As I recover from a three-day academic conference** I would like to draw attention to Tom Tomorrow's commentary on personal responsibility.

This reality gets lost so quickly in the media narrative.

They provide bad information and then openly mock people stupid enough to believe it.

I'm certainly not going to let individuals who sign shitty mortgages off the hook; there is an element of responsibility (like maybe reading things before signing them). Nonetheless, there's something to be said for a free, high-intensity, half-decade long media PR campaign extolling the goldmine that is home ownership.

**(These events appear to serve only two purposes: to let professors get shitfaced with their former grad school colleagues and to provide them with an annual opportunity to cheat on their spouse. But in any field it is always good to know who the drunks are, as in the people at the hotel bar before 10:30 AM.



  • Squating IS where it's at…
    In all seriousness, however, you'd need to be a PhD or an attorney to understand what even a fraction of the documents mean at a typical real estate closing. My hunch is the people most negatively impacted by the subprime lending debachle aren't either.

    In some way, everyone is going to be impacted by lenders putting out billions of dollars in loans to people they knew couldn't possibly pay them back. The investers and responsible borrowers will take it in the pants becuase of greedy capitalists who got commissions on the number of new loans they closed.

    I agree there has to be personal responsibility on behalf of the borrower – but what about the responsibility on behalf of the lender?

  • Agreed BK, personal responsibility all around.

    But now it seems that the precedent has been set by the bail out of Bear Sterns investment bank. Those bootstrap Republicans have just used $30 million of our tax money to back it up, and now the new owners of the bank are in "horrible predicament" of either earning more money for themselves, or losing tax payer money. Boy if the gub'ment could put us all in that position. So now, in the interest of fairness, I can't blame the borrowers or lenders for asking for help, and I can't complain if they get it.

    Where's Neil Bush when you need him.

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