Investors Seek to Profit From Sub-Prime Crisis As grim economic forecasts continue, some people are working to find the silver lining in the current market woes. While homeowners suffer from the mortgage crisis, some investors are attending seminars on how to profit from foreclosure investing.

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

By now everybody knows the economy is taking a hit - stock prices and construction are down, foreclosures and unemployment are up. Earlier today, the Bush administration announced an initiative dubbed Project Life Line, which is designed to help some people who are about to lose their houses by putting the foreclosure process on hold for 30 days.

Amidst the gloom, there are some shafts of economic light, though. Today, we want you to be our reporters, our eyes and ears. Look around your neighborhood, among your coworkers. In your town, who's winning and who's losing in this economic slump? You can file your reports by phone, that's at 800-989-8255; by e-mail, And you can tell us your story on our blog. That's at

Later in the program, we'll talk with the photographer back from Guantanamo Bay and we'll read from your e-mails and blog comments. But first, winners and losers in the economic downturn. We begin on the West Coast with Doug Leeper. He's the code enforcement manager for the city of Chula Vista in California. He joins us from his office there.

Nice to have you on TALK OF THE NATION today.

Mr. DOUG LEEPER (Code Enforcement Manager, Chula Vista, California): Thank you. Nice to be here.

CONAN: And Chula Vista includes some very nice neighborhoods indeed. What are you seeing when you go around town to look at houses then?

Mr. LEEPER: Lots of for sale signs, lots of dead lawns.

CONAN: Lots of - so places are abandoned?

Mr. LEEPER: Yes. Quite frequently, we're seeing that the homes are vacant and abandoned even for the notice of default is being filed by the lender who holds the note.

CONAN: And are - I guess, in a odd way, businesses have been good for you?

Mr. LEEPER: Unfortunately, yeah, my goal in life is to work myself out of a job, but there's - I'm going to be working for a while here.

CONAN: And I understand that if you go inside those houses and look around, it's a little unusual some of the time.

Mr. LEEPER: Well, actually, yeah. We've got some different situations where we've got into some of these homes that are just left to the whim and will of passersby and we've found that appliances including carpet, closet doors, all kinds of fixtures have been removed. And we're - we don't know if that's been done by the borrower who, you know, took those items on their way out or if it's a neighbor who's decided to upgrade.

CONAN: Yeah. So doesn't that, though, then reduce the value of those homes considerably?

Mr. LEEPER: Oh, absolutely. It's not unusual for a property to be devalued by tens of thousands of dollars simply by removing, you know, simple items that - it can be reinstalled but, you know, how many people want to go into a newer home and then decided, okay, now, I got to go in and I've got to replace all the cabinet doors, which may be custom, which are going to be expensive. And when they're looking at purchasing a home, you know, almost everybody that I've talked to is looking at moving in not renovating and then moving in.

CONAN: And these are some pretty high pricey homes to begin with - half a million, 600,000 and up…

Mr. LEEPER: Yes.

CONAN: …but when there's sold - they're going to be sold without the appliances, they're going to be sold for a lot less than they might be worth otherwise, and isn't it just going to drive everybody's prices down?

Mr. LEEPER: Absolutely, it has a negative impact, the, you know, the comps in the neighborhood is worth the appraisers and lenders set their limits buying - we'll see a - in fact, I was at this weekend at an open house on a $1.2 million home that had a pool that was more pond-like than pool-like. It was stagnant green. All the appliances were gone. The whirlpool tub has been removed and then just set aside. And the lender had just put it on the market for 729,000, and I'll be very surprised if it goes over six.

CONAN: Yet, at the same time, I've seen articles saying in San Diego, which is where Chula Vista is, hey, this is a great time to buy.

Mr. LEEPER: It is depending on what you're looking for and if, you know, if you're in a position where you have a, you know, secure employment then, you know, I've heard various people say that the housing market is resetting and that's good because it was, in my opinion, out of control. But it's resetting pretty harshly, and we're hoping that a lot of folks are able to afford a home to move into. One of the benefits to investors is now they're getting down to the point where they can buy them and use them as rental properties, which in some instances gives me more business as a code enforcement manager.

CONAN: Yeah, again, you didn't think of Chula Vista as a, you know, a Mecca for renters?

Mr. LEEPER: True.

CONAN: Yeah. It makes the town look different, doesn't it?

