Blog :: 09-2008

You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!

Lately, it feels as if we are living a dream in the USA or to be specific a nightmare! What is going on with our country? How did we get here? How did our elected officials allow us to get to this point? As a current events buff since I was a child it is hard to stay away from the news on a daily basis. I like and choose to be informed, but these days it will drive you crazy.

Should we pass the bailout bill? I have listened to so many opinions and some of the brighest minds in this country who are not politicians do not believe it is the right thing to do. Is it the governments job to bail out everyone? Do we not have some responsiblity for getting into this mess and have the responsibility to get out? Are we creating an ever bigger problem for my kids to deal with? So many questions and fewer answers are currently floating around.

Can't we all get along? It was disgusting to see the reaction from both sides of the aisle when the house failed to pass the bill. Whether you are for it or not, the reaction from our "leaders" was appalling. At a time when the country needs leadership our leaders acted like 3 year olds. I know because I have one! The most appalling of them all was the Speaker of the House. Again, the so called "leader" was the most deplorable. It seems a resignation is in order. What do you think?

GOV. EASLEY ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL GAS SHIPMENTS HEADED TO NORTH CAROLINA

Gov. Mike Easley announced Wednesday (yesterday) evening that substantial additional gasoline supplies have been released to North Carolina.
"The major oil companies have agreed to make additional gas supplies available to hard hits areas of our state, particularly western North Carolina," said Easley. "We are getting tankers from Wilmington, Tennessee and South Carolina terminals to bring hundreds of thousands of gallons of gas to those most in need."
The governor said the additional gallons of gas will be available over the next two days.
"I am grateful to the oil companies for trying to get gas to our people. They do not have to make these changes in their delivery routine and I have no power to make them. They have agreed to do this voluntarily," Easley said.
"I have a lot of staff working very hard on this and am asking people to be reasonable and cooperative with each other. Conserve for a few more days and we will be fine. We are going to continue to work hard to get every possible gallon of gasoline to the locations where it is needed."
The gas shortage that was caused by refinery shutdowns during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike has been worse in rural areas of North Carolina because those areas tend to have more independently-owned gas stations. The independent stations typically do not have long term contracts for gasoline delivery, while stations that carry major brand names do have contracts. The independents run out of gas first, consequently it is important that the brand companies have come through with extra fuel for the state.
SHARE THE "NEWSLINK"
Want to share the "NewsLink" with a friend or colleague? Sign them up now athttp://www.nccommerce.com/en/TourismServices/PromoteTravelAndTourismIndustry/Newslink/. Should you have difficulty signing up for the "NewsLink," contact Publications Director Kathy Prickett at (919) 733-8302 or viakprickett@nccommerce.com.
FEEDBACK WELCOME The N.C. Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development is committed to serving North Carolina's tourism industry. If you have feedback regarding any of the Division's programs, let your voice be heard at visitnc@nccommerce.com.

Waynesville Land For Sale Reduced for Quick Sale

#33 Upward Way
Waynesville, NC 28785

(828) 926-5200
Click here for price
Price Reduced for Quick Sale Almost 5 Acres Level Land With Views
PRICE REDUCED! LEVEL! High elevation homesite in gated, deed restricted subdivision with potential for INCREDIBLE long range mountain views! The lot offers almost 5 acres of LEVEL land comprising of open and wooded areas that gives plenty of area to build your dream home. Build a house and a barn for the horses! Lot has been recently cleared and drive and housepad have been cut in. Small stream on the property!

For additional information on this property visit: www.RealtyWorldHeritage.com
MORE...

Haywood County NC Short Sales and Foreclosures From Realty World Heritage

Realty World Heritage Realty has made it easy for you to search for foreclosure, REO, and short sale propeties. Click in the "Popular Search" on the right side panel of www.RealtyWorldHeritage.com and you will see up to date properites. If you want more information about foreclosure and short sale properties please give us a call.

Maggie Valley Bed and Breakfast For Sale

252 Living Waters Lane
Maggie Valley , NC 28751

(828) 926-5200
Click here for price
Brooksong Bed and Breakfast in Maggie Valley NC
Elegant 6 room 6.5 bath Bed and Breakfast located in the mountains of Maggie Valley NC. Each room is tastfully decorated and all include their own jet tub, seperate shower, and fireplace. Half of the rooms have balcony access with mountain views and a birdseye view of Jonathan Creek.Perfect wedding facility. The lower level offers an additional 2600sq/ft of useable space for additional rooms, meeting rooms,etc
MORE...

$20K Reduction Maggie Valley NC Creekside Log Home!

