Housing Term of the Day: “LIBOR ARM”

A “LIBOR ARM” sounds vaguely related to a frozen shoulder. It’s not. Pronounced “Lee′-bore,” it stands for the “London Inter-bank Offered Rate,” a widely used benchmark (or peg) for setting mortgage rates and other debt. Meanwhile, “ARM” stands for “Adjustable Rate Mortgage.” Definition, Please What does all that mean in practice? A homeowner with a...
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Prescribing Aspirin For Cancer

Surowiecki:  Wall Street Excess Due to Regulatory Failure “We need an attitudinal shift on the part of regulators, who need to recognize that their gentleman’s-club ethos is ill-suited to today’s financial world, and who need to be aggressive not just in punishing malfeasance but in preventing it from happening.” –James Surowiecki, “Bankers Gone Wild“; The...
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NYT: ‘Barclays Chief to “Forgo” $31 Million Bonus’

Forget “Forgo”; How About Some Real Libor Punishment?? “for-go” verb \for-ˈgō\: to give up the enjoyment or advantage of : do without –Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary At least as I understand and use the word “forgo,” you give up — forgo — a second scoop of ice cream on a slice of cherry pie à la mode. Or maybe...
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Barclays, Libor & You

Q&A for Borrowers (“No, You Don’t Have to Return the Money”) For those tuning out the news over the July 4th holiday, one of the lead financial stories the past few days is alleged manipulation of Libor, or the “London Inter-bank Offer Rate,” by bankers at U.K. giant Barclays. While the allegations and defenses are...
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Ten-Year Treasury: Now 1.659%

“Risk Without Return” Just two weeks after I last noted plunging interest rates (see, “Refinance Redux, or, “Thanks, Greece!”) . . . they’ve dropped even further. This time, the catalyst is Spain (can you spell C-O-N-T-A-G-I-O-N?) While home Buyers may not follow gyrations in world debt markets, if you’re looking for a home — or...
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Non-Exploding ARM’s

Setting the Record Straight on ARM’s It’s easy to think that every adjustable rate mortgage (“ARM”) burned the borrowers who took them out. After all, aren’t so-called “Option ARM’s” supposed to be financial time bombs? They are, but most ARM’s don’t function that way (at least, the ones most common outside of Southern California, Arizona,...
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