Phil Angelides on the Mortgage Crisis

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Phil Angelides, chair of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and past two-term California State Treasurer, discusses the severity of the housing and foreclosure crisis and what we still need to do about it. 

Comments [24]

Let's try some inflation - to fix our economy.

A few years of 8% inflation would help reduce the
excessive debt load on our middle class.
It would make mortgages that are currently worth
more than the underlying house more reasonable
and liquid. It would transfer wealth BACK from
over 10 years of policies which unjustly suck money
from the middle class and transfered it to the
rich. Deflation and austerity harm the middle class
instead and transfer money to the wealthy.

Jan. 18 2012 05:09 PM
Lonnie from Brooklyn!!!

One-- Homes that used to be worth $400,000 now worth half that much.
What about that Free Market Fact that those Homes were NEVER REALLY WORTH THAT MUCH TO BEGIN WITH? So the people who want the Federal Gov't to help them save the value of their house really want 'REVERSE SOCIALISM': The Rest of US use our TAX Money to pay for THEM to have a house they can sell for Half a Million $$$.

Two-- Gov't TARP for Homeowners instead of the Banks. Still wouldn't work. What Happened with Tarp was unsavory, but it had a purpose: to Keep the SYSTEM from FAILING. Sending TARP Money direct to Underwater Homeowners STILL sends the $$$$ to the Banks ANYWAY. Except now, the TAX Payer is just EXTENDING THE REAL ESTATE BUBBLE instead of FIXING THE SYSTEM.

What happened in 2008-2009 HURT. But we're FAR better off than if we had let the 'Free Market' run it's course. A Second Depression WOULD destroy America.

Jan. 18 2012 10:58 AM
Randi from NYC

The problem still is that housing prices are too high. As long as home prices outpace the incomes which can afford such mortgages, there will always be a glut of housing.

Jan. 18 2012 10:40 AM

"The government programs were working and would be effective in dealing with the current "manufactured" crisis. Nay-Sayers are the problem. It's time to get behind our hard working and focused public officials, such as Mr. Angelides and President Obama. They were not swayed by poisonous partisan arguments and voted to support and continue the Bush Administration's plan to bailout the financial industry."

Jan. 18 2012 10:26 AM
Richard Johnston from Manhattan upper west side

He shamelessly evades the pointed questions about his responsibility for CALPERS' overexposure to real estate. Why should anybody believe him now?

Jan. 18 2012 10:26 AM

Phil is doing a lil CYA...he missed the signs back in 2003 and now he will tell us why.

"An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today."
~Laurence J. Peter

Jan. 18 2012 10:25 AM

Out to lunch?

He keeps talking about moving real estate closer to "transit." spoken like a true real estate speculator drumming up business.

A true civil servant would, instead, be arguing to improve transit to serve existing communities -- even though that would make investment for large funds harder.

Ask him: In the context of housing values -- what is the long term impact and wisdom of Christie pulling the plug on the Hudson tunnel?

Jan. 18 2012 10:24 AM
Tyrone from Manhattan

great ideas... lets bail out more irresponsibility with borrowed money we dont have. what a sad state.

Jan. 18 2012 10:24 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Suburbia should be turned back into farm land, as God meant it to be.

Jan. 18 2012 10:22 AM
Jorge from nyc

House prices are still artificially inflated, even at the lower prices that they are being sold at today.

Once the interest rates start going back up, which they will sooner or later, you will see another adjustment to the Bubble pricing created between 1980 and 2006.

Jan. 18 2012 10:21 AM

Jan. 18 2012 10:20 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Yeah, knock down suburbia already and move everybody back into the housing projects. Not so bad. Suburbia is once again only for the rich, as it was in the 1920s. That "dream" is over.

Jan. 18 2012 10:19 AM
Donna from Bloomfield

I've owned three owns and never missed a mortgage payment in 25 years. After three lay offs, in three years, I'm at the point of not being able to pay my mortgage. The bank is arrogant and refuses to re-set the mortgage. In addition, I have discovered a leak in my oil tank and remediation funds in New Jersey ran out last May. I can't sell the home without fixing the oil tank and I can't get money to do that. Even with equity in my home I can't sell it. 25 years of mortgage payments and nothing to show for it. It's pathetic. When I think about the money that I have already paid in interest it makes me sick. Thanks Wells Fargo.

Jan. 18 2012 10:19 AM

Ask this California politician if he will support a 100K cap on the mortgage interest tax deduction. This, in my opinion, has directly contributed to ridiculously inflated home prices in Cali and elsewhere.

Jan. 18 2012 10:19 AM

Joe is correct.

Although the banking sector creation of the credit default swap market was a primary contributor to the problem, one can't dismiss the role of the government. I wouldn't blame it on Freddie Fannie so much, but on the role of tax credits...

Why does the federal government subsidize home ownership?

Isn't this another subsidy for the relatively wealthy? And why should we be subsidizing the wealthy?

Jan. 18 2012 10:19 AM

not a mortgage crisis, not even a housing crisis -- we said we'd wait until prices came back down to 1998 prices. in our old neighborhood finally prices did reach that level. but the taxes are ten times what they had been. 12K for a house that will sell for 200k?

Meanwhile, New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line gets slower and slower since 1839, the year that line was built. 70 minutes to traverse 25 miles to NYC? Where's the payoff?

We waited long enough -- cu jersey!

Jan. 18 2012 10:18 AM
Adam from NJ


I represent homeowners facing foreclosure in NJ. There is a lack of sound business judgment among the banks. It's remarkable how often a bank will reject a modification even where the homeowner has the income to pay and is willing to pay more than market value to keep an underwater home. The January 2012 Fed White Paper explains that much of the decision making is due to incentives for servicers to pursue foreclosure over modification.

The result has pushed me to more vigorously pursue litigation on behalf of my clients. My firm got 30 foreclosure dismissed last year, many of those cases could have resulted in performing loans if the banks were willing to modify and yes, cut principal.

Jan. 18 2012 10:18 AM
dan k from chelsea

really? knock down the houses? can't we do better than that? at the very least, the local gov't should be able to buy those houses at very low cost and use them as subsidized housing.

Jan. 18 2012 10:17 AM
The Truth from Becky

Again with this.

Jan. 18 2012 10:17 AM

Mitt Romney did not say he liked firing people.

Jan. 18 2012 10:17 AM
Telegram Sam from Staten Island

This guy undercuts his arguments with the gratuitous attacks on various Republicans. Not that I disagree in spirit, but "misunderestimated"? What is this, 2003? He sounds like a clown. This isn't MSNBC, Phil.

Anyway, many Democrats enabled the crisis and continue to, including the Obama administration.

Jan. 18 2012 10:14 AM

Ron Paul predicted (as well as others) the housing bubble in 2003...we should listen to what he has to say. Fannie Freddies surely played a significant role...

Jan. 18 2012 10:14 AM
Paul from Syosset

Please explain, "speculative products designed to fail" who profits from such a failure?

Jan. 18 2012 10:13 AM
Noah from Brooklyn

Brian -

Please ask Mr Angelides to discuss the role of Fannie and Freddie in the collapse.

The GOP candidates like to blame the govt and Fannie and Freddie in particular. But, some economists say that the govt and F & F were not significantly responsible for the crisis.

Jan. 18 2012 10:10 AM

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