Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   1 comment

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Reclaiming Honesty - The Key to Prosperity

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com


Corruption Warning by free use

Wondering why banks are so un-cooperative on short-sales and foreclosures? Why does it take 3 months or more to get bank approval of a great cash offer on a short-sale? Follow the money!

Banks have perverse incentives to hang on to unproductive loans. Sure, some properties are moving thru the pipeline, but only enough to avoid charges of obstructionism. Banks must appear to be cooperative, but the backlog (with the complicity of government) is still horrendous, especially with higher-value properties.

Follow this example -- if a loan on a 100K house goes bad and the house is sold for $60k the bank loses $40k. That's not the worst part.

 

THE REST OF THE STORY
The magic of banking is that banks are allowed to lend as much as $50 for every dollar in their capital account.*
Writing off $40k means they must forego loaning $2million (50 x $40k).
The interest on $2million at 5% is $100k, so writing that loan down by $40k also costs them $100k in interest, for a total loss of $140k the first year, plus a diminishing $100k per year thereafter.
No wonder banks are dragging their feet and only dribbling out sufficient toxic assets to APPEAR cooperative!

This explains why banks are still incentivized to accumulate toxic loans. They are better off holding bad loans and continuing to lend at multiples of that high phony number, than recognizing the loss. This also explains why troubled investment behemoths (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs) were converted to banks during the Sept-Oct 2008 crisis -- it was the perfect political opportunity to get a quick bank charter and "create new liquidity".

 

BOGUS VALUATIONS
None of this would be possible without a little accounting trick. In March 2009 pressure from Obama and CONgress changed the rules promulgated by a group of 5 politically-influenced super-accountants called the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). They now allow three levels of valuation in their Rule 157 that defines how assets must be valued.

1. Lower Of Cost, or Market Value conservative accounting rules used to require valuing assets so that the bad loan showed on the books at $60k to reflect its real market value. That standard is still used for valuing stocks, bonds, gold, anything where an active market produces an easily obtainable market price.

 

2. Mark to Model got two wizards the Nobel Prize in Economics. Using a lot of fancy calculus that would make your head spin, they claimed the ability to value a portfolio of mortgages according to all the risk factors inherent in that investment. That led to the derivatives cesspool known as Mortgage Backed Securities. When I asked a noted statistician what went wrong, he simply replied "Garbage in -- garbage out" -- a model is only as good as the validity of its assumptions, and theirs were naive".  This method is still used for mortgage pools (about 15,000 mortgages) where statistics would apply.

3. Mark-To-Make-Believe values, permitted by loosening FASB Rule 157 in March 2009, makes fairy-tale accounting possible. Lenders can now carry a bad mortgage on their books at values having no basis in the reality of today's market. They are permitted to make their own assumptions for mortgage payback which would be ruined by taking the loss. CONgress does not deal with the real world, so this kind of accounting makes perfect sense to them.

HONESTY IS ESSENTIALAmerica grew to a powerhouse because of honesty - more than anywhere in the world.

Honesty was the lubricant that made free enterprise run smoothly.
Without honesty there is friction, and government steps in to gum up the works.

Playing games with the rules (dishonesty) erodes confidence, and people's willingness to buy or invest.

If the political elites understood economics, they would just flush the toilet on bad loans and make-believe financial statements; then we could get on the road to recovery.

______________

   *Based on 4% Tier 1 risk-based (50%) Capital Adequacy Ratio
Commercial Bank Examination Manual sec.3020.1  Rev 10/08

Not all mortgages are bank-owned, but Rule 157 applies everywhere.

PostScript: See The Great American Bank Robbery
Video - Lecture at the Hammer Institute
By William K. Black, a liberal regulator who details the failure of regulation.

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Restore Honesty - Ban Corrupt Accounting Practices

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Degreed in Finance and Economics. Active in politics since 1980. Elected to office, and re-elected. Then elected to Education Advisory for country's 4th largest school board. Disgusted with lying and corruption at all levels of government and (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Reclaiming Honesty - The Key to Prosperity

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

These details need to reach news media and talk sh... by Richard Webb on Tuesday, Sep 6, 2011 at 9:41:35 PM