one. We are both very interested in feedback as to why this would not work, and why it wouldn’t be better than any economic stimulus proposal or bailout presented so far.


Love all… Trust some… Harm none.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sheep being led to slaughter?

Is the economic mess we are in some sort of sinister plot. Was it intentionally in engineered by our government? Consider the following:

During the Clinton administration, the government required the financial industry to start expanding the frequency of mortgage loans to consumers who might not have qualified in the past.

When George W. Bush was named president by the Supreme Court in December 2000, the stock market had begun to decline with the bursting of the dot.com bubble.

In 2001 the frequency of White House visits by Alan Greenspan increased.

Greenspan endorsed President Bush’s March 2001 tax cuts for the rich. More such cuts took place in May 2003.

Signs of recession had begun to show in early 2001. The stock market crashed after 9/11. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in March 2003.

The Federal Reserve began cutting interest rates, and by 2002 a home-buying frenzy was underway. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went along by guaranteeing the increasing number of mortgage loans.

Banks that wrote mortgages began to offload them when Wall Street packaged them into mortgage-backed securities that were sold around the world as bonds to investors.

Risk-analysts at the leading credit-rating agencies, such as Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch, gave their highest ratings to mortgage-backed securities whose risks were later acknowledged to be grossly underestimated.

Mortgage companies, with Alan Greenspan’s endorsement, began to offer more Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), loans that would reset at much higher rates in future years.

Mortgage brokers and real estate agents fed the growing bubble by telling people they should buy now because housing prices would keep going up and they could resell at a profit before their ARMs escalated.

Huge amounts of money began to flow into the economy from mortgages and home equity loans and from capital gains on resale of inflating property.

Meanwhile, in the world of investment securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission greatly reduced the amount of their own capital investors were required to bring to the table, resulting in a huge increase in bank leveraging of speculative trading.

George W. Bush was reelected in 2004 at the height of the housing and investment bubbles. By 2005 the housing bubble was accounting for half of all U.S. economic growth and yielding huge tax revenues to all levels of government.

Despite the tax revenues from the bubbles the Bush administration was running huge budget deficits from expenditures on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq .

ABC News reports that during this time risk analysts at Washington Mutual, one of the nation’s largest banks, were told to ignore high risk loans because lending had to be maximized. Those who objected were disciplined or fired.

State attorneys-general moved to investigate mortgage fraud but were blocked from doing so by orders of the Treasury Department’s Comptroller of the Currency. There was no federal agency that was charged with regulating mortgage fraud.

In February 2006, Ben Bernanke replaced Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve Chairman and held interest rates steady. Homeowners began to default as ARMs reset.

The housing bubble began to collapse in 2006-2007, with the economy showing early signs of a recession and the stock market starting to decline by August 2007. Home prices began to plummet in most markets, with millions of homeowners owing more on their homes than their new appraisals.

Homeowners began to default, with over four million homes going to foreclosure from 2006-2008. In many cases, homeowners simply walked away, dropping off the keys to their houses at the bank.

The U.S. economy shed 60,000 jobs in August 2008. In a year, Wall Street had cut 200,000 jobs. State and local governments began to cut budgets and jobs.

The “toxic debt” from the collapse of the housing bubble brought about a full-scale crash of the U.S. financial system by September 2008. The stock market immediately fell, with 40 percent of its value—$8 trillion—now having been lost in a year. $2 trillion of the losses were in retirement savings.

The crash of the U.S. economy began to reverberate around the world with bankers and the IMF warning of an onrushing global recession.

Massive bailouts by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve failed to stem the tide of the crashing markets. By late October 2008 the recession has begun to hit in force.

As the situation worsened, big banks like J.P. Morgan Chase received government capitalization even as they were buying up banks that were failing. J.P. Morgan Chase paid $1.9 billion for Washington Mutual with assets of over $300 billion.

