March 4th, 2009
01:47 PM ET

Morning Buzz: Housing Plan – Do U Qualify?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/04/art.foreclosure.jpg]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

The Obama Administration releases guidelines today to help lending institutions figure out which homeowners are in most need to fend off foreclosure. It’s a $75 billion housing plan to help 9 million families rework mortgages.

We’ll let you know if you qualify for this plan! Our experts will answer your questions.

President Obama also tackles wasteful spending today- we’ve been told he will sign a Presidential Memorandum “to reform our broken system of government contracting." We'll dig into what contracts he means, and how much $$ it will save.

President Obama’s Money Men are back on the Hill, lobbying lawmakers on the President’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal. Republicans continue to take issue with the size of the budget and especially the tax increases.

OMB director Peter Orszag and Treasury Sec Tim Geithner insist the budget benefits 95% of working Americans and that higher taxes for the wealthy won’t come till 2011 when they predict we'll be in recovery mode. Will they convince lawmakers, and the markets for that matter?

President Obama said, “You know the stock market is like a tracking poll in Politics, you know it bobs up and down day to day and you know if you spend all your time worrying about that, then you're probably going to get the long term strategy wrong.” Do u agree?

The California Supreme Court tomorrow will hear arguments on Proposition 8. Will an estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages remain valid? Tonight there are candlelight vigils across the state ahead of court tomorrow, we are working on bringing these pictures in live, and may have a debate on the subject.

If you’ve been hiding assets in a Swiss bank account to avoid paying taxes, watch out- the U.S. government wants your name. Swiss Bank UBS has already admitted to helping clients avoid paying taxes and agreed to pay a hefty million dollar fine and disclose the identity of about 300 clients, but the IRS still wants the names of 52,000 others and has sued UBS for this info.

A senate committee will grill an executive from UBS today. Will he talk, or say that he can’t reveal names without violating Swiss law? We’ll keep an eye on this story.

See u at 10pet!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    I don't think anyone should make policy decisions based on the behavior of the stock market – for heaven's sake the stock market goes up most of the time when people are laid off. I sure wouldn't plan any policy around that one.

    March 4, 2009 at 9:12 pm |

    The housing plan will help homeowners who shouldn't have been able to buy a home in the first place. They are going to get all the assistance . To put in perspective, they are getting the elevator and and the homeowners who still have equity wii get the shaft. Of the homeowners who will qualify for assistance, I would say about 5-7% deserve it. The rest are freeloaders. Cindy from GA: I agree with you. Apparently the liberals don't like what you had to say.

    March 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  3. Sharon S

    Exactly Xtina! That is exactly what the Obama administration is doing rewarding BAD behavior and penalizing those people who actually went out there and got a degree and chose to be successful in this country!

    This taxing the wealthy is bogus, and I can just imagine that idiot Pelosi probably came up with it her big mouth and her stupid spread the wealth between Pelosi and Hillary Clinton if they want to take care of the losers why don't they pull the money out of their own pockets?

    I'm so sick of this, it is sending out the message of "WHY BOTHER"
    why bother to be succuessful if the government is going to take all your efforts and give them to those who chose to NOT WORK, NOT BE successful???

    Great Message so far Obama, I am ashamed to call you my President at this time!

    March 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  4. xtina, chicago IL

    how wrong is the Obama administration when people who are successful and who generate jobs are disdained by Obama; and people who signed mortgages they COULDN'T afford are given a big hug by Obama and the Congress?

    March 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  5. The SLIMED


    March 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  6. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good day Penny

    The economic mess is not going to get fixed over night.Th e admistarion is trying to help those in need and seeing how they qualify why are they agruing back and forth ? The rich don't want to looose thier wealth for a worthless cause according to them just work toghter for the better of the people .

    Thanks for the buzz
    Michelle D.

    March 4, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Isabel, Brazil

    Good morning!

    Hmmm ... Fiscal evasion ...

    Yesterday I was thinking about it during the show!

    The fiscal evasion or exchange evasion is a financial crime, is a misappropriation in public coffers, when the monetary reserves are illegally circumvented, and with the economic crisis and with the increase in tax for the rich it may be a trend or solution the rich for continue to win.

    But let us not confuse fiscal evasion with tax elision (elision tax is a planning using legal methods to reduce the burden of taxation – perfectly legal) that can be done, even if many do not agree. The government has to maintain this!

    Fiscal Evasion – it really is a BIG problem for the Obama administration. See the billions of dollars that could be solving problems leaving the country.

    Excellent issue to be addressed in the show!

