Housing foreclosures are still on the rise, often because of cheap mortgages that are now worth more than the properties they were based on. Greedy banks are partly to blame, but so are home-buyers looking for increased values--guaranteed. We talk about consequences for the economy and possible fixes. Also, after eight days Turkey pulls out of Iraq, and the 73-year-old motorcycle-riding nun who got on a death list in central Brazil.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Ankara, asking a swift end to Turkey's latest military campaign in northern Iraq. He got no timetable and few reassurances in public, but today Turkey pulled out. Semih Idiz is columnist at the Turkish newspaper Milliyet.
Home foreclosure may become an industry in itself. Today's New York Times features a California company called You Walk Away, which is looking for clients whose mortgages are now worth more than their houses, so they can't refinance to meet rising payments. For less than a thousand dollars, You Walk Away will show them how to deliver their problems back to the bank by foreclosure. Part of the problem is the idea that housing is not just a place to live, but a gold-plated investment whose value just keeps going up. What goes up must come down, leaving tens of thousands of people with increased payments on loans worth more than their houses. Are greedy banks and investors at fault? What about home buyers themselves? And what's the impact on an economy that depends on consumer spending?
Dorothy Stang was a Catholic nun who rode a motorcycle in the back roads of Brazil, where she helped migrant farmers to work their land in an environmentally sustainable manner. That got her on a death list with a $25,000 reward for her killing, a lot of money in rural Brazil. Three years ago, on a muddy stretch of road in the heart of the jungle, Stan shot six times at close range. She was 73 when she died. Now she's the subject of The Greatest Gift, by Binka Le Breton, director of the Iracambi Rain Forest Research Center in Brazil.
Binka Le Breton, Director, Iracambi Rainforest Research Center