We Are All Subprime, Now

The deeper I dig into this mess, the more I understand the phrase ‘We are all subprime, now.’ Auto loans:

In the waning days of the housing-market bubble, lenders lowered their standards, and that made the downturn worse. There is growing evidence that standards also came down for auto loans, and rapidly rising default rates could be the next dilemma for the staggering financial sector.

The amount of auto loans that were past-due or written off as a loss moved sharply higher in the last part of 2007, according to analysts.

Two of the big reasons for the deterioration have been easy to spot. The economy has been slowing, leading to job losses and depressed wages. And the mortgage downturn has prompted banks to cut the availability of home-equity lines of credit, which borrowers have used to pay down car and credit-card loans.

It is becoming clear that several auto lenders let lending standards slip substantially in 2006-07. This increased the chance that loans were made to borrowers who couldn’t really afford them — even at the outset. There is also some evidence that credit-card companies made the same mistake.

“The problem of lax loan-underwriting standards was not just concentrated in the mortgage sector; it’s looking like it took place across the consumer-finance sector, from credit-card loans to auto loans to motorcycle loans,” says William Ryan, consumer-finance analyst at Portales Partners, a research firm.

We are just so fucked. I don’t know what else to say.






217 replies
  1. 1
    clone12 says:

    Let’s see how the next rung down- credit cards and payday loans- will shake out….

  2. 2
    myiq2xu says:

    Well, Chimpy had to keep up the illusion that the economy was doing great.

    Wait until the bill for Iraq comes due. With any luck I’ll be dead by then.

  3. 3
    ThymeZone says:

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

    BTW, George Bush said, as I was typing this post, that he expects the economy to grow over the coming year. The economy has a “solid foundation,” he said seconds ago.

    So don’t worry, everything is under control.

  4. 4
    JWeidner says:

    John, don’t believe your lyin’ eyes and just keep going shopping. It’s what a true ‘Murican does.

  5. 5
    Travis says:

    Thank you, Republican Congress of ’98, for repealing the laws designed to prevent this sort of thing. And thank you, Bubbles Greenspan, for making this ten teimes worse than it would have been.

  6. 6
    ThymeZone says:

    Some market segments will have to make adjustments, but the economy is on a sound footing, and all we have to do is make the tax cuts permanent. Tax cuts will expire in 2010 unless Congress extends them.

    So says GWB, within the last ten minutes.

    Your government is can taking care of you!

  7. 7
    Walker says:

    Let’s see how the next rung down- credit cards and payday loans- will shake out

    Won’t be long now.

  8. 8
    myiq2xu says:

    From Gin and Tacos:

    Cleveland, one of the most beyond-devastated inner cities in the land, is suing 21 large mortgage lenders for intentionally making loans that they knew could not be repaid. On the surface most readers’ reaction would be to cry “Bullshit!” a la someone suing McDonald’s over hot coffee. But the city has legitimate points. Waves of foreclosures significantly reduce Cleveland’s already-pitiful property tax earnings while increasing the drain on city services (police, fire, and maintenance costs increase around abandoned homes). The glut of foreclosed homes in turn depresses the prices of housing in the surrounding areas. For a city already on the edge, these changes can be crippling. Their schools, already among the worst and most underfunded in America, can scarcely afford to lose additional property tax revenue.

    Baltimore is also joining in the fun by suing one lender (Wells Fargo) for predatory lending in poor (read: black) neighborhoods. Rates in those areas were nearly double the rates Wells Fargo peddled in other (read: not black) neighborhoods. A racial disparity in interest rates or lending practices would constitute a federal crime, of course. Again, the city’s lawsuit notes the dramatic increase in the cost of caring for abandoned neighborhoods.

    Unfortunately I think this is just the first step in A) an ugly economic downturn and B) a reckoning for 30 years of attempting to maintain the “American dream” of home ownership in the face of falling real wages and disappearing middle-class jobs. Remember when Carter gave his infamous “We must lower our standard of living” speech and was practically drawn and quartered? Well, 30 years later “we” don’t have to do anything – it has been done for us. When real wages don’t increase and when good jobs are replaced by Wal-Mart style employment ($7/hr, no benefits, no pension) the only way to keep the dirty common folk from….well, getting pissed….is to create the illusion of wealth through credit. Sure, your wages are shrinking, but here’s a couple of credit cards! That’ll make up the difference. We know you’ll charge more than you can pay back, but it’s alright. Just make minimum payments for 30 years. At 20%.

    So too goes it with home ownership. This whole “subprime lending” fiasco was perfume attempting to cover the stench of a simple fact: most Americans can no longer expect to be able to afford a home. But in order to create the illusion that they can, it has become necessary to abandon all common sense in lending standards. The only way someone making peanuts is going to get a home is at usurious rates.

    People know when their standard of living falls. What they could once afford is no longer attainable. The past decade or two have been nothing but an extended exercise in distraction. John Doe can’t afford his lifestyle anymore, but banks (with complicity from the political system) are more than happy to let him charge it. Banks lend money that can’t be repaid knowing that they will make even more if people keep chipping away with minimum payments. Unfortunately, as the subprime fiasco is proving on a daily basis, the house of cards collapses when even those minimum payments exceed the capacity of a nation’s stagnant or falling wages to pay.

    More cheery thoughts eh?

  9. 9
    Zifnab says:

    Let’s see how the next rung down- credit cards and payday loans- will shake out….

    So… um… Capital One? How are you doing there? Hanging on by the skin of your teeth? Good times, that.

    Yeah, the beauty of all this is that everyone gets to suffer because stupid people sold bad loans to dumb people, and smart people made a killing on the resale of said chopped up loans to other dumb and stupid people. And now the bottom is failing out and we will be treated to four years of belt tightening that will quickly be labeled “the Democrats’ fault”. Good times.

  10. 10
    in canaduh says:

    “The “housing bubble” implosion is broadly misunderstood. It’s not just the collapse of a market for a particular kind of commodity, it’s the end of the suburban pattern itself, the way of life it represents, and the entire economy connected with it. It’s the crack up of the system that America has invested most of its wealth in since 1950. It’s perhaps most tragic that the mis-investments only accelerated as the system reached its end, but it seems to be nature’s way that waves crest just before they break.”

    http://jameshowardkunstler.typ.....ck_nation/

  11. 11
    Walker says:

    And now the bottom is failing out and we will be treated to four years of belt tightening that will quickly be labeled “the Democrats’ fault”. Good times.

    Well, that’s true, but only because Republicans will never, ever tighten their belts.

  12. 12
    Thucydides Jr. says:

    Maybe one day US business will realize you can’t buy houses, Fridges or cars in the US on Malaysian or Chinese wages.

    At that point, Jesus will the arrive with Henry Ford, both of them saying, “Dudes… wtf?”

  13. 13
    gypsy howell says:

    Hmmm… maybe basing an entire credit and lending system on a FICO score and ability to fog a mirror wasn’t the best idea after all.

  14. 14
    Jim Henley says:

    Another aspect of the car loans picture, loan terms longer than Americans tend to own cars! Time was, gadfly Remar Sutton inveighed against 60-month loans as ridiculously long, guaranteeing that you’d be under water for the life of the financing. Last car I bought, they offered me 72 months. That’s six years! For a car loan!

    So another little wave will be in a couple of years when millions of cars start dying on which people still owe thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

  15. 15
    Thucydides Jr. says:

    er should read “will then arrive”. A good editor I am not.

  16. 16
    Haltelcere says:

    Some market segments will have to make adjustments, but the economy is on a sound footing, and all we have to do is make the tax cuts permanent. Tax cuts will expire in 2010 unless Congress extends them.

    So says GWB, within the last ten minutes.

    Your government is can taking care of you!

    If you (readers of this blog) don’t already call “bullshit” on the Trickle Down masquerade, please explain the success those tax cuts Bush first pushed through had in preventing this economic downturn, and explain how making these tax cuts permanent will finally realize the economic boon that has escaped the last several years?

    If the Trickle Down theory actually had more than shadowy legs to stand upon, the economy would have been doing well for the past several year, people wouldn’t have had to rely on dodgy loans to buy homes and cars, and investment institutions would have had alternative solid, good-earning markets in which to place their funds.

  17. 17
    Cassidy says:

    Baltimore is also joining in the fun by suing one lender (Wells Fargo) for predatory lending in poor (read: black) neighborhoods. Rates in those areas were nearly double the rates Wells Fargo peddled in other (read: not black) neighborhoods. A racial disparity in interest rates or lending practices would constitute a federal crime, of course.

    That’s a bold accusation to throw out, without anything resembling average credit ratings, etc. to support it.

    People know when their standard of living falls. What they could once afford is no longer attainable.

    This is part of the problem. Our “On-Demand” society need to take at least some responsibility for their own complicity.

  18. 18
    Krista says:

    This increased the chance that loans were made to borrowers who couldn’t really afford them—even at the outset.

    No kidding. It was a perfect storm, really. The whole damn thing was inflated.

    Go to a newsstand and find a house plan book for “small home plans”. They advertise small homes as being anything under 2000 square feet. Just try to sell a house that only has one bathroom in it — lots of luck. Try to find a detached house for sale that’s less than 10 years old but fewer than 1700 square feet. They’re just not being built. The “bigger is better” mentality has really pervaded the entire real estate realm. So you’ve got people who are being led to believe that there’s no reason they SHOULDN’T be able to have a nice, new, big house, and you’ve got banks who are only too happy to lend them more than they can afford to pay back. (When I went for my mortgage prequalification, I laughed out loud — the max. amount for which I was approved was an amount that would literally keep me awake at night. No frigging way would I be able to make those payments on my pittance of a salary.)

    So, you’ve got an increased sense of entitlement, and a dearth of available small homes, combined with an entire industry that enables and encourages that, and lo and behold — reality’s starting to set in, and guess what? Turns out that strangely enough, a couple grossing less than $50K a year CAN’T afford a quarter-million dollar home. Who woulda thunk it?

  19. 19
    gypsy howell says:

    Not only that Jim, but the whole 7-year-mortgage-on-your-car phenomenon will further depress auto industry sales for years to come. If you’re still underwater on your 2004 SUV, you ain’t gonna be trading it in and buying a new one anytime soon.

    OTOH, auto mechanics might do pretty well in the downturn. Joe6P got no choice but to suck it up and repair that clunking transmission this time.

  20. 20
    Fledermaus says:

    We certainly live in interesting times, as the proverb goes. The problem was that these private equity funds and suchlike had too much money and not enough places to put it to use, so the lended out like crazy and changed bankruptcy rules to protect their investment. All the while assuming that old customs – people pay their debts and real estate is the safest investment around. And these people will move heaven and eath to avoid bankruptcy.

    But they didn’t even stop to think that people were just taking their cues from corporate america – there is no responsibility anymore. The problem is big and the system will be unable to make the large scale adjustments necessary to fix it.

  21. 21
    Punchy says:

    Save a car loan, ride a cowboy.

  22. 22
    Jen says:

    Cassidy, you’d be ever so welcome over at Malkin. Suck. It. Up. is her slogan.

    Whatever’s ailing you, the solution is to suck it up because you’re a hopeless no-accountability whiner, unless of course a clerk didn’t say Merry Christmas to you.

    Bill Maher reported that Mitt Romney’s dad, as CEO of American Motor Company in the 1970s, earned $275,000 a year.

    If there were some way to cut CEO pay to $275,000 a year and distribute the remaining $85 million or whatever to buy the workers a health insurance plan — I would be overjoyed to say, Mr. CEO guy, Suck. It. Up.

    And heck, if the Bush administration EVER takes responsibility for any damn thing they have ever fucked eight ways from Sunday, I will cop to anydamnthing you want.

    I realize I am starting to sound like angry Bob, and I apologize. It turns out the outrage tanks are not completely dry yet, who knew.

  23. 23
    bob says:

    This has been another chapter in “Fucking Stupid Ass Republican Policies Don’t Fucking Work You Dumb Fucks.”

  24. 24
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    OTOH, auto mechanics might do pretty well in the downturn. Joe6P got no choice but to suck it up and repair that clunking transmission this time.

    Our cars are a 1992 Escort and a 2001 Taurus. Had to get the clutch replaced in the Escort recently. My mechanic (And he’s a good mechanic) asked me if I really wanted to pay $700 to fix a sixteen year old car. I replied that $700 was less than two car payments. A new clutch it was.

    Sometimes I feel that America could last at least ten years on our accumulated shit without buying another thing.

  25. 25
    Cassidy says:

    Suck. It. Up.

    I prefer “get a helmet”.

    I didn’t say any of that, and you shouldn’t assume. All Is aid is that our society and the people who are in trouble need to be honest about their own complicity. It’s nice to have a boogeyman term, like “predatory lenders”, but in the end, Joe Bob still signed his name to the contract. Why? Because “want” overcame common sense.

    All in all, while it’s fun to blame the suits and briefcase set, we still have to take some measure of the responsibility for being such an impatient nation of children, who like to throw tantrums when they don’t get their toys, when they want it.

  26. 26
    Jake says:

    And the market’s reaction to Chimpy McFlightsuit’s brilliant “plan”?

