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The public radio show This American Life had a great program on the housing bust on Sunday. It was called the Giant Pool of Money and it detailed how Wall Street’s search for higher yields translated into the foreclosure crisis the country is presently experiencing.
None of this will be new to readers of Hot Property, but the stories told here are amazing. There’s the borrower in Ohio with poor credit and who never made more than $45,000 a year but nonetheless got a mortgage for nearly $500,000. As he described it: “I wouldn’t have loaned me the money. I know criminals who wouldn’t have loaned me the money.”
There’s also the tale of the mortgage salesman at a boiler room type outfit in New York who tells of first class treatment in night clubs, $1,000 bottles of Champagne with sparklers on them, and hobnobbing with celebrities. Not surprisingly both of these people are now fighting foreclosure on their homes.
For folks who really enjoy listening to things online, Congress is holding hearings at 2PM eastern time tommorrow on the impact of foreclosures on local communities.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.