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Failed Bank List



The FDIC is often appointed as receiver for failed banks. This page contains useful information for the customers and vendors of these banks. This includes information on the acquiring bank (if applicable), how your accounts and loans are affected, and how vendors can file claims against the receivership. Failed Financial Institution Contact Search displays point of contact information related to failed banks.

This list includes banks which have failed since October 1, 2000.

Open Bank List as CSV file –> Failed Bank List – CSV file (Updated on Mondays. Also opens in Excel – Excel Help)

Bank Name

City

State

CERT #

Closing Date

Updated Date

1st American State Bank of Minnesota Hancock MN 15448 February 5, 2010 February 12, 2010
American Marine Bank Bainbridge Island WA 16730 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010
First Regional Bank Los Angeles CA 23011 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010
Community Bank and Trust Cornelia GA 5702 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010
Marshall Bank, N.A. Hallock MN 16133 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010
Florida Community Bank Immokalee FL 5672 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010
First National Bank of Georgia Carrollton GA 16480 January 29, 2010 February 3, 2010
Columbia River Bank The Dalles OR 22469 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010
Evergreen Bank Seattle WA 20501 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010
Charter Bank Santa Fe NM 32498 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010
Bank of Leeton Leeton MO 8265 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010
Premier American Bank Miami FL 57147 January 22, 2010 February 2, 2010
Barnes Banking Company Kaysville UT 1252 January 15, 2010 February 3, 2010
St. Stephen State Bank St. Stephen MN 17522 January 15, 2010 January 26, 2010
Town Community Bank & Trust Antioch IL 34705 January 15, 2010 January 26, 2010
Horizon Bank Bellingham WA 22977 January 8, 2010 January 12, 2010
First Federal Bank of California, F.S.B. Santa Monica CA 28536 December 18, 2009 December 23, 2009
Imperial Capital Bank La Jolla CA 26348 December 18, 2009 December 23, 2009
Independent Bankers’ Bank Springfield IL 26820 December 18, 2009 January 14, 2010
New South Federal Savings Bank Irondale AL 32276 December 18, 2009 December 23, 2009
Citizens State Bank New Baltimore MI 1006 December 18, 2009 January 8, 2010
Peoples First Community Bank Panama City FL 32167 December 18, 2009 December 23, 2009
RockBridge Commercial Bank Atlanta GA 58315 December 18, 2009 December 22, 2009
SolutionsBank Overland Park KS 4731 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009
Valley Capital Bank, N.A. Mesa AZ 58399 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009
Republic Federal Bank, N.A. Miami FL 22846 December 11, 2009 December 15, 2009
Greater Atlantic Bank Reston VA 32583 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009
Benchmark Bank Aurora IL 10440 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009
AmTrust Bank Cleveland OH 29776 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009
The Tattnall Bank Reidsville GA 12080 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009
First Security National Bank Norcross GA 26290 December 4, 2009 December 8, 2009
The Buckhead Community Bank Atlanta GA 34663 December 4, 2009 December 15, 2009
Commerce Bank of Southwest Florida Fort Myers FL 58016 November 20, 2009 December 15, 2009
Pacific Coast National Bank San Clemente CA 57914 November 13, 2009 November 18, 2009
Orion Bank Naples FL 22427 November 13, 2009 December 15, 2009
Century Bank, F.S.B. Sarasota FL 32267 November 13, 2009 December 15, 2009
United Commercial Bank San Francisco CA 32469 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009
Gateway Bank of St. Louis St. Louis MO 19450 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009
Prosperan Bank Oakdale MN 35074 November 6, 2009 November 9, 2009
Home Federal Savings Bank Detroit MI 30329 November 6, 2009 December 15, 2009
United Security Bank Sparta GA 22286 November 6, 2009 December 15, 2009
North Houston Bank Houston TX 18776 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
Madisonville State Bank Madisonville TX 33782 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
Citizens National Bank Teague TX 25222 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
