Wednesday Links Are Worth Watching

From bucolic bliss to ‘gated ghetto’ – The Los Angeles Times

It wasn’t what the Lopezes pictured when they agreed to pay $440,000 for their 5,000-square-foot house in 2006.

How Will the Fed’s MBS Exit Affect Mortgage Rates? – The Atlantic

Today marks the end of the Federal Reserve’s $1.25 trillion mortgage security shopping spree. There has been a broad spectrum of opinion on what this means for mortgage rates, and ultimately, the mortgage market. Which argument is more compelling?

FBI warns of mortgage fraud ‘epidemic’: Seeks to head off ‘next S&L crisis’ – Naked Capitalism, Edward Harrison

You should note that, while the FBI was concentrated on criminal gangs outside of financial institutions, Black believes the problem is the collusion of the financial institutions themselves in the frauds.

Did US Housing Have a Boom/Bust Cycle? – The Big Picture, Barry Ritholtz

The NY Fed has a curious research piece out, looking at areas of Upstate New York that were “insulated” from housing price volatility.

Pace of house flipping picks up – The San Francisco Chronicle

Multiple offers made a comeback in 2009 and early 2010, but this time around they occurred mostly in below median-priced areas, and were propelled significantly by investors buying bank-owned properties.

Housing Prices May Be Heading for a Double Dip – CNBC

“Case Schiller aside, we expect housing prices to fall another five percent in the coming months,” says Paul Dales, US economist at Toronto based Capital Economics. “We’ve actually seen some declines in areas of the country. That’s going to put a halt on any housing recovery.”

States have $5.17 Trillion in Pension Obligations, Gap is $3.23 Trillion; State Debt as Share of GDP – Mish

Most states have pension plan assumptions that assume a 7% rate of return or higher. Such returns simply will not happen. Worse yet, another downturn will cripple states.

Helpless Beijing Watches The Housing Bubble Spreads To Rural China – Clusterstock

Real estate developers have bought up cheap land in rural China, despite laws against land hoarding.

To Rob a Country, Own a Bank – New Deal 2.0

While we don’t believe Bill is in any real danger, his brutal honesty does pose a serious threat to the financial sector’s status quo.  You can watch the entire interview below and see why Bill is enemy number one among the opponents of financial reform.

Simon Johnson Explains ‘Too Big To Fail’ On The ‘Colbert Report’ – HuffPo

“If people have get out of jail free cards, they’re going to go off and do crazy things,” Johnson continued. “When the time comes for a reckoning, there’s no reckoning! There’s no bankruptcy. They get to go out and take the same sort of reckless risks again in financial markets.”

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U.S. Government To Save Billions By Cutting Wasteful Senator Program – The Onion

WASHINGTON—In an effort to reduce wasteful spending and eliminate non-vital federal services, the U.S. government announced plans this week to cut its long-standing senator program, a move it says will help save more than $300 billion each year.

According to officials, the decision to cut the national legislative body was reached during a budget review meeting on Tuesday. After hours of deliberation, it was agreed that the cost of financing U.S. senators far outweighed the benefits they provided.

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About Greg Fielding

I am a longtime real estate agent who has pretty much seen it all during the housing boom as bust. With experience in selling high-end property and low-end foreclosures, raw land, short sales, development work, apartment buildings, and working with investors, I bring a well-rounded perspective to my work.I also have started to do some paid real estate consulting. If you have questions or just need some good real estate advice, book an appointment at addition to selling real estate, my insights have been featured in The New York Times, The Big Picture, and regularly on I have also done consulting work with ForeclosureRadar.Starting my career, in 2003, I have sold homes throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties, specializing in Danville, Alamo, Blackhawk, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, and Orinda. I live in Danville with my three kids.

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