This Is What Jamie Dimon Wants From Housing

I know what Jamie Dimon wants from housing. But first, here is what he said he wants in a recent article from Business Insider:

"Seven major federal regulators and a long list of state and local regulators have overlapping jurisdiction on mortgage laws and wrote a plethora of new rules and regulations appropriately focused on educating and protecting customers. While some of the rules are beneficial, many were hastily developed and layered upon existing rules without coordination or calibration as to the potential effects."The result is a complex, highly risky and unpredictable operating environment that exposes lenders and servicers to disproportionate legal liability and materially increases operational risks and costs."
That appears to be a sophisticated analysis. He is the leading banker in the nation so who could find fault with the statement? Only, this was not the only statement he made. Other statements were very revealing.

He said that mortgages are unavailable for those without a perfect credit history:

"It's noteworthy that those who lost access to mortgage credit are the very ones who so many people profess to want to help – e.g., lower income buyers, first-time homebuyers, the self-employed and individuals with prior defaults who deserve another chance."

While there could be merit in giving someone a second chance at the mortgage game, is it even right to give JP Morgan and other banks a second chance? Do they deserve a second chance? The mortgage situation in Nevada, the hardest hit state, is still undergoing cleanup. You still see ads on TV, where attorneys ask, "Have you been the victim of a predatory loan?"

Dimon speaks of the shameful situation with the housing market. I recall predatory loans as being a lot more shameful, in the not so distant past. The Big Banks funded retail predatory lending:

Investment banks Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan & Co., and Citigroup Inc. both owned and financed subprime lenders. Others, like RBS Greenwich Capital Investments Corp. (part of the Royal Bank of Scotland), Swiss bank Credit Suisse First Boston, and Goldman Sachs & Co., were major financial backers of subprime lenders.

 Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase

Predatory banking practices are not even a secret anymore. Perhaps banks are the ones who should plead for a second chance. My article written a few years ago at Business Insider gives us the insight into what Jamie Dimon really wants.

Jamie Dimon wants a housing bubble II. And he wants it now as much as he wanted it back in 2011. I paid careful attention to that Andrew Ross Sorkin interview with Jamie Dimon. I wrote:

On Kudlow and CNBC, Andrew Ross Sorkin exposed Jamie Dimon's agenda. It is the same agenda that I have been warning that all the big bankers (sters) want. I argued that the central banks will eventually want the same thing, so that the Dimon/Bernanke feud is in house and based on a question of timing.
Yes, it is all about timing. Bernanke wanted to wait, presumably to allow interest rates to rise. It is hard to offer teaser rates when rates are so low. But now, as the Fed dawdles, Dimon sees that rates went up on the 10 year, but are settling back down. This window of predatory opportunity may be slipping away. Of course, I can't guarantee that this time the banks would be as predatory. Again, this all is my opinion only.

Maybe this time the banks would be forgiving of those behind on payments. But there is, unfortunately, not a shred of evidence that exists to convince me that banks would be forgiving and willing to work out deals with the lower credit score folks who get behind on their payments.

The easy money is coming, eventually. Maybe it won't take the form of reckless pay option arms. Maybe the banks will be more careful. It all depends, in my view, on how robust the securitization platform they establish is perceived by investors.

Remember that Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote, in Too Big to Fail, about how the bankers saved the financial system. But remember also, these same bankers wanted toxic loans and off balance sheet banking and subprime funding through the commercial paper market in the first place. Truth is, those who "saved" the financial system caused the housing bubble leading to the credit crisis in the first place!

Now, the same banker consortium wants to take the GSE business, gaining the power to guarantee all loans, even the second chance loans to subprime borrowers. Can you imagine subprime loans all guaranteed by the banks that offer them? What could possibly go wrong?

You won't need bogus AAA rated mortgages, issued by the ratings agencies, with bank balance sheets being hidden from view. Government backed loans will automatically be AAA rated. It will all be upfront, but it could still be very dangerous.

That is a worst case scenario, but don't think the banks are not trying to gain that power. In my opinion, Jamie Dimon wants a strong housing bubble and the ability of his bank to guarantee loans to subprime people.

But how would the Fed react next time? Would the Fed starve liquidity to the housing market, causing it to crash again? Would the houses be recycled back to the big banks again? Does a Leopard change its spots? Does a scorpion change its nature? That is what I think anyway. I think it will be the Big Skim of the middle class once again, but perhaps in a little different form.

For me, the most disgusting aspect of all this is that the big banks want easy money now that the wealthy have bought houses like no tomorrow and have pushed the prices up to the point where a toxic loan could contain a lot of risk. And some of these same banks permitted those credit lines to the wealthy, like Blackstone, that bumped up the prices and broke the comps system wide open.

My theory is that Alan Greenspan wanted the people to endure the risk, not the banks. He saw S&L's burned in the Savings and Loan Crisis, and vowed in his heart never to allow banks to be vulnerable again. Well, he pretty much succeeded with too big to fail. Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari recently told the truth about citizens being on the hook for the next pending failure of a too big to fail bank.

Dimon knows the risk has passed from his bank to the victims of toxic loans and ultimately to the government. He knows this, and all borrowers should know this. That doesn't mean you can't get a loan for a house. It does mean that you do want to take the risk, it should be very comfortable, and not a stretch. That again, is my opinion.

But, in recourse states, this is doubly important. You don't want to have to pay the difference between the fire sale price and your loan balance if things go south in the housing market. Readers should remember that it is up to the Fed whether lending continues or if it is cut off. Borrowers are at the mercy of the Federal Reserve Bank, and 30 years is a long time for that central bank to determine the price of your house.

For Further Reading:

How to Track the Trump Housing Bubble

This article was first published by me on Talkmarkets:


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