    Laughter probably is not the appropriate action but ROFL!

  27. 27
    bob says:

    Jen, I’m pretty fucking angry at the way the Republicans have been fucking EVERYTHING up since Nixon was VICE president. I have watched my country descend into this morass. If I am harsh on republicans, and people who are only NOW realizing what I have been seeing happen for over 40 years, call me Cassandra. This stuff has been plain to see since the Christmas bombing of 1970, for sure. And yet we have had Reagan, Bush and Bush. Clinton was another republican, but at least he was a good administrator. The others have been a study in obfuscation, confusion and outright lying sack-of-shittery. So, yeah, it pisses me off that my soon to be “golden years” are going to be marred by the greatest depression ever, endless foreign war and the very real possibility of a new shooting civil war in the United States. And I blame the republicans. For ALL of it. They are the ones who have been running the country for 40 years, despite all their protestations about libruls. THEY own the media. THEY own the now multinational corporations that USED to be American owned. So, I should just be quiet and polite, huh? And you are still calling me “angry bob” because of one thread two or three weeks ago. Obsess much?

  28. 28

    I’m so glad to be a New Yorker, which makes it impossible to own anything.

  29. 29
    RandyH says:

    gypsy howell Says:

    Not only that Jim, but the whole 7-year-mortgage-on-your-car phenomenon will further depress auto industry sales for years to come. If you’re still underwater on your 2004 SUV, you ain’t gonna be trading it in and buying a new one anytime soon.

    They have a new “financial innovation” for this dilemma. I’ve notice car dealers offering “Up to $4000 ‘negative equity credit’ on trade-ins.” Awesome, isn’t it? They [ay off your old wreck that you still owe on and add $4000 to the purchase price of your new car and allow you to finance that for 7 years! Financial Innovation’s the BEST!

  30. 30
    ThymeZone says:

    Wingnut 2004: We won, get over it.

    Wingnut 2008: You’re fucked, get over it.

  31. 31
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    So, we’ve been using funny-money to hide from ourselves the fact that the middle class can’t afford shit any more. That way, the people who’ve been fucking the middle class could go on profiting from the middle class, even long after the middle class was a fucked-out mass of blood.

    Nice.

    Welcome to the ownership society.
    .

  32. 32
    LiberalTarian says:

    Hm. I worry about all the things going on–climate change, population explosion, energy crisis, systemic economic failure. Yesterday I saw a commercial on how to take simple steps to safeguard against pandemic flu. Things could be really, really, catastrophically interesting.

    Someday people will have a lot to say about what happened to civilization during the turn of the 21st century, but for now its just a black box that we get to ride in. Yikes.

  33. 33
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Welcome to the ownership society.

    It’s the ownership society all right. They own the money, we own the debt.

  34. 34
    bob says:

    Cassidy, creating want that overcomes common sense is the stock in trade of the swindler. It is the basis of all fraud. It is why we have fraud laws. Predatory lending and usury are theft. Pure and simple. There are laws against fraud and theft that are not being enforced. Pretty simple. You seem to be a might makes right type. He with the gold makes the rules. Well, a CIVIL society does not allow such practice. Republicans have NEVER learned that. The engine of the American economy is continuous consumption, requiring continuous production. We no longer produce anything, thus we are consuming our own body. You can blame the individual and say they were irresponsible, buy YOU try to get to work every day without a car, decent clothes and a reasonable diet, ALL of which is costing more and more each day, and NOT because of some bullshit invisible hand. This situation has been CREATED by aristocratic oligarchs to make the rest of us slaves, just like in the good old days before the enlightenment brought the first democratic revolution since Augustus destroyed the Roman republic in the name of peace.

  35. 35
    Dug Jay says:

    I see that crazy old ThymeZone has been joined by an even nutier, but equally profane, nitwit that goes by the simple tag of, “Bob.” I have a feeling that Bob is going to bust a blood vessel or crap in his pants as he types his next load of profanity-laced nonsense.

  36. 36
    ThymeZone says:

    Is anybody watching these hilarious morons holding court in the White House Briefing Room right now?

    Secretary Paulson: President has laid out clear stimulus plan.

    Oh, they are laughing and scratching up there on the podium. C’mon folks, lighten up! The economy is fine!

    Seriously, who are these fucking clowns?

    Edward P. Lazear: the president was “very firm in terms of his principles that the tax cuts need to be made permanent.”

    These two are just more fun than a “Heckuva job, Brownie” show after a Hurricane.

  37. 37
    Cassidy says:

    Bob…you can’t make anyone sign a contract. Now don’t get me wrong, most of the practices that have happened here are not on the good side. There is definitely an Elephant Dick in the soup.

    OTOH, we have a society that demands immediate satisfaction. I drive a 99 Taurus with over 150K miles. It runs, it gets me back and forth to work. I paid $950 for it. I’m about to buy a 00 Durango for the wife. Very well kept, excellent service record, lots of luxury upgrades…$6500. I finally got an XBox 360, after all these years…paid in cash.

    It isn’t hard to restrain yourself. I always have food. My kids are clothed. I live on a gov’t salary. If I can do it, then others can as well.

    If people got swindled, it’s because they wanted to be swindled. They wanted to be told they could drive the nice Accord to work, when they should’ve gotten the Metro.

  38. 38
    ThymeZone says:

    equally profane

    Still to my knowledge, never used a word that hasn’t been used by John Cole first.

    If you have a problem with the language here, talk to him.

  39. 39
    RandyH says:

    TZ-

    I’m watching. So much happy talk. “We’re gonna run like a bunny here to uh to get the relief out.”

  40. 40
    magisterludi says:

    Krista- And besides the mortgage payments, these McMansions are not cheap to heat and cool. Every time I drive by one I think of how high the utilities must be.

  41. 41
    myiq2xu says:

    Shorter Cassidey: Everybody but me is stupid. They deserve to get fucked.

  42. 42
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    My dad the other day said I was too nervous… I should go out and live my life… I was just being paranoid, and credit was invented to make life easier.

    Well, now I’m going to have a nice little chat with him about why paranoia and playing my life obsessively-adverse-to-risk has served me quite well over the years.

  43. 43
    Walker says:

    It’s the ownership society all right.

    More like the pwnership society.

  44. 44
    bob says:

    Cassidy, if you think you can’t make someone sign a contract, you have never been a salesman. And we have laws against confidence games BECAUSE it is easy to manipulate someone into doing something against your interest. While that the grifter’s motto “you can’t cheat an honest man” is somewhat true, WE HAVE LAWS AGAINST THIS. Deregulation has removed these laws in practice. You can act superior that you didn’t get caught up in THIS one, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that you have PERSONALLY done some dumbass shit because you trusted what someone told you. I don’t know exactly WHAT, but something. Tell me you didn’t ever make such a mistake, I’ll call you a liar, and I’d be right. Their are things we can’t do for ourselves. This is why we form groups. Families, circles of friends, coworkers, the city, county, state and Nation are all subsets of the need for us to have groups to get things done that we can’t do individually. Tried building a freeway lately? How about that cure for cancer you were working on? Made any progress on that? Have you managed to eradicate drug addiction in your city? Why NOT????????? Because you CAN’T. That’s why not. We need individuals AND groups to survive this veil of tears in any kind of comfort. And most people CAN’T take the metro to work. Ever lived in suburban ANYWHERE? There AIN’T no metro unless you live IN the city.

  45. 45
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    a reckoning for 30 years of attempting to maintain the “American dream” of home ownership in the face of falling real wages and disappearing middle-class jobs. Remember when Carter gave his infamous “We must lower our standard of living” speech and was practically drawn and quartered?

    myiq, this is what I was trying to point at in previous threads. Americans think life is designed to cater to us. I’m surrounded by resident alien Asians that know better.

  46. 46
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I’m watching. So much happy talk. “We’re gonna run like a bunny here to uh to get the relief out.”

    I’d rather have the bunny. You can eat a bunny.

  47. 47
    bob says:

    Hey, ThymeZone, who gives a fuck what that fucking fuck Dug Jay has to say about anyfucking thing anyfuckingway?

  48. 48
    Jen says:

    You’re “angry bob” because you’re always angry, and it interferes with your ability to see the charm of a blog like this. We’re all always angry. I’m always angry. But the snark is important to one’s sanity, and to be able to make it through the day and still laugh. Kind of the way surgeons need gallows humor in life or death situations. I kind of doubt there is anyone hanging around on this blog who has the power to impeach the president or turn back the clock to 1969. I’m not saying you should be polite and quiet. I’m saying you should be funny.
    But you know, whatever. All except JWW are welcome.

  49. 49
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Wingnut 2004: We won, get over it.

    Wingnut 2008: You’re fucked, get over it.

    Wingnut 2012: We got fucked. Democrats must be to blame.

    Wingnut 2016: You still didn’t vote for us. Therefore Democrats are Fascists.

    Wingnut 2020: Vote for us or we’ll hold our breath!

    Wingnut 2024: Vote for us or we’ll secede!

    Wingnut 2028: You barely voted us in! We won, get over it.

  50. 50
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Cassidy, if you think you can’t make someone sign a contract, you have never been a salesman. And we have laws against confidence games BECAUSE it is easy to manipulate someone into doing something against your interest. While that the grifter’s motto “you can’t cheat an honest man” is somewhat true, WE HAVE LAWS AGAINST THIS. Deregulation has removed these laws in practice. You can act superior that you didn’t get caught up in THIS one, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that you have PERSONALLY done some dumbass shit because you trusted what someone told you. I don’t know exactly WHAT, but something. Tell me you didn’t ever make such a mistake, I’ll call you a liar, and I’d be right. Their are things we can’t do for ourselves. This is why we form groups. Families, circles of friends, coworkers, the city, county, state and Nation are all subsets of the need for us to have groups to get things done that we can’t do individually. Tried building a freeway lately? How about that cure for cancer you were working on? Made any progress on that? Have you managed to eradicate drug addiction in your city? Why NOT????????? Because you CAN’T. That’s why not. We need individuals AND groups to survive this veil of tears in any kind of comfort. And most people CAN’T take the metro to work. Ever lived in suburban ANYWHERE? There AIN’T no metro unless you live IN the city.

    One, find the enter key. Should be horizontal, may look like a backwards “L”.

    Two, don’t focus on Cassidy. He’s got this subtle way of making you do that, and then he gets embarrassed and starts whining that people don’t like him. Just let him speak and then he’ll be on his way.

    Three, focus on the mechanism, not the people. There are ways out of this. Time + Effort + Focus = solution. People + pain + ZOMGWTF = the Intarwebs.

  51. 51
    bob says:

    Jen, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t appreciate the charm of this blog, including yourself. I went on a rant about Andrew Sullivan, who I respect not the least. Another recent thread called him the Bear of Little Brain (not me, someone else) so I’m not the only one. That this state of affairs was coming with the stolen election of 2000 was quite predictable, considering how many DFHs such as myself did so fairly accurately, makes me question the intelligence of people who took so long to see it. While I welcome people who recently came to their senses (like our host for example) I think they might want to leave off with the predictions, as they have proven themselves wrong time and time again, and it is not uncommon for someone to change sides just to avoid being hoist on his own petard. They call them “turncoats”. Benedict Arnold comes to mind. Things went bad for HIM so he turned on everyone. Ronald Reagan is another, former union leader turned rat and stool pigeon. So, trust but verify is my motto. I WAS kind of pissed off that day and it came through, and I apologize if I offended you. You seem like a sensible person, and I’d rather not fight with YOU. There are plenty of assholes out there to fight with.

  52. 52
    Jen says:

    Wingnut 2012: We got fucked. Democrats must be to blame.

    Wingnut 2016: You still didn’t vote for us. Therefore Democrats are Fascists.

    Wingnut 2020: Vote for us or we’ll hold our breath!

    Wingnut 2024: Vote for us or we’ll secede!

    Wingnut 2028: You barely voted us in! We won, get over it. Gay married terrorists are stealing your flying cars!

    Wingnut 2032: The convention’s at the Wichita Sheraton this year?

  53. 53
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Wingnut 2032: The convention’s at the Wichita Sheraton Motel 6 this year?

    Fixt

  54. 54
    Cassidy says:

    Bob, I’m sorry but you’re making absolutely no sense to me. from what I can gather, you don’t feel that people should bear some responsibility for making poor decisions. If that is the case, and if I’ve misread you let me know, you are depriving individuals of a very important life lesson.

    Yes, I have done some retarded things in my life. My finances were completely shot. Unlike Low IQ’s assumptions, my examples aren’t to say that everyone deserves to be fucked, but instead, that controlling finances and your wants and needs is a possible way to live. I live a good life, with not a whole lot of money. My examples are the lessons I learned.

    The rest of the stuff about groups, freeways, curing cancer, and walking and chewing gum at the same time, seem to have no bearing on this topic.

  55. 55
    bob says:

    And I LIVE for snark. I promise more invective, insinuation, sarcasm and outright ridicule.

  56. 56
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    stolen election of 2000

    First of all, you’re going to have to let that go. Bush has fucked in so many ways that we can’t afford to have you worrying about the first orifice we raped you in.

