Is a US default inevitable?

The American Conservative
by Patrick J. Buchanan

The Wall Street titans thus conceded they did not foresee the housing bubble ever bursting and they did not consider the possibility of a collapse in value of the sub-prime mortgage securities piled up on their books. Backing up Blankfein’s plea of ignorance and incomprehension is this: The crisis killed Lehman Brothers and would have killed every one of them had not the Treasury and Fed, neither of which saw it coming, either, intervened with hundreds of billions in bailout cash. Yet there were those who warned a housing bubble was being created like the dot-com bubble; others who predicted the Empire of Debt was coming down. As, today, there are those warning that the United States, with consecutive deficits running 10 percent of gross domestic product, is risking an eventual default on its national debt...

//www.amconmag.com/blog/2010/01/15/is-a-u-s-default-inevitable/



A crash course on the financial meltdown

Mother Jones
by Andy Kroll

01/15/10

One outstanding question about the financial meltdown has been how the subprime collapse spread to the broader economy. Back in 2007, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t expect any spillover from the housing crisis at all. Yet as the four Wall Street execs explained at the hearing, the mortgage securitization process — which took people’s actual mortgages and tried to make them behave like fungible assets you could trade just like stocks and bonds — led to vast amounts of Lehman Brothers-like speculation and leverage. The evaluators of these mortgage-backed securities, the credit rating agencies, only fueled the gambling by stamping their highest imprimatur on these shoddy loans. And when people stopped making their mortgage payments and the securities backed by those mortgages went sour, all these overleveraged institutions suffered huge losses that caused some to fail and others to survive only with government help...

//motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/work-begins-pecora-pt-ii


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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