The U.S. government joined with the nations of Europe in planning a series of economic summits to explore global financial solutions. President Bush will host the first summit in Washington , D.C. , on November 15, after the U.S. presidential election.

The U.S. military shifted combat troops from Iraq to the U.S. to contain possible civil unrest.

Most major retail chains began to close stores and lay off employees even as the Christmas season approached.

The Washington Post reported on October 23, 2008: “Employers are moving to aggressively cut jobs and reduce costs in the fact of the nation’s economic crisis, preparing for what many fear will be a long and painful recession.”

Was all of this just happenstance? A lot of the decisions made and the actions taken seem purposeful. The question I can't answer is... if there is something sinister going on, what is the goal? What would to government be trying to achieve?

Whatever the answers I believe we are in for a long hard trip, and that is no matter who wins the election.

Be blessed,


Love all... Trust some... harm none.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Change .... Change .... Change ....

I am not sure who wrote this, but it is worthy of posting here:

Not long ago I read a joke ... It said all the politicians running forPresident are promising change to the American people. We send them billions andBillions of tax dollars and they send us the change. Funny? Not really; there is too much truth in it to be funny.

That got me to thinking .... They all promise change. How about if they run on a promise of restoration rather than change. A restoration that would take us back in time to a place where things ran better, smoother and life was more enjoyable.

Change? That, in truth, is what they have been giving us all along.

We used to have a strong dollar ... Politicians changed that.

Life used to be sacred .... Politicians changed that.

Marriage used to be sacred .... Politicians are changing that.

We used to be respected around the world ... Politicians changed that.

We used to have a strong manufacturing economy ... Politicians changed that.

We used to have lower tax structures ..... Politicians changed that.

We used to enjoy more freedoms ... Politicians changed that.

We used to be a large exporter of American made goods ... Politicians changed that.

We used to be an openly Christian nation ... Politicians changed that.

We used to teach patriotism in schools ..... Politicians changed that.

We used to educate children in schools ... Politicians changed that.

We used to enjoy freedom of speech ... Politicians changed that.

We used to enforce LEGAL citizenship ... Politicians changed that.

We used to have affordable food & gas prices ... Politicians changed that, too.

And one could go on and on with this list. What hasn't been changed, politicians are promising to change that as well if you will elect them.

When, oh when, is America going to sit back with open eyes and look at what we once were and where we have come and say, 'enough is enough?' The trouble is, America's youthful voters today don't know of the Great America that existed forty and fifty years ago. They see the world as if it has always existed, as it is now.

When will we wake up? Tomorrow may be too late. When will America realize...Politicians are what is wrong with America?

A Wayne post.
Love everyone, Trust a few, Harm none.


Friday, October 17, 2008


What do our enemies think? Following are a few representative quotes:

"U.S. foes gloat over financial crisis" (Associated Press)

"Iran hails world financial crisis as 'end of capitalism'" (Agence France Presse)

"We are witnessing the collapse of the American Empire." - Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh

"We are happy that the U.S. economy is in anarchy and the anarchy is reaching Europe. They are seeing the result of their own ugly doings and God is punishing them." - top Iranian cleric

The U.S. is experiencing the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. Our enemies know it. They smell blood in the water.

"Wall Street stocks plunged Wednesday in the second biggest single day point loss in history and their worst percentage fall in two decades, ravaged by fears the world's biggest economy is slipping into recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 733.08 points (7.87 percent) to close at 8,577.91 in the worst one-day point loss since last month's record 777-point decline and the steepest percentage drop since 1987. In an even more brutal decline, the broad-market Standard & Poor's index plunged 90.17 points (9.03 percent) to 907.84." (AFP)

"We are living through financial history of the tragic kind. As of Friday's close, America's stock market had declined in value by well over 40 per cent compared with its peak a year ago. Already, this ranks as the fifth biggest stock market decline since the 1920s." (U.K. Independent)

