Living A Digital Existence

Discussion in 'News and Article Submission' started by MunkyMagikUK, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. MunkyMagikUK

    MunkyMagikUK Digiex Blogger

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    Living A Digital Existence

    Week 3

    Hello and welcome once again to another edition of Living A Digital Existence. This week's topic of conversation is the current "Credit Crunch" which I'm sure you will all agree, isn't a great deal of fun. For those of you who haven't watched the news and don't know much about it (I know some of you do know rather a lot, Nimrod and me have had arguments in the past ;)), hopefully this may inform you a little bit, and of course this is my own take on what caused it, and who is to blame.

    Crunch Time for the Financial World

    In the beginning...

    In short, the cause of the current financial crisis is greed. It all started with the sub-prime mortgage’s, where American mortgage lenders gave mortgage’s to people who in reality were never going to be able to make the payments. The reason for this, was, that in the short run, these salesmen would make vast profits through sales bonuses. For every mortgage they sold, they got a bonus, and so all they wanted to do was sell as many as possible and collect their big fat pay check, not even considering your average Joe, who was always bound to suffer the consequences in the long term.

    To make these mortgages more profitable, the mortgage providers would “bundle” these mortgage’s into consolidation packages, which would then be sold onto other financial institutions for a profit. These mortgage providers weren’t stupid however, and gave these consolidation packages long, complicated, professional sounding names, however, what they really should have been called was the redneck, hillbilly fund, as in truth, this is exactly what they were, and then maybe, we might not be in this situation. The idea behind selling these packages to other financial institutions was that due to the high risk of these sub-prime mortgages, if more institutions bought up the packages, the risk of them would be spread out, however all they managed to achieve was that the financial problem spread, not the risk.

    As I said previously, these mortgage providers were not “stupid” when it came to selling these mortgages. Most of these mortgages have introductory periods where the interest rate on them was very low, maybe as low as 2%. This is all well and good, however, after this introductory period has ended, interest rates on the mortgage sky rocket, and the mortgage owner is left stuck in a big pile of debt. This was not helped by the fact that the US government had had to increase interest rates due to rising inflation, meaning that people who had taken out mortgages two years prior to this now faced the threat of even higher payments.

    The spread...

    Sub-prime mortgages in the UK were not as apparent as in the US, and the banks had not bought up as much bad debt. However, there were still problems, and the first institution to be hit was Northern Rock. NR had a high amount of risky loans, but also happened to have the highest percentage of loans financed through the capital markets. So, when the sub-prime hit, Northern Rock couldn’t raise enough money through the capital markets, and so had to do the financial “walk of shame” and ask the bank of England for money.

    This is where the media comes into play in all of this. Obviously, the media is run as a business, and they need to use headlines that will catch your attention and make you read. So, when NR went to the bank of England, the newspapers were positively gleaming, as this was the perfect money spinner. They jumped on the crisis band wagon, and reported that things were heading down the pan. This cause a mass exodus of people’s funds from the bank, as everyone panicked and feared for the safety of their money. This meant that the bank got into more trouble, and leading to the long slow demise of the bank.

    As in the US, house prices in Britain have been falling due to the lack of availability of mortgages. Banks will now not usually lend more than a 90% mortgage, meaning that the proposed lender will have to put forward at least 10% of the value of the property before they will be eligible for a mortgage, but even that isn’t enough for some at the moment. Falling house prices have also meant and increase in negative equity, meaning that mortgage defaults costs banks even more now, as they cannot retrieve the initial loan.

    There is no way of knowing how long the credit crunch will last, but there are signs that it could well be a while. House prices are still falling, further reducing the value of mortgages. Many homeowners are still facing rising interest rates. Despite the fact that both the US and UK are entering recessions, interest rates are rising due to inflation. The usual course of action during a recession would be to lower the interest rates to try and encourage consumer spending. . However, due to the fact that inflation is still rising due to the financial crisis, interest rates have also been rising to try and control this inflation. This increase of inflation has nothing to do with consumer spending, and therefore one would presume that interest rates could be dropped. In short, only time will tell. We have to wait for the world economy to sort itself out before we can judge anything.

    There are signs, however, that the governments of the world are trying to help out, with the US government recently pumping US$700 billion into the financial markets to try and stabilise them. However, as I have said previously, only time will tell.

    So what effect does all this have on me...?

    With all this bad debt, banks are more unwilling than ever to lend money over fear that they will never see it again. Due to this lack of credit, consumer spending is likely to be reduced. This means that you won’t be able to by that 42” TV that you’ve wanted for the past few months, as no-one will lend you the money for it.

    So all in all, we can conclude that a bunch of money utterly senseless, money grabbing, greedy American bankers, are the cause of the current financial crisis. Whilst the British can also be blamed, if it hadn't been for these American bankers, we would never have bought the bad debt in the first place.

    What a load of bankers!

    That's it for this week folks. As always comments are appreciated, I'm sure a few of you will disagree with my views, and will want to make your own comments, so feel free to do so! (I'm sure Nimrod will stick his 2 cents in there ;))

    Until next time...