Mr. LEEPER: Yes. It does, you know, as you drive through some of these newer neighborhoods, in fact, our highest foreclosure rates here in Chula Vista are in our newer neighborhoods - those neighborhoods that are three, five, seven years old. And as you drive by, it's pretty easy to spot those that are financially distressed or in default or foreclosed on. It's kind of like the missing tooth of the smile of the neighborhood. You'll have immaculately maintained lawns and homes and then you'll have one or two that are dead or overgrown or, you know, you got piles of fliers or phonebooks that have just been left for weeks and/or months.

CONAN: Doug Leeper, thanks very much and good luck to you and to Chula Vista.

Mr. LEEPER: Thank you very much, sir.

CONAN: Doug Leeper is the code enforcement manager for the city of Chula Vista in California. And he joined us from his office there.

So what's happening in your town where you live, around your neighborhood, give us a call, 800-989-8255. E-mail is

And Jessica(ph). And Jessica is with us from Fergus Falls(ph) in Minnesota.

JESSICA (Caller): Hello.

CONAN: Hi Jessica.

JESSICA: I just wanted to call in and let you know about our town in what I see growing on here.

CONAN: Go ahead.

JESSICA: About 15,000 people, very rural Minnesota, and the winners that I see are the banks. We already have about seven banks in town; only one is locally owned and they're putting another one up. They just opened one a month ago. The losers are pretty much everybody else. I think a lot of the young couples that are aged in their 30s with kids. All of us are working more than 40 hours a week. We've probably taken out too much credit, and so we're going to be working to pay that off. And then we also are kind of worried about the national debt that we have going on and the lack of good-paying jobs.

CONAN: Yeah. Just looking at the weather, though, lately, I suspect snowplow operators are doing okay.

JESSICA: Yeah, and heaters and anybody that's selling fuel.

CONAN: Well, good luck, Jessica. Thanks for the report from Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

JESSICA: Thanks.

CONAN: Well, joining us now is Dean Foust. He's the Atlanta bureau chief for Business Week magazine and joins us from the studios of Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta.

Nice to have you today on TALK OF THE NATION.

Mr. DEAN FOUST (Atlanta Bureau Chief, Business Week): Glad to join you.

CONAN: And the examples we just heard from Fergus Falls in Minnesota and Chula Vista, California are very different places in a lot of different ways but everybody seems to be having problems.

Mr. FOUST: Everyone, when you sit and try to write down a list of the winners and losers, I can't think of many winners, and as far as losers, I would ask how long is your show…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. FOUST: Yeah. In the case of winners, a few professional investors, I talked to a hedge fund manager in California last year who boasted that his fund, his hedge fund because he shorted a lot of these subprime indexes and in effect was profiting off of people's miseries. His fund was at 400 percent last year. I would only dare imagine what it's up this year.

Maybe some new homeowners who felt shut out of the market in the past several years and now see prices coming down dramatically and see that they - or can't afford suddenly, again, to buy their first home. Although I think 20 years from now, I think, the next generation is going look at housing and wonder why did their parents ever think that housing was an investment because I think that day may be over.

Maybe bankruptcy attorneys are winners and the list of losers is long. At the height of the housing bubble, there were about two and a half to three million realtors, real estate agents in this country, which is amazing. One out of a hundred Americans were selling homes at the height of the bubble. And I think all said when this thing bottoms out finally, we're talking about maybe 1.2 million jobs losses. So you've got all the people who worked in the housing business housing business either building homes, selling homes, and then you…

CONAN: Furnishing homes and making the appliances…

Mr. FOUST: Furnishing homes, and then you got a lot of losers that aren't quite as obvious, local governments are going to be losers because they really relied on the housing boom and the boost in property evaluations and assessments and the higher property taxes to fund a lot of goods and services during the past seven years and now they're looking at evaluations going down dramatically.

Even the carmakers are, I think, they're going to have a bad year this year, and a lot of retailers because if a lot of Americans were using their homes as their piggy bank or ATM during the housing boom - I'll throw one number here, 10 years ago, on an annual basis, homeowners would pull about 74 billion out a year through home equity loans or refinancings. In 2004, which is the latest year that the Federal Reserve has data for it takes a few years to put - to really compile the numbers - three years ago, Americans pulled out about 650 billion, almost a tenfold increase. And I wouldn't be surprised if by the time they finally calculate the numbers for 2005, 2006 and seven, we're talking a trillion a year.