54 Cabin Fever Trail
Maggie Valley, NC 28751

(828) 926-5200
Click here for price
Maggie Valley Creekside Cabin
Reduced $20,000!Creekside Cabin close to Maggie Valley! 2 BD 2 BA log cabin on the banks of rushing Jonthan Creek. Home features hardwood floors, stone fireplace, and comes fully furnished. Take in the outdoors and creek with the wrap around deck and balcony off the upstairs bedroom and awesome firepit on the creek. Home has long history of rental income and enjoys repeat business.Comes with 1/5 share of common area!

For additional information on this property visit:
www.RealtyWorldHeritage.com
MORE...

Comments

  1. Jacqueline Apa on

    Please send listing price and other particulars regarding this cabin property. thanks. Jacqueline Apa

    Financial Giants Fall Victim to Mortgage Crisis

    Daily Real Estate News | September 15, 2008

    Financial Giants Fall Victim to Mortgage Crisis

    Weighed down by losses in the U.S. mortgage crisis, the stability of major financial institutions continues to be shaky. On Monday, U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. filed for bankruptcy and Bank of America announced that it would be buying struggling Merrill Lynch.

    Lehman's is the largest casualty, so far, in the past year in the ongoning credit crisis. Lehman filed for bankruptcy on Monday following a failed attempt over the weekend to find a buyer.

    Concerns over the stability of other firms also looms, particularly after the U.S. government's decision not to provide any bailout for Lehman. In March the government provided financial backing for JPMorgan's takeover of Bear Stearns, the first big bank to fold under the mortgage crisis.

    Also on Monday, No.2 U.S. bank giant, Bank of America announced it would be buying Merrill Lynch in a $50 billion deal.

    "Acquiring one of the premier wealth management, capital markets, and advisory companies is a great opportunity for our shareholders," Bank of America Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Lewis said in a statement. "Together, our companies are more valuable because of the synergies in our businesses."

    The buyout is expected to close in the first quarter of 2009.

    Source: Reuter News, Ellis Mnyandu (9/15/08) and Associated Press, Madlen Read and Tim Paradis(9/15/08)

    Haywood County NC August 2008 Home Sales

    Here is a look at the August 2008 sales number for residential units. The most noticeable difference is the average list and sales price and the increased ability for buyers to negotiate price.

    August 2008

    Number Sold Average List Average Sales List/Sale% Days on Market
    56 210,389 196,733 93.5 144
    August 2007
    83 261,854 248,921 95.1 136

    U.S. seizes Fannie and Freddie

    Treasury chief Paulson unveils historic government takeover of twin mortgage buyers. Top executives are out.By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writerLast Updated: September 7, 2008: 8:28 PM EDT

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Federal officials on Sunday unveiled an extraordinary takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, putting the government in charge of the twin mortgage giants and the $5 trillion in home loans they back.

    The move, which extends as much as $200 billion in Treasury support to the two companies, marks Washington's most dramatic attempt yet to shore up the nation's housing market, which is suffering from record foreclosures and falling prices.

    The sweeping plan, announced by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and James Lockhart, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, places the two companies into a "conservatorship" to be overseen by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Under conservatorship, the government would temporarily run Fannie and Freddie until they are on stronger footing.

    "A failure [of Fannie and Freddie] would affect the ability of Americans to get home loans, auto loans and other consumer credit and business finance," Paulson said at a press conference in Washington. "And a failure would be harmful to economic growth and job creation."

    Fannie (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie (FRE, Fortune 500), which were created by the U.S. government, have been badly hurt in the last year by the sharp decline in home prices as well as rising mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures. All told, the two firms have racked up about $12 billion in losses since last summer.

    On Sunday, officials stressed that both Fannie and Freddie will be open for business on Monday morning, although the firms will have undergone a dramatic facelift by then.

    Freddie CEO Richard Syron and Fannie CEO Daniel Mudd will no longer run the agencies, while the FHFA will assume control of the boards. Regulators took care not to foist blame on the two executives, adding that they would stick around to help with the transition.

    Syron and Mudd will be replaced by two finance veterans charged with restoring the mortgage titans to health. Herb Allison, the former chairman and CEO of pension provider TIAA-CREF, will head Fannie Mae. Allison formerly served as president of Merrill Lynch.

    David Moffett, who served as vice chairman and chief financial officer of U.S. Bancorp until early 2007 and then joined the Carlyle Group private-equity firm as a senior adviser, will take over Freddie Mac.

    At the same time, dividends on both common and preferred shares will be eliminated in an effort to conserve about $2 billion annually. All of the firms' lobbying and political activities will be halted immediately and charitable activities reviewed.

    In addition, the Treasury Department announced a series of moves targeted at providing relief to both housing and financial markets.

    Paulson said Treasury would boost housing by purchasing mortgage-backed securities from Freddie and Fannie, as well as offering to lend money to the companies and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. The home loan banks advance funds to more than 8,000 member banks. (Read what Paulson said.)

