Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Extend and Pretend

"Behind the Housing Crash" was written 5 years ago and published in 2008. It would have been written earlier had I not wasted away nearly 6 months pursuing publishing houses to consider my book.

Funny that 5 years later the book should have a resurgence as many banks DESPITE SUFFERING THE HOUSING CRASH have now foolishly pursued what is called "Extend and Pretend."

In short, the bank lends to a loser who is also a financial deadbeat. Naturally, the borrower has financial troubles, BUT the banker who made the loan doesn't want a bad mark on his/her track record and therefore perpetually extends the loan (and at progressively favorable terms) and then pretends it will somehow be paid off in the future.

I've seen this at enough banks to know there's enough volume of this "kicking the can down the road" that not only are there going to be severe consequences, but inevitably they will have to do what I told them to do years ago;

"Repossess NOW, take a hit on the collateral, get this crap off your books even at a loss, quit pissing away your time baby sitting these losers and problem loans, and then refocus your efforts on more profitable and less-time consuming borrowers which will recompense your losses."

Of course, having Super Awesome Economic Genius (TM) does not outrank the fact I have no gray hair. And therefore the strategy of "extend and pretend" is implemented anyway.

What's funny though is that collateral has a tendency to decay over time, especially when people abandon the property or just decide to split and leave town. Additionally, I have this uncanny ability to be right when it comes to economics. The result:

Banks, bankers and credit unions. Time to prepare for a dose of "I told you so."

And no, reality won't let you extend and pretend this time.

Enjoy the decline!


WFLBG said...

Speaking of 'extend and pretend', any commentary on this little back-page item?

FSK said...

oYou're missing the point. "Extend and pretend" maximizes the banks' profit.

Interest rates are 5% and true inflation is 20%-30%. If you extend and pretend long enough, you'll eventually make money, because the house is worth more than the loan.