Friday, 8 October 2010

Limbo-ville

I guess I'm missing something.  Yesterday, it came out that Fannie Mae admitted that things were fairly screwed up and they were pulling back various sales of homes that might have been foreclosed accidentally (bad faith was used, but I kinda wonder if they even know what bad faith is).

So, at least three of the big guys (Bank of America, GMAC Mortgage and JPMorgan Chase) are on this temporary halt of forecloses across America.  By the time their legal staff clear everything....it'll be into 2011.  I'm thinking a 100-day pause here.

The curious thing?  Limbo-land for hundreds of thousands of foreclosures and pending home sales.  These banks could have deals up and potentially into the final day or two of closing....when this limbo-land episode started.  It'll scare a bunch of folks into just taking their money back and putting it back into the bank.

You can imagine living in limbo-ville.  You own a house thats worth $300k today, but you paid $390k three years ago.  You can't get what you want for the house, and your job is questionable on a day-by-day way.  You'd like to sell to anyone and just go rent for five years until this economy recovers, but you can't dump the house in a clear fashion.

Limbo-ville is a strange place.  Banks are screwed.  Real estate agents are screwed.  Current owners are screwed.  New potential owners are screwed.

Things were simple before the 1980s because computers were not part of the whole mortage business except for tracking payments.  Banks would have had a folder in 1964 and asked you to come by because of late payments, with various notes of evidence in their hand to start proceedings.  Things were done in a face-to-face situation and it all made sense.

Over the past decade....almost every bank in America cut positions....so when they hand 3,000 man-hours of work to four folks to accomplish in one month....the logical answer here is that they can only accomplish around 800 man-hours, unless they just sign papers without looking.  Obviously, thats the only way to make things work in the modern world.  That's how thing now work in Limbo-ville.

A Special Town-hall Meeting

Seeking—Audience Members: males & females, 18+.
To apply, email townhallaudience@mtvnmix.com and put “Town Hall” in the subject line. To ensure that the audience represents diverse interests and political views, include your name, phone number, hometown, school attending, your job and what issues, if any, you are interested in or passionate about. Also, provide a recent photo and short description of your political views. Submission deadline: Oct. 14. No pay.

It's an amusing ad that appeared in the last day or two here in DC.  It's from M-TV, and they want a real audience of characters for their Obama town-hall meeting.  It's schedule for 14 Oct here in DC.

Your looks matter....your political views matter....your hometown matters....and your issues matter.  That's the only way you get a entry ticket to this town-hall meeting.

A joke?  Yeah, I'd say it's fairly bogus and will represent a a un-diverse group of folks with some kinda agenda.  However, if you are a radical leftist female from New Orleans who dresses up like a hottie and thinks global warming, saving banks, and Bon Jovi are your top three priorities in life....then go for it.  You might have a chance.

My Neck of the Woods

Washington DC is an interesting place.  For twenty years, the locals have complained about the school system and law enforcement.  Once you step outside of the capital belt....you are in DC-local.....and it's a totally different game.

Over the past decade, new mayors have come into DC with actual agendas to fix issues.  Four years ago, folks voted Mayor Fenty into office. He went after both issues.  He brought in Ms Rhea who took on the school system and the local union.  She rattled their cage by tossing out over 200 teachers by reason of evaluations.  Strangely enough, this infuriated not only the teachers, but probably twenty percent of the local population as well.

On the cop side of things, Fenty came along and found a new chief of police.  The new chief decided to bring in a new wave of division chiefs....all outsiders (from beyond DC).  It was new blood and probably would have been expected.  The problem is that the local guys standing there expecting to be the next guy promoted up....weren't promoted to the job they expected.  So negative feelings started to pop up in the police department.  The interesting thing is that over the past four years....more locals are satisfied with their safety situation in DC.

So the mayor lost his re-election campaign last month....and the new guy is quickly giving the "wink".  He's going to "fix" all of the things done wrong.

So the education chief of DC is expected to be terminated in January.  Some folks now expect all 200 of the terminated teachers to be rehired by next summer.  How they can be brought onboard and how they might be compensated....is an amusing question that isn't discussed much in the local media.

Two days ago, the city council of DC rigged up a nice pension package for the new police division chiefs.  The idea is that as the police chief is terminated or released in January....all of the new guys will be let go as well....and these folks who expected their promotion four years ago will finally move to their rightful place.  Who pays for this 4-star pension deal?  That hasn't been discussed much in the local media.

DC is this town where everyone expects a city job to be held for locals only.  You really can't live in Virginia or Maryland, and expect a chance at a job for the city.

Where does all the extra money come from?  Well....there's this amusing real estate game going on where vast areas of poor districts are being bought up and completely rebuilt.  Four-star upper-scale neighborhoods then appear, with wealthy and mostly white folks buying into the new DC yuppie neighborhoods.

There's this thinking now that taxes in the district can be pushed up on the wealthy folks moving in.  They will have to accept another one percent here or two percent there.

The problem is that upset wealthy folks can't do much about this....except wait for this balance of population to hit in three to four years....which is when the next city election occurs.  The city will get the money to pay for the 'pay-back' situation now, but there's a moment of change coming in the 2014 local election....when the new mayor will likely be kicked out and a massive new change occurs.  Naturally, this will mean at least two hundred teachers terminated (you can guess which ones), and a new crew of police division chiefs (you can guess about the pension deal for those told to leave).

That's why I regard DC as a comical place to be.  As corrupt as things are in Arkansas or Florida or Mississippi....DC is likely twice as bad.