S&P Homebuilder ETF (XHB) vs. the S&P

Our economy isn’t going to recover until the housing market finds its footing” ~ Mark Zandi

By Catherine Austin Fitts

I can not help but notice some unusual patterns in housing policy these days. Let’s look at some of the dots worth connecting.


The folks watching the southern US borders are appalled at the number of people streaming across. See our Solari Report interview, Border Wars with Zack Taylor. It is not to be missed.

Now we have a report claiming that the Obama Administration is planning on organizing large numbers of immigrants in designated cities who will receive the government support needed to make a successful transition, including housing. (See: Breaking…WH Plans to Develop a “Country Within a Country” of 15 Million “New Americans”)

The Administration is currently in court trying to get its executive orders giving residency to 4 million immigrants.
(See: Legal Experts: Texas Court Immigration Ruling May Be Hard to Challenge) At the same time, the Administration has proposed a significant increase in the HUD budget for next year. Reading between the lines it looks to me like lots of resources that could be used to accomplish significant first time home buying in the immigrant population: President’s FY2016 HUD budget asks for $49.3B

At the same time, FHA is lowering its mortgage insurance premiums by a third – that is a big drop.( See: FHA to lower insurance premiums on mortgages)

Freddie and Fannie are also lowering down payment requirements from 5% to 3%.  (See: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac offer lower mortgage down payments)

Meantime, reports in the markets are that first time home buying will be rising this year, kickstarting the bottom up cascade that revives the housing market. Homeowners at the lower end sell to first time homebuyers, and then proceed to trade up to a bigger, or more expensive home.

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by Wikipedia

The Government Pension Fund Global (Norwegian: Statens pensjonsfond Utland, SPU) is a fund into which the surplus wealth produced by Norwegian petroleum income is deposited. The fund changed name in January 2006 from its previous name, The Petroleum Fund of Norway. The fund is commonly referred to as The Oil Fund (Norwegian: Oljefondet). As of the valuation in June 2011, it was the largest pension fund in the world, although it is not actually a pension fund as it derives its financial backing from oil profits and not pension contributions. As of September 30, 2014 its total value is NOK 5.534 trillion ($857.1 billion), holding one percent of global equity markets. With 1.78 percent of European stocks,it is said to be the largest stock owner in Europe.

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by Richard Dobbs, Susan Lund, Jonathan Woetzel, and Mina Mutafchieva

Seven years after the bursting of a global credit bubble resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, debt continues to grow. In fact, rather than reducing indebtedness, or deleveraging, all major economies today have higher levels of borrowing relative to GDP than they did in 2007. Global debt in these years has grown by $57 trillion, raising the ratio of debt to GDP by 17 percentage points (Exhibit 1). That poses new risks to financial stability and may undermine global economic growth.

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China’s economy and people are evolving rapidly, but the underlying cultural blueprint has remained more or less constant for thousands of years.” ~ Tom Doctoroff

By Catherine Austin Fitts

At our family dinner table, my father would tell stories of living and working on the Burma-Chinese border under General Stillwell’s command during WW II. A portion of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital had been “lifted” by the US Army and sent to China. My father’s admiration for “Vinegar Joe” made The Stillwell Papers required reading in our home.  It was matched by his admiration for the Chinese people.  Stories of China wove threads of a fascinating people and places into our worldview.

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[CAF Note: Scoop’s contribution to free press globally is a modern day David and Goliath story.  Great reporting requires great publishers and enlightened owners to back them up – and Scoop has been there for scores of reporters and truthtellers around the world for many years. When the courts were not there, Scoop’s leadership on outing Enron and the people behind them played a critical role in making sure the court of popular opinion did work. Ditto on early transparency about the US mortgage bubble and fraud and corruption in the US federal finances – thousands of people knew how to protect themselves before the bubble burst.  Scoop changed the course of history with their support of 911 disclosure, UnansweredQuestions and Paul Thompson’s timeline, well ahead of the US press. All of this while sticking to the nuts and bolts of supporting literate citizens and democratic process in one of the most active, entrepreneurial, engaged countries in the world. You would do me a great honor by joining me in supporting the Scoop crowdfunding effort. No amount is too little. Every contribution is appreciated and counts!]

by Alastair Thompson

At Scoop we believe that access to independent news and investigative journalism is a public right that is essential for democracy to thrive. But it is a public right that is eroding. Digital technology now enables a business model to be developed that makes news freely accessible to all citizens, and in which the news apparatus itself can be transparent. Creating this new kind of news organisation is what “Operation Chrysalis” is all about. We are taking a bold step to preserve the public right to access news.