Park National Bank Chicago IL 11677 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
Pacific National Bank San Francisco CA 30006 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
California National Bank Los Angeles CA 34659 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
San Diego National Bank San Diego CA 23594 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
Community Bank of Lemont Lemont IL 35291 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
Bank USA, N.A. Phoenix AZ 32218 October 30, 2009 November 3, 2009
First DuPage Bank Westmont IL 35038 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009
Riverview Community Bank Otsego MN 57525 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009
Bank of Elmwood Racine WI 18321 October 23, 2009 November 3, 2009
Flagship National Bank Bradenton FL 35044 October 23, 2009 October 29, 2009
Hillcrest Bank Florida Naples FL 58336 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009
American United Bank Lawrenceville GA 57794 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009
Partners Bank Naples FL 57959 October 23, 2009 October 28, 2009
San Joaquin Bank Bakersfield CA 23266 October 16, 2009 October 21, 2009
Southern Colorado National Bank Pueblo CO 57263 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009
Jennings State Bank Spring Grove MN 11416 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009
Warren Bank Warren MI 34824 October 2, 2009 October 20, 2009
Georgian Bank Atlanta GA 57151 September 25, 2009 October 13, 2009
Irwin Union Bank, F.S.B. Louisville KY 57068 September 18, 2009 September 22, 2009
Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company Columbus IN 10100 September 18, 2009 September 22, 2009
Venture Bank Lacey WA 22868 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009
Brickwell Community Bank Woodbury MN 57736 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009
Corus Bank, N.A. Chicago IL 13693 September 11, 2009 November 23, 2009
First State Bank Flagstaff AZ 34875 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009
Platinum Community Bank Rolling Meadows IL 35030 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009
Vantus Bank Sioux City IA 27732 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009
InBank Oak Forest IL 20203 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009
First Bank of Kansas City Kansas City MO 25231 September 4, 2009 November 23, 2009
Affinity Bank Ventura CA 27197 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009
Mainstreet Bank Forest Lake MN 1909 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009
Bradford Bank Baltimore MD 28312 August 28, 2009 November 23, 2009
Guaranty Bank Austin TX 32618 August 21, 2009 February 3, 2010
CapitalSouth Bank Birmingham AL 22130 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009
First Coweta Bank Newnan GA 57702 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009
ebank Atlanta GA 34682 August 21, 2009 November 23, 2009
Community Bank of Nevada Las Vegas NV 34043 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009
Community Bank of Arizona Phoenix AZ 57645 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009
Union Bank, National Association Gilbert AZ 34485 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009
Colonial Bank Montgomery AL 9609 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009
Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association Pittsburgh PA 31559 August 14, 2009 November 23, 2009
Community First Bank Prineville OR 23268 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009
Community National Bank of Sarasota County Venice FL 27183 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009
First State Bank Sarasota FL 27364 August 7, 2009 November 23, 2009
Mutual Bank Harvey IL 18659 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009
First BankAmericano Elizabeth NJ 34270 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009
Peoples Community Bank West Chester OH 32288 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009
Integrity Bank Jupiter FL 57604 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009
First State Bank of Altus Altus OK 9873 July 31, 2009 November 23, 2009
