Sunrise Boulevard Historic District (Long Beach, CA)
By Kirk Mulhearn
(Prudential California Realty/Gem Mortgage)
Long Beach, CA.  Will 2009 bring economic collapse or will markets begin to mend? Two reliable predictors give hope. First, the spread between LIBOR and Treasury yields, which measures global risk. The spread ended the year tighter than when it began, and far tighter than the extreme levels of late summer. Second, volatility embedded in stock option prices is a good predictor, and is referred to as the "fear index." While still elevated, it ended the year reflecting much less fear than the worst seen in 2008. Both indicators lead us to believe that the economy has backed away from the brink. While the economy may not collapse completely, we have some tough work ahead of us. Recessions brought on by financial crises (rather than typical business cycles) are severe, reports John Mauldin. ...
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Long Beach, CA.   You might not have caught key details that could have personal impact on you or people you know-now or in the recession months ahead. One of the most ambitious mass-market "loan modification" programs was outlined recently by the Federal Housing Finance Agency-overseer or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-along with the 33 banks and mortgage servicers who make up the private-sector Hope Now Alliance. The program, which started nationwide December 15th, is for thousands of subprime and other borrowers who are seriously behind on payments-three months or more-and are slipping fast toward foreclosure. To be eligible for intervention, owners need to document that they can handle mortgage payments with up to 38 percent of their monthly gross income. They also need to demonstrate t...
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