Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz is a former staff writer for the Prospect. His work has been published by Newsweek, The New Republic, The Nation, The Guardian, and The Daily Beast. He is also a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Recent Articles

Blind Trust

Are efforts to offer borrowers mortgage modifications endangered by the current documentation crisis?

Chase Home Lending CEO David Lowman's testimony is disrupted by protesters at a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on mortgage servicing. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The mortgage mess isn't going away. Loans, sold as many as 12 times before ending up in a complex security or on a financial institution's balance sheet, have been found with key legal paperwork misplaced or incorrectly transferred. If you've followed the issue, you know documentation problems prevent mortgage servicers from foreclosing on homes: They lack proof of their legal right to do so. It's a symptom of underlying irregularities, not the end of the story. The infamous "robo-signer," who approved 400 foreclosure filings a day without determining their validity, helped reveal these problems, but they appear to go much deeper.

Ross Douthat Isn't Listening.

Ross Douthat writes about the fiscal commission's working paper:

The fact that so many Democrats look at Simpson-Bowles’s vision of a future where the government takes in substantially more revenue than it does today and see a dreadful sell-out to the right tells you something important, and depressing, about liberal intransigence where the future trajectory of federal spending is considered.

If There's A Zany Idea on the Internet ...

...Glenn Beck is repeating it on television. I recently wrote about an idea being promoted on Business Insider, a financial news website, that October's employment report was misleading due to bad data adjustment. Well, it turns out that Beck was ahead of me; yesterday on his show he noted, quite accurately, that "some people would say [the government] lied to you, but those would only be people like me":

Check Out How Blatantly Henry Blodget Misled Us With the October Jobs Numbers.

The jobs report released earlier this month reported a surprising amount of jobs growth, even though it continued to show that we aren't producing enough to dig ourselves out of 9.6 percent unemployment.

Contrarian Administration Narratives, Geithner vs. Summers Edition.

Sam Stein has excerpts from Richard Wolffe's new book on the White House. Here's a somewhat contrarian take on the dynamics between Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, and President Obama as the White House moved toward supporting former Fed Chair Paul Volcker's plan to ban proprietary trading at Wall Street banks.