Security Bank of Jones County Gray GA 8486 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Security Bank of Houston County Perry GA 27048 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Security Bank of Bibb County Macon GA 27367 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Security Bank of North Metro Woodstock GA 57105 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Security Bank of North Fulton Alpharetta GA 57430 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Security Bank of Gwinnett County Suwanee GA 57346 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Waterford Village Bank Williamsville NY 58065 July 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Temecula Valley Bank Temecula CA 34341 July 17, 2009 November 23, 2009
Vineyard Bank Rancho Cucamonga CA 23556 July 17, 2009 November 23, 2009
BankFirst Sioux Falls SD 34103 July 17, 2009 November 23, 2009
First Piedmont Bank Winder GA 34594 July 17, 2009 November 23, 2009
Bank of Wyoming Thermopolis WY 22754 July 10, 2009 November 23, 2009
Founders Bank Worth IL 18390 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009
Millennium State Bank of Texas Dallas TX 57667 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009
First National Bank of Danville Danville IL 3644 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009
Elizabeth State Bank Elizabeth IL 9262 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009
Rock River Bank Oregon IL 15302 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009
First State Bank of Winchester Winchester IL 11710 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009
John Warner Bank Clinton IL 12093 July 2, 2009 November 23, 2009
Mirae Bank Los Angeles CA 57332 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009
MetroPacific Bank Irvine CA 57893 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009
Horizon Bank Pine City MN 9744 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009
Neighborhood Community Bank Newnan GA 35285 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009
Community Bank of West Georgia Villa Rica GA 57436 June 26, 2009 November 23, 2009
First National Bank of Anthony Anthony KS 4614 June 19, 2009 November 23, 2009
Cooperative Bank Wilmington NC 27837 June 19, 2009 November 23, 2009
Southern Community Bank Fayetteville GA 35251 June 19, 2009 November 23, 2009
Bank of Lincolnwood Lincolnwood IL 17309 June 5, 2009 November 23, 2009
Citizens National Bank Macomb IL 5757 May 22, 2009 November 23, 2009
Strategic Capital Bank Champaign IL 35175 May 22, 2009 November 23, 2009
BankUnited, FSB Coral Gables FL 32247 May 21, 2009 November 23, 2009
Westsound Bank Bremerton WA 34843 May 8, 2009 November 23, 2009
America West Bank Layton UT 35461 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009
Citizens Community Bank Ridgewood NJ 57563 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009
Silverton Bank, NA Atlanta GA 26535 May 1, 2009 November 23, 2009
First Bank of Idaho Ketchum ID 34396 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
First Bank of Beverly Hills Calabasas CA 32069 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Michigan Heritage Bank Farmington Hills MI 34369 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
American Southern Bank Kennesaw GA 57943 April 24, 2009 November 23, 2009
Great Basin Bank of Nevada Elko NV 33824 April 17, 2009 November 23, 2009
American Sterling Bank Sugar Creek MO 8266 April 17, 2009 November 23, 2009
New Frontier Bank Greeley CO 34881 April 10, 2009 December 23, 2009
Cape Fear Bank Wilmington NC 34639 April 10, 2009 November 23, 2009
Omni National Bank Atlanta GA 22238 March 27, 2009 November 23, 2009
TeamBank, NA Paola KS 4754 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009
Colorado National Bank Colorado Springs CO 18896 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009
FirstCity Bank Stockbridge GA 18243 March 20, 2009 November 23, 2009
Freedom Bank of Georgia Commerce GA 57558 March 6, 2009 November 23, 2009
Security Savings Bank Henderson NV 34820 February 27, 2009 November 23, 2009
Heritage Community Bank Glenwood IL 20078 February 27, 2009 November 23, 2009
Silver Falls Bank Silverton OR 35399 February 20, 2009 November 23, 2009
Pinnacle Bank of Oregon Beaverton OR 57342 February 13, 2009 November 23, 2009
Corn Belt Bank & Trust Co. Pittsfield IL 16500 February 13, 2009 November 23, 2009
Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast Cape Coral FL 34563 February 13, 2009 November 23, 2009
Sherman County Bank Loup City NE 5431 February 13, 2009 November 23, 2009
County Bank Merced CA 22574 February 6, 2009 November 23, 2009
