Over the weekend, President Bush met with administration officials and congressional leaders on a 700-billion dollar bank bailout plan. A north-central Iowa financial advisor calls the plan a "stroke of genius."
Jim Tausz, of the Bradford Financial Center in Clarion, says the news is welcome to the traders on Wall Street and should wipe out the recent months of problems with the housing industry. Tausz says: "What is our problem? What’s causing this? It’s a cancer of sub-prime lending. What this is going to do, it will cut to the chase and take the financial markets and take the problems off the table, once and for all. That’s what the federal (government) is doing, they’re saying let’s take it off."
Tausz says what makes the plan so appealing is that it has the potential to be a "bailout for profit" which could actually make the taxpayers back the money, with interest, over the years. He says: "First, the feds are going to buy these mortgages and they’re going to buy them at a discount. It’s going to be high profit to them because you’ve got to remember, when you have a mortgage that’s maybe a 30-year mortgage, the highest profit comes to the banks and to whoever holds them at the beginning because they’re amortized."
Tausz predicts the action will calm both U.S. and foreign markets, a much-needed stability after much uncertainty. He says there’s plenty of attention given to the ailing housing industry when the "bad" loans only make up a very small percentage.
"Ninety-six percent of all the loans are making their payments, two-percent are one-to-two months behind or delinquent in their payments and two-percent are the ones really going delinquent, and of course, that’s what we’re hearing about," Tausz says. "With all the profits coming up front, basically, the government’s going to get a good deal on this."
Late Sunday, the Federal Reserve granted Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the country’s last two major investment banks, approval to change their status to bank holding companies. That will allow the companies to set up commercial banks that will be able to take deposits, significantly bolstering the resources of both firms.