Property market meddling is a mistake

I am dismayed at Brian Lenihan’s new measure that we are told will be implemented in the Budget regarding the provision of loans from the Government to ensure first time buyers can get mortgages for properties on which the banks can’t/refused to provide mortgages.

This is an attempt to put a floor under the housing-correction, and it is also a flawed error meddling with a market that is going through a perfectly healthy correction. I am aware that since it only applies to new builds it only benefits members of the CIF and actually acts as a handicap to private seller. If I wish to sell my house I will be at a distinct disadvantage to somebody who has a ‘new house’ to sell, this is a distortion and is of no benefit to the buyer who may in fact not wish to purchase a newly built house.

Effectively the Government has decided to provide loans that the banks won’t, in the past we used to refer to these loans as ‘sub-prime’, this was where a person could get a …

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The Fallout and the Bailout.

I feel like I keep repeating myself, the crisis is related to property and leverage. Unlike the tech bubble the issues caused by property and leverage affect the financial systems much more than technology did. The degree of leverage in the system is astounding, much of the whole wealth of the world is currently ‘borrowed’ and that’s a very scary thing, at least for me when I dwell on it.

Some institutions are leveraged differently than others but in general commercial banks are leveraged at 10 to 1 so for every dollar they actually own they owe 10. Savings institutions are about 8.4 to 1 and credit unions are the same. Brokerage firms and hedge-funds are at 32 to 1. Be afraid, that means for every Euro or Dollar they have they owe thirty two! Is there any lender out there that would give you thirty two times earnings? If you average out all institutions you come out with an over all leverage of about 12 to 1.

But stop right there… this doesn’t include derivatives! and they are not …

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