There are still people who think I’m overreacting to the administration’s economic policies. Think so? Read this from David Dayen:
OK, the jury orientation is over, and I’m sitting in the sparkling jury assembly room with excellent working WiFi. Big ups for public services! If I’m just hanging out all day, this should proceed normally.
I wanted to hit this background meeting that Treasury had with a group of bloggers and reporters this week. That was the source of the Mike Allen nonsense, but Shahien Nasiripour has written the most extensive recording of that session, and it’s the stuff on foreclosures and HAMP, not necessarily Social Security, that interests me.
According to this retelling, Treasury defended the mortgage program they set up to prevent foreclosures, which hasn’t met any of the Administration’s initial goals, by saying that homeowners benefited from temporarily low monthly payments and some foreclosures, which were inevitable, were delayed. Here are some of the meatier parts of the brief:
The official touted the ever-growing pipeline of homes likely to enter foreclosure as a success in the administration’s fight to stem the rising tide of home foreclosures. It’s taking longer for homes to enter foreclosure, and it’s taking longer to evict homeowners once they enter foreclosure. The so-called “shadow inventory” of homes — those with severely delinquent mortgages, in foreclosure or already repossessed that have not yet been put on the market — has significantly grown since the administration took office and is estimated to range from 5 to 7 million homes. Through June, borrowers in foreclosure have been delinquent for an average of 461 days before being evicted from their homes, according to Jacksonville, Fla.-based data provider Lender Processing Services.
That’s a good thing, the official said, because it gives the market time to absorb these homes gradually — without leading to a dramatic drop in home prices. While analysts disagree — prices will decline when those homes flood the market, which many, like Mark Hanson, a housing industry analyst based in California, believe to be a virtual certainty — the official pointed to the futures market where traders are betting that home prices will remain stable through the fall of 2014.
In addition to what Dave is saying — that it’s immoral of the administration to suck these homeowners dry when there’s no chance of saving their homes — there’s also another really big piece these geniuses are missing: Unemployment is driving down housing costs. People are having trouble getting mortgages, because no one really has a secure job.
I predict that in the next year, housing will drop another 30% in value. Call it a hunch.
UPDATE: Duncan is pretty furious, too:
Really fucking unbelievable. As I think I said to Mike at Netroots Nation, if HAMP is actually a program designed to boost the housing market and funnel money several billion more dollars to banks, it’s also a really fucking horrible and stupid and inefficient way to do that even without the “screwing people over” part.