Letâ€™s point fingers. Itâ€™s the American wayâ€”when things go awry, we want to know who’s to blame. Thereâ€™s got to be somebody out there whose hands are dirty? And if we canâ€™t find them weâ€™ll pick an easy target.
So whoâ€™s is to blame for the mortgage fiasco? Might there be enough blame to go around for everyone?
The banks and lenders who made the loans certainly had to know the risks involvedâ€”they designed the loans in the first place. They are the ones that lowered the qualifying standards so that a buyer could get approved for a loan at a minimum negatively amortized payment option. One might even argue this is what the banks wanted. Countrywide, the nationâ€™s largest lender may have specifically designed these loans to bring themselves to the brink of bankruptcy. Why? Weâ€™ll leave that one to the conspiracy theorists.
The brokers who made the loans must have also been aware of the pros and cons; how else could they sell the products? Why didnâ€™t they just tell people that these were risky loans, Iâ€™m sure no one would have opted in had they been aware of a potential down sideâ€¦
Real estate agents must bear some culpability too. After all, they sold these people homes they knew they could never afford for the short-sided interest of getting a commission check. Letâ€™s just hope they all go down with the sinking shipâ€”thatâ€™ll teach them. Many of these buyers could never have dreamed of owning a home and real estate agents should have told them to forget about homeownership and stay renters.
And all will be well in American if we can just find someone to blame.
The fact is other than some unscrupulous lenders, bankers, mortgage brokers and agents who participated in these loan schemes without disclosing the downside, one really cannot blame the average industry professional for doing their jobâ€”selling a productâ€”anymore than one could blame your local supermarket for selling tobacco, alcohol, butter and bacon. Those products might not be the best for you but theyâ€™re availableâ€” itâ€™s up to the buyer to be aware of the health issues and indulge in moderation.
If you think the buyer suing her agent in California over the value of her home is a case to watch, wait until homeowners start suing the banks for offering them loans the banks should have known they could not afford.
The reality is this is probably the best argument against privatizing Social Security. Most people do not possess the business acumen to handle their own finances. I can just imagine the uproar over that bailout nowâ€¦