    March 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  8. earle,florida

    I'd like to make a subtle connection regarding "Swiss Banking Giant ,UBS" and the Lehman Brothers Holding Co.,Inc. that filed Chapter II on Sept.15,2008! Lehman Brothers was basically an Investment Bank vary similar in many ways to Citi-Group,etc.. The forte of Lehman Brothers was their management of ,"US Teasuries Securities" run by ,and on the peripheries of Mr. George Herbert Walker IV managing director of investments. Their exposure to Credit Default Swaps(CDS's),and Collateral Debt Obligations(CDO's) was at most minuscule in comparison to Citi-Group, AIG,and Bank of America CDS"s&CDO's holdings! What's ironic is the next day after Lehman's filing Chapter II, the British Banking Giant ,"Barclays" purchased it's entire North American (approx 50%) Portfolio,and less than a week later the other (approx 50%) half was purchased by,"Nomura Holdings, Asia-Pacific" (Non-United States) with subsidaries in Japan,Hong Kong,and Australia! The remaining portion of Lehman Brothers Holding Co.,Inc is on the Pink Sheets all 49//51% of it as common shares! Finally ,my point of interest is that it was a founding member [allowed to fail (sacrificed) sends up a "Red Flag"] of the 1913 Federal Reserve Bank [President Wilson,(1913/1921)] private investment banks owned,and operated in total secrecy as we learned from Bernanke's testimony yesterday in front of the Senate Finance Committee! Please Note: The money hidden in UBS Swiss Bank is very,very old money, and these few people could be worth as much as a "Half Trillion Dollars Each"which in turn control our "Private US Federal Reserve Bank"! PS. Please remember ;Bernanke is NOT in favor of going back to re-inacting the Glass/Steagall Act, which when repealled created this whole mess. This is very interesting to say the least,...?

    March 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  9. Mari, Salt Lake City

    @ CINDY IN GA........ Jesus said in the Gospels "TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS ASKED."

    Jesus also said in Matthew 25:34-43, "when I was hungry you fed me, when I was a stranger you welcomed me, when I was naked you clothed me.........." And then the "righteous man" asked "Lord, when did we see you naked, or hungry........?" Jesus answered "whatsoever you do to the least of these you have done to Me."

    SO....... helping out folks who have lost their jobs, to re-negotiate their mortgages, or freeze the interest rates on existing A.R.M.s what IS wrong with helping those who are in danger of losing their homes......... IF they have been responsible up to now????

    ALSO........ IF a homeowner forecloses ALL the homes in their neighborhood LOSE VALUE....... SO....... its a good thing, the Christian-kind-compassionate thing to help!

    March 4, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  10. kristen

    Hey Cindy Ga,

    The reason the taxes will still need to go up for the top 5 percent of tax payers (those making more than $250,000 dollars a year) is that Obama is hoping to use those taxes to help pay off the bloated deficit. The country’s deficit is projected to be around 1.75 trillion dollars by end of Sept 2009. Obama is hoping to bring down that deficit to around 533 billion dollars in 2013. That will only happen if economic growth starts in 2010 according to Obama’s budget plan. There’s a great article in New York Times that came out on February 26 with all the info on Obama's budget plan. Check it out!

    We can get through this! We don’t have any other choice. But we will be stronger and smarter because of it.

    Have a great day!

    March 4, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  11. When can my mortgage lender help me?

    Today is March 4th! Two weeks ago, the news indicated that beginning March 4th, we could call our mortgage lender. I called this morning in hopes to start the process of refi, and they are telling me they don't have the guidelines from the gov't yet...... so when can my mortgage lender help me???

    March 4, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  12. Denise

    I have been trying without success to work with my lender, Countrywide, since the sudden death of my husband 5 months ago. I laugh when the money experts say "talk to your lender, they don't want your house" IThey don't care! have done everything I can do and yet they never call. Everytime I call I get different answer. Only the collectors call, never a negotiator. Search the internet and talk to anyone with a loan from them and you hear the same story. Through no fault of my own I am in trouble. I qualify for help but it never comes. And I am willing to bet what little money I have that they will not participate with President Obama's new housing plan either.

    March 4, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  13. lisa

    Cindy, what are you talking about? Listen before you speak so you want sound so foolish. He's been for the little people the whole time.
    Give the man a chance. Let everything roll out first stimuls money,
    housing etc.... You guys kill me! It took eight years to get in this mess did you really think it would take 5 weeks to get out.

    March 4, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  14. JP

    How does the housing plan address "mortgage insurance"?

    Lenders re-work the loan, but then add "mortgage insurance" so the monthly payment actually goes up, not down.

    March 4, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  15. Cindy

    So Obama is going to sign a Presidential Memorandum to cut wasteful spending huh!? OMG...that is a joke considering all of the earmarks that he allowed to go through in his stimulus package that he said wouldn't have any. Not to mention the 8500 earmarks in the one that they are working on now! If he wants to stop wasteful spending then the first place to have done it would have been these bills! He needs to stop repaying the people that got him elected and actually do the job that he promised us that he'd do!

    OK...so if the higher taxes won't hit the upper class until 2011 when we will be out of this mess supposedly then why raise them!? That means that these higher taxes did nothing and will do nothing to help our economy get out of this mess. It just seems like to me that they are punishing people who actually get out and work for a living.


    March 4, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  16. Jim Carroll internet free press.com

    If the Warren Buffets and his kind can drive the
    STOCK MARKETS low enough, they will then
    buy up enough of it for a song; and they will
    become TRILLION AIRES.
    The best advice that I could give stock holders:
    don’t buy on margin, don’t sell your stock and
    buy as much as you can afford.

    March 4, 2009 at 9:00 am |