Alliance Bank Culver City CA 23124 February 6, 2009 November 23, 2009
FirstBank Financial Services McDonough GA 57017 February 6, 2009 November 23, 2009
Ocala National Bank Ocala FL 26538 January 30, 2009 November 23, 2009
Suburban FSB Crofton MD 30763 January 30, 2009 November 23, 2009
MagnetBank Salt Lake City UT 58001 January 30, 2009 November 23, 2009
1st Centennial Bank Redlands CA 33025 January 23, 2009 November 23, 2009
Bank of Clark County Vancouver WA 34959 January 16, 2009 November 23, 2009
National Bank of Commerce Berkeley IL 19733 January 16, 2009 November 23, 2009
Sanderson State Bank
En Español
Sanderson TX 11568 December 12, 2008 November 23, 2009
Haven Trust Bank Duluth GA 35379 December 12, 2008 November 23, 2009
First Georgia Community Bank Jackson GA 34301 December 5, 2008 November 23, 2009
PFF Bank & Trust Pomona CA 28344 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009
Downey Savings & Loan Newport Beach CA 30968 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009
Community Bank Loganville GA 16490 November 21, 2008 November 23, 2009
Security Pacific Bank Los Angeles CA 23595 November 7, 2008 November 23, 2009
Franklin Bank, SSB Houston TX 26870 November 7, 2008 November 23, 2009
Freedom Bank Bradenton FL 57930 October 31, 2008 November 23, 2009
Alpha Bank & Trust Alpharetta GA 58241 October 24, 2008 November 23, 2009
Meridian Bank Eldred IL 13789 October 10, 2008 November 23, 2009
Main Street Bank Northville MI 57654 October 10, 2008 November 23, 2009
Washington Mutual Bank
(Including its subsidiary Washington Mutual Bank FSB)
Henderson NV 32633 September 25, 2008 November 23, 2009
Ameribank Northfork WV 6782 September 19, 2008 November 23, 2009
Silver State Bank
En Español
Henderson NV 34194 September 5, 2008 November 23, 2009
Integrity Bank Alpharetta GA 35469 August 29, 2008 November 23, 2009
Columbian Bank & Trust Topeka KS 22728 August 22, 2008 November 23, 2009
First Priority Bank Bradenton FL 57523 August 1, 2008 November 23, 2009
First Heritage Bank, NA Newport Beach CA 57961 July 25, 2008 November 23, 2009
First National Bank of Nevada Reno NV 27011 July 25, 2008 November 23, 2009
IndyMac Bank Pasadena CA 29730 July 11, 2008 February 1, 2010
First Integrity Bank, NA Staples MN 12736 May 30, 2008 November 23, 2009
ANB Financial, NA Bentonville AR 33901 May 9, 2008 November 23, 2009
Hume Bank Hume MO 1971 March 7, 2008 November 23, 2009
Douglass National Bank Kansas City MO 24660 January 25, 2008 November 23, 2009
Miami Valley Bank Lakeview OH 16848 October 4, 2007 November 23, 2009
NetBank Alpharetta GA 32575 September 28, 2007 November 23, 2009
Metropolitan Savings Bank Pittsburgh PA 35353 February 2, 2007 November 23, 2009
Bank of Ephraim Ephraim UT 1249 June 25, 2004 April 9, 2008
Reliance Bank White Plains NY 26778 March 19, 2004 April 9, 2008
Guaranty National Bank
of Tallahassee
Tallahassee FL 26838 March 12, 2004 November 23, 2009
Dollar Savings Bank Newark NJ 31330 February 14, 2004 April 9, 2008
Pulaski Savings Bank Philadelphia PA 27203 November 14, 2003 July 22, 2005
First National Bank of Blanchardville Blanchardville WI 11639 May 9, 2003 August 6, 2009
Southern Pacific Bank Torrance CA 27094 February 7, 2003 October 20, 2008
Farmers Bank of Cheneyville Cheneyville LA 16445 December 17, 2002 October 20, 2004
Bank of Alamo Alamo TN 9961 November 8, 2002 March 18, 2005
AmTrade International Bank
En Español
Atlanta GA 33784 September 30, 2002 September 11, 2006
Universal Federal Savings Bank Chicago IL 29355 June 27, 2002 April 9, 2008
Connecticut Bank of Commerce Stamford CT 19183 June 26, 2002 November 23, 2009
New Century Bank Shelby Township MI 34979 March 28, 2002 March 18, 2005
Net 1st National Bank Boca Raton FL 26652 March 1, 2002 April 9, 2008
NextBank, NA Phoenix AZ 22314 February 7, 2002 November 23, 2009
Oakwood Deposit Bank Co. Oakwood OH 8966 February 1, 2002 November 23, 2009
Bank of Sierra Blanca Sierra Blanca TX 22002 January 18, 2002 November 6, 2003
Hamilton Bank, NA
En Español
Miami FL 24382 January 11, 2002 November 23, 2009
Sinclair National Bank Gravette AR 34248 September 7, 2001 February 10, 2004
Superior Bank, FSB Hinsdale IL 32646 July 27, 2001 November 23, 2009
Malta National Bank Malta OH 6629 May 3, 2001 November 18, 2002
First Alliance Bank & Trust Co. Manchester NH 34264 February 2, 2001 February 18, 2003
National State Bank of Metropolis Metropolis IL 3815 December 14, 2000 March 17, 2005
Bank of Honolulu Honolulu HI 21029 October 13, 2000 March 17, 2005