    Second of all, you’re a little off about that. Stolen election? Why the fuck would anyone steal something that was broken and inoperable in the first place?

  57. 57
    Cassidy says:

    Shorter Chris: It’s appalling how often Cassidy calls us on our hypocrisy. We try to ignore it and focus only on the echo chamber.

  58. 58
    Chris Johnson says:

    I actually like how the people who actually make economic things happen seem to understand that ‘tax relief’ is the down-not-across of economic health.

    Seriously, people forget that not everybody is an idiot. The capitalist powers are often not idiots. They can be very mercenary but they’re not idiots. These are people capable of saying, “uh, if this country collapses economically the damage we’ll suffer will be worse than anything we can cash out”. They don’t have to be crunchy-granola peaceniks to disapprove of capitalist looting that isn’t benefiting them anymore.

    And it’s getting to where it ISN’T benefiting them anymore.

  59. 59
    bob says:

    ok, caidence, I see you are right about cassidy. I’ll just let it in one eye and out the other. As far as process vs. people, I think you have a point, and when away from this computer thingy, that’s what I do. I pretty much stop addressing wingers and trolls and such as soon as they show their colors, so I would have eventually ignored cassidy on my own, but, thanks.

  60. 60
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    It’s appalling how often Cassidy calls us on our hypocrisy

    “Shorter”s are best done to people not in the room.

    Now I’m going to demand: Where-oh-where do you see hypocrisy in this room, Oh Astute Military Medic guy?

    So keen that you are, that you should be able to include examples when you insinuate, not after.

  61. 61
    Dreggas says:

    Zifnab Says:

    Let’s see how the next rung down- credit cards and payday loans- will shake out….

    So… um… Capital One? How are you doing there? Hanging on by the skin of your teeth? Good times, that.

    Well guess we’ll know what’s in their wallet eh?

  62. 62
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Bush has fucked in so many ways …

    “fucked us in”, that is

    … that we can’t afford to have you worrying about the first orifice we raped you in.

    Welcome to John Cole’s House of Gangbangin’. First 20 holes plugged free!

    (“orifice he raped you in.” /sigh )

  63. 63
    Gus says:

    bob, nothing wrong with being angry. There are certainly good reasons.

  64. 64
    Fledermaus says:

    you don’t feel that people should bear some responsibility for making poor decisions.

    When countrywide’s CEO walks away with a $110M severance package don’t lecture the little folk about “responsibility” it died a long time ago. Personal responsibility is for suckers.

  65. 65
    Cassidy says:

    Well, for one, Bob’s rant on lenders, likening them to criminals and grifters. It is so much easier to blame the guy holding the purse, instead of yourself for letting him hold it, isn’t it? But as long as we’re only blaming rich people, and not the poor morons who signed the contract, we’re okay then, right? Cuz we know, most of those lender guys are white and it’s okay to blame them for our problems.

  66. 66
    Cassidy says:

    Personal responsibility is for suckers.

    Sure as hell isn’t for Americans. Blaming someone else…the American Way! Doesn’t it make you proud? Someone roll out the Lee Greenwood…

  67. 67
    bob says:

    Caidence, despite the bad grammar, you are right about the first fucking and the eventually further fucking, but I wasn’t limiting things to 2000. It goes WAY back further than that, as I’m sure you are aware. My shock REALLY came in the 2002 election when it was already clear that Bush was the crappiest president ever and yet he gained seats in congress. Then by 2004, how could ANYONE vote for that asshole. Broken? Probably. But short of armed revolt, what do we have but the ballot? I know I don’t want to be the one to fire the first shot, so I place what little faith I have left in the ballot box. And I get pissed off and rant once in a while. Sue me.

  68. 68
    Dreggas says:

    Cassidy, I worked in the industry, you are right that no one can make anyone sign a contract but when you have everyone saying “buy a home” and lenders on the TeeVee saying “LOW LOW RATES” like it was a labor day sale people will sign on for these things. Lenders also told those who read the fine print “don’t worry you can refinance down the road before anything bad happens” all the while knowing that was complete bullshit since your refi depended on your credit score as well.

    The lenders didn’t care because they held the loans for, at most, 90 days and then sold them off to investors and other companies (like countrywide) to be “serviced” meaning the loan was no longer the initial lenders problem. While the people who took the loans do bear some of the responsibility those making the loans bear the majority of it because they were playing both sides, trapping a borrower into a no win situation along with whoever bought the loan from them.

    The only reason lenders have felt the pain as well is because not only did the market dry up but they had quite a few hot potatoes in their hand when the music stopped.

  69. 69
    Chris Johnson says:

    Oh, and I gotta say- Cassidy, you are wrong. You’re talking about life lessons but laws about fraud and usury are really more about parity of information and that’s what you need to be thinking about here.

    The idea is not ‘it should be illegal to let somebody do a thing that’s cheating them’, exactly. You know they say you can’t cheat an honest man…

    The point is, it’s supposed to be illegal to lie and cheat so persuasively that honest men think it’s just how things are done these days and fall for it too.

    With a lot of this lending stuff, it’s not so much about isolated lenders trying to cook up insanely usurious deals- it’s about the pervasiveness of the activity interfering with the ability of normal honest people to understand WHAT’S REASONABLE. If that is clear, and they still choose to grab for everything they can get and gamble, fuck ’em.

    If entire industries are dedicated to moving the goalposts so the normal, not-especially-dishonest person is getting false information about what’s actually reasonable to expect, that’s where it becomes fraud in my book.

    People cannot be perfectly intelligent actors in all things. Let the dishonest ones be screwed by bad deals, but keep it so the honest ones get decent information so they can MAKE reasonably intelligent decisions.

  70. 70
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Well, for one, Bob’s rant on lenders, likening them to criminals and grifters. It is so much easier to blame the guy holding the purse, instead of yourself for letting him hold it, isn’t it? But as long as we’re only blaming rich people, and not the poor morons who signed the contract, we’re okay then, right? Cuz we know, most of those lender guys are white and it’s okay to blame them for our problems.

    OK, so he’s wrong. That shit’s plain as day. You can even see the rage covering the statement, like termites, eating out the words with value in them and leaving just an empty shell of the previous issues of the author.

    But that’s not hypocrisy. 0 balls, 1 strike. try again.

  71. 71
    bob says:

    Cassidy, as you seem to have very little reading comprehension skills I’ll say this SLOOOOOOWWWWWWWLLLLLLYYYYY. I wasn’t ranting against lenders, I was ranting against swindlers and con men who sometimes have positions as lenders. See??????????????? Oh, and I doubt I’ll be addressing you again, so, enjoy.

  72. 72
    Dreggas says:

    Cassidy Says:

    Well, for one, Bob’s rant on lenders, likening them to criminals and grifters. It is so much easier to blame the guy holding the purse, instead of yourself for letting him hold it, isn’t it? But as long as we’re only blaming rich people, and not the poor morons who signed the contract, we’re okay then, right? Cuz we know, most of those lender guys are white and it’s okay to blame them for our problems.

    Speaking from experience most of them were criminals and grifters. I watched people leave IT jobs (that paid well) to become Brokers and Loan Officers and Account Executives and within a month or two they were driving bmw’s and mercedes’ they didn’t have before. How? Commissions made on bad loans they talked people into. You can tout personal responsibility Cassidy, that’s all well and good, but do so when you at least know who the hell you are defending and the situation you are talking about.

  73. 73
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Sue me.

    Nah, just find the enter key and we’ll settle out of court ;)

  74. 74
    ThymeZone says:

    who gives a fuck what that fucking fuck Dug Jay has to say

    No fucking body.

  75. 75
    bob says:

    I was trying to figure out what you meant by the enter key, then I realized I wasn’t paragraphing, just stream of consciousness. I’ll try to be more compositional in the future. Oh, and bite me for pointing it out.=P

  76. 76
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    stolen election of 2000

    It shouldn’t have been close enough to steal in the first place. Gore and the Democratic leadership blew it, big time. And it doesn’t matter whether that election was stolen or not; we re-elected the jackass in 2004.

    We get what we deserve.

  77. 77
    Cassidy says:

    You can tout personal responsibility Cassidy, that’s all well and good, but do so when you at least know who the hell you are defending and the situation you are talking about.

    I haven’t defended them. If you go up to where I first posted, I do place a great deal of the blame on the finance industry. But, their mercenary practices does not alleviate the personal responsibility of the people who accepted bad loans, knowing they couldn’t afford it.

    You can make all the laws and boogeymen and whatnot out of this, but it’s only the symptom. The sickness is a society that is not willing to use common sense.

    but keep it so the honest ones get decent information so they can MAKE reasonably intelligent decisions.

    The information is out there. If they can’t use Google, then we might want to trim that branch anyway.

    Same thing Dreggas, I’m not gonna feel sorry for someone enslaved by TV and materialism. Life sucks sometimes. Get a helmet.

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    This is coming from personal experience here, people. I’ve made the bad decisions and paid for it (many times over). I imagine we all have. But in the end, it was I who accepted a loan(s) knowing it was beyond my means. My arm wasn’t twisted. No one held a gun to my head. It was my fault.

    Now, I make smart financial decisions. And most of the information I’ve used is free and available on the internet. You only have to be willing to research it.

  79. 79
    The Other Steve says:

    It isn’t hard to restrain yourself. I always have food. My kids are clothed. I live on a gov’t salary. If I can do it, then others can as well.

    I’d just like to point out that to most of us living on government welfare isn’t an option, due to our pride.

  80. 80
    Cassidy says:

    Bob says: Cassidy, as you seem to have very little reading comprehension skills I’ll say this SLOOOOOOWWWWWWWLLLLLLYYYYY. I wasn’t ranting against lenders, I was ranting against swindlers and con men who sometimes have positions as lenders. See??????????????? Oh, and I doubt I’ll be addressing you again, so, enjoy.

    Then he says…

    I was trying to figure out what you meant by the enter key, then I realized I wasn’t paragraphing, just stream of consciousness. I’ll try to be more compositional in the future. Oh, and bite me for pointing it out.=P

    Yeah…my fault…gotcha…

  81. 81
    Cassidy says:

    I’d just like to point out that to most of us living on government welfare isn’t an option, due to our pride.

    I’m not on welfare. I don’t qualify.

  82. 82
    Dreggas says:

    Cassidy, again you aren’t seeing the forest for the trees. These people were convinced by these loan officers that they COULD afford the loans. I worked in the industry, I knew what was going on but Joe Schmoe wouldn’t have my knowledge and probably wouldn’t get it even from teh google and be able to understand it.

    They go in relying on honesty believing that these businesses are operating A) under rules and regulations to keep them honest and B) under the belief that it is in the company’s best interest to shoot straight with them since they’ll be paying them for the loan. Any question a borrower had came with a ready answer.

    Q. What happens when the rate resets?
    A. REFINANCE!

    Q. What about if I can’t make the payments?
    A. Look at how prices are rising you can refi and cashout some equity by then

    There was an answer for anything and the people were trained to sell ice cubes to eskimos. It’s not a case of the borrower not reading the fine print it’s the lenders who had all the answers all the while knowing that once they sold the loan to an investor or another company they had made their commission and that was what mattered.

    Meanwhile the borrower finds he is no longer paying his mortgage to X but rather to Y. Time comes where the rate resets or the cost goes up and he tries to refi and finds out he can’t. Housing prices start to decline and he has negative equity. He’s fucked. Not everyone is savvy about this shit and to expect every person to know what I know after a good 6 years working in the business is a bit much.

  83. 83
    John Cole says:

    This is coming from personal experience here, people. I’ve made the bad decisions and paid for it (many times over). I imagine we all have. But in the end, it was I who accepted a loan(s) knowing it was beyond my means. My arm wasn’t twisted. No one held a gun to my head. It was my fault.

    Now, I make smart financial decisions. And most of the information I’ve used is free and available on the internet. You only have to be willing to research it.

    The thing that is so maddening about this attitude, and to a larger extent, the dimwitted “suck it up” nonsense from Malkin, is that it appears as if you are saying that because you, because of your superior judgement, are somehow not going to be affected by this meltdown, and can just sit by with your “sucks to be you” attitude.

    Yes, some people made some horrible mistakes. Yes, greed and materialism were involved. Yes, predatory lending practices and de-regulation are also to blame. but what you still fail to recognize is that when this shit hits the fan, we are ALL going to get sprayed. Not just the “dumb” investors. not just the “bad” lenders.

    EVERY FUCKING ONE OF US.

    So wipe the stupid fucking smirk off your face and stick the “sucks to be you” bullshit up your ass. I didn’t make any mistakes financially, either. But I am about to get bent over, too.

  84. 84
    Punchy says:

    Hey, ThymeZone, who gives a fuck what that fucking fuck Dug Jay has to say about anyfucking thing anyfuckingway?

    bob’s gunna fit in just fine, I think. Welcome the fuck aboard.

    Cassidy, again you aren’t seeing the forest for the trees

    Sorry Cass, but Dregs nails it. If your mechanic tells you the car is fixed, you believe him and drive off. If the doc tells you you dont have cancer, you assume you’re healthy. When a bank tells you not to worry about resets or refis or equity or interest rates, YOU FUCKING TRUST THEM BECAUSE THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE PROFESSIONAL EXPERTS.

