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I'm not sure how aware people would be of how the economic crisis is affecting the average american, but seeing this program and video is a sure way to open your eyes to the real economic crisis over there: Steve Meacham: Fighting Foreclosure. In this video they talk about foreclosures, foreclosures that are taking places in American due to the inability of people to pay those mortgages that in the way of sub-prime mortgages have caused the market's crash and economic crisis that has spread everywhere in the world and it's now affecting everyone more or less in the world. Besides talking of how people are losing their houses because they took mortgages they were not going to be able to repay to banks, they also talk about the community movements and their quite silent actions and effects over the whole issue.
Those community organisations are trying to keep people's houses and they are quite successful in doing so, and they do so by renegotiating the mortgages, which in the end not only avoid people being evicted but benefits banks in the long term, as if they keep those people's payments coming the first effect would be to have lower benefits but in the long term the interest they received from those mortgages would mean higher benefits in the future.
And you can see that the problem is being caused by banks trying to get out of the mess through the easiest way: foreclosure and selling the house, hence making an immediate profit. But selling those houses right now (with houses prices falling), could mean not getting the amount of money they originally lent, hence in their books they are losing money. And all that is because they don't have or they don't want to establish the infrastructure needed (an immediate cost) to renegotiate those mortgages, or establish some kind of housing department that temporarily would allow those people to become tenants, hence providing the banks with a lower income coming, but still in the long term, in most of the cases, bigger benefits (in the way of having the opportunity of selling that house at a higher price in the future or that tenant having the resources to repay the original mortgage in the future and in a better economic environment) than if they sell the houses in actual market.
Basically, their inability to adapt to the new market and their inability or unwillingness to explain their shareholders (or need to renegotiate with the financial regulators their situation) their need for either losses right now or lower benefits that would guarantee higher benefits in the future is what is making worse, not only the economic crisis but the social crisis that comes with it. It shows how much the psychology of the masses affects what are supposed to be mathematical and scientific events and it definitely shows you a different America than the one you are used to when watching TV.
More about foreclosures in America from the "Bill Moyer's Journal", "Senator Richard (Dick) Durbin"
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