The economy is not well

Alan Abelson in Barron’s

One in every 10 Americans missed a mortgage payment in the first quarter of this year — a new record. One in 10 Americans’ credit-card usage is being written off — also a new record.

One in six Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. Over four in 10 of those jobless Americans have been out of work for at least six months and there are five unemployed workers competing for every job opening.

One in four Americans with a mortgage have negative equity in their homes. Only one in 50 Americans plan to buy a home in the next six months.

One in eight Americans feel the current government policy is actually helping the economy.

Ask not, then, why so many people are so teed off.

He also says that the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is making mortgage mods that are vastly worse and riskier than anything made during the worst excesses of subprime like “150% of the value of the house to a borrower whose debt represented 61.3% of income.” Sounds like it is not hampered by outmoded concepts like risk management or accounting standards.

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