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Economic agenda: Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Labor Department releases data on inflation at the wholesale level in July. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expect the producer price index will have risen by 0.2 percent. Excluding food and energy, they're looking for an increase of 0.1 percent.

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Commerce Department releases data on new home construction in July. Economists are expecting an increase from June of 2 percent, with the annualized number of new homes being built rising to 560,000.

At 9 a.m. -- The Obama administration holds a conference on housing finance reform led by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

At 9:15 a.m. -- The Federal Reserve releases data on industrial production and capacity utilization in July. Economists expect industrial production will have risen by 0.5 percent from June.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 17, 2010; 6:58 AM ET
Categories:  *Economic agenda  
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No cost housing stimulus - solution to the foreclosure crisisBecause of negative equity most underwater homeowners can't sell their homes and they can't refinance. Bankruptcy and/or default is not an option for most homeowners. Especially for homeowners that feel a moral obligation to meet their financial commitments. The unjustness of this predicament extends to all homeowners because about 15 million potential homebuyers are locked-out of a housing market that desperately needs more buyers.From the mortgage/banking industry perspective; their survival is hinged on the hope that the underwater homeowners will continue to embrace their moral, social, and ethical values in spite of the financial hopelessness of their long term situation.
Until this quagmire is resolved our housing market will continue to suffer because the seller/buyer ratio is drastically unbalanced. Additionally, the number of bank owned properties are increasing which is also forcing serious downward pressure on home values.
Here's the solution: "Equity Warrants".
The underwater homeowner could issue an Equity Warrant to cover their negative equity thereby allowing the homeowner to sell their home even though the proceeds may not be sufficient to completely pay-off the mortgage.
This Equity Warrant would grant rights to the borrower’s future equity in any home they own. When, and if, the borrower's future equity equals the amount of the warrant, the lender would have the right to convert the warrant to a note secured by the home owner’s real equity.
The downside to the borrower is that someday the warrant will be converted to a note that will require interest and payments. The downside to the mortgage holder is that they will not receive full payoffs for existing loans. The upside to the mortgage/banking industry--and our economy--would be a substantial reduction in the number of foreclosures.
However, to soften the impact to the mortgage holder, the warrants could be sold by the mortgage holders. As an ironic twist, instead of trading Credit Default Swaps, Wall Street could trade Equity Warrants.
This system would create millions of potential homebuyers, thereby improving our housing market and home values. Additionally, the underwater homeowners would have a respectable alternative to short-sells and defaults.
What would it take to make this happen? This system would need an act of congress to enact laws requiring mortgage holders to accept Equity Warrants from underwater homeowners.
For example scenarios go here:

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