Thursday, April 10, 2008

Delinquencies compared to 30 years ago

Ah, the 1970s. When we read about the economic bad news today we don't hear much about the bust of the late 90s, which sapped my portfolio right as I had already announced I would retire, or the 10% mortgage rates of the late 80s, or the incredible inflation of the Carter years when you truly were better off to put your money under a mattress. Here's the bad news in the WSJ today about delinquencies
    A new report by Equifax, the credit bureau, and Moody’s shows that 4.46% of mortgages were at least 30 days past due at the end of the first quarter, up from 3.98% in the fourth quarter and up 2.92% a year earlier. Delinquencies in the first quarter varied sharply by state, but were highest in Puerto Rico (8.03%), Florida (7.03%) and Nevada (6.59%.)
But according to the Census Bureau, back in 1978 when there were no Adjustable Rate mortgages or sub-prime loans, and investors weren't flipping houses ala HGTV hype, the delinquency rate was 4.6%. Now how can that be? George W. Bush wasn't even president, was he?

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