Christopher Whalen

Putting “trust” back in American housing finance

May 17, 2011

News reports suggest that New York prosecutors are preparing fraud charges against a number of large investment banks for defrauding insurance companies with respect to mortgage loans. These allegations and many civil claims with precisely similar predicates illustrate one of the most important aspects of the subprime financial crisis, namely the construction and collapse of the non-bank financial sector.

More debt and inflation will not create economic prosperity

May 5, 2011

“[F]or many philosophers, conflict is inevitable in politics because a government should seek both to make its people equal in wealth and opportunity and also to safeguard their liberty, but it cannot do both because people can be made equal only through serious constraints on their freedom. This is not simply a statement of the obvious fact that different people and different communities hold different values. The argument claims that even a single sensitive person cannot express, either in how he lives or how he votes, all the ideals he knows he should recognize.”

Why Congress should vote no on raising the debt ceiling

April 13, 2011

By Christopher Whalen
The opinions expressed are his own.

“A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.”

A new deal for the 21st century

January 20, 2011

Below is an excerpt of a speech titled “A New Deal for the 21st Century: Less Entitlement, More Accountability.” I am scheduled to deliver the keynote talk today in Indianapolis at an event sponsored by the Indiana Leadership Forum.

The Ibanez Decision: What it means for home owners and investors

January 10, 2011

Last week the Massachusetts Supreme Court issued a decision voiding several home foreclosures by US Bancorp and Wells Fargo. The news caused the financial markets to retreat with bank stocks down hard. News reports and some analysts are predicting that the decision in U.S. Bank National Association vs. Antonio Ibanez, will mean an apocalypse for commercial banks, especially those involved in issuing residential mortgage backed securities or “RMBS.” But like most things in life, the reality is a little more subtle.

It’s a wonderful life 2011

January 3, 2011

About a year ago, Arianna Huffington called my friend and colleague Dennis Santiago and asked if my firm could provide a list of “good banks” for an effort she was planning. Along with Rob Johnson from the Roosevelt Institute, Huffington conceived of something called “Move your Money,” which sought to get consumers to move their business from large banks to smaller community institutions.

Everything that Americans should ask about home mortgages

October 20, 2010

Americans are discovering the concept of foreclosure and the loss of a home in a very real and disturbing way.  Despite the rhetoric from Washington and sensationalist media, the process of resolving defaulted mortgages is moving ahead, one reason why the U.S. will not be Japan.  But we have all forgotten the experiences of the 1930s when it comes to home foreclosure.