Fed Chief's Boyhood Home Is Sold After Foreclosure
Michael M. Phillips, The Wall Street Journal
DILLON, S.C. -- Travis Jackson walks through his modest ranch house, admiring the kitchen's built-in spice rack and the red-oak floors. He draws back the curtains, and sunlight illuminates the pride on his face.
The young banker just bought Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's childhood home at a foreclosure sale.
Economists Try Target Practice in a Fun-House Mirror
Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times
“Everybody does it,” is what high school students say when caught committing an offense. And now that the economy has plummeted, it’s the defense offered by lenders, borrowers, brokers, investors, credit agencies, government regulators and elected officials alike.
Wall Street Does Need Incentives
Rob Cox, The New York Times
Congratulations to Congress for stimulating America’s most innovative financial wizards at the economy’s greatest time of need. Thanks to an 11th-hour amendment to the stimulus bill in the Senate, the fiscal alchemists of Wall Street are mobilizing their forces en masse.
Unfortunately, their imminent objective will not be to fix the financial system and get the global economy moving again. Rather it will be to find ways around this misguided piece of populist legislation and pay back government funds prematurely — a decision that risks bringing the banking system back into panic mode.
White House and major banks act on housing crisis
Maura Reynolds and E. Scott Reckard, The Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Costa Mesa and Washington -- With pressure growing for government action to stem foreclosures, the White House moved up to next week the unveiling of President Obama's housing rescue plan, while major banks said they would freeze seizures of homes for at least three weeks pending the rollout of the initiative.
For months, Congress has been pressing the executive branch -- first the Bush administration, now its successor -- to come up with a program to curtail the growing wave of borrowers forced to give up their homes. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner disappointed lawmakers as well as the stock market by saying the foreclosure plan would be delayed several weeks.
Treasury Looks to Aid 'Underwater' Mortgages
Deborah Solomon and Robin Sidel, The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is looking for ways to let "underwater" homeowners refinance their mortgages, one of a series of ideas being hashed out ahead of an expected announcement next week, according to a person familiar with the planning.
The Treasury Department is mulling as many as 10 ideas to help deal with the housing crisis, and has yet to settle on any one approach.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Again Extend Foreclosure Freeze
John Kell, The Wall Street Journal
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac once again suspended foreclosure sales of occupied properties, this time through March 6, to give loan servicers more time to help financially strapped borrowers avoid foreclosures.
The new moves are the latest steps to aid the housing market by the mortgage giants since they were seized by the government in September. They follow commitments earlier Friday from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. for weeks-long moratoriums on foreclosures.