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?
Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times (@gmorgenson)
Rick Sharga, Carrington Holdings (@ricksharga)
Daniel McGinn, National Correspondent, Newsweek
John Cassidy, New Yorker magazine (@TNYJohnCassidy)
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
More From To the Point
How to fix the future Silicon Valley has been the driver of tech innovation that has changed the world. But there’s been a backlash. Other countries are showing the way to transparency, enhanced privacy and consumer protection. In the meantime, will Facebook and Google help protect this year’s U.S. elections from Russian hacking?
Does universal health care have a future? Despite controlling the White House and Congress, Republicans have failed to repeal Obamacare. But they are chipping away. Some Democrats advocate universal coverage. So, what’s in store for this year’s midterm elections? Has either side come up with a way to cut costs? To achieve that goal, is it time for doctors to change their focus--away from health care to health itself?
Parkland students take the lead on gun control Young people around the country are all fired up after the Parkland shooting. Veteran observers say they’re changing the atmosphere of debate about gun control. How realistic are their expectations about one of America’s most controversial issues?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Anti-gun violence activist: ‘I’m so, so angry because it just keeps happening and it doesn’t have to’ (Photo: Demonstration organized by Teens For Gun Reform, an organization created by students in the Washington DC area, in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School… Read More
Heavy rains bring mandatory evacuations Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for a number of communities in Los Angeles County as an intense storm system continues to make its way across the Southland. Periods of… Read More