http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.html

***

AIG Decides to Keep Unprofitable Mortgage Insurer (Update1)

February 12, 2010, 04:20 PM EST

AIG, which was rescued in September 2008 after losses from bad bets tied to housing markets, posted a $1.43 billion operating loss from mortgage insurance in the first nine months of 2009 as U.S. foreclosure filings climbed to a record. The company said in November that it tapped the Treasury Department line within its $182.3 billion rescue package for about $4.2 billion, in part to restructure United Guaranty.

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc., the insurer divesting assets to repay a government bailout, opted to keep its money-losing U.S. mortgage guarantor after selling Canadian and Israeli subsidiaries of the unit.

AIG made a “recent decision” to hold onto Greensboro, North Carolina-based United Guaranty, Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, a Moody’s Investors Service analyst, wrote yesterday in a research note. AIG executives told her of the move within the past few months, Isaacs-Lowe said today in an interview.

United Guaranty was founded in 1963 and sold to AIG in 1981. The business generated $2.8 billion in operating income and $600 million in dividends for AIG in the eight years prior to the housing slump, the company has said.

United Guaranty was ranked the fourth-largest U.S. mortgage insurer in the first six months of 2009, behind No. 1 MGIC Investment Corp., Radian Group Inc. and PMI Group Inc., according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade journal. All the firms were unprofitable in the first nine months of 2009.

Essent Guaranty Inc., backed by investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., became the first newcomer to the U.S. mortgage-guaranty business since the housing collapse, leaving it unburdened by policies sold in 2005 and 2006 when underwriting standards were lower.

Until 2007, private mortgage policies had been among the most profitable types of coverage sold by insurers. From 2004 to 2006, members of the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America reported a profit margin of at least 35 cents for every dollar they collected in premiums. Auto insurers made less than 5 cents on every dollar in 2006, according to A.M. Best Co.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-12/aig-decides-to-keep-unprofitable-mortgage-insurer-moody-s-says.html

***

Editorial

The Year in Foreclosures

Published: February 14, 2010

New York Times

Last week offered some sobering news on the housing market: Even with broad government support for housing, data from the National Association of Realtors showed that the median price of single-family homes continued to decline in 2009. RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties, said foreclosure filings rose by 15 percent in January compared with a year ago.

Foreclosure is generally a long process, with multiple filings as delinquent borrowers fall ever further behind. What is most ominous about the latest RealtyTrac numbers is that nearly 88,000 people had their homes repossessed in January, a 31 percent increase from a year ago. The big jump indicates that many foreclosures that were in process in 2009 are now beginning to move to repossession and, eventually, auction. With more than four million homes in that pipeline, the foreclosure crisis shows no sign of abating.

[ . . . ]

There is an emerging consensus among financial experts and policy makers that the key to successful modifications is to reduce the amount of the borrower’s loan balance, rather than merely reducing the monthly payment. The goal is to lower the payment while restoring equity, thus giving borrowers both the means and the incentive to keep up with their payments.

Administration officials have resisted that approach, in part because they believe it would be too expensive. Another obstacle is the lenders themselves. In general, a lender is unwilling to take losses by reducing principal unless the owners of the second mortgage on a home also take a hit. For banks that own the second mortgages, such losses would be huge — something they clearly would prefer not to face up to.