    But they’re not. Not all of ’em. Hence, some people got hosed by a bunch of Svengalis. Greedy fucks, natch.

  85. 85
    Cassidy says:

    due to our pride.

    How little pride do you have to have to try and blame others for your problems, instead of taking responsibility for your own mistakes?

  86. 86
    Dreggas says:

    Cassidy Says:

    due to our pride.

    How little pride do you have to have to try and blame others for your problems, instead of taking responsibility for your own mistakes?

    You really don’t get it do you?

    The morons who taunted the tiger that attacked them in San Fran = good example of people who bear the blame.

    People screwed over by lies from lenders and losing their homes != good example of the ones who bear the blame.

  87. 87
    Jen says:

    Colbert = good example of one who blames the bears

    My earlier attempted post was much better, but the site keeps screwing up. Your loss, Cole.

  88. 88
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    but what you still fail to recognize is that when this shit hits the fan, we are ALL going to get sprayed

    IOW, the best Cass can hope for is that he doesn’t get any in his mouth. He can rightfully congratulate himself on having some dollars set aside, but those dollars aren’t going to be worth any more than anyone else’s, which, by the time this train ride is done, won’t be very much at all.

    Yeah, that was English.

  89. 89
    jh says:

    Cassidy et al,

    The basis for these legal actions we are seeing by certain municipalities are documented cases of consumers being steered into risky, high cost, high comission, subprime loans by mortgage brokers, even when they qualified for more conventional forms of financing.

    This has been correctly labeled as Predatory Lending.

    Remember, a lot of these shenanigans took place in inner city America, places that had not had very much access to traditional forms of credit since the riots of the 1960s.

    So it’s not about people buying 4000sf McMansions in gated communities on $40K/year salaries, it’s about first time home buyers with decent credit being effectively charged a tax for being from the wrong zip code (a tax that it would be fairly easy to prove correlates with ethnicity by any decent civil rights attorney).

    It’s about senior citizens being agressively solicited by unscupulous mortgage brokers to refinance their homes and tap into their home equity, soley for the purpose of generating fees for the real estate industry.

    I know from first hand experience as I have had to fend off these assholes when they came sniffing around my own grandparents who happen to live in one of these underserved urban areas.

    On another personal note, like Krista I also laughed aloud when I was told how much I could borrow to buy my home back in 2005.

    I actually asked my banker if was looking at the right credit application, as the amount I would be allowed to finance (with this major bank – think:North Carolina) was clearly a great deal more than I could afford to pay back on my salary with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage.

    That’s when he offered me “alternative” forms of financing including Arms, Interest Only loans.

    I told him that I knew I was buying not only at the peak of the market, but at a time with historically low interest rates as well.

    Why would I want to set myself up for financial ruin? I also told him that I knew that the market had to collapse at some point in the next few years as home prices and consumer borrowing were both clearly unsustainable.

    This highly paid fool in his $2000 suit chuckled and told me that “home prices here will never go down” and that I could “always refinance into a more conventional loan down the road”.

    I’m thankful everyday that I ignored his advice and bought a home (with a 30 year fixed rate loan) that I knew my wife and I could afford on one income.

    Later, as this whole mess began to unfold, my feelings of vindication turned to concern for all of the less financially savvy people who listened to all of the supposedly smart bankers and took out unfeasible loans.

    My conclusion is that not only is it proper for cities to sue the pants off of mortgage lenders who made thse bad loans (loans which are going to decimate their tax bases), I fully expect states to get in on the act once their own revenues begin to take a hit.

    Should these lawsuits be successful, it would only represent a portion of what these vampires deserve.

  90. 90
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Well, for one, Bob’s rant on lenders, likening them to criminals and grifters. It is so much easier to blame the guy holding the purse, instead of yourself for letting him hold it, isn’t it? But as long as we’re only blaming rich people, and not the poor morons who signed the contract, we’re okay then, right? Cuz we know, most of those lender guys are white and it’s okay to blame them for our problems.

    Wait, are you talking about the falsified appraisals that fraudulently jacked up the value of the loans, or the riskier loans that were sold because borrowers were kept in the dark about qualifying for safer ones? Or maybe you were talking about the bundled mortgages sold despite their unknown value, merely for the sake of racking up transaction fees?

    Oh, that’s right: you don’t know. Far easier to beat on a strawman borrower than actual, you know, fraud.
    .

  91. 91
    ThymeZone says:

    How little pride do you have to have to try and blame others for your problems,

    You tell me. What’s your position on illegal immigration, deportation, border fences, and other draconian responses to this suddenly discovered “crisis?”

    What’s your position on “Defense of Marriage?”

    Do you think Saddam was involved in 911?

    Do you think that high medical care costs, and widespread lack of access, are caused by sick people?

    Do you think that the apparent advent of stagflation now is due to Democrats? Homebuyers? Subprime borrowers?

    Who do you think IS responsible for the ills and bad things in our country today? Explain, and cite all references.

    Thanks.

  92. 92
    Tsulagi says:

    We are just so fucked. I don’t know what else to say.

    Don’t worry, be happy.

    With auto loans at least they’re collateralized. If a borrower defaults, the lender can repo the car. They’re not going to find every car, and often the outstanding balance could be more than the car is now worth, but they can get a chunk back.

    Another avalanche that could pick up speed and size would be unsecured credit. There are plenty of people with plastic in their wallets with combined limits going into six figures. And a fair number of them have used that plastic with all the brilliance of Republican deficit spending.

  93. 93
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Bob…you can’t make anyone sign a contract.

    Someone’s never heard of the “sign here or I’ll make one phone call and ruin your credit rating forever” ploy. I hear that one worked wonders on the elderly.
    .

  94. 94
    Cassidy says:

    People screwed over by lies from lenders and losing their homes !

    I’ve already said:

    I haven’t defended them. If you go up to where I first posted, I do place a great deal of the blame on the finance industry. But, their mercenary practices does not alleviate the personal responsibility of the people who accepted bad loans, knowing they couldn’t afford it.

    Being ignorant is not an excuse. I feel bad for them, I really do, but in the end you have to take responsibility for your own actions. You can treat symptoms all day long, but until you treat the sickness, nothing is fixed.

    is that it appears as if you are saying that because you, because of your superior judgement, are somehow not going to be affected by this meltdown,

    Didn’t say that at all. I very plainly said that our society also needs to shoulder it’s load of this responsibility, instead of pinning it solely on the latest boogeyman.

    So take your whiny, “we were screwed and suckered, boohoohoo” and shove it up your ass. You only get suckered when you allow someone to sucker you.

  95. 95
    Tsulagi says:

    So wipe the stupid fucking smirk off your face and stick the “sucks to be you” bullshit up your ass. I didn’t make any mistakes financially, either. But I am about to get bent over, too.

    Wow, someone didn’t get their Hola Fruta today. (insert LOL and j/k here)

    Cassidy does have a special heart-warming, endearing way of putting things doesn’t he?

  96. 96
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Being ignorant is not an excuse.

    Who said we were excusing you?
    .

  97. 97
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    You only get suckered when you allow someone to sucker you.

    It’s only 1:36 Texas time, but I’m pretty sure that’s the dumbest thing I’ll read all day.
    .

  98. 98
    John Cole says:

    I honestly wish Cassidy would leave the Democratic party, take that worthless POS Lieberman with him, and register an account at Red State.

    He is that fucking stupid.

  99. 99
    Jen says:

    You only get suckered when you allow someone to sucker you.

    Finally, some truth. Can y’all quit talkin’ to Cassidy now? He’s just going to say the same shit over and over again.

    This $150 billion “shot in the arm” policy — call me cynical, but I’m going to go with too little, too late, won’t help anything but will increase what my great-great-great grandchildren owe. You’ll all be shocked to realize Bush has no way to pay for his little vaccine, but has ruled out tax increases and spending cuts.

    This administration is like a drunken sailor on shore leave in Bangkok, if the prostitutes in Bangkok were billionaires and corporations.

  100. 100
    Jon H says:

    The whole subprime mess can pretty much be captured in one familiar image:

    Freaky Dancing Shadow People

    Because when your loans are being marketed by freaky dancing shadow people on websites, rather than by sober, serious bankers, it really oughta be a sign of impending catastrophe.

  101. 101
    Cassidy says:

    it’s about first time home buyers with decent credit being effectively charged a tax for being from the wrong zip code (a tax that it would be fairly easy to prove correlates with ethnicity by any decent civil rights attorney).

    Hey, if it can be proved that these people were “preyed” upon, because they were minorities, I’ll tie the damn rope. Until you can prove something like that, you are going against the ideal of our legal system.

    You tell me. What’s your position on illegal immigration, deportation, border fences, and other draconian responses to this suddenly discovered “crisis?”

    I believe illegal aliens should face some sort of fine or penalty for breaking the law, just like any American, but overall deportation is logistically impossible and economically unsound. Border security is obviously important, but for more reasons than just illegal aliens. I fully support local and state measures that punish businesses for hiring illegals, as it’s against the law.

    What’s your position on “Defense of Marriage?”

    I gives a damn who you marry. It’s none of my business. The gov’t should be involved in the marriage business anyway. All American citizens, regardless of sexual preference are entitled to the same rights and privileges.

    Do you think Saddam was involved in 911?

    No. I don’t believe we should have invaded Iraq in the first place.

    Do you think that high medical care costs, and widespread lack of access, are caused by sick people?

    Caused by sick people? No. I do think that overuse of medications and antibiotics, for trivial reasons, has become part of the problem, but it’s pretty low down the list.

    Do you think that the apparent advent of stagflation now is due to Democrats? Homebuyers? Subprime borrowers?

    I think it’s a combination of what has been discussed here: mercenary lending practices, our culture, poor fiscal policy over the last 8 years, etc.

    Who do you think IS responsible for the ills and bad things in our country today? Explain, and cite all references.

    Big question. I don’t think there is a who or even a simple what. There a number of things that are wrong in our society and they each contribute in their own way. We can discuss them if you like, but we’d be way off topic.

  102. 102
    4tehlulz says:

    You only get suckered when you allow someone to sucker you.

    Shorter Cassidy, it’s your fault, regardless of whether it actually is.

  103. 103
    ThymeZone says:

    Cass, I find your answers reasonable, if not totally in agreement with my own.

    But …. since you aren’t in serious disagreement with the mainstream here ….. why the contentious attitude?

    Just curious, not trying to pick a fight.

  104. 104
    Cassidy says:

    John Cole and friends…

    If you aren’t mature or intelligent enough to control your own finances, I would strongly suggest you move back home to mommy and daddy until you are. While I know that it feels good to blame other people for your problems, in the end it is your own fault. Your job sucks and doesn’t pay well? Go get a better job. Oh, you’re not qualified? Should’ve drink less and studied more in college. Etc., etc., etc.

  105. 105
    Tsulagi says:

    leave the Democratic party, take that worthless POS Lieberman with him

    The Democratic party has become the Lieberman party. At least in congressional action since the midterms. Bush should be giving a large number of them the Lieberman kiss in appreciation.

  106. 106
    Jen says:

    I didn’t make any mistakes financially, either. But I am about to get bent over, too.

    John, your response was good. Unfortunately:

    John Cole and friends…

    If you aren’t mature or intelligent enough to control your own finances,

    It is a bit like arguing with a computer program that has been designed to simply restate itself in different words due to the fact that the AI research just hasn’t come far enough to allow it to do anything else.

  107. 107
    jh says:

    Hey, if it can be proved that these people were “preyed” upon, because they were minorities, I’ll tie the damn rope

    Let’s be clear, Cleveland, Baltimore, et al are suing for because their citizens were steered into bad loans, regardless of credit rating.

    Because it’s illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of race, other qualifers like zip codes have been the basis of discrimination. It’s not rocket science to see the correlation between things like zip codes, race and discrimination and lots of companies have been caught with their hands in this particular cookie jar.

    Remember http://www.kozmo.com?.

    They went down in flames for just such behavior* and I suspect more than a few of our good friends in the banking sector are going to get caught too.

    * One of my good friends is an MBA who knew the founders of Kozmo and called them when she couldn’t get their service in her own neighborhood. She asked them directly if they were redlining black neighorhoods and warned them that if they got caught, there would be serious repercussions. Needless to say, they dismissed her warnings. The rest is history.

  108. 108
    Cassidy says:

    why the contentious attitude?

    I’m doing as the Romans do. The way this normally starts is I present an opinion that isn’t entirely accepted here.

    Ex.: Yes the finance industry bears a lot of the blame, but our society and our “want it now attitude” is also part of the problem.

    Then, someone disagrees in a confrontational manner usually making assumptions beyond what I actually said, and from that point, I just enjoy using the sharp, pokey stick.