CONAN: Let's get another caller on the line. This is Doug(ph). Doug with us from Miami in Florida.

DOUG (Caller): Hello.

CONAN: Hi Doug. You're on the air.

DOUG: Hi. How are you?

CONAN: I'm good.

DOUG: I can tell you there's a lot of winners with the people who are searching through all the foreclosure sales of the banks that are trying to dispose off because the banks don't want to own these properties and they have a formula for getting rid of them they're listening to any reasonable offers. And I'm a realtor contracted with several major banks to get rid of these properties. And I can tell you in the last month or two, I have seen amazing deals closed.

CONAN: So if you're - if you've the money or if you got good credit, this is a good time?

DOUG: This is a good time. I mean, it's a little tough now, the financing, they're putting people through the ringer like they never have before - just in terms of qualifying people but I guess that's the banks stepping up and now acting responsibly, you know, in signing up new borrowers.

CONAN: I know, obviously, neither you nor the new buyers had anything to do with the circumstances that forced a family to foreclose on their mortgage but nevertheless, some people feel a little bit like vultures.

DOUG: Well, you know, if you look back in the last few years, it was too easy to get a mortgage for most people. And I think a lot of people thought, well, I'm getting it over my head but I'll figure it out down the road, and now they're paying the price for that thinking.

CONAN: Well, thanks very for the call, Doug, and continued - good luck to you.

DOUG: All right, thanks.

CONAN: Bye-bye.

DOUG: Bye.

CONAN: And Dan Foust, I guess, he's right, some people do do pretty well.

Mr. FOUST: I think there are individuals who are going to be able to snap up some bargains by buying foreclosed homes. But they're going to have to be really patient. I think it's going to take a good five, 10 years for housing to come back and there is the risk that they're buying too early. There's a phrase on the Wall Street called catching a - catch a falling knife. And that's - and as clear as it indicates, it's an expression that, you know, reflects on the act of trying to time the bottom and because if these people are not buying at the bottom, they too could find themselves down $100,000 or 200,000…

CONAN: Stay with us. Today, we're asking our callers and e-mailers to be our reporters. Who are the winners and losers in this gloomy economic business? Right now, give us a call. Tell us like - what it's like where you live. Our phone number is 800-898-8255. You can also send us e-mail. That address is

I'm Neal Conan. It's the TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

(Soundbite of music)

CONAN: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

There are both winners and a lot more losers in this currently shaky economy. Some people are scoring foreclosed homes at bargain rates, but pet shelters are filling up with cats and dogs the owners left behind. We're asking you to tell us who's doing well and who's not in your neck of the woods.

Here's an e-mail we got form Suzanne(ph) in Las Vegas.

(Reading) There are bank-owned homes all over my neighborhood. Las Vegas is really suffering. I can't believe the number of vacant homes that people just seem to have left in the middle of the night. We keep our home in great condition. It's frustrating to see overgrown lawns, broken windows and complete vacancies just a few houses down.

So you're the reporter this hour, call and give us your snapshot, 800-989-8255. E-mail is And you can read what our listeners have to say at our blog that's at

We're getting a lot of calls and e-mails about foreclosures. We know that's a big part of it but if there's other aspects of this economy that have winners and losers, you should call and let us know about that as well.

Our guest is Dean Foust. He's Atlanta bureau chief for Business week magazine. And in a minute, we'll get to look at how the subprime mortgage crisis is affecting African-Americans and Latinos specifically.

But in the meantime, let's see if we can get another caller on the line. And this is Jennifer(ph). Jennifer with us from Duluth in Minnesota.

JENNIFER (Caller): Yeah. Hi.


JENNIFER: Thanks for taking my call.

CONAN: Sure.

JENNIFER: Duluth saw 80, 90,000 people and were, you know, in Lake Superior, so shipping is big and mining because we're kind of the gateway to the iron range.

CONAN: Sure.

JENNIFER: That's big, and just like the iron belt, you know, the last couple of years have been really hard as far as mines shutting down. Recently, a lot of mines are expanding and construction is booming, and a lot of it is foreign investment in the mines. So we're - there's a huge construction plan for part of the range and miners are going back to work. But these are partially owned by China or completely owned by China, so it's kind of a win, I guess, to a point. And then I would - but it's just kind of odd. And then shipping is always, you know, with the dollar being low, people are buying more, so it's much of we ship out - that helps too. And then I would say everybody else is losing.