Banks’ unwillingness to take losses on second mortgages may also be holding up so-called short sales, in which a lender agrees to retire a first-mortgage debt by taking the proceeds from the sale of the home, even when the amount is less than the mortgage balance.

(Excerpt from – )

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/opinion/15mon2.html

***

The number of Americans who owed more than their homes were worth was virtually nil when the real estate collapse began in mid-2006, but by the third quarter of 2009, an estimated 4.5 million homeowners had reached the critical threshold, with their home’s value dropping below 75 percent of the mortgage balance.

They are stretched, aggrieved and restless. With figures released last week showing that the real estate market was stalling again, their numbers are now projected to climb to a peak of 5.1 million by June — about 10 percent of all Americans with mortgages.

“We’re now at the point of maximum vulnerability,” said Sam Khater, a senior economist with First American CoreLogic, the firm that conducted the recent research. “People’s emotional attachment to their property is melting into the air.”

Suggestions that people would be wise to renege on their home loans are at least a couple of years old, but they are turning into a full-throated barrage. Bloggers were quick to note recently that landlords of an 11,000-unit residential complex in Manhattan showed no hesitation, or shame, in walking away from their deeply underwater investment.

[ . . . ]

It would cost about $745 billion, slightly more than the size of the original 2008 bank bailout, to restore all underwater borrowers to the point where they were breaking even, according to First American.

Using government money to do that would be seen as unfair by many taxpayers, Mr. Barr said. On the other hand, doing nothing about underwater mortgages could encourage more walk-aways, dealing another blow to a fragile economy.

With prices now down by about 30 percent, underwater borrowers fall into two groups. Some have owned their homes for many years and got in trouble because they used the house as a cash machine. Others, like Mr. Koellmann in Miami Beach, made only one mistake: they bought as the boom was cresting.

Guy D. Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance magazine, says he does not hear much sympathy from lenders for their underwater customers.

“The banks tell me that a lot of people who are complaining were the ones who refinanced and took all the equity out any time there was any appreciation,” he said. “The banks are damned if they will help.”

David Rosenberg, the chief economist of the investment firm Gluskin Sheff, wrote recently that borrowers were not victims. They “signed contracts, and as adults should also be held accountable,” he wrote.

Of course, this is not necessarily how Wall Street itself behaves, as demonstrated by the case of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. An investment group led by the real estate giant Tishman Speyer recently defaulted on $4.4 billion in debt that it had used to buy the two apartment developments in Manhattan, handing the properties back to the lenders.

Moreover, during the boom, it was the banks that helped drive prices to unrealistic levels by lowering credit standards and unleashing a wave of speculative housing demand.

[ . . . ]

Mr. Koellmann applied last fall to Bank of America for a modification, noting that his income had slipped. But the lender came back a few weeks ago with a plan that added more restrictive terms while keeping the payments about the same.

“That may have been the last straw,” Mr. Koellmann said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/business/03walk.html?fta=y

No Help in Sight, More Homeowners Walk Away

Published: February 2, 2010

By DAVID STREITFELD

***

The Making of a Euromess

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: February 14, 2010

For the truth is that lack of fiscal discipline isn’t the whole, or even the main, source of Europe’s troubles — not even in Greece, whose government was indeed irresponsible (and hid its irresponsibility with creative accounting).

No, the real story behind the euromess lies not in the profligacy of politicians but in the arrogance of elites — specifically, the policy elites who pushed Europe into adopting a single currency well before the continent was ready for such an experiment.

Consider the case of Spain, which on the eve of the crisis appeared to be a model fiscal citizen. Its debts were low — 43 percent of G.D.P. in 2007, compared with 66 percent in Germany. It was running budget surpluses. And it had exemplary bank regulation.

But with its warm weather and beaches, Spain was also the Florida of Europe — and like Florida, it experienced a huge housing boom. The financing for this boom came largely from outside the country: there were giant inflows of capital from the rest of Europe, Germany in particular.