    But, just to make it clear, in case anyone has missed it: This problem we’re discussing goes beyond bad, poor, or predatory lending practices. Our society has turned itself into a consumer on demand society that requires the nicest and shiniest and throws a tantrum when it doesn’t get it. If you want to really fix this problem, start there. If there are no suckers to prey upon, the charlatans will leave town. I beleive that a lot of people who are being defaulted on, etc., allowed themselves to be deluded into buying something that they knew, deep down, they could not afford. and now instead of slapping yourself across the forehead and calling yourself a jackass, it’s just much easier to create a boogeyman to take all the blame. In the real world, though, it isn’t that simple. You can post all you want about the “smooth, talkin’ devils”, but in the end, you (the borrower) failed to look out for your own best interest.

  109. 109
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Cassidy So take your whiny [attitude] and shove it up your ass.

    Now, see, that’s and example of hypocrisy.

  110. 110
    Doubting Thomas says:

    Already left the Dems after 2004, thank you!

    Every day I see Pelosi and Reid cave in I remind myself how wise I am!

  111. 111
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Shorter Cassidy, it’s your fault, regardless of whether it actually is.

    Well, it’s always easiest to blame the people who are easy to screw.

    The alternative takes guts.
    .

  112. 112
    Cassidy says:

    Now, see, that’s and example of hypocrisy.

    Blah, blah, blah, blah….

    Lots of letters, nothing to say.

  113. 113
    ThymeZone says:

    Then, someone disagrees in a confrontational manner usually making assumptions beyond what I actually said, and from that point, I just enjoy using the sharp, pokey stick.

    Heh. Me too.

    Got it.

    Okay, thanks for the straight answer, appreciate it.

    All I can say is, it’s going to be harder to flame you knowing that we agree on a lot of things.

    Not that this will stop me ….. ha ha.

    See ya around the campfire.

  114. 114
    Cassidy says:

    Well, it’s always easiest to blame the people who are easy to screw.

    The alternative takes guts.

    It’s always easier to blame someone else. The alternative, taking responsibility for your own actions, takes guts.

  115. 115
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    John Cole and friends…

    If you aren’t …

    Us?

    I didn’t get screwed by predatory lending, but I oppose it. Bush’s new proposed tax cuts would be GREAT for my finances, but I oppose them.

    This isn’t about me and mine, this is about right and wrong, which is why you’re at fucking sea.

    Now kindly go find some well-heeled sociopath to suck off. That’s what you’re good at, isn’t it?
    .

  116. 116
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    I didn’t make any mistakes financially, either. But I am about to get bent over, too.

    Don’t worry John, Cassidy’s in the same position I’m in, I’m just aware of it.

    He doesn’t see the danger because he’s never been in it. It doesn’t make him superior, it makes him (and me) lucky. Although his argument doesn’t say he’s superior (but the tone of his message implies it).

    I myself am skating by on luck and anxious hard work to make sure the luck doesn’t go anywhere. If I get hit, I won’t see it coming, and you can be happy that the rich kid got what’s coming to him.

    Either way, Cass and I will get what’s coming to us, and you get to laugh the entire time as we wipe the shit off our faces.

  117. 117
    Krista says:

    Dammit my first post got eaten.

    Okay, let’s try this again.

    But in the end, it was I who accepted a loan(s) knowing it was beyond my means

    There is the kicker my friend. These people DIDN’T know that it was beyond their means. Information on the internet is great, but there is an awful lot of conflicting information out there. As well, when all of the expert voices in the field are pushing this particular mode of financing, and when pretty much all of society is following that trend, it’s nigh well impossible to be able to tell up from down or good ideas from bad.

    Even by researching, studying, and doing one’s homework, and doing everything that you say we should do, the average citizen is likely to only gain a rudimentary understanding of how financing works. Hell, I worked in the financial services industry for 10 years, and most of the stuff discussed in these threads is utter gobbledegook to me. It’s gotten incredibly complicated and convoluted. The rules change every goddamn day. New products are introduced almost as often. The only way to really keep up and keep ahead is if you’re currently in the industry as well.

    You saying that the consumer should accept responsibility is foolish. Should the patient accept responsibility if their doctor misdiagnoses them? Or is it up to the patient to try to accrue just as much knowledge as the doctor so that they can be their own second opinion. When one is an expert in a certain field, and when non-experts are coming to them for advice, they have a moral responsibility to not steer those people wrong. I understand the concept of “Caveat Emptor”, but in this particular instance, it wasn’t one bad bank. It was the entire industry. And to say that the consumer shares some of the responsibility is to relieve the industry of some of its responsibility in this fiasco — and that, my friend, is not a good idea. They’re already going to try to shirk as much responsibility as possible. Let’s not make it any easier for them to leave the consumer holding the bag, shall we?

  118. 118
    Cassidy says:

    Awwww…I think I’ve made Grand Moff angry. Are you gonna take your ball and go home…maybe cry about the meanie…fuck off, dude. Your sense of right and wrong is so skewed right now, I’m not sure I’d trust your judgment.

    Nothing to do with luck Chris. It has everything to do with making changes to my financial decisions to keep me from being beholden to someone else. It’s about being patient and saving for things I want, after making sure the needs are taken care of. If I’d had figured this out when I was young, I’d probably be pretty rich right now, but oh well.

  119. 119
  120. 120
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Awwww…I think I’ve made Grand Moff angry. Are you gonna take your ball and go home…maybe cry about the meanie…fuck off, dude.

    No, Cassidy, the only whiny little bitch on this thread is you. You’re just a disgusting excuse for a human being and you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I don’t have to wish anything on you. Being you sucks enough. Punishment fitting the crime and all that.
    .

  121. 121
    Cassidy says:

    These people DIDN’T know that it was beyond their means.

    Bullshit! It’s simple math. I have $500. The house cost $1000. Guess I don’t have enough.

    Should the patient accept responsibility if their doctor misdiagnoses them? Or is it up to the patient to try to accrue just as much knowledge as the doctor so that they can be their own second opinion.

    Apples and oranges, but I’ll answer anyway. Yes, a patient should research and learn as much as possible about their diagnoses and treatments, because in the end, you control your treatment. In a wonderful world, the Dr. will tell you everything, but you still need to look out for yourself, so that you can be an active participant in the treatment plan.

  122. 122
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    He doesn’t see the danger because he’s never been in it.

    He also doesn’t know anything about the subject, which is why he keeps having to change the subject to us. Weak.
    .

  123. 123
    Cassidy says:

    No, Cassidy, the only whiny little bitch on this thread is you. You’re just a disgusting excuse for a human being and you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I don’t have to wish anything on you. Being you sucks enough. Punishment fitting the crime and all that.

    Dude, you are a riot. I love this. “You’re such a disgusting human being…” too frickin’ funny.

    Take your ball and go home, split tail.

  124. 124
    LiberalTarian says:

    Grumpy Code Monkey Says:

    but what you still fail to recognize is that when this shit hits the fan, we are ALL going to get sprayed

    IOW, the best Cass can hope for is that he doesn’t get any in his mouth.

    Ew. There’s a visual I didn’t need.

  125. 125
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Bullshit! It’s simple math. I have $500. The house cost $1000. Guess I don’t have enough.

    See what I mean? Everything looks simple when you’re that fucking stupid.
    .

  126. 126
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Cassidy, Serious Question:

    What’s your living situation like? Are you staying in barracks, do you have a home… on base, off base? Did you pay for it? Is it subsidized by DoD et al.?

    It’s probably relevant to why you haven’t been forced to meet the likes of one of these predatory lenders.

    One of the things I’m noticing is that you’re not acknowledging that people tend to be squeezed into positions that compel or force them to take loans…

  127. 127
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Take your ball and go home, split tail.

    Why, because you can’t play ball? Not a problem: kicking the shit out of a retard like you is fun.

    Is there something else you’re good for?
    .

  128. 128
    Cassidy says:

    It is simple. If you allow yourself to be suckered by pretty math…well, I wouldn’t be calling others stupid.

    Just remember, this “stupid” guy has no car payments and money n the bank.

  129. 129
    jh says:

    It’s always easier to blame someone else. The alternative, taking responsibility for your own actions, takes guts.

    You continue to miss several of the larger points.

    1. Consumers, whether or not they take responsibility for their own financial decision, ARE facing the consequences of this unfortunate scenario – in the form of financial distress, the most extreme form of which is forclosure.

    2. Many of these consumers were reckless in their borrowing. Many were not and were victims of predatory lending tactics. Well come back to this momentarily

    3. Whether or not a consumer was a responsible borrower or not, the banking industry greedily and willfully extended credit that it should not have to people who could not afford the terms of that credit. In doing so, they have placed our entired financial system in peril (Remember, people cannot borrow money unless a lender also agrees to it.)

    4. Those of us who pay taxes will end up paying for this imbroglio in the form of taxpayer funded economic stimulus packages, bank bailouts, reduced municipal services, vanishing home equity, enfeebled investments…the list goes on.

    While I might share a bit of your shadenfraude for those who greedily borrowed above their means to live unsustainably opulent lifestyles, the reality remains that not everybody was stupid or greedy and they deserve our compassion. Just as those who were stupid and greedy deserve our scorn.

    Besides, no matter who is to blame, we are all going to get the bill for this mess and if you follow the blood trails back to their point of origin, you will find yourself on Wall Street.

    Again.

  130. 130
    Jen says:

    I have $500. The house cost $1000

    Even forgiving the amounts, which appear to be from 1457, if you can make a 50% down payment, you’d be in pretty good financial shape, mortgagewise. I mean, I’m no mortgage lender, but I’m pretty sure their job is not to say, “let’s see, do you have the entire purchase price of the house on you? No? Huh. I guess you don’t have enough. Next! Man, this is an easy job.”

    Grand Moff, I think you have found your dumbest statement of the day.

    We need a new thread, though. This one is getting, I dunno, ewwwy.

  131. 131
    4tehlulz says:

    You continue to miss several of the larger points.

    No he doesn’t. He doesn’t care.

  132. 132
    Cassidy says:

    What’s your living situation like? Are you staying in barracks, do you have a home… on base, off base? Did you pay for it? Is it subsidized by DoD et al.?

    I live in on base housing. I pay my full BAH to GMH. If you want to see a predatory company, check them out.

    It’s probably relevant to why you haven’t been forced to meet the likes of one of these predatory lenders.

    Never said I didn’t meet them. I said I avoid them. When I was a Private, my wife and I made some poor financial decisions, telling ourselves, we needed it, and we got screwed. And yes, I was misled, but I also didn’t take the time to really study what I was doing. I allowed myself to be fooled into thinking I could afford something I couldn’t.

    In 2003, I bought a house. A very nice house. Unfortunately, the Army decided it needed me elsewhere, and I got hosed. I have a foreclosure on my credit from when the market was up. In the end, I bought a house I, and solely I, couldn’t afford. Was it smart of me to factor my wife’s income into the mix, knowing I could PCS at any time?

    I’ve already been to these places Chris. I’ve never said these financial institutions are right. All I’m saying is that we as consumers have to bear our own share of the burden. If things are to be fixed, that’s where it needs to start.

    One of the things I’m noticing is that you’re not acknowledging that people tend to be squeezed into positions that compel or force them to take loans…

    Once again, you can’t be forced into anything. There is always another way.

    kicking the shit out of a retard like you is fun.

    Awwwwww…internet machismo is so cute.

  133. 133
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    It is simple. If you allow yourself to be suckered by pretty math…well, I wouldn’t be calling others stupid.

    Lightning Round, Cass:

    You have $10000 in the year 2023. The interest rate is 4% APY, applied continuously. How much is that money worth today?

    Difficulty: You may not search the internet to find it. There are a fuckton of Americans that still don’t have the money to either buy a computer nor time to learn it, so “Google it” is not a solution.

    (This is simple stuff, and I got pwned with it 3 months into my first job at the NYMEX. The shit that goes into loans requires a difficult standardized test which takes 3-4 hours. There is no such thing as pretty math.)

  134. 134
    Krista says:

    These people DIDN’T know that it was beyond their means.

    Bullshit! It’s simple math. I have $500. The house cost $1000. Guess I don’t have enough.

    First of all, I’d advise you to watch your tone. My response to you was quite respectful, and I don’t appreciate being spoken to that way.

    Second of all, it’s far from simple math anymore. If you’ve got money in hand and are paying cash for a house, then yes. You know precisely what you have and what you can afford. (And even then, it’s easy enough to overlook some of the hidden costs, isn’t it?) But financing is an entirely different ball of wax, and the rules have changed and gotten much more complicated, just in the last 5 years. Lenders were finding ways to make more and more money sound more and more affordable to people.

    Go back and read some of the other threads. If it were simple math, then why would any of the people in this field require any training beyond high school? Why would we need threads explaining how all of this works, if it’s such simple math? Intelligent people who have done their homework have been taken in by experts whom they trusted. For you to casually dismiss the entire thing as “simple math” which could have been easily understood if people had just been bothered to Google it, is not only ignorant, it’s insulting.

  135. 135
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    This thread no longer formats, if that’s what you mean by “ewwwy.”

    … whoever you are. I can’t even tell who wrote that. Everything’s going ||||||||||||\\ \\ \||\ |\\\|\ |||| like BBC effects circa 1981.
    .