CONAN: Okay.

JENNIFER: I just thought that was kind of interesting.

CONAN: It is interesting, Jennifer. Thanks very much.

JENNIFER: Thank you.

CONAN: Commodities like iron in Minnesota, Dean Foust, is - they're doing well?

Mr. FOUST: They are doing well because China is buying it all up and making it into products that they turn around and sell to us for a profit.

Back to the earlier caller from Minnesota, said that the banks are winners - I don't think that's going to be the case by the time this all shakes out. We've already seen about 10 bank failures in the U.S. so far, and the analysts I talked to are predicting, saying it's going to be in, well into the dozens before this thing ends. And not so much maybe the major the banks but a lot of small and mid-sized banks, regional banks, local banks that their niche in the market - the best opportunity they saw was lending for people that buy condos in Miami or such. I think a lot of Florida banks could be in trouble.

CONAN: Now, I know that one of the winners in all of these is an organization called FICO. What is that and why are they winners?

Mr. FOUST: FICO is the term for a scoring system developed by a company called Fair Isaac back in the 1950s to gentlemen, Mr. Fair and Mr. Isaac, an engineer and a mathematician decided to develop a scoring system that would tell a retailer or a bank or any other kind of lender how good of a credit risk you were.

Think about it - if a bank wants to determine whether to make that loan or the merchant to give you a credit card, this was effectively creating a number that was like a pitcher's ERA or a baseball player's batting average. You could look at that one number and say, ah, Neal Conan, he's a three-forty hitter. Or in this case, FICO created a range of scores between 300 and 850, and the average American is probably around 680.

Over the years, it got developed. It was used and applied for everything under the sun, and in the late 90s, bank started and mortgage lenders started applying it to mortgage lending, which I think was a mistake in hindsight because clearly the scoring system was proved to be flawed. It was originally developed for loans that were maybe about, you know, one, two years in length and suddenly, using this to predict the credit worthiness of somebody on a 30-year loan plus we now realize that it was being gamed by a lot of people who figure it out ways to manipulate the score.

I spent a few weeks ago - I spent an afternoon in the office of a quote/unquote, "credit doctor" here in Atlanta. Four years ago, he was a crack addict living in a homeless shelter in downtown Atlanta. He got it out, cleaned himself up, and long story short, he now helps people for the fee of anywhere from 50 to $500, boost their FICO scores by as much as 200 points. He can take someone with a FICO of 500, which is at the bottom, and turns them into a pristine credit of 700 that would qualify them for a $600,000 mortgage.

CONAN: Just to qualify, I never hit three-forty in my dreams but anyway, here's an entry we have from Jen on our blog.

(Reading) I decided to quit my job after I had my son who is now six months old. I just voiced my criticism about the recession to my husband, and my concern rather to my - the recession to my husband who's a medical malpractice defense attorney. He said not to worry because attorneys are typically busiest during recessions because people are sue happy at this time. I'm not sure about his theory but for right now, I feel like we might be one of the winners about that.

So joining us now is Amaad Rivera. He's director of Racial Wealth Divide Program for United for a Fair Economy, a nonpartisan group that studies income disparities.

And it's nice to have you on TALK OF THE NATION today.

Mr. AMAAD RIVERA (Director, Racial Wealth Divide Program, United for a Fair Economy): Thank you for having me.

CONAN: And I know you've just estimated that African-Americans and Latinos have lost more wealth in this economic crisis than they have at any other time in American history.

Mr. RIVERA: Any other time in modern U.S. history.

CONAN: How did that happen?

Mr. RIVERA: Well, I think, what we're looking at again is we're - your naming about the winners and losers. This is a very large issue for people of color -for all people in this country. Well, as the other guest you have on mentioned, housing has become a large investment opportunity for a long time both supported by the government, old bills such as the GI Bill which created one of the largest middle class in history, really, it helped shaped this new economy based on having housing essential to being economically stable, so you can use your house to than invest in college or to use it to refinance and pay off expensive costs.

And so what we're finding at this current economy is that costs are rising at such an alarming rate that people are using their house, their home, those who own to be able to meet those costs. And most people who are not owning homes are spending a third or to a half all who are in housing. So what we're finding is that all these costs are exacerbating and people are looking to find a way to meet those costs. And sadly, housing is essential to that kind of equation.