"U.S. stocks [in recent days have] plunged the most since the crash of 1987, hammered by the biggest drop in retail sales in three years and growing doubt that plans to bail out banks will keep the economic slump from deepening….The S&P 500 has tumbled 38 percent in 2008 as losses and writedowns from mortgage-related investments at financial firms worldwide topped $640 billion….The S&P 500 has tumbled 42 percent from its Oct. 9, 2007, record and the Dow has lost 39 percent from its peak the same day." (Bloomberg News)

"Japan's key stock index plummeted more than 11 percent, South Korean shares shed 9.25 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 4.8 percent. Floowing Asia's lead, benchmarks in Britain, Germany and France slipped about 3 percent. Russia's RTS also fell." (AP)

"U.S. Forces Nine Major Banks To Accept Partial Nationalization" - Washington Post

"The White House said G8 leaders were expected to meet this year on the worst financial crisis since the 1930s Great Depression. Governments around the world have pledged $3.2 trillion in emergency measures - roughly an equivalent to the economic output of Germany or China - including taking stakes in banks to help them stabilize, rallying world markets on Monday and Tuesday. But optimism quickly gave way to fears that government intervention would not save major economies from recession." (Reuters)

This is not a temporary glitch in the global financial software. The problems are real, deep and systemic. The best explanations and analysis I have seen have come from Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, the nation's foremost business magazine (see Steve's recent columns).

The following is by Joel Rosenberg:
Joel C. Rosenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of The Last Jihad, The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll, and Epicenter:

The big question now: What does it all mean and where do we go from here? A few thoughts on the implications of this financial apocalypse:

1. First things first: our national security is inextricably tied to our economic security. Economic weakness is an invitation to radical Islamic terrorists to hit us again. It's also an invitation to other rogue nations to pursue their evil plans while thinking we are unable or unwilling to stop them. The U.S. cannot lead the world in defeating tyrants and terrorists and creating an environment of peace and prosperity if we are collapsing at home. Stabilizing our economy, reforming our financial institutions, punishing and imprisoning those who have criminally undermined our economy, and getting us back on the road to free market growth and entrepreneurial health and vitality must be the top priority of the next Commander-in-Chief.

2. I don't believe one U.S. political party or the other is specifically to blame for our own financial crisis. There is plenty of blame to go around and the problems have been developing for years. That said, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the U.S. stock markets are tanking especially hard right now in part because investors believe Sen. Barack Obama is going to win on November 4th. As polls for Obama and Congressional Democrats have risen - and Americans have begun to sense that Obama's election as president and expanded control of Congress by Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid and their liberal allies is inevitable - investors' fears have not been calmed. They have been exacerbated. True, investors don't see a complete and convincing economic rescue plan from Sen. McCain. But they see disaster in Obama's plan and the likelihood of full control of the U.S. government by the Democrats. The Obama-Pelosi-Reid prescription, after all, is the worst possible medicine for the economy - $1.3 trillion in new federal spending, dramatic tax increases on small businesses, dramatic tax increases on big businesses, dramatic tax increases on those who create wealth, a major new tax on energy producers, as well as nationalized health care system. We are not simply on the brink of a serious recession; we are on the brink of another Great Depression. How, then, will massive tax increases and massive government spending help us fight our way out of this crisis? Answer: it won't. And Main Street and Wall Street know it. Just ask Joe the Plumber.

3. Are there prophetic implications of this financial crisis? It is hard to be definitive. The U.S. does not show up specifically in any end times Bible prophecies. But this fact alone raises a sobering question: If we are really in what the Bible describes as "the last days" before the return of Jesus Christ, then how is it possible that the United States of America - the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the face of the planet in the history of mankind - does not play a significant, notable role in Biblical end times events? The honest answer: I don't know for certain. But here's what I wrote in Dead Heat (p. 154): "What Bennett had never really considered carefully until now was the possibility that something else might devastate the American people, rendering them ineffective heading into the last of the last days. A financial downturn on Wall Street. The sudden collapse of the dollar. The beginning of another Great Depression. A series of devastating earthquakes. Or hurricanes. Or other natural disasters, like a tsunami. [Or ] the most cataclysmic terrorist attack of all time - five nuclear warheads. And there might be more to come. None of it was clearly prophesied in the Scriptures. Not that he could find. But perhaps he should have foreseen the neutralization of America by more carefully reading between the lines. If so, what else was he missing? What exactly was coming next?"