  136. 136
    Cuzco says:

    Cassidy: It’s about being patient and saving for things I want, after making sure the needs are taken care of.

    I agree completely when it comes to credit cards. You can hold off and save up for things like TVs, computers and even cars If you plan ahead (I put an $8,000 down payment on my 2006 Honda to reduce the payments) but there are damn few people who can “save up” to buy a house. If you want to have a house before you retire, chances are you must take out a loan.

    Doing research is all well and good but where does your responsibility end and the lender’s responsibility begin? Before buying big ticket items do you research the annual reports of the company loaning you the money? Do you research the companies that insure them? Do you get the complete work history of your personal loan officer and his boss just to make sure they’re not crooks?

    As several have tried to point out, it’s impossible to have 100 percent knowledge in anything, so at some point, you have to trust someone to steer you in the right direction.

  137. 137
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Awwwwww…internet machismo is so cute.

    Can you think up a more appropriate metaphor for humiliating an idiot like you?

    Wait, why am I asking you that? You’re the idiot who said

    You only get suckered when you allow someone to sucker you.

    which you followed with an example of financing a home without any financing in it.
    .

  138. 138
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Once again, you can’t be forced into anything. There is always another way.

    By definition, that’s shit only the middle-class can say.

    The problem is there’s a group of people we call “lower-class” that — again, by definition — cannot always dodge the bullet. And it’s for shit like this why we want all of our citizens to be at least middle class: so that you can be comfortable knowing that we can bear the burden.

    That’s not the case, especially with subprime, where they made practice on these lower-class people.

  139. 139
    Jen says:

    Are you there, GMT? It was me, Jen. Your thread doesn’t format anymore? You are missing my wisdom, right before a long holiday weekend? Man, I am sorry, that’s sad. I hope Cole corrects this travesty.

  140. 140
    zzyzx says:

    Speaking as someone with a Masters degree in mathematics, I find it very hard to fault people who can’t understand economics, because lord knows there are tons of subjects that I’m not quite up to par in. You can be a productive citizen and make a good living but still be suckered by one of these loans. I’m grateful that I knew enough to go for a 30 year fixed and live below my means, but I’m not going to pretend that my math skills are anything other than hitting the genetic and cultural jackpot.

    “How dare you have a horrible math teacher in 3rd grade that caused you to hate the subject? You deserve to suffer!”

  141. 141
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    OK, now it’s formatting properly again.

    What gives?
    .

  142. 142
    zzyzx says:

    “but there are damn few people who can “save up” to buy a house.”

    Exactly. How come I can afford to own a house? Because it turns out that the money that I would be using for rent magically can go towards my loan instead. I wouldn’t be able to put aside a grand a month for 21 years, because I was using that cash for rent.

  143. 143
    Jen says:

    I find it very hard to fault people who can’t understand economics, because lord knows there are tons of subjects that I’m not quite up to par in.

    There’s a good Krugman article about how conservatism, such as it is, is increasingly being defined by its lack of compassion. Witness the Huckenfraude: are they disturbed by his plan to reshape the Constitution to the Bible, or to defend SC’s right to fly the Rebel flag? Nah, it’s that whole lip service to the poor and working class that’s got them ’round the bend.

    The problem with this approach is that it rather depends on the voting majority not being screwed eight ways from Sunday all the time. We are not quick studies, Americans, but eventually we do tend to catch on.

  144. 144
    Cassidy says:

    JH, I will respond to you later, but I have to go home. YOu bring up some very good points.

  145. 145
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Since this is likely the end of the thread, can we all just take a moment to gape in awe at the sublime simplicity of the Cassidy model of finance?

    Bullshit! It’s simple math. I have $500. The house cost $1000. Guess I don’t have enough.

    Truly ineffable. No wonder everything looks simple to him. No wonder we have an unstinting font of true, if inadvertent, comedy gold.
    .

  146. 146
    Cassidy says:

    First of all, I’d advise you to watch your tone.

    Wasn’t meant to be antagonistic. More like drink beer, bullshit!, drink some more, talk, etc. Sorry it came across as such.

  147. 147
    Cassidy says:

    Because it turns out that the money that I would be using for rent magically can go towards my loan instead.

    Beautiful. So if you could only afford $500 a month in rent, why are you gonna go buy a house that’ll cost you $1000 a month?

  148. 148
    Cassidy says:

    Cuzco, I agree, for the most part. Where it stops is you are your own best advocate. No one will take care of you, better than you can. So if that kind of research is what it takes, then by all means, yes, because no one else is going to do it for you without you paying them.

  149. 149
    Cassidy says:

    JH, simple response:

    You bring up a lot of issues, and that’s part of what I’ve been saying. You can’t just tag this situation with a boogeyman and call it a day. Everyone hates the guy in the suit and we all live happily financed ever after. By all means, I agree that these companies financed people who shouldn’t have been financed. At the same time, we as a society, have to accept our own complicity in this and fix the sickness that has led us here.

  150. 150
    zzyzx says:

    “So if you could only afford $500 a month in rent, why are you gonna go buy a house that’ll cost you $1000 a month?”

    Because the house doesn’t cost me $1000 a month. It starts out at $500 (and I even have an option to pay $400 if I need to!) and – according to the nice salesman who helped me get the deal – even though it’ll reset to $1000 in 2013, by then I’ll be able to refinance the house and it’ll stay at $500. It’s a great deal!

  151. 151
    jh says:

    So if that kind of research is what it takes, then by all means, yes, because no one else is going to do it for you without you paying them.

    Via our deposits, we effectively pay our bankers.

    To wit, when I called my bank and said I’d like to consult with one of the bank’s financial planners about buying a house, and that banker and another of the bank’s loan officers give me shitty financial advice (e.g. you are qualified to borrow ‘X’ dollars from us, and by all means take out an exotic loan, don’t worry we’re the experts and we say you’re good for it!) then I have effectively paid to be lied to.

    At some point you have to trust somebody. If that somebody isn’t trustworthy – a description that fits the entire real estate sector over the past few years – people get screwed.

  152. 152
  153. 153
    zzyzx says:

    Jen – I wonder if people like that just haven’t met anyone outside of their peer group. One of the reasons I can respect those who can’t do math is knowing my grandmother; she was a very intelligent woman who would help anyone she knew however she could. She was funny and creative and built up a good career when that was more rare for women to do so, but for whatever reason, she just couldn’t do math. I tried to explain to her a million times that anything times zero is zero, but she could never get it, no matter what.

  154. 154
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    You can’t just tag this situation with a boogeyman and call it a day.

    Unless it’s the guy who got ripped off, you mean? Can’t you remember your favorite boogeymen from, oh, just a few minutes ago?

    No?
    .

  155. 155
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    have to accept our own complicity

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

    If the advisors and brokers acted in a way to remove pertinent information from the borrower, then the borrower can not be complicit for issues that require that information to react correctly

    Seriously dude, if you buy a fat TV from a regional dealer, the dealer says it’s brand new and tested, and will work out of the box and will be under-mfr.-warranty for 5 years, and you get home, the TV fails immediately and the Mfr. tells you there never was a warranty, you are not complicit. You got hosed.

  156. 156
    jh says:

    By all means, I agree that these companies financed people who shouldn’t have been financed. At the same time, we as a society, have to accept our own complicity in this and fix the sickness that has led us here.

    And my point is that, yes personal responsibility is nice but you cannot regulate it – for various reasons.

    What we as a society CAN regulate is the behavior of the business community.

    In failing to do so, we’ve yet again unleashed an army of hucksters on an unsuspecting populace.

    The reality is not everyone is going to be savvy or responsible, but our current situation is more the result of people who are PAID to know better have behaving just as poorly, if not worse, than the people they’ve spurred to financial ruin.

    In a world where the buck ultimately stops with us; the taxpayers, this is unacceptable because we end up paying for this crap no matter who the culprit is.

  157. 157
    zzyzx says:

    “Seriously dude, if you buy a fat TV from a regional dealer, the dealer says it’s brand new and tested, and will work out of the box and will be under-mfr.-warranty for 5 years, and you get home, the TV fails immediately and the Mfr. tells you there never was a warranty, you are not complicit. You got hosed”

    To make this analogy better, you don’t even have to have a villain. It’s more like, when he sold you the TV, he went to the website and typed in the serial number and was told that it qualifies for the 5 year warranty, but he didn’t see the other link that said that purchases between 9:12 and 9:14 AM don’t qualify.

    Things got complicated enough that not even the sellers always understood what they were selling.

  158. 158
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    At some point you have to trust somebody.

    Last I checked, it’s still legal for lenders to lie to you about the quality of the loan for which you qualify. Whom do you trust?

    Last go-round, I compared loans from a small credit union, with which I’ve been doing business for almost twenty years, and a large corporation. Guess who offered me a shitty deal and then came wayyyyyyyyyyyy down when they realized they had honest competition (but then tried to get me to borrow more than I needed)?

    I’d already crunched the numbers a hundred times on mortgage calculators, trying to hit a target within a budget, but all the research in the world won’t help you, it’s what they’re willing to offer you that counts, and they don’t have to tell the truth about it. If you can’t find/don’t know who the square dealer is, you’re fucked.

    I came in under-budget, learned a lot, and got more than I wanted. So much for Cassidy’s assumption that the only reason we’re mad about fraud is because we’re a bunch of losers who got screwed and deserved it.
    .

  159. 159
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    In a world where the buck ultimately stops with us; the taxpayers, this is unacceptable because we end up paying for this crap no matter who the culprit is.

    Correction: we don’t pay for it because we’re taxpayers, we pay for it because we’re in the same economy. It’s just in this case that we’re gearing up to let the government do something because (theoretically) it’s the government’s turn to address the issue.

    Before that comes the elites of the industry that’s failing, and you end up paying them (if you do business with them) with rates that are higher than they were before the problem.

    After the government comes foreign economies, which will cost us in terms of a falling dollar and compromised political morals.

    Stop focusing on the taxes. You’re paying because you’re fairly impotent in relation to the economy you live in.

  160. 160
    caustics says:

    Cassidy Says:

    Take your ball and go home, split tail.

    What is it with you and that particular region of a woman’s body?

  161. 161
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    It’s more like, when he sold you the TV, he went to the website and typed in the serial number and was told that it qualifies for the 5 year warranty, but he didn’t see the other link that said that purchases between 9:12 and 9:14 AM don’t qualify.

    …except the complicity comes back to you if you have access to a website…

    I should’ve chosen an analogy dealing with issues poor people face… but I’m nowhere near poor and I think the only important thing a poor person does is buys a house.

    Maybe an electric oven?

  162. 162
    Jen says:

    zzyzx, my take on it, which is based purely on, well, nothing empirical, is this: we have a streak in our national character of self-reliance and individual responsibility. That’s a good thing, in general, except of course as you keep expanding that to encompass more and more things it becomes increasingly hard to live up to. And when the economy isn’t good, it is harder to live up to. And sometimes, it’s impossible.

    And so that person who has always said, “welfare’s a joke, if you can’t afford kids, you shouldn’t have them”, loses their job and gets to pick between hungry kids and kids fed by food stamps. That person who has said, “what health insurance crisis” while they were insured, and then got dropped or priced out of the market; those people say, wait a minute, I didn’t do anything wrong and I’m still getting hosed here.

    But maybe it’s just an elaborate justification for my fervent hope that regular people will actually vote in accordance with their economic self-interest for once. I guess we’ll know in ten months or so.

    Oh, and my hole-in-the-brain, absolutely can’t do it despite being reasonably competent at many other things is directions/navigation.

  163. 163
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    In failing to do so, we’ve yet again unleashed an army of hucksters on an unsuspecting populace.

    What a stupid thing to say. As Cassidy himself has informed us, all these people just magically started borrowing more money than they should, on riskier loans than they should. Magically.

    Yep. Just started … happening all over the place, all at once.

    Weirdest damned thing.

    It had nothing to do with the new practice of bundling mortgages as investments. Absolutely not. Why, the profitability alone of such arrangements would surely be enough to scare off even the wiliest lender. There was simply too much money to be made for such a thing to happen.

    Nope. They did that all on their own.

    Oh, I almost forgot: did I tell you that they were all mathematicians?
    .

  164. 164
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    He’s heard that it’s very nice, Caustics.
    .

  165. 165
    zzyzx says:

    zzyzx, my take on it, which is based purely on, well, nothing empirical, is this: we have a streak in our national character of self-reliance and individual responsibility.

    What drives me crazy about that is the self selection bias. “I can do this, so you should be able to do it too if you weren’t so damn lazy.”

    My “favorite” example is a friend of mine who used to have a great job, and then her health completely fell apart. It doesn’t matter what life plans you have, if you can’t get out of bed for two years, you’re not going to be able to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

  166. 166
    Punchy says:

    Being ignorant is not an excuse

    I’d love to be that doctor who looks Cass in the face after some catastrophic allergy-based MI and says, “ignorance of your T8 sensitivity to exogenous haptens resembling endogenous transcellular lipoproteins on your cardiac tissue is no excuse. Go fucking use Google next time. Oh, by the way, that’s going to cost $40K”

    Yep, we’re all as smart as immunologists. As smart as bankers, too. Why, tomorrow, after Googling, I plan to orbit the moon on my new spaceship.