And with that, we're now seeing things like within a year, for example, blacks, they had 49 percent homeownership rate. By the end of 2007, that dropped approximately four points, which we have never seen numbers like that drop. So 4 percentage points in a year of homeownership rates in due to and mostly in part to the subprime range debacle. We have similar rates in Latino community well.

And so these are all attributed to a faulty structure called subprime loans but specifically predatory subprime loans. And who they were given to disproportionately, what we found is that people of color - and these are blacks, Latinos, Native Americans and Asians - were given these loans two to three times the rate of their white counterparts with the same qualifications.

Even more problematic was that even if a person of color was more qualified, meaning that they could get into a prime or conventional loan, which is what the people are more typical or more typically using to get a 30-year mortgage. They were still given a subprime loan instead. And so what we're finding is that race has become controlling for every other factor, becomes the biggest predictor of who gets the subprime loans. And while it's a problem is that for foreclosures do not only affect the individual, foreclosures really affect the entire neighborhood. As the caller mentioned earlier, not only is it a blight for Las Vegas, not only is it a blight on the community, they found that at the moment - this is just now - that a neighbor to a foreclosed property will lose 1 to 2 percentage points in value of their home depending on the number of foreclosure places in their neighborhood.

On top of that, because housing is tied into both, individual and community wealth, and community wealth is schools, playgrounds, hospitals, they fund a tax base. So when there's a large community like, for example, in Detroit that are losing or in some of the suburbs or cities of Chicago where whole neighborhoods are falling apart, whole neighborhoods of color because they're all becoming foreclosed. What we're finding is that not only of the individuals suffering but all the individuals around them are suffering. And that becomes a huge racial issue and becomes a problem with the economic stability of those most marginalized.

CONAN: Now, I understand that, but you're making it sound as if you think people were targeting Americans of color, people on cusp of homeownership to targeting them deliberately.

Mr. RIVERA: Well, the nature of the system is that what we're finding is this evidence that we're definitely speak wholeheartedly to that. There's something - the term called steering, and this is something else mentioning earlier about the numbers. It is a practice of saying, well, if you qualify for a certain loan or if I pick a certain community who I know may not have the particular financial savvy to ask complicated cost questions about a faulty product, then those people are more willing to do it than others.

And what we found is that there's lots of documents, there's documents that we find that were done by some amazing studies as far as 10 years back both by the government and individual organizations where they were purposely not only targeting communities of color who in some ways were more desperate to get homeownership due to the needs or what that means for the American dream, which homeownership is pretty much a cornerstone. But on top of that, there are documents as well evidence that shows that even when you did not need or belong in a predatory subprime loan, you were given a subprime loans of a conventional loan based on one can't argue completely that it's completely based on race. But when you control for every other factor, race becomes the biggest predictor of who receives these loans.

It does not mean than individuals who may identify or identify it's white did not receive that. There is a large population of low-income people who receive these loans overall. What we found is that people of color were given this disproportionate to their present in that particular market. So for example, blacks received two to three times the rate of their white counterparts in the same situation.

And so what we're pointing out is that we need to really be aware that this is a issue not only for the individual but the community as a holistic meaning, there's - we're talking about fair wages, the rising cost of insurance, we're talking about the stagnant wages of the middle and lower classes that have gone backwards fro the last five years. That those things need to be draft and this is a symptom of a larger disease of economic and equality.

CONAN: Let's get another caller on the line. And this Tamika(ph). Tamika with us from Greenville in North Carolina.

TAMIKA (Caller): How you doing?

CONAN: I'm doing well, yourself?

TAMIKA: I am actually a loser in this. I don't even own a home.

CONAN: And how does that work out?

TAMIKA: I am a renter and for some reason, the owner stopped paying the mortgage, and got a notice on the door from he sheriff and we had to move.

CONAN: So you were forced out of your apartment because the owner, the landlord, you know, had foreclosed on?


CONAN: And I assume the next place you went to was not the same price?

TAMIKA: No. But you know, I had 10 days to move.

CONAN: Well, that's a real pain.

TAMIKA: You know, and I'm like if I'm paying her, why isn't she paying the mortgage? It's just I don't understand how it get to me and I don't even own.

CONAN: Dean Foust, is there an explanation, quickly, you could give to Tamika?

