October 11, 2008

LIBOR: What Is It

Wikipedia: The London Interbank Offered Rate is a daily reference rate based on the interest rates at which banks offer to lend unsecured funds to other banks in the London wholesale money market (or interbank market). LIBOR rates are widely used as a reference rate for variable rate mortgages

How Will it Affect You

London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, is an index that tracks rates banks charge each other for loans in 10 different currencies. According to the British Banking Association, LIBOR is used to set rates for financial products such as loans that total $350 trillion worldwide. (via Inman News)

Heres the Problem

Nearly all subprime and alt-A adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans are tied to six-month dollar LIBOR, which hit 4.4 percent today, up from 3 percent on Sept. 15. Even ARMs backed by Fannie Mae Freddie Mac, are linked to six-month dollar LIBOR.

Citigroup introductory rates on 1.8 million ARM loans have already expired and are now tracking with LIBOR or other benchmarks, and that 121,000 mortgages will reset for the first time next month. Another 3.7 million ARM loans will reset after that. (via Inman news)

Bank of America was recently forced to renegotiate 400,000 predatory loans. This is designed to keep people in their homes and adjust downwards debt related to declining home values. The stock lost almost $10 that day. My guess is that the Govt will have to offer help to banks by buying directly into the company and renegotiate these loans to keep supply off the market.

The two problems we have to solve ASAP are bank liquidity and mortgage renegotiation or we will bury ourselves in a new wave of foreclosures. The good news is that we now know this and have accepted unprecedented Govt intervention as the only answer.

Thanks for Reading

Howard Bell


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