The result was rapid growth combined with significant inflation: between 2000 and 2008, the prices of goods and services produced in Spain rose by 35 percent, compared with a rise of only 10 percent in Germany. Thanks to rising costs, Spanish exports became increasingly uncompetitive, but job growth stayed strong thanks to the housing boom.

Then the bubble burst. Spanish unemployment soared, and the budget went into deep deficit. But the flood of red ink — which was caused partly by the way the slump depressed revenues and partly by emergency spending to limit the slump’s human costs — was a result, not a cause, of Spain’s problems.

(etc. – he claims that the single currency Euro has created the problem – – I don’t agree, but it does mean that some options for currency adjustments are not available to use for fixing the situation as a result of the single currency – my note)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/opinion/15krugman.html?em

***

My Notes – Who decided that the value and costs of property, including basic shelter / housing would be at a price far beyond the reach of any real wages made in a year or in five years of a citizen’s efforts?

When was that created and was it by the natural laws of supply and demand at the time or was it constructed with intention?

And, what has it become now / as a natural outgrowth of housing values having exceeded the real income of the majority of our population, along with the uses of mortgages as an asset class to be bought and sold and leveraged against – what do we have now as a result of this huge disparity between income and housing costs?

What happens when banks are allowed to borrow at 0% interest from our Treasury using our money, although they are a bad credit risk in every respect at the time they are allowed to borrow many millions at 72 to 1 (or more) against every dollar of assets they pretend to have? (and at asset valuations they pretend are at a level that was taken before the economic downturn)?

Not only are people walking away from their upside down mortgages, they are also not being employed in any reasonable period of time after being dumped by companies whose only interest was to pad the bottom line for a short period of time to inspire conditional confidence in their stock shares?

What happens when people realize that they are not going to be employed anytime in the next five years, are not going to be able to own another house in their lifetimes, watch their children not have access to a higher education because the money intended for it was returned to them depleted of over 75%  of its initial value, and begin to understand the disparity of return on their time and efforts if and when companies do choose to hire them back?

Who was it that decided the next natural progression in the economic foundation of our country would drop manufacturing and replace it with money making money industries? Who decided that it would be a strong, healthy foundation for our economic future? What bunch of ninnies came up with that?

So, now that companies do not have to profit or to be profitable in the primary business model under which their business operates, but simply have to manipulate investment portfolios to their advantage, what real value do those companies (and state budgets and Wall Street firms) have to the employment base, in interactive services and products available to the benefits of our population, and in our longterm financial growth as a nation?

When large corporate and institutional players are the only ones basically manipulating the markets, the stock markets, the commodities markets, the futures and speculative plays marketplaces, and international economies and markets, what actual real values exist for any of the things being traded?

Just as when in 2008, the speculative increase in the oil futures drove prices up to record profits for those speculators and their firms, entire industries across the United States suffered massive losses as they covered the extra costs of those oil prices at the consumer level. But, the entire play was no more than a manipulated construct. It wasn’t the real value of the commodity in any sense but it was passed along to the consumers, including throughout the increased business costs passed along secondarily to consumers.

And, what value do those speculators have and the profits they skimmed off that play when their time, effort, talents, resources, and availability of cash isn’t used for anything productive that enhances the overall economic foundation and future of the United States? It isn’t being used to underwrite alternative energy options, it isn’t the speculators that are inventing something which solves real problems in our communities nor that solves climate change causes nor do those resources make our companies more solvent and more competitive. What good do they do?

When housing mortgages are packaged and sold, then resold and a number of financial products are made based on them, including the credit default swaps, the mortgage insurance products, leverages are made against them in huge loan packages based on their value, then what real value do they have going forward? Are they real? Are they a pretense with no more value than what someone in Wall Street or the backrooms of a banking firm somewhere says that they have? Are they real capital formation, or are they in fact, not worth the paperwork they are printed on? What trade actually exists on them in any solvent form once people across the world in every aspect of our society and financial systems are aware that the values are unfairly being manipulated and don’t exist in the real world?

