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10/11/10

Deleveraging and Insolvency

The Real Estate and Mortgage Foreclosure problem is unresolved...

Unwinding will take years but we can rise above while resolution is occurring.

It seems to me that if the major banks and mortgage companies are placing moratoriums on foreclosures due to affidavit and auditing problems on tens of thousands of foreclosures already processed, the problem must be deeper than currently being admitted. Truth is bubbling to the surface. The banks and mortgage companies have been trying to get out of these loans as quickly as they got into them, without proper procedures, due diligence and documentation. Rationally, this situation will take years to unwind and cannot be sped up no matter how much financial institutions and the government try to force the process. The implications cannot be understated.

Essentially this quagmire throws the entire real estate industry into chaos and ultimately threatens the entire financial and banking system. The mortgage business as we know it will require an overhaul, at the very least. I don't think it is at all dramatic to state this, only time will tell exactly how it plays out. In the long term I'm not sure it's a bad thing, it is an opportunity to reshape these businesses back into more natural and free markets. There is plenty of blame to go around that can be affixed later, the important thing now is to fix the problem. The big players have been gambling on a fantasy accounting game for several years now, where everyone pretended that houses and commercial property were still worth in real life what was owed to the lenders on paper. The reality is that gap makes the lenders insolvent.

As the slang saying goes: "Da Nile isn't just a river in Egypt."

Now is truth telling time and recognition that there can be no further delay in dealing with the substantial readjustment of the value of what real estate, and subsequently other property and currency, is factually worth. This is a tough, difficult process that a lot of people are not prepared for but the longer it is delayed, the more pain there will be when it inevitably reaches a coda.

It is the end of the world as we knew it but not the end of the world, rather the beginning of a new one. History has many examples of such periods and humanity always rises to the occasion. I wouldn't paint a pretty picture on the heartache and burn this will cause a lot of people nor would I say that it will be impossible to work through it. How we face up to the situation as a people and endure while grappling with the problem will be a testament to our character as a country. I believe there are enough people with the mettle to forge a path for all of us to get through and rise above what difficulties may come.