    David
    (MunkyMagikUK)

     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008
  2. Safinn

    Safinn Addict

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    Alot of things have gone very cheap now. I have seen a Crysler Dodge or something like that at buy one get one free. I would do it and try and sell the other one maybe both to try and make some money out of nothing but knowone would want to buy them because they will have no money..
     
  3. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    So basically the price of stuff such as houses is nose diving, yet people still can’t afford something like a house because no one is ever going to lend them the money in fear of not getting it back.

    As I’ve known for years I don’t have a remote chance of been able to afford a house, I know a couple of people paying a mortgage for a house and they just about have enough money to buy food after paying it... not really how I hope to end up.

    Things keep getting more expensive yet unless you’re in with a good job you’re probably never going to get a pay rise big enough to keep up with the increasing cost of things.
     
  4. MunkyMagikUK

    MunkyMagikUK Digiex Blogger

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    That's the general idea yeah. In a recession (which is what we are now going into, we're not yet officially in one) The cost of living rises, inflation rises (i.e. price of goods goes up) yet people are becoming unemployed, and it all just goes round in a circle. It's all about confidence, and at the moment, with all the trouble with the banks, people have no confidence, so aren't spending any money, businesses aren't getting any money, so more people are becoming unemployed and it just gets worse and worse.

    And I wouldn't worry about that mortgage, no-one will give you one anyway ;) It's just a good job you're in Uni and are able to live at home!!
     
  5. Icharus_Falling

    Icharus_Falling Resident

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    well, blaming it on the people who didnt pay theyre mortgage is rather misleading.

    the amount of mortgages that have forclosed is the U.S., mostly as a result of this sub prime lending, is about 2%.

    not very staggering.

    banks have always bought and sold securities (securities is the name for a bunch of bundled debt.) this is a good thing. this is the ONLY thing that keeps the credit market alive.

    now then, lets jump back 10 years. remember the "dot com" boom? where they made it look like all you had to do was create a website and you would become an overnight millionaire? well people poured billions into that, and it crashed. much like whats happening now, but these securities ultimately had no value, because they werent tied to anything tangible. (this is a very oversimplified explanation, as an accurate, complicated one isnt needed). the point is, when that boom was over, there were hundreds of billions of dollars that needed to be spent somewhere. banks had to have something to give value to all this fake money that the computers say they had.

    how about real estate? they say real estate never loses value!

    so banks invested everywhere, gave loans to anyone who wanted one (commonly, 110% loans were given so people could buy brand new furniture too) there was construction everywhere, which created countless new compaies (real estate companies, builders, plumbers, engineers, architects, surveyors, and 50 other proffessions involved in construction) and everybody was happy, jobs every where, everyone was owning a house, etc. the prices of houses kept inflating though, due to demand (but mostly greed). in 1998, a starter house cost about $120,000. in 2003, a starter house cost about $300,000, for the same exact home model.

    banks took advantage of this, refinancing old homes for their inflated value. this increased (artificially) the value of their securities. and of course they all sold each other these securities for a little profit.

    imagine you and your neighbor buying each others houses, doing this every day for 1% more. eventually it gets rediculous, and the value suddenly drops to levels that it should be. thats what happened. suddenly all these securities that were supposed to be worth X amount of dollars, were now worth next to nothing. alot of that had to do with poeple not paying their mortgage, which is understandable. i would walk out on a $300,000 loan on something that was worth $120,000. if i were stupid enough to do it in the first place.

    all of these banks had insurance on theses mortgages, because they knew the poeple they were lending to shouldnt be able to pay that amount of money. the problem was: THEY ALL HAD THE SAME INSURANCE COMPANY!

    AIG, American Internation Group, Inc. suddenly couldnt pay out (or wouldnt pay out, because of the decreased value of the securities being claimed) and went belly up. now the banks have no insurance money coming to cover the fake money they thought they had, as the insurance companies are all based on fake money as well. the government bailed them out, but it didnt really help.

    i honestly think the media is making a much bigger issue out of this than it really is. damn near the same thing happened in 1982, and it affected almost nothing at the consumer level.

    the wall street assholes are saying that we will hit bottom in about 2 years, then things will start to get better. =/
     
  6. MunkyMagikUK

    MunkyMagikUK Digiex Blogger

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    I never blamed it on the people not paying they're mortgages back. After all, if you were poor, and a bank offered to give you a loan to buy your own house at a low interest rate, you would bite their arm off. These people weren't to know any better, they just thought they were getting a good deal and they cannot be blamed. I'm blaming the banks for giving them the mortgages in the first place.

    Agreed. But isn't the point that they shouldn't have leant the mortgages in the first place, especially as they KNEW people these people wouldn't be able to pay them back? They then they wouldn't have needed insurance on them, and all this nonsense wouldn't have started?

    Again I agree completely. Over here in the UK, if the media hadn't have scared everyone about Northern Rock, then people wouldn't have taken all their money out, share prices wouldn't have fallen, and they wouldn't have had to become a nationalised company. As I said in the blog, the media is run as a business, and they need to sell papers and stories, but there are better ways of doing it. The government should really get a grip of this and sort it out. I'm not for censoring, but when it comes down to national bank chains going out of business, it gets a bit ridiculous.

    Thanks for your views Icharus_Falling!
     

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