Trickle down economics is a failed economic policy from the Reagan years and beyond Greenspan’s idea of an unregulated economy – at what point do the Wall Street firms and gigantic banking conglomerates realize the basis of their comparative valuation structures have re-valued real assets somewhere below zero? Why don’t they know that now? Losses that required a loan over $180 Billion dollars for AIG seem to be a clear indication of what that means. As they have tried to sell off assets, which have borne little of their estimated and accounting values – it would indicate the disparity that exists between the real economy, the real values and their perceptions of values? Why does it not tell them anything that makes sense to them in a broader understanding of what they are doing?

To me, it indicates that using a “money making money” basis for our overall economic foundation is not a sound choice, among other things. It also shows me that the integral factors of trading values are manufactured and not real.

Over the course of all these elements put together, it tells me that our economy and our economic growth, our economic foundation, our economic future, it set out over air with no real foundation whatsoever. The basic relationships that should exist to maintain a stable structure of values for the purposes of comparison and realistic values being set to actual assets, values, housing, properties, corporations, loans, loan products or whatever financial instruments does not exist in any actual sense.

It also shows me that the rules do not exist for either the values nor for the plays that can be made with them which makes the system more like a polished poker game of bluffing than a real market or any other monetary concept of actual values.

What happens when those banks, financial firms, investment banks, investment houses, stock brokerages, financial investment funds, insurance companies acting as hedge funds, and other exaggerated examples of financial imprudence get to play by a set of rules which offers large grants, loans and offsets when they are insolvent, defaulting on loans, exemplify a bad credit score and a bad credit risk, whose past behavior indicates bad choices and even tremendous bad judgments and bad plays, insider trades, conflicts of interest and abuse of their fiduciary trust?

What basis of economic growth and what new understanding of fiduciary trust does that become when those same people and institutions are refusing credit to anyone whose credit score resembles what they had when they used and continue to use the American taxpayer’s money and our National Treasury to cover their losses?

(An implicit obligation of the United States means what now?)

– cricketdiane, 02-15-10

I watched as the economic forecasters and analysts continued to say it is all better now, the same way they said in 2008 that we weren’t in a Recession (while not being willing to even use the word in many cases). Either they don’t know what the hell they are doing or they are lying about what they do know. I’m not sure which it is, but to continue paying analysts and advisors whose sole intent is to propagate lies in the name of instilling a falsely founded confidence in a system whose values are distorted, at best – is beyond me to understand.

The economic models that I understand are dimensional and well-founded in larger pictures of integrated values. When the Reagan administration cronies and Republican administration policy makers decided to fudge the numbers throughout statistical data sets that they had to collect and make public by law, it did not change the facts. The unemployment numbers inclusively are not the numbers published by the US Labor Department as a result of the changes made by Republican administrators, however – it didn’t change the facts on the ground in this country. And, since everyone making analyses knows that those employment and unemployment numbers have been divided into unnatural categories of data and statistically manipulated by that division, they should know better than to assume the rate of unemployment is anywhere close to 10% in the United States. Even adding the admitted unemployment figures across every state, yields a figure much higher on any given date and even those do not include those citizens who are in our prisons at the moment, put in mental hospitals for some reason, having to work part-time when they can’t afford to live at that rate, retired by having to go back to work because their pensions have been stolen by Wall Street, and those who have not continued to collect unemployment benefits but are still unemployed.  The real loss in consumer buying power can be significant enough that even China knew to put its focus on other markets that don’t include the United States.

Don’t tell me that everything is all okay now – that isn’t even close to the truth.

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If nobody can afford to buy a house except those people who “flip houses” – then what is a house really worth?

If 90% of the bread produced goes unsold and into the trash bin, then what is a loaf of bread worth? Is it really worth the $4.29 that is being charged for that loaf of bread?

– cricketdiane

(everything from my notes on down are my thoughts about it – understandably I still have more questions that are unanswered – I will study it some more.)

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