Inflation Threatens and Evictions Loom

Two major issues dominated the news in late July: Inflation – whether it is, is not a problem or is likely to be one; and the prospect that millions of renters would be evicted from their homes as a federal moratorium barring evictions for nonpayment of rent expired. 

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Federal programs promising to help hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure are falling painfully short of their goals. Policy makers, as a result, are tweaking existing initiatives and considering new ones as pressure builds for more aggressive – and more effective – strategies to forestall a foreclosure tide that threatens to further damage an already battered economy.

You’ve probably heard by now that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was “shocked” to discover that the financial markets, left to regulate themselves, don’t.

Remember the Treasury Department’s plan to purchase toxic assets from financial institutions as a means of thawing frozen credit markets? Well, that was then and this is now. And now, Treasury has decided that buying toxic underwater assets, as envisioned by TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) – the legislation authorizing the plan – wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Among all the reports of downward trends – in sales of autos, homes, clothing and everything in between – it is possible to find one growth area: Subprime litigation.