  167. 167
    jh says:

    Stop focusing on the taxes. You’re paying because you’re fairly impotent in relation to the economy you live in.

    I know this, I was merely simplifying for the sake of the intended audience ;)

    And the taxpayer/citizenry aren’t really paying for this meltdown.

    Yet.

    Right now, the big investment banks are taking their writedowns, the mortgage lenders are struggling to remain solvent and the investors are in retreat (to where I can’t imagine).

    As this subset of players beings to run out of options, the government will step in to “lend a hand”.

    No sweat, I guess we’ll just add it to the tab from the last meltdown/bailout.

  168. 168
    Face says:

    I have $500. The house cost $1000

    Holy fuck. Are you really saying that no one should buy a $150K home until they have $150K in their bank account??

    Jesus Christ, this is all flavors of stupid.

  169. 169
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Why, tomorrow, after Googling, I plan to orbit the moon on my new spaceship.

    Ah, that would be that famous streak of American individualism we’ve all been hearing so much about.

    Three-stage nukular fukkin BOOT STRAPS IN SSSSPPPAAACCCEEE!!!
    .

  170. 170
    bob says:

    It is very common for Medical Doctors to be the victims of financial swindles. Salesmen make jokes about what easy marks doctors are. Doctors are so confident in their own intelligence and generally so ego driven that if you play on their strength as a weakness, you can lull them into a bad investment. I’m sure this is true of many, as I know that I certainly have blind spots and have made costly mistakes in MY life. Point is, intelligence is not a safeguard against a smooth confidence operator. That is why we have fraud laws. That is why we used to have a reliance that at least the printed word was true. Now, ?????????????

  171. 171
    betamu says:

    I agree with Cassidy way up there. I saved my cash to help my son with college. I drive a ’93 Jeep Wrangler with 165K miles on it..not because I cant afford something better, I just dont see the point. It’s just a machine! I saved my cash until I had 20% for a good home and got a conventional boring mortgage. What a loser! Why didnt I just get one of these interest only loans, then take out a 2nd mortgage to pay for college and a new Hummer. I should never wasted my time being financially conservative. As it turns out, I probably wouldnt have to pay for it..I will get bailed out of my predicament, walk away and do it all over again!

  172. 172
    jnfr says:

    So, none of you smart people have made a GreaseMonkey killfile for this site yet? I have one for Sadly No! and it really helps with the trolls. Won’t someone make one for BJ? Think of the children!

  173. 173
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Right now, the big investment banks are taking their writedowns, the mortgage lenders are struggling to remain solvent and the investors are in retreat (to where I can’t imagine).

    Over on agonist.org, Stirling’s take is that the foreign sovereign funds are cherry-picking what they think are the best operations right now. The rest, the shit, will briefly belong to you and me.

    And, if the RTC is any guide, they’ll then be given/sold at a markdown right back to the same people who fucked them up in the first place. That’s how the S&L crisis wound up.
    .

  174. 174
    zzyzx says:

    “Yep, we’re all as smart as immunologists. As smart as bankers, too. Why, tomorrow, after Googling, I plan to orbit the moon on my new spaceship.”

    You laugh about this, but this concept basically is the Republican health care solution. They want us all to become as informed on health care programs as the experts and figure out on our own which one would be the best for us, and hey, if you mess up, the only downside is the 6 figure hospital bills. Sounds like a great plan for me because spending weeks comparing plans and reading fine print in legalese is my idea of a great use of my time.

  175. 175
    LiberalTarian says:

    caustics Says:

    …split tail…

    What is it with you and that particular region of a woman’s body?

    Y’all need to start hanging out with human females.

  176. 176
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Salesmen make jokes about what easy marks doctors are. Doctors are so confident in their own intelligence and generally so ego driven that if you play on their strength as a weakness, you can lull them into a bad investment.

    Or like engineers arguing for creationism. No, really. It’s always engineers, for some reason.

    Bless their little hearts!
    .

  177. 177
    jh says:

    And, if the RTC is any guide, they’ll then be given/sold at a markdown right back to the same people who fucked them up in the first place. That’s how the S&L crisis wound up.

    And we and our kids, and our kids’ kids will be stuck paying off the TRILLION plus bill for that one.

    Deregulation sux.

  178. 178
    Zifnab says:

    “So if you could only afford $500 a month in rent, why are you gonna go buy a house that’ll cost you $1000 a month?”

    Because the house doesn’t cost me $1000 a month. It starts out at $500 (and I even have an option to pay $400 if I need to!) and – according to the nice salesman who helped me get the deal – even though it’ll reset to $1000 in 2013, by then I’ll be able to refinance the house and it’ll stay at $500. It’s a great deal!

    Facts are like wingnut insectacide. Spray a little on the boards and only the truly indoctrinated last long.

    But yes, the sub prime mess could have been prevented with a little regulation, a little oversight, a little good media policemanship, and a little more common sense on the part of borrowers and lenders and mortgage brokers.

    If Cleveland and Baltimore had launched their predatory lending investigations back in ’05 and ’06 before the massive meltdown, more people could have been spared. If media had done more to cover sub primes than to simple acknowledge that they existed and play the “he said, she said” game of “some people say the loans are bad, but others say its good to own a home” bullshit, informed citizens could have had a better chance at avoiding the more blatant swindles. If mortgage lenders weren’t hunting for a sector of the market to chop up and sell, and mortgage buyers weren’t so transfixed with the idea of home ownership over renting, we wouldn’t have seen this massive rush to get a foot in the door.

    Alas, the entire system failed. Now the question is whether we’ll learn from our mistakes or just blame each other for “personal responsibility” and pass the buck to the next Enron-saster.

  179. 179
    Jen says:

    Sounds like a great plan for me because spending weeks comparing plans and reading fine print in legalese is my idea of a great use of my time.

    Someone is insufficiently appreciative of the bureaucratic elegance and simplicity that is Medicare part D.

    Actually, I think a pretty good penance for Cassidy would be helping seniors choose a prescription drug plan, and fill out the paperwork for it.
    Online.

  180. 180
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    but what you still fail to recognize is that when this shit hits the fan, we are ALL going to get sprayed

    IOW, the best Cass can hope for is that he doesn’t get any in his mouth.

    Ew. There’s a visual I didn’t need.

    You’re welcome ;)

    It’s not like I can meaningfully comment on the larger issues, so I have to make do with disturbing imagery.

  181. 181
    zzyzx says:

    Oh, my favorite packaging of interest only loans was on ads for right wing talk radio (hey, got to hear what they’re saying). They called them the Freedom Loan because you’d have the freedom to pay however much you wanted each month. I couldn’t ever decide if I was more impressed or depressed by the marketing.

    I’m grateful that I was educated enough to just go for a 30 year fixed (and lucky enough that I bought right before the bubble happened; I couldn’t afford my house if I wanted to buy it now), but I don’t understand the hatred spewed towards those whose main flaw was not being able to understand some rather complicated transactions.

  182. 182
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    Jen: truly, you are evil.

    JH: yet another thing to blame Clinton for (i.e., the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999).
    .

  183. 183
    Jen says:

    I’ve heard Clinton blamed for insufficient troops in Iraq.

    Seriously.

  184. 184
    LiberalTarian says:

    The California legislature looked at mortgage regulation in 2001–and, after a little wining and dining by the industry, they ended up writing laws that were simply toothless wonders of symbolic policy. They probably even made the situation worse, because people who were paying cursory attention saw that the CA leg had regulated the mortgage industry, and therefore “controlled it.” Too bad. Guess we were busy getting our asses kicked by the faux electricity crisis.

  185. 185
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    But yes, the sub prime mess could have been prevented with a little regulation, a little oversight, a little good media policemanship, and a little more common sense on the part of borrowers and lenders and mortgage brokers.

    Word.

    Of course, in Texas we had to alter our constitution to make this mess possible (and it’s still not as bad here as elsewhere). There were these huge, high-production-value ads up everywhere you looked, all over TV, to get Texas to vote for deregulation.

    I’m sure those ads just … came out of nowhere.
    .

  186. 186
    Grand Moff Texan says:

    I’ve heard Clinton blamed for insufficient troops in Iraq.

    Did you send the nitwit to the nearest recruiter, or had they already been rejected for, you know, being a nitwit?
    .

  187. 187
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    I’m still going to wait for Cassidy to tell me what my future $10000 is worth right now. Maybe if I hit a lull in coding I’ll try to remember how I did it before.

  188. 188
    Jen says:

    It was some idiotic pundit being interviewed on the radio. I do wish I had found out who instead of fleeing the room and bashing my head on the bathroom tile to stop teh stoopid it hurts…….

    If we could just get rid of wingnut welfare, we could count on natural selection to weed these mouth-breathers out.

    I mean, when it comes to uninformed opinions, I have lots. About nearly everything. And yet no one has ever interviewed me save the occasional “detective”. It isn’t fair.

  189. 189
    Cuzco says:

    Zifnab: If media had done more to cover sub primes than to simple acknowledge that they existed and play the “he said, she said” game of “some people say the loans are bad, but others say its good to own a home” bullshit, informed citizens could have had a better chance at avoiding the more blatant swindles.

    In fairness to the media, the only people who would have read such stories would have been the world’s 12 loan nerds. So why write them?

  190. 190
    Dreggas says:

    LiberalTarian Says:

    The California legislature looked at mortgage regulation in 2001—and, after a little wining and dining by the industry, they ended up writing laws that were simply toothless wonders of symbolic policy. They probably even made the situation worse, because people who were paying cursory attention saw that the CA leg had regulated the mortgage industry, and therefore “controlled it.” Too bad. Guess we were busy getting our asses kicked by the faux electricity crisis.

    BWHAHAHAHA! I live in CA and worked in the industry, we were the second coming of the dot-com boom and a big part of state revenue as were home sales. They would make a lot of words about regulation but never did a thing about it. Not saying they shouldn’t have but they weren’t about to kill the gravy train.

  191. 191
    Dreggas says:

    Zif, Cuzco is right.

    This is shit that would make you change the channel on your tv.

  192. 192
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    I mean, when it comes to uninformed opinions, I have lots. About nearly everything. And yet no one has ever interviewed me save the occasional “detective”.

    OK, that’s easy.

    Sit up straight.
    Look your mark in the eye. Perhaps lean in a little when you do this, to look interested.
    State, with complete authority, a complete declaration on the topic at hand.
    Human psychology re: body language and sociological credit will do the rest.

    Other requirements: Never dodge an opportunity to answer something. People listen to you because you’re a one-stop-shop for crack-filling mental putty. Yes, you must take an opinion on the Flames vs. Oilers game. Note: you’re opinion may be anything, including “Canadian Hockey sucks”, but not dead air.

    Never go on vacation. People need you.

    Never admit you were wrong. You can only be misquoted.

    Never apologize directly, or while your audience has memory of the event you are apologizing for. Only apologize when no one other than a sympathetic hack journalist is listening.

    Never talk to anyone that could force any of the above bad situations.

    It would also help to rate people you barely know on a scale between “nut” (1), “lunatic” (2) and “nazi” (9), “Hitler” (10)

    Enjoy your career!

  193. 193
    HyperIon says:

    “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

    I believe this. Humans have been making decisions without perfect knowledge forever. However, the consequences of lacking perfect knowledge have never been as great as they are now…because of the complexity of the worlds we live in. The financial world and the medical world are two that I try to inform myself about but I end up learning a lot about just the tiny portions of each that actually impact my daily life. I understand a fixed rate mortgage and so I have one. When the lenders have “instruments” that they themselves do not understand, I flee the lending institution. So I’m sure I’ve missed some sweet deals. But that’s OK..I’m used to being out of step, behind the times.

    But back to the birth rate of suckers… If this were not true, then there would be no religion IMO. Acting on imperfect information is human nature. When combined with the tendency of many humans to “follow the crowd”, we get a clusterfuck like this sub-prime BS.

    And remember that it’s going to get much worse when the Alt-A loans start experiencing the uptick in rates in March and April.

  194. 194
    Jen says:

    Okay, Caidence, but I don’t have to get the Ann Coulter adam’s apple enhancement surgery, do I?

  195. 195
    Zifnab says:

    Zif, Cuzco is right.

    This is shit that would make you change the channel on your tv.

    Yes, but “1 vs 100” just keeps me glued to my seat.

    They can’t put in a ten minute segment on 60 minutes? It’s not like they didn’t cover the Sub Prime mess. They just did it with the classic “Maybe its good, maybe its bad, but we can’t give you an informed opinion because that’s not our job” coverage we’ve gotten used to since the 90s. If real estate and stock market prices weren’t dropping like bowling balls, I doubt thousands of people going homeless would have made it passed the CNN bottom ticker.

    I guarantee when “Lead Painted Toys From China Get Recalled Due To Massive Brain Cancer Epidemic” stories get posted, people listen. Why wouldn’t anyone tune in to the “Sub Prime Scam Projected To Undermine Economy And Cause Recession” show? Oh, right. Because Anna Nicole Smith was too busy making babies and dying. Priorities. My bad.

