Housing

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Housing

The Environmental Cost of Housing Crisis

While most of the commentary, including mine, about the collapse of Big Shitpile (aka the housing crisis) has focused on the financial and economic effects, building more housing than we needed–and couldn’t afford–also had environmental effects. Take, for instance, Prince William County, VA: Stewart and other Prince William officials hope a new developer will soon…

Why Big Sh-tpile Required Fraud on the Court

Have no doubt, despite the claims of propagandists, the foreclosure documentation crisis is not nitpicking. Providing the court with affidavits with unverified information is fraud: were you or I to do this, we would go to jail. One of Yves Smith’s commenters describes this in more detail: An affidavit is a legal document which can…

So it turns out that Obama isn’t completely tone deaf. To his credit, he has essentially* vetoed a bill that would have forced courts to recognize out of state foreclosure-related documents. Given the wide-scale fraud in forclosure-related documentation–to the point where it’s not clear who actually holds the title or liens for millions of homes–this…

When I’m writing about politics, I’ve been regularly discussing the legal problems related to the collapse of Big Shitpile (the foreclosure crisis). At Naked Capitalism, Yves Smith lays out why this matters (so I don’t have to stumble my way through this): Make no mistake about it: the nature and scale of these frauds cut…

I remember, back in the 1980s, there was a conservative school of thought that believed many of our problems could be blamed on poor, single, often non-white mothers who refused to ‘take personal responsibility’ (e.g., welfare queens, Murphy Brown! ZOMG!). I never quite understand how anyone could believe that the most powerless Americans would be…

Why, yes, I did. For a while now, I’ve been writing about how improper paperwork could completely screw up the foreclosure process. While I’ve never thought foreclosure was the way to go (I wanted subsidized cramdowns), we can’t even get foreclosure to happen, which is a huge drain on the economy: Lawyers for distressed homeowners…

Cramdown and Why We Need Managed Default

Paul Krugman is absolutely correct about deleveraging: In the end, I’d argue, what must happen is an effective default on a significant part of debt, one way or another. The default could be implicit, via a period of moderate inflation that reduces the real burden of debt; that’s how World War II cured the depression.…

Education, Elitism, and Zoning

In light of yesterday’s post about teachers and education, I think this column by The Washington Post’s Courtland Milloy comes very close to identifying the a key problem facing urban education. Milloy: From a commentary by D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee that appeared in the Feb. 8 issue of Spotlight on Poverty and Education: “I…

While conservatives still blather on about ‘judicial activism’ whenever a federal judge decides that they’ve gone too far in cramming their theopolitical crap down our throats, the ongoing housing crisis*, aka Big Shitpile, could result in some honest-to-Intelligent Designer judicial activism. How? I’ve discussed previously how the poor, or even non-existent, paper trail for many…

Meet your new Treasury Secretary My guiding political principle is “people have to like this crap.” That is, if a policy makes peoples’ lives worse, then it’s a shitty policy*. More about that in a bit. Last week, a bunch of bloggers went to visit the Treasury Department, and one of the topics for discussion…