Each new evil that bubbles up from DC rarely is released to the rest of America at the same speed. This summer’s announcement to radically transform the suburbs by the federal government has been hushed up fairly well. Steve Sailer has spent post after post discussing it, but rarely does a pundit mention this plan. The progressive media cannot mention it because it might spark a Boston Busing Riot. The Right has not figured out how to make it fit their political pitch, if they even want to make it fit. The thing no one really discusses is how this would be implemented.
How will you get blacks to the suburbs? That’s what we’re talking about here. When President Obama discusses diversifying areas, you can eliminate the idea of moving whites on government assistance to white suburbs. You can also eliminate the idea of moving poor whites into black areas. The public data show that blacks are overwhelmingly the dominant group using public housing programs in our multiethnic society. Blacks make up 33% of project based section 8 households and 45% of public housing and voucher households. Blacks have also been the subject of weepy news articles discussing black poverty, black communities full of violence, and voodoo by whites, causing their neighborhoods to become hellholes. Pay no attention to the white, gay, and Asian gentrification squads that turn those same neighborhoods into hip, safe spaces once the blacks are gone.
The fights will be between local governments and the federal government withholding money. The fight will be for developing lots and old buildings into apartment complexes that cater to disadvantaged Americans. Now if a community is a little bit black, it might be spared. Inner-ring suburbs will most likely be free of these cramdowns. They already have been invaded, and you can find the whites and well-to-do minorities of those suburbs sending their kids to private schools. Outer-ring suburbs and exurbs have much more to fear because as the most recent creations of white pioneers, they are most likely the whitest.
For example, the Midwestern city Indianapolis is a metropolis with no water border, so development can proceed in 360 degrees. If you look at the development north of the city along the formerly more prosperous townships and the bedroom community “northeast corridor,” you will find townships such as Washington and Lawrence that were absorbed by the city decades ago. Blacks in the city core fled each other poverty and crime to apartment complexes and cheap developments in those inner-ring suburbs. Those township schools became bad enough that whites sent their kids to private schools, and if they could not afford to, they moved to Fishers, McCordsville, and Carmel for quick commutes.
If they were fine with a longer commute or priced out, they moved out to Noblesville, Fortville, and Westfield. Looking at the population breakdowns and demographic changes, cheap land sucked in well-to-do blacks, who did not want anything to do with poor blacks in the townships, and now Carmel, Fishers, and McCordsville all have black populations between 4-10%. Noblesville, Fortville, and Westfield are all below that level of precious diversity. They are the most at risk. As the progressives say, they will require diversity enrichment.
Those communities are most at risk not just for being the whitest, but for economic and political factors. Raj Chetty’s data seem to favor the growth of exurbs and suburbs and cite poor mobility for major cities. This trick of people reverting to the mean protects wealthy neighborhoods in cities and older suburbs from invasion. With fewer resources, exurbs and newer suburbs will not be able to fight the federal government as well.
This happened in Portland, Oregon, where the middle class eastside could not fight progressive calls for fairness as well as the westside, and now it is a dump. It is not just a dump but the underclass residents flooded into the area do not have the means to do anything about it. Another economic factor is that as exurbs, they were saddled with incomplete developments, stalled growth, and foreclosed families moving out. This is their weak spot, and where the Feds will get them.
Wall Street and other big investors have been scarfing up distressed homes and renting them. While the focus is on the states hammered by the housing crash, exurbs in smaller markets are worthy of the vulture treatment. They keep waiting for a rebound to unload the properties, but in the meantime are renting.
Wall Street played a central role in the last housing boom by supplying easy — and, in retrospect, risky — mortgage financing. Now, investment companies like the Blackstone Group have swooped in, buying thousands of houses in the same areas where the financial crisis hit hardest. Blackstone, which helped define a period of Wall Street hyperwealth, has bought some 26,000 homes in nine states. Colony Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, is spending $250 million each month and already owns 10,000 properties. With little fanfare, these and other financial companies have become significant landlords on Main Street. Most of the firms are renting out the homes, with the possibility of unloading them at a profit when prices rise far enough.
Because of their pricing power and no recovery in the job market in sight, there are no new buyers, and so companies can place rent increases. Here is the devious part and where the symbiotic relationship between the banks and the federal government comes into play. These same firms have been turning these rent checks into pooled securities for investment. This is the Federal Reserve’s world of zero interest rate policy. Everyone is chasing yield. Securitized rent checks become an asset with a yield well above what a 10 year Treasury yields.
The federal government can provide these same firms with guaranteed renters and guaranteed cash flow. The greatest bit will be Wall Street receiving a high yield but with reduced risk due to the government-subsidized rent. The banks provide the federal government with a landlord that has control over dozens or hundreds of homes in a white majority area. The Section 8 tenants move from the landlord in the city to the landlord out in the green suburbs. The renters just become a new conduit for Wall Street to suck money away from taxpayers. By partnering up with a major force like high-powered Wall Street firms, the federal government has options and can fine-tune where they send people. No one is checking to see the wreckage left behind from prior minority relocation attempts, and no one with power cares. Plus, there will be new parcels of even more remote land to sell to fleeing middle and upper-middle class families. There might even be some pricey and new developments and high rises in metropolitan areas formerly occupied by the very Section 8 tenants shoved into the suburbs.
Even if Wall Street wants to leave the party of renting and sell the assets, the federal government is making moves to help them replenish the sucker pool. New Fannie Mae rules for credit score calculations will make it easier for minority borrowers to get mortgages. American policymakers have forgotten how minorities, due to federally-mandated requirements on mortgage lenders, fueled the prior bubble and crash. Tucked away, but inspiring Bush’s ownership society push and expanded Latino lending, was the sweetener that made Democrats support the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that repealed Glass-Steagall: banks could only merge if they had great scores on minority lending measures and the Community Reinvestment Act provisions. The Feds are sending disadvantaged borrowers to slaughter again. This is a repeat of the end stages of the prior bubble. While we had a near death financial experience in 2008, nobody went to jail and our economy remains hooked up to the Fed’s fiat, easy money machine.
Would this not be the same thing as using easy money mortgages to send minorities into the suburbs during the housing boom? Yes, and it is by a combined Wall Street-DC progressive design. A quarter of a century ago, Robert Rubin selected Bill Clinton as the horse he would back in the 1992 presidential campaign. The financial coup he performed on the Democrats turned them into Wall Street’s best friend, even if the rhetoric used at campaign stops demonized Wall Street.
President Obama is the latest version of that marriage, and Hillary Clinton looks to repeat Bill’s efforts. The progressives in charge of the federal government have a desire: disperse the blacks and free up the cities with minimal public confrontations. Wall Street has a need: maximize yield and reduce risk. What major force will represent the interests of exurbanites and suburbanites from seeing their neighborhoods get a taste of Detroit, St. Louis and Gary, Indiana? No one. Sorry, exurbs and suburbs, but the DC-Wall Street axis will use your safe, quiet communities to experiment with for profit.