4. Finally, let us consider the possibility that the Lord is allowing this economic meltdown in part to shake our confidence in anything but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Is it possible that God is trying to shake us loose from trusting in our wealth, from trusting in our political leaders, from trusting in our own ingenuity and our own hard work? Is it possible that He is trying to get us to shift our focus from worldly, materialistic things to how much He loves us, and the truth that the only person we can truly trust in life to never leave us or forsake us is Jesus Christ? Is it possible that He is trying to get us to read the Bible more, and the stock tickers less? To pray more, and to worry less? To store up our treasures in heaven, and not concentrate so much on our treasures on earth?

Anyone who is feeling fearful during this turbulent economic times would do well to meditate on the words Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 6:19-33 --

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also….No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Well… there you have it folks. We have nothing to fear.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Capstone Christian Ministries

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tax Lesson

Check this out! It came to me via email from a friend and I really
Like it. Wayne

Tax Lesson - Let's put TAX CUTS in terms everyone can

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the
bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our TAXES, it
would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite
happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a
curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the
cost of your daily beer by $20."

Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay
our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink
for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How
could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if
they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth
man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to
reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out
the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing(100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to
drink for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He
pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar,
too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he
get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison.
"We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up!

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks,
so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay
the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough
money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college
professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get
the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for
being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start
drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For
those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama vs. McCain on important issues

This is their positions as of June 2008. They may have changed or softened their positions. I have done my best to present these without personal bias.

HERE are the positions of Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama and his Republican rival John McCain on the main issues in the US presidential campaign:

Obama: Said he was against the war in 2002 and has vowed to end the conflict and begin to withdraw the troops immediately. He is opposed to establishing permanent bases in Iraq, but says he would be prepared to send troops back in in case of a catastrophe or genocide.

McCain: Is a fervent supporter of the US surge launched in 2007. He has vowed "no surrender" and has said he is convinced that Washington is winning the war against the insurgency. He has come under fire from Democrats for suggesting that US troops could be left in Iraq for 100 years, modelled on the US involvement in Germany and South Korea.

Obama: Is in favor of launching a dialogue with Iran, who he says presents a serious threat to the Middle East region and the United States. He has said he would be prepared to hold talks without pre-conditions with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But more recently he indicated talks would begin at a lower level first. He is in favor of using international sanctions to push Iran to be more transparent over its suspect nuclear program.

McCain: Says "there is only one things worse than military action and that is a nuclear-armed Iran." He is against any presidential level talks which he believes would only lend legitimacy to the regime's hardliners. He would like to tighten sanctions, mostly economic, outside the UN sphere if necessary.

Obama: The US commitment to Israel is "non negotiable." He envisages isolating Hamas and Hezbollah, as long as the Islamic militant groups refuse to renounce terrorism or recognize the right of Israel to exist. He has criticized Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories as unhelpful to the peace process, and is in favor of policies which can boost the influence of moderate Palestinians.

McCain: Supports US military aid to Israel and says he is Hamas' "worst enemy." He has repeatedly said Hamas would welcome an Obama victory. He encourages talks between Israel and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, and has called for Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria to be politically isolated. He believes the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 was justified.

Obama: Promises to cut taxes for working classes and low-income homes earning less than 75,000 dollars a year, while raising taxes for those homes with an average income of more than 250,000 dollars. On the housing crisis, he proposes setting up a fund to help stave off foreclosures and federal help to gain access to loans.