  196. 196
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Okay, Caidence, but I don’t have to get the Ann Coulter adam’s apple enhancement surgery, do I?

    Nah, they’ve made advancements in technology. You can, instead, get the Michelle Malkin beaver teeth. Malkin’s a pioneer, I say.

  197. 197
    4tehlulz says:

    Shit, meet fan:

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings downgraded Ambac Financial to AA from AAA on Friday and warned that it could cut the bond insurer’s rating further. The agency said it took action after Ambac scrapped plans to raise new capital by selling equity. Ambac shares rose almost 2% to $6.34 during afternoon trading on Friday. The stock lost more than half its value on Thursday

  198. 198
    sglover says:

    Jen, I’m pretty fucking angry at the way the Republicans have been fucking EVERYTHING up since Nixon was VICE president. I have watched my country descend into this morass. If I am harsh on republicans, and people who are only NOW realizing what I have been seeing happen for over 40 years, call me Cassandra. This stuff has been plain to see since the Christmas bombing of 1970, for sure. And yet we have had Reagan, Bush and Bush. Clinton was another republican, but at least he was a good administrator. The others have been a study in obfuscation, confusion and outright lying sack-of-shittery. So, yeah, it pisses me off that my soon to be “golden years” are going to be marred by the greatest depression ever, endless foreign war and the very real possibility of a new shooting civil war in the United States. And I blame the republicans. For ALL of it. They are the ones who have been running the country for 40 years, despite all their protestations about libruls. THEY own the media. THEY own the now multinational corporations that USED to be American owned. So, I should just be quiet and polite, huh? And you are still calling me “angry bob” because of one thread two or three weeks ago. Obsess much?

    I’m generally sympathetic to this. The GOP has become a kind of fever boil, loaded with toxins and germs. It needs to be lanced — permanently.

    However…. The 1%-2% at the top of the pyramid (about the same fraction, in our society, as belonged to the leadership cadre of the late USSR) has demonstrated that they’re just as content to hire out the Democratic Party to do the scutwork. Slick Willy Clinton proved that, as you imply. Only Edwards and Kucinich come close to saying what needs to be said, and their records don’t inspire a helluva lot of confidence.

    I think we need to recognize that the Constitution was never the flawless design that high school civics portrayed, and is now completely outmoded, broken. We also need to recognize that we’re in a class war, and have been for a generation at least.

  199. 199
    sglover says:

    I wonder if Cassidy isn’t being excessively piled on here. It’s already pretty apparent that the lending industry cranked up the world’s biggest pyramid scheme. Thing is, just like every con game that I’ve ever heard of, they did as well as they did because a whole lot of their clients were just as hot to get something for nothing. Lots of people “bought” houses on a lie and a signature, assuming that they’d be able to pass them along to a greater fool within a few months.

    We’re all about to get burned by a deeper malady than some particular class or institution. The endless pursuit of goodies and status trinkets is coming up for a reckoning. For instance, it’s never been clear to me how “owning” a home got conflated with virtue.

  200. 200
    caustics says:

    It’s already pretty apparent that the lending industry cranked up the world’s biggest pyramid scheme.

    Of course. It has been for quite some time. Something changed.

  201. 201
    Dave_Violence says:

    Buy them expensive cars.
    Pay for that expensive gas.

    Take car in the ass.

    Wait until the goddam student loans can’t be paid…

    I predict one of the following:

    Those of us who paid off our debts, those of us who spend wisely, those of us who live beneath our means. We will rise up and get laws passed preventing bailouts of anyone who didn’t do the same.

    The price of cars will come down, because no one will buy ’em at high prices. The price of houses will come down, same reason. Gas prices will go down, same reason (telecommuting will boom, provided what you can do from your home is marketable). Education prices will go down, same reason.

    Somehow, salaries and buying power will return to 1994 levels.

    Something else will happen.

  202. 202
    myiq2xu says:

    Then, someone disagrees in a confrontational manner usually making assumptions beyond what I actually said, and from that point, I just enjoy using the sharp, pokey stick.

    Poor misunderstood Hopalong. He says the most outrageously wrong things, and wonders why people question his intelligence and sincerity.

    Being ignorant is not an excuse. I feel bad for them, I really do, but in the end you have to take responsibility for your own actions. You can treat symptoms all day long, but until you treat the sickness, nothing is fixed.

    This problem goes much deeper than some people who borrowed more than they could afford.

    I think most of them believed that they could afford these loans.

    What makes me think that?

    Because they had to fill out applications and get approved. It makes sense to believe that the bank wouldn’t loan them money if they couldn’t afford it, right?

    Let’s not forget, there has been a cottage industry since the 1970’s that has been telling people to buy real estate as an investment.

    “No Money Down!” Every one of us has seen infomercials telling us how to get rich using OPM. Is it an appeal to greed? Sure, but it’s legal!

    You’re made to feel like a fool if you don’t, because everybody else is doing it. Why not enjoy the good life like everyone else?

    Hopalong blames the borrowers and says they should take responsibility for themselves. But what about the ones in default because they got laid-off or disabled? The ones who got sick, divorced or had a spouse die?

    And what about the responsibility of the lenders who knowingly made bad or high-risk loans? What about the loan and real estate people who took the money and ran?

    They took risks with other people’s lives and life savings.

    Hopalong thinks he’s safe because he’s got a cushy government job.

    What if he is denied reenlistment because of a Reduction In Force after we pull out of Iraq? What if he is disabled in an off-duty accident and is given a medical discharge that doesn’t make him eligible for a medical retirement?

    Hell, what if he gets a disability retirement from the service, will that pay his bills?

    What if his wife gets tired of his shit (and she eventually will, everyone here has) and runs off with a Gangsta Rapper? Can he maintain his lifestyle while paying child support?

    I’ve seen too many people who did everything “right” and still got fucked. The “American Dream” is that if you work hard and play by the rules you’ll get to retire someday and enjoy your golden years in relative comfort.

    Until then you’ll get to take occasional vactions to Disneyland or Graceland, buy a modest suburban home and get a new car every 5 or 6 years.

    Right now, for way too many Americans, that dream is our of reach.

    BTW – I don’t believe much of anything Hopalong says. He claims to be a liberal but hates everyone and everything associated with liberalism. He pretty much hates everyone, period. There are way too many inconsistencies between his attitudes and who he claims to be.

    He has way too much free time to come here for a career soldier with a wife and kids. Not to mention that he’s supposedly got a job that wouldn’t let him sit on a computer at work and the hours he hangs out here are late mornings and afternoons in Georgia.

    He’s obviously young, white, and has an over-developed sense of entitlement. He tries to act like a combat hero but he is a medic in a signal unit. I’m guessing he’s short because he has classic “short-man’s syndrome.”

    He does have a little knowledge of the military, so I’m guessing he’s a college-age military brat who comes here because his parents blocked all the porn sites on the home computer.

  203. 203
    Darkness says:

    I startled a twenty-something person over drinks the other day when I exploded: “What! You financed your car over six years! Are you a f***ing moron?” Person was pretty stunned. “But I wanted that car,” simpering person replies. “Too freakin’ bad. If you can’t afford the payments on a 4 year loan, don’t buy that car, idiot. It’s really straightforward! Or buy used so it never drops below the value of the loan!”

    Honestly, those of use raised by those who lived through the great depression need to yell at the young people more. They have no effing clue. Teachers, I got a basic math class for you to teach “upside down loans”. Gods, people are stupid.

  204. 204
    myiq2xu says:

    Okay, Caidence, but I don’t have to get the Ann Coulter adam’s apple enhancement surgery, do I?

    Uh, Jen? I think in mAnn Coulter’s case the adam’s apple was factory equipment. “She” is missing part of the original package.

  205. 205
    Darkness says:

    Caidence (fmr. Chris) Says:

    I’m still going to wait for Cassidy to tell me what my future $10000 is worth right now. Maybe if I hit a lull in coding I’ll try to remember how I did it before.

    Dang. I’m probably too late the play the differential equations game.

    Continuous interest… tricky bastard. Let’s see that’s Euler’s solved for an infinite number of intervals right…

    So, the Internet is off limits for answering, is MATLAB too?

  206. 206
    grumpy realist says:

    Part I:

    The major problem is that banks (up until relatively recently) had to worry about swallowing the loss if the mortgagee defaulted, so they were pretty damn careful about checking to see if the whole set-up actually made financial sense.

    Result: banks and associated groups got a reputation as actually being on the side of the mortgagee. They had to be “fiduciarily prudent” (sort of like a trustee of an estate).

    Part II:
    When the banks discovered how to securitize, the checks and balances went out the window. So what if the mortgagee defaulted? It was no skin off the bank’s nose. But the mortgagee didn’t know that and kept thinking of them as the nice, kind, wise, experts. Which image the bank kept pushing.

    Result: People were treating the players in the game like disinterested doctors when they should have been treating them like used car salesmen.

  207. 207
    Kat says:

    grumpy realist said:
    “Part II:
    “When the banks discovered how to securitize, the checks and balances went out the window. So what if the mortgagee defaulted? It was no skin off the bank’s nose.”

    Until Part III:
    Banks scream ‘Holy Shit – we’ve fucked ourselves!’ when they suddenly discover that the mortgage insurers they’ve been counting on to bail them out have been heavily investing in the worthless (but AAA-rated) bundles of mortgages the banks had sold to divest themselves of the portion of risk they knew wouldn’t be covered by the mortgage insurers.

    Part IV:
    Mortgage insurers go tits up.
    Banks go tits up.
    Stock markets go tits up.
    Businesses go tits up.
    Citizens go tits up (whether they were irresponsible ‘consumers’ or not).
    Cities go tits up.
    States go tits up.
    Federal government… well you get the idea.

  208. 208
    myiq2xu says:

    Mortgage insurers go tits up.
    Banks go tits up.
    Stock markets go tits up.
    Businesses go tits up.
    Citizens go tits up (whether they were irresponsible ‘consumers’ or not).
    Cities go tits up.
    States go tits up.

    Until now I always thought of “tits up” as a good thing.

  209. 209
    bob says:

    Tits up means dead. Always has since about 1965 or so when I first heard it. And Kat hit the nail. That’s EXACTLY what’s gonna happen. Shit, meet fan.

  210. 210
    myiq2xu says:

    Tits up means dead.

    How can “tits” be associated with anything bad?

    Tits are nice.

  211. 211
    bob says:

    Tits ARE nice. But tits up means dead. As in lying prostrate in state, tits up. But live tits are a joy, I agree.

  212. 212
    Darkness says:

    The banks didn’t “discover” how to securitize mortgages, one guy, Lewis Ranieri at Salomon invented this monster. And then warned everyone about it, al la Einstein and the h-bomb.

    I think we should send him all x-mas cards with pictures of foreclosed houses on them, for the next decade. Bastard.

  213. 213
    Dave_Violence says:

    Tits oot!

    For the lads.

  214. 214
    TenguPhule says:

    BTW, George Bush said, as I was typing this post, that he expects the economy to grow over the coming year. The economy has a “solid foundation,” he said seconds ago.

    And that clinches it.

    We’re all Fucking Doomed.

  215. 215
    TenguPhule says:

    It’s nice to have a boogeyman term, like “predatory lenders”, but in the end, Joe Bob still signed his name to the contract. Why? Because “want” overcame common sense.

    Shorter Cassidy: I’m a fucking dumb mark waiting for a dealer to fuck me.

    Odds are, if you got a loan of any kind in the last eight years, you were quietly fucked in the fine print.

  216. 216
    TenguPhule says:

    Lots of people “bought” houses on a lie and a signature, assuming that they’d be able to pass them along to a greater fool within a few months.

    Lots of people bought homes where the agents fucked them by giving them ARMS instead of the fixed rate loans they qualified for in order to increase their own commissions.

    Lots of people got fucked by banks who didn’t give a fuck about anything other then a signature and hid a a whole clusterfuck of triggers that PENALIZED early and larger payments by people who tried to do the right thing and pay their loans off earlier when they had the money to do it.

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    Why hasn’t the media covered the loan implosion in RE?

    Simple.

    I can quote Sinclair for the millionth time: their (the media’s) salaries depend on their not really understanding the situation.

    I’m in a small “historic” city in the NE that is invaded by yuppies. We are also invaded by developers who build shitboxes and pretend they’re “luxury” housing. They gentrify “historic” districts and tell buyers that Nathaniel Hawthorne and Cotton Mather will walk down their street every day. Our city government doesn’t care; our mayor actually ran on increasing property values!

    The media are in it, in it for sure, in it definitely; how the freak do you think the Boston Globe or the NYT stay in business if not through RE ads? Our daily rag that *used* to be a good newspaper panders to the developers; downtown could be leveled for development and that would be a good thing, even if the builders went bankrupt and left a hole in the ground. (It has happened here and a developer actually proposed taking a good chunk of downtown, not for our good but for their profit.)

    By extension, open the pages of your local rag. How many ads for banks, refi firms, and financial institutions? TV? “What’s (not) in *your* wallet?” Radio: If i never hear “The biggest no brainer in the history of Earth (Lenox Financial)” again…

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