Mr. FOUST: Is there an answer, I don't know…

CONAN: Even though the renters were paying the rent on time, the owners of the house could have been in financial difficulties for a lot of other reasons.

Mr. FOUST: The owner could have been in a financial difficulties for a lot of other reasons. One explanation might be that they got a type of mortgage that became very popular in the past five years called an option arm where to qualify a borrower, they would start a borrower out, a homeowner out, let's say, a teaser rate of 2 percent with a plan where after two years or five years, the rate would reset to a much higher rate of 9 percent. And people were being qualified on that 2 percent and they weren't running, the banks weren't making the calculations on can they pay that mortgage when it hits 9 percent. This may be the case with the landlord; they were qualified on a 2 percent, they thought miraculously their income was going to jump dramatically over two years or five years and it didn't happen, and they simply can't pay the 9 percent.

CONAN: Tamika, good luck to you.

TAMIKA: Thank you.

CONAN: Appreciate the phone call.

And Amaad Rivera, I appreciate your time today.

Mr. RIVERA: Thank you for having me.

CONAN: Amaad, director of Racial Wealth Divide Program for United for a Fair Economy, and he joined us from member station WBUR in Boston, Massachusetts.

And you're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

And here's an e-mail we have from Katie(ph) on the blog - rather a blog entry.

(Reading) I own a gourmet candy company. It sounds like recession might be a boon for our industry as well. Many cannot afford an expensive vacation or a large ticket item like television. However, they can still purchase a comforting treat like caramel or chocolate or a nice bottle of wine.

And in that regard, Dean Faust, vacations, I suspect is going to be fewer Americans are particularly, given the value of the dollar these days, vacationing overseas, and so are American vacation spots going to be a little bit better this summer, maybe?

Mr. FOUST: I think they will, I think those resorts in the Poconos are probably going to do better. It gets back to something we discussed a minute ago where Americans where using their homes like an ATM machine, just pulling money out through a home equity loan or a refinancing. I've talked to lenders and people who work in the foreclosure process and they say too many times, they pull up to a house to - it's part the foreclosure to padlock the door. They look inside, big screen TV, a Mercedes and another brand new BMW sitting out front, a boat in the driveway. This is what people were - they were seeing their house go from 400 to - in markets like California, 900,000, they were saying hey, let's spend a little bit of that money.

CONAN: Let's get Faye(ph) on the line. Faye with us from Traverse City in Michigan.

FAYE (Caller): Hello there.


FAYE: Yes. There's one thing I haven't heard mention much including that the (unintelligible) shows like yours which I do appreciate. And that's the fact that when they have to cut or feel they have to cut the interest rates were low. There are people I'm 76 and my husband is in 80s, and there are people like us who kept their money and say things so didn't lose the basic capital like Enron people or something in stocks but we get our - some of our pension or all of attention from the interest and of course, Enron, it goes, if you have $100,000, put away, you know, and its 5 percent, it drops down to 1 percent. That can really affect you.

CONAN: And of course, also consumer prices are going up as well. Dean Foust, people like Faye do have some difficulties?

Mr. FOUST: We saw this earlier this decade when Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates dramatically down. He lowered the Fed funds rate down to 1 percent. Banks started paying zero - I look at my checking account statement now. The interest my bank pays is 0.0001 percent. And even a CD is suddenly a senior citizen can get to fit the time to get more than three or 4 percent.

FAYE: Can I add one more thing?

Mr. FOUST: They already group that pays the price.

CONAN: Go ahead, Faye.

FAYE: Well, I think, there's another thing, too. We're fairly well educated in that we haven't played on the stock market, and I know there's a lot of encouragement for the average American to this even though research showed a lot of people without the education or time and especially if you're working a couple of jobs, don't know who use that well. And the other thing that I think that is a problem is that when they're with so many individuals looking for the average individual, not the high rollers or who invested and knows how to do it when they start again in the stock market, I think you run into less ability like back with a part and that you have less ability like when you hear groups like in colleges or that where people could…

CONAN: Faye.

FAYE: …to had moved to have them, they called social correction.

CONAN: Faye, thanks very much for the call.

FAYE: Thank you.

CONAN: And we'd like to thank Dean Foust for his time today.

Mr. FOUST: My pleasure.

CONAN: Dean Foust is Atlanta bureau chief for Business Week magazine with us today from Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta.

Stay with us, we'll go inside the Guantanamo Bay base with a camera. It's the TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.