Before "This Week" Sunday, we asked our roundtable participants to tell us what they are looking forward to discussing. Here are their pre-show thoughts.
|Gavin Newsom: The Investment Banker, Your New Landlord|
Last week Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, rejected a principal-reduction plan for troubled homeowners. In doing so, he left the door wide-open for Wall Street to continue to profit from desperate homeowners saddled with underwater mortgages or devastated by foreclosure.
More than 10 million homeowners in America owe more than their home is worth, according to National Association of Realtors. Another 1.4 million families have been foreclosed upon. Now, Wall Street has found a new way to profit from the mortgage crisis they helped create. They have decided to become landlords.
Former Wall Street traders have launched funds that raise money to buy foreclosed homes and then turn them into rental properties. According to money managers, the rental market for single families is lucrative. The single-family home was the fastest-growing part of the rental market from 2005 to 2010, according to Fannie Mae.
The foreclosure crisis will drive 3 million former homeowners to rent single-family homes between 2010 and 2015, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, leaving Wall Street to swoop-in, purchase the distressed properties and rent to those that have been evicted.
Recently it was reported that a former Goldman Sachs executive, Donald Mullen, one of the architects of the subprime mortgage market, is attempting to raise a half-billion dollars to buy foreclosed properties. But he isn't the first, private equity firms such as Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. are already in the business, along with Asset Management firm TCW.
Meanwhile, a Wall Street and Washington, DC based industry interest group has publicly threatened local government officials who are desperately searching for solutions to the foreclosure crisis that is ravaging their communities.
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) has attacked the idea of local governments using existing law to help families remain in their homes and keep their communities viable. Yet, they have no issue with their members' stepping-in to profit again after the mass foreclosure of thousands of families across the country.
We need to explore every option that will keep families in their homes, building equity and unleashing the purchasing power of the money saved as real stimulus for our economy. We must keep our communities viable before we allow Wall Street to become our landlords and profit again from the mess they created.
The true injustice of the last few years is that while banks were bailed out and the federal government claimed it did all it could, homeowners – the backbone of our communities – have received nothing but foreclosure notices and weak 1-800 numbers for federal programs that do very little to address the crisis.
We need to help the people that government bailout programs have left behind - ordinary folks that work hard to keep their homes even as values plummeted.
Gavin Newsom is California's lieutenant governor and host of Current TV's "The Gavin Newsom Show."
|Peggy Noonan: Olympic Opening Ceremony Was "Dreadful"|
Looking forward to Sunday with these things on my mind.
1) Since it's never too early to worry about something, I'm getting concerned that the famous lowness of the presidential campaign -- the attack ads, most spectacularly -- may depress turnout. What will the immediate political impact of that be? I don't know. But the impact on the national morale would not be so good.
2) I think Mitt Romney is inching up on a crucial moment in which the convention and his vice presidential decision can give a new sense of heft and substance and competence and meaning to his campaign. If all goes well it will be a real boost. If not, not. On the vice presidential, it seems to me the Romney campaign has done a deft job of teasing the story along and stoking interest.
3) For a while now we have been living in a political era in which half the country always thinks the president is a pretty dreadful human being. I don't know when it began -- the popular Bill Clinton, in the 1990's, never got over 50% of the popular vote, which seems to me in retrospect a sign of the cleaved nature of our politics. But now I am wondering if, after all the ads and charges and attacks, we will emerge from the 2012 presidential campaign with something more like 100 percent of the country thinking the president, whoever is chosen, is a pretty dreadful human being. We ought to worry about that.
4) I hope we discuss favorite Olympic moments. After the dreadful opening ceremonies, which seemed to mark the first time a nation hosting the Olympics found it necessary to point out to the world that it doesn't like itself very much, and neither should you -- "Come here and see our belching smokestacks, our cruel satanic mills, our tribute to the nightmares of children, and our Queen, whom we appear to have thrown out of a helicopter" -- I experienced depressed viewer turnout. But eventually I watched as eventually one does. Best moment? Let's talk about it Sunday, but here is a hint: Love is the engine of everything.
Peggy Noonan is a Wall Street Journal columnist.