McCain: Pledges to maintain the tax cuts put in place under President George W. Bush. Firmly against public deficits, he has vowed to fight "porkbarreling" or congressional earmarks and has proposed a freeze for a year on non-military federal spending. On the housing crisis, he has suggested state guarantees for mortgages and for student loans.

Obama: Wants all Americans to be covered by a universal health care plan. His scheme, based on incentives and cost cuts, would be voluntary but oblige parents to insure their children.
McCain: Believes health care should be made more accessible. (Some 45 million Americans lack coverage.) He proposes greater oversight of insurance and pharmaceutical companies to prevent them from profiting unreasonably at the expense of consumers.

Obama: Supports immigration reform which boosts border controls while legalizing under certain conditions the 12 million illegal immigrants.
McCain: Was a key mover in 2006 legislation to try to regularize the situation of illegal immigrants, but insists on the need to secure the borders before any other reforms can be carried out.

Obama: Has attacked the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico and says he would renegotiate it.
McCain: Supports NAFTA and sees free trade as an important tool in US foreign policy, notably in the Middle East. Unlike Obama, he supports a free trade accord with Colombia.

Visit: http://www.obama-mccain.info/compare-obama-mccain-abortion.php

Capstone Christian Ministries

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It’s not a housing/mortgage issue; it’s the economy stupid!

The main stream media, especially the cable new stations would have you believe all of our economic woes are attributable to the wave of home mortgage foreclosures. That ain’t it pal… oh, I will admit that the increase in foreclosures in the United States is a contributing factor, but it is certainly not the whole enchilada. The truth is that the financial crisis is real, but it can, for the most part be blamed on a lot of people who behaved poorly. Our elected representatives in Washington and the greedy corrupt scum on Wall Street are mainly responsible for the economic meltdown that will cost us (you, me, our children and our grandchildren) hundreds of billions, or most likely trillions of inflated dollars.

Some truths:

Until 2005 our annual mortgage foreclosure was about .7%, and that is just about the historic annual rate.

The percentage of American Home foreclosures today is about 2.75%

While 2.75% is about 4 times the historic rate, it also means that 97.25% of homes in America are NOT in foreclosure! The media would have you believe that every other home is being foreclosed upon. Pay attention people… that is just not the case.

A disproportionate percentage of homes in foreclosure are investor properties, or rentals. It makes sense that investors with a small investment in their rental property will let it go when things get tough and appreciation stops.

There are a few states that have much higher per homeowner foreclosures than the others. Some of the highest on a percentage basis are: California, Arizona, Florida and Nevada. These also are states that had the highest reports of house-flipping, predatory lending and fraudulent borrowers.

There are 42 states that are BELOW the national average foreclosure rate. 42! That is 84% folks! 84% of the individual states are below the national average foreclosure rate. Its a few problem states that make the situation look much worse than it really is.

Yes, the financial crisis is real, and even the foreclosure crisis is real, but foreclosures are a result of the economic crisis… not the cause.

It’s the economy stupid…


Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Are We in this Financial Mess?

I just received this via email. I have verified it with Snopes.

Want to know why we are in the financial mess we are in?

Read this article which appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1999. It answers the question.

Remember, it was written 9 years ago!

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

By STEVEN A. HOLMES New York Times
Published: September 30, 1999

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.

Comment from Wayne:
I guess if we force the GSEs to grant loans to EVERYONE and toss common sense lending we can expect some people not to pay... yuh think?

Will the Bailout help those facing foreclosure?

Not much.

I spent over 35 years in the mortgage lending industry. There is no way to spend that amount of time without learning a little bit. I know a bit about mortgages, and a bit about the secondary market for mortgages, and a bit about macro- economics (which, by the way I also studied in college).

The truth is that the bailout is a bailout for financial institutions, not for homeowners. I am not saying there will not be a small amount of benefit flow down to homeowners in trouble, but it won’t be much. The bailout is designed to capital (and perhaps some confidence) back to the financial markets. The experts seem to agree that neither the programs in existence or the bailout will be much help for those a risk of losing their homes.

