The President's Next Headache


What do you give someone who's just become America's president? Maybe a big bottle of aspirin! After all, now they've got to deal with the housing crisis.

And it's not going to be a walk in the park. That's for sure.

Although the FDIC presented a well-received plan in October, published reports suggest its now meeting with resistance, especially from the current administration.

Under the plan, the government would use some of the bailout money to help people on the brink of foreclosure. Essentially, the money would be used to counter-balance losses created by lowering interest rates and reducing the monthly payments.

The pushback stems from a belief that people might actually opt for foreclosure believing they’ll get a better deal.

The two sides probably need to stem their differences before the new president is sworn into office. Time is of the essence.

Foreclosure filings rose 71 percent in the third quarter to a record 765,558, according to RealtyTrac.

To make matters even worse, borrowing costs on hundreds of thousands of adjustable-rate mortgages are expected to reset higher in the coming months.

The Quest For Solutions

"We need to think of housing as a long-term crisis," explains Robert Shiller, Professor Of Economics Yale University. "As result we need to think about how to improve the financial system. There are three things to address."

1) Improving the information structure
2) Expanding our risk markets
3) Improving retail financial institutions

" In other words, the crisis is due to our failure to apply the principles of finance to risk management," he says. "That needs to change."

I’m also a little anxious about the housing crisis, admits Pete Najarian. I think there’s a long road ahead.

For more on Shiller's solution check out his book Subprime Solution: How Today’s Global Financial Crisis Happened and What to Do about It

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Trader disclosure: On Nov. 4, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (BNI), (MSFT), (CY), (UUP); Macke Is Short (TM); Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (MSFT), (INTC), (NUE); Pete Najarian Owns (MSFT) And Is Short (MSFT) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (SBUX) Puts; Pete Najaria Owns (YHOO) And Is Short (YHOO) Calls; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (MER), (SBUX), (BAC), (EEM); Seygem Asset Management Owns (EEV)

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