    The Treasury, with fellow regulator FHFA, will also buy preferred stock in Fannie and Freddie to provide security to the companies' debt holders and bolster housing finance.

    The government, in agreeing to backstop the firms, said it would receive $1 billion in each company's senior preferred stock. The government will also receive a quarterly dividend payment and the right to own 79.9% of each company.

    How we got here

    Sunday's announcement brings an end to months of speculation about the fate of the two firms. Shares of Fannie and Freddie, which have fallen more than 80% as of the end of Friday's session, were hammered this summer among concerns they would need to raise additional funds to cover future losses or need to be taken over by its federal regulator. Investors feared that either step would reduce or wipe out the value of current shareholders' stakes.

    In mid-July, the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve announced steps in to make funds available to the firms if necessary and Congress approved the sweeping proposals later that month.

    Shortly thereafter, regulators stepped up their review of Fannie and Freddie. Paulson announced in August that he had tapped Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) to help him examine the firms.

    Sources familiar with the matter told Fortune that Morgan Stanley had determined that both Freddie and Fannie faced "meaningful" capital issues before deciding last week that government intervention was necessary. Morgan Stanley has called a firm-wide meeting on Monday morning to explain the deal.

    Officials ruled out a capital infusion - a less drastic option than convervatorship - after considering questions such as whether the government would have to keep putting money in and how best Treasury officials could protect taxpayers, according to one of the sources.

    In the end, the route taken amounts to "a timeout, not a liquidation," says the source. "Conservatorship leaves all options open for the next administration."

    Following an exhaustive review, FHFA's Lockhart said Sunday that the two companies could not continue to operate without taking "significant action."

    Fannie and Freddie have become virtually the only source of funding for banks and other home lenders looking to make home loans. Their ability to do so is crucial to the recovery of the battered home market and the broader U.S. economy.

    The two firms buy loans, attach a guarantee, then sell securities backed by the loans' income stream. All told, they own or back $5.4 trillion worth of home debt - half the mortgage debt in the country.

    Reaction to the news

    The Treasury-FHFA plan, which was widely anticipated after financial markets closed on Friday, drew praise from regulators, lawmakers and some market experts.

    President Bush called the move "critical" to the housing market recovery. "Americans should be confident that the actions taken today will strengthen our ability to weather the housing correction and are critical to returning the economy to stronger sustained growth in the future," he said.

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who along with Paulson has led efforts to help get the U.S. housing market and the broader economy back on track, endorsed the move by Lockhart and Paulson.

    "These necessary steps will help to strengthen the U.S. housing market and promote stability in our financial markets," Bernanke said in a statement.

    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said that Paulson had "threaded the needle just right" with the plan, noting that it will likely be met with praise from other lawmakers.

    At first blush, Wall Street seemed encouraged by the news, although the true test will come when financial markets around the globe open Monday. Pimco's Bill Gross, a widely followed bond fund manager, said that the Freddie-Fannie plan was the right move.

    "This is a significant step and almost exactly what we had hoped for," Gross told CNNMoney.com Sunday.

    In addition to confirming the government's sovereign credit rating, Standard & Poor's affirmed its sterling AAA rating on both Fannie Freddie on the news, adding that its outlook for the two firms is stable.

    Unanswered questions

    The cost of the government intervention remains unclear however. Experts argue that it will depend in large part on the structure of the rescue, the direction of home prices and mortgage default rates.

    Still it seems almost certain it will run into the billions and will most likely eclipse such other high-profile government bailouts including than the Federal Reserve's $29 billion backing of Bear Stearns assets when it was taken over by J.P. Morgan Chase.

    Paulson said that the cost to taxpayers would largely depend on the future financial performance of Fannie and Freddie.

    Another unintended yet unavoidable consequence may be the impact to the nation's banks.

    Some of the nation's largest financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and Sovereign Bancorp (SOV, Fortune 500) own a big chunk of the estimated $36 billion in preferred shares of Fannie and Freddie, according to research published last month by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, an investment bank that specializes in financial firms. Those stakes are at risk of being wiped out as a result of Sunday's announcement.

    Top banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said in a joint statement Sunday that a limited number of smaller institutions have significant preferred share holdings in Fannie and Freddie. They added they are prepared to work with these institutions to come up with a plan should they need to raise capital.

    Still, the rescue of Fannie and Freddie could go a long way toward its intended aim - bringing stability to the housing market while making it easier for consumers to obtain affordable mortgages.

    --CNNMoney.com senior writer Tami Luhby and Fortune editor at large Patricia Sellers contributed to this report. To top of page

    Comments

    1. VA gov on

      Hey, is there a section just for latest news
      • Admin on

        Take a look at "Market Outlook". I put much of the latest news under this heading. Thanks!