What that means for homeowners facing foreclosure is that there is really no help for them, short of what they do for themselves. The bill passed and signed by the president last week contains language that requires the Treasury Department to develop a plan to mitigate foreclosures. Knowing the speed at which the bureaucrats move renders this requirement impotent. It will be months if not years before any real help flows to homeowners who are in trouble on their mortgages. By the time it actually happens thousands more homeowners will lose their homes. Since 2007 over 900,000 foreclosures have taken place. In the first eight months of this year, more than 180,000 were foreclosed on in California alone. More than 2 million mortgage loans are past due 2 or more payments. These are all potential foreclosures.

What then should a homeowner in trouble on their mortgage do?

Well, they can try calling their mortgage lender and attempt mitigation on their own. It is a very rare instance when this works. The problem is that it is next to impossible to reach the right person at the lender/servicer… a person who has the authority to actually modify the loan. Most of the time homeowners end up on the phone with a collector who represents the best interests of the lender/servicer, not the best interests of the homeowner. The average homeowner is not equipped to deal with this, especially under the pressure of a pending foreclosure.

The homeowner needs professional help. They need someone to negotiate a modification on their behalf. A professional who knows the in and outs of the mortgage industry. Professionals who know how to reach the decision-maker and know what to say to get a modification approved that works for both homeowner and the lender/servicer.

I am a Certified Loss Mitigation Consultant and may be able to help. My only goal is always to achieve a loan modification the will allow the homeowner to keep and live in their home. I am not an investor looking for a deal on their home. I am not a real estate agent looking for a "short sale" listing. I just want to help the homeowner save their home.

My bet is that everyone who reads this knows someone who can benefit from my services. I don’t charge any "up front" fees and will only take those cases that I firmly believe I can be of help. I don’t want to get in the way, so if I can’t help I will tell them immediately.

So… If you know someone who I might be able to help, have him or her get a hold of me.

They can call be direct at 800-704-2407 or 530-888-8877
They can visit my Foreclosure Prevention site: HTTP://EEZURL.COM/?PIVE
They can call: 800-366-1375 ext. 6800 for a 24/7 recorded message

Have them contact me in some manner. You will be doing them a huge favor and you may be helping them save their home.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Shack

I normally read 5-6 novels each year. Usually, that happens during my two weeks in Cabo San Lucas in August. We didn’t go to Cabo this year, so I am behind schedule. Finding time for recreational reading at home is very difficult for me. With time devoted to the grapevines, wine making (and drinking ;>) ), etc. I just don’t seem to find the time.

This weekend I found myself alone. Susan was off to the bay area for a conference and some visiting. When I got up on Saturday I nothing pressing. I had a free day. I decided to read a novel that Susan and others had recommended. It’s "The Shack" written by one William P. Young. I started it pretty early in the morning on Saturday and finished it around 7:00 PM. OK, so I am not the fastest reader in the world.

The Shack is probably the BEST novel I have read in at least ten years. I recommend it highly, and to everyone. I would be surprised to hear of anyone reading this and not liking it. There is a far greater chance that you will love it. The Shack has a bonus… in addition to being entertaining it is educational. We are never too old to learn, are we?

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Be blessed,

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Joe Biden's Debate Lies

Here is the list the McCain camp put forth:

OK... I understand one must consider the source, however these all are pretty easy to confirm as false. In any event, if half of these were just simple errors -- 7 lies in the debate would be about seven too many. It seems to me the Democrates are counting on no one paying any attention and just accepting everything they say as truth. SHAME ON THEM!

1. TAX VOTE: Biden said McCain voted "the exact same way" as Obama to increase taxes on Americans earning just $42,000, but McCain DID NOT VOTE THAT WAY.

2. AHMEDINIJAD MEETING: Joe Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmedinijad of Iran. Barack Obama did say specifically, and Joe Biden attacked him for it.

3. OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING: Biden said, "Drill we must." But Biden has opposed offshore drilling and even compared offshore drilling to "raping" the Outer Continental Shelf."

4. TROOP FUNDING: Joe Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of it’s passage.

5. OPPOSING CLEAN COAL: Biden says he’s always been for clean coal, but he just told a voter that he is against clean coal and any new coal plants in America and has a record of voting against clean coal and coal in the U.S. Senate.

6. ALERNATIVE ENERGY VOTES: According to FactCheck.org, Biden is exaggerating and overstating John McCain’s record voting for alternative energy when he says he voted against it 23 times.

7. HEALTH INSURANCE: Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people’s health insurance coverage — they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false.

8. OIL TAXES: Biden falsely said Palin supported a windfall profits tax in Alaska — she reformed the state tax and revenue system, it’s not a windfall profits tax.

9. AFGHANISTAN / GEN. MCKIERNAN COMMENTS: Biden said that top military commander in Iraq said the principles of the surge could not be applied to Afghanistan, but the commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Gen. David D. McKiernan said that there were principles of the surge strategy, including working with tribes, that could be applied in Afghanistan.

10. REGULATION: Biden falsely said McCain weakened regulation — he actually called for more regulation on Fannie and Freddie.

11. IRAQ: When Joe Biden lied when he said that John McCain was "dead wrong on Iraq", because Joe Biden shared the same vote to authorize the war and differed on the surge strategy where they John McCain has been proven right.

12. TAX INCREASES: Biden said Americans earning less than $250,000 wouldn’t see higher taxes, but the Obama-Biden tax plan would raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 or more.

13. BAILOUT: Biden said the economic rescue legislation matches the four principles that Obama laid out, but in reality it doesn’t meet two of the four principles that Obama outlined on Sept. 19, which were that it include an emergency economic stimulus package, and that it be part of "part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20."

14. REAGAN TAX RATES: Biden is wrong in saying that under Obama, Americans won’t pay any more in taxes then they did under Reagan.

Maybe this is what the Dems like to call "substance," as in substantive lies.

Be blessed,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A New Disease

Look out everyone. The Psychiatric community has discovered a new disease. Be careful you don’t catch it. What is it you ask? Why, its Road Rage Disorder. Sometimes its called Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). Like many of its close cousins it’s a bunch of crap. There is no such thing. It’s just another way to relieve people from personal responsibility and a way for the drug companies to sell more of their drugs.

How have we survived? We have all been running around with IED and did not even know it! Horrors!

This sort of things has worked well for the drug companies. It’s their marketing plan. Get more people on their drugs. Don’t believe me? Then think about some of our "new" diseases for which thousands take medication on a regular basis. Consider… Social Anxiety Disorder, Restless Legs Syndrome and even Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Every one of these are "new" and they all are fake. Totally bogus. Designed to sell drugs to people who don’t need them. And do you think they even care about the potentially dangerous side effects of these drugs. Not one bit.

Think about the above bogus "diseases" I mentioned. Can you see any of them under a microscope? No. Can you measure any of them with a blood test? No. Is there a known carrier for any of them such as a virus, bacterium, fungus or spore? No. Can you find them in the genetic code? No. Can you find them with a CAT scan or MRI? No. Can you weigh any of them? No. Can you touch, see or smell any of them? No. Why is that folks? Because they are not real, that’s why! We are being lied to so the drug companies can sell more product.

Check it out for yourselves. Do some research on the internet and library. You will find I am correct. Road Rage is NOT a disease, I don’t care what they say. It is an example of people not controlling their emotions. It’s that simple.

But now that it is a disease, individuals are relieved of their personal responsibility and can’t be charged with a crime if they commit one during a Road Rage episode, because they have a disease. It’s not their fault.

Just how stupid are we going to get? Or, a better question might be "How long are we going to allow them to treat us as though we have no brains?"

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