Tuesday, December 19, 2006


American refugees

America is a great nation, so one always must read statistics with perspective, but still... Peter Coy in BW Astudy out today from the Center for Responsible Lending predicts that subprime borrowers are going to lose their homes to foreclosure on a massive scale. Looking at more than 6 million subprime mortgage loans issued from 1998 through September of this year, the study calculates that 2.2 million households have either already been foreclosed on or will be foreclosed on in the next few years. These foreclosures, it says, will cost homeowners around $160 billion in wealth, mainly in the form of lost equity. The foreclosure rate will be highest on homes that were sold at the peak of the market, it says... Something like 3-4 million people evicted, broke, perhaps on the streets?
(sarcsam) But as long as they're not white, they don't count, of course. (/sarcasm)

Anyone who's been following the housing industry can tell you what's in the wind. Andersen Windows, long known as a very generous local employer given to handing out four- and five-figure Christmas bonuses to even its lowliest workers, was handing out pink slips this month to hundreds of employees. And they're not alone in doing so.

There was an article in the Strib this week about how certain jobs are going begging in the state (this is a stub; the original dead-tree version of this article was more extensive). But not all (or even most, I reckon) of these jobs are good for long-term employment with benefits, or pay wages commensurate with the expensive training needed to qualify for them.
Yes, construction workers may be next in line to lose their homes after subprime borrowers.
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