We plan to transform into a not-for-profit media organisation held for the benefit of all NZers, accountable to the community of news communicators and consumers it serves.

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As in Athens, state accounting in Rome was haphazard, and fraud was common. In his Philippics (44-43 BCE), Cicero complained of bad accounts in his attacks on Mark Antony, known for his debts and shady financial dealings. He claimed Mark Antony had kept bad account books and, in doing so, had “squandered a countless sum of moneys” stolen from Caesar and even forged accounts and signatures. Although Cicero denounced bad books, Vice Consul Mark Antony did not go to jail. Returning to power later that year as part of a triumvirate with Lepidus and Octavius, the future Emperor Augustus, Mark Antony hunted down Cicero and had his head and hands chopped off and displayed in the Forum. This grimly illustrates a constant maxim: The powerful don’t respond well to those who call for their books to be opened.”

~Jacob Soll, The Reckoning

Thanks to Bill Bergman for pointing this one out!

The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Making and Breaking of Nations

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““Know what you own, and know why you own it.”” ~Peter Lynch

By Catherine Austin Fitts

Chewing this week on potential investments…

Related Reading:

Bond & Stock Charts – 2015

2014 Annual Wrap Up

Team Awesome Posts:

Part I Part II Part III

Part IV Part V Part VI

Part VII Part VIII

Part IXPart X

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Barbie_325x227
Hello Barbie is the latest incarnation of the doll – and will record what your kid says

[CAF Note: Time to start buying dolls at Etsy! Or teaching children how to make their own. Do you really want your child’s doll channeling entrainment technology and subliminal programming directly into your child mind through a doll?]

by Jeff Parsons

Toymaker Mattel has announced plans to create a connected Barbie doll capable of having internet-based conversations with children.

Grown-up technology recording your conversations is one thing, but putting it in the hands of a child is quite another.

Toymaker Mattel has partnered with a San Francisco startup called ToyTalk to develop “Hello Barbie” – an internet-connected version of the popular doll that’ll strike up a real conversation with your little tykes.

Spy Barbie currently uses a bank of pre-programmed responses to common questions and speech recognition software to detect which one to use.

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By Gretchen Morgenson

On Aug. 17, 2012, the federal government began expropriating all the earnings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants that succumbed to the 2008 crisis.

Now the government is taking extraordinary measures to keep secret the deliberations surrounding that action. What exactly is it trying to hide?

That is the question being asked by a Fannie and Freddie shareholder who has sued the government over the 2012 profit grab. The investor contends that the move amounted to an improper taking of its property; the government disagrees.

Margaret M. Sweeney, a judge in the Court of Federal Claims, will determine who is right. But in the meantime, consider the remarkable secrecy demands that the government has made in the matter.

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by Mary Holland J.D.

On September 23, 2014, an Italian court in Milan award compensation to a boy for vaccine-induced autism. (See the Italian document here.) A childhood vaccine against six childhood diseases caused the boy’s permanent autism and brain damage.

While the Italian press has devoted considerable attention to this decision and its public health implications, the U.S. press has been silent.

Italy’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

Like the U.S., Italy has a national vaccine injury compensation program to give some financial support to those people who are injured by compulsory and recommended vaccinations. The Italian infant plaintiff received three doses of GlaxoSmithKline’s Infanrix Hexa, a hexavalent vaccine administered in the first year of life. These doses occurred from March to October 2006. The vaccine is to protect children from polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, pertussis and Haemophilus influenza type B. In addition to these antigens, however, the vaccine then contained thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative, aluminum, an adjuvant, as well as other toxic ingredients. The child regressed into autism shortly after receiving the three doses.

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