No Way In Norway – As U.S. Mortgage Crisis Creates Deep Freeze


That some in France can’t stand the U.S.–not news!
That many in the Middle East loath the U.S.–not news!
That certain Latin American nations (you know which one!!) suspect the U.S.–not news!
That Norway feels screwed by the U.S.–now THAT is news!

Narvik by bjaglin - mean, come on…Norway? Why would Norway be at odds with the U.S.? Fishing rights,perhaps, in international waters? Nope. Maybe she thinks our pop culture is ruinious to her young? Well, yeah, that’s a given. But, the cause of the Norwegian outrage is…take a guess.

Time’s up. If you said the U.S. mortgage crisis you win the prize. Okay, there is no prize, but read on anyway to find out what is going on near the Arctic Circle.

Apparently, the small town of Narvik (I know, I never heard of it, either) is getting a royal American screwing–along with some other cities in Norway.

We’re talking about $64 million dollars in securities investments that have taken a dive faster than a Depression era boxer in a mafia fixed fight.

“I think about it every minutes,” the town’s mayor, Karen Margrethe Kuvaas, told the New York Times. Good reason for that,too. The financial beating is having a real and serious impact on schools and nursing care for the elderly, sick and dying there. And, even city workers couldn’t get paid for lack of funds.

All this misery stems from investments created by Citigroup and channeled through a broker in Norway.

Three years back, a bunch of Norwegian cities and towns invested large sums of money in a vehicle offering a higher rate of return.

The investments,of course, went soar as more and more U.S. homeowners lost their homes or faced foreclosure because of the subprime lending caused mortgage/investment/credit crisis that has now wrapped itself around the globe.

The finance official in Norway, says the Times, has agreed that brokers there were misleading.

“When you sell something that is not what you say it is,that is a lie,” the Mayor told the Times. “We’re not especially stupid because we live so far in the north.”

While Norway faces doom and even more than the usual winter,sunless gloom, back here in the U.S.,a deal looks to be in the works to bail out thousands of homeowners who face mortgage defaults by freezing their current interest rates for several years—-like, till after President Bush leaves office, thereby putting off the inevitable housing/economic crash till someone else is in the Oval Office and can take the blame…..someone like, maybe, a Democrat??

The U.S. Treasury Secretary has told a housing conference that he is confident there will soon be an agreement with some of the bigshots in the mortgage industry. But, sadly, the fact is, it is almost a cruel joke since the homeowners who can’t afford the higher interest rates now, are not likely to be able to afford them any better in just a couple of years unless they win a lottery. So, we will only go through this all over again and it will be just as painful then as it is now.

But, back in Norway, any agreement to freeze rates in the U.S. won’t make one damn bit of difference because the damage has already been done and it is getting worse no matter what agreement may or may not be reached here at home to help shocked homeowners.

At this time of year, the sun doesn’t rise in Norway…but, when it comes to the true global impact of this mortgage crisis, it is we who are in the dark.

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. I feel bad to agree but I do.

    ” are not likely to be able to afford them any better in just a couple of years unless they win a lottery. So, we will only go through this all over again and it will be just as painful then as it is now.”

    Again, every situation is unique. Based from my experience with my clients and friends, when to fear and hope can cost us thousands of dollars whether in the upside or downside.

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