This piece was written August 4, 2006. I thought it might bear a review.I get irritated when I watch the PBS feeds of the Congressional committees, who ask why no one saw this real estate mess coming? Congress has to assume the biggest share of the blame. If I could see it, they could too. Of course this was bringing in a lot of tax dollars, which they could spend on new toys; Spend-------ad infinitium.
Lets look at an organization named Fannie Mae. Picture it as a 4 x 4 x 4 foot black box with the words Fanny Mae printed in white on it. Envision Mr. or Ms. "Mortgage Market" dropping into the box all of their 80% finance loans and when the box gets to $1 million it spits out an investment certificate for 1 million paying 5%, face amount guaranteed, which is purchased by Mr. or Ms. "Unknown Entity," AKA "mark" or "sucker."
The little black box is a great transformer and redistributer of debt. Nobody wanted to touch that crap until they built the little black box. By God everyone is entitled to the American dream of home ownership rah! rah! rah!
So we have this box and the question arises, "What the hell do they do inside that box?" My guess--absolutely nothing.
There is really no problem with the design model aspect of the black box. It will perform within its parameters. After all, its rather absurd to have a real estate market drop 20% isn't it? (Believe that, and I have a bridge to sell you). What is not realized is that the market can drop 50 to 70 percent. In this scenario, the little black box fails to function as expected. It doesn't have the funds necessary to back the claims it made in the past. What funds does it have for back up of bad loans? My guess, is none. Say you need one or two trillion dollars to back up the investors who bought these certificates---total tax collections for the US of A is about 1 trillion a year. Sounds like someone is going to get short sheeted!
The question arises who's holding all of the crap and who is going to get burned?
My guess is mutual funds and IRA's and I could be wrong.