The Dark At The End Of The Tunnel: Subprime Fallout Hits Global Proportions


Here’s just a very small sample of headlines from recent days about the economic doom and gloom being caused by the ever deepening mortgage crisis that started in this country but has now reached out its tentacles to squeeze the testicles of just about every European and Asian nation and threatens to plunge the developing world into economic chaos.

Think that’s rather strong, do you?

“Retail stocks slump as Black Friday joy fades”
“10-Year Treasury yield at 2 and a half year low”
“Citigroup shares below $30; first time in more than five years!”
“Markets plunge on credit woes.”

And those headlines are just a one hour slice of the 24 hour news cycle earlier this week.

Let’s take a closer look at these tidbits of terrible news shall we?

Investors worried about rising mortgage defaults and credit market losses, says Reuters, sent stocks tumbling Monday putting Wall Street “on the verge of its worst one-month slump in five years.”

Think that’s bad? Hold on and listen to this:

“On a points basis, the Dow is less than 200 points away from its worst monthly slide EVER.”
That’s “ever” as in, well, “ever!”

Investors seem to be fleeing risk faster than New England swimmers tried to flee the Great White in “Jaws.” They are seeking the higher and safer grounds of government bonds.

Citigroup is the largest U.S. bank by assets. But, that didn’t stop its shares from tumbling Monday, sinking below the 30 dollar benchmark set back in 2002….and, as a way to bring Christmas cheer to its embattled employees, it is reportedly thinking about what are being called “massive” layoffs that could mean as many as 45 thousand people flung out the door.

Why? . . . What do you think! “Mounting concern about mortgage losses…”

MOUNTING CONCERN???? MOUNTING??? I think we are way, way, way past “mounting”–unless, that is, you are using “mounting” to mean how all of us are being f—–royally?

The problem, of course, is that no one…and I mean no one…really knows where the bottom to this debacle really is: will we reach it next month, next year, next two years??? No wonder people are freaking out.

Concept image of global warming by spekulatorAnd, it is not just here in the U.S. The runoff from our subprime sewage is polluting the international waters, too. Britain is worried. France is worried. Japan is worried. Even India is worried and can you name the last time it was worried about anything?? Actually, I think I read that India outsources its worries.

Okay. I know this is starting to sound pretty darn dark. I know we all were brought up to believe that if you walk through a storm and keep your head held high (write to the Jerry Lewis telethon if you want the exact words to that song) things will work out in the end. But, suppose if you walk through a storm with your head held high, your head just gets really wet?

And, you know how when times are tough and the tough get going we are supposed to look for that light at the end of the tunnel? What happens if there is no light? What happens if the tunnel turns out to be a vault whose steel doors will shut behind us once we enter, leaving us to suffocate in our own subprime morass?

Oh, and Happy Holidays to all!!!

About Author

Charles is currently reporting for KNX Radio in Los Angeles, is the co-author of the book No Time To Think, and can be found commenting about the news on his blog, The Feldman Blog, as well as on The Huffington Post.


  1. Pingback: Foreclosures Matter! How Foreclosures have affected homeowners, investors and the economy | Real Estate Investing for Real Blog

  2. Madison Albright on

    Indeed correct, realtors and the like community need to be congnicent of evolutions in the housing index. Drops in one area may lead to opportunities in the other. This goes for both the investor and the realtor.

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