Saturday, February 13, 2010

Alan, We Hardly Liked Ye

Wow, what a scum-bucket. Dr. Greenspan...really?

While borrowers can refinance fixed-rate mortgages, Greenspan said homeowners were paying as much as 0.5 to 1.2 percentage points for that right and the protection against a potential rate rise, which could increase annual after-tax payments by several thousand dollars.

He said a Fed study suggested many homeowners could have saved tens of thousands of dollars in the last decade if they had ARMs. Those savings would not have been realized, however, had interest rates shot up.

You could extend this logic, of course. You can make millions of dollars, ex post, if you buy the correct lottery ticket, with the winning number. But "buy lottery tickets" is hardly sound investment advice, though of course that is exactly what people did, on a huge scale. Further, trying to get people to buy ARMs, and then jacking up rates by 425 basis points... why? I have no problem with the higher rates, but knock it off with the investment advice, Dr. G!

My pal Hal Snarr, at NC A&T, wrote this piece. I don't agree with all of it, but the "financial molotov cocktail" part seems right.

Hal's points about Glass-Steagal.... well, two cheers for Glass-Steagal. I agree that "too big to fail" is "too big," but only because the buttinski-trons at Treasury and the Fed insist on giving out taxpayer money.

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