Only ourselves to blame

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  • Banker 4:58
    Sept. 23, 2008 8:47 p.m.

    So why did they get houses they could not afford? What does the mortgage broker have to do with it? They knew the loans were risky, or would have if they actually read the paperwork before signing it. I don't have an MBA, but know better than to buy a house that is 5x my income. That is called common sense.
    Most of these borrowers knew the terms of their loans and took a known gamble. They believed their houses would go up in value. They knowingly took this gamble. Do you really believe people had no idea that if their houses lost value they would be in trouble? That is truly naive. They knew that, but did not think it could happen, or bet that it would not since the prices kept going up, up, up.
    Guess what, prices can fall, and if you are not smart enough to take that into consideration, that is no ones fault but your own.
    Individuals make investments using financial advisers. If the stock loses value who is responsible for the loss? According to you, the adviser should always take responsibility because apparently investors have no idea there is a risk involved.

  • michaelh :-) Nice try!
    Sept. 23, 2008 5:00 p.m.

    Carter was president when the Community Development Act was signed. Did anyone notice a trend of defaults during the Reagan administration that followed Carter? The Community Development Act didn't create a problem for George the First ether. Where is the data to show Carter created any problem? If he had there was 16 years of republican president to notice the problem. existed: Right?

    There were changes to the CRA when a republican congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act regulating Banking. Republicans were in the majority but, they agreed to changes in the Community Redevelopment act to get a veto proof major to keep President Clinton from vetoing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Clinton is to blame for signing a bill that would be over ridden by a republican controlled congress?

    Next; you will tell me the Republican Party, is the party of personal accountability?

    After, Clinton, Bush appoints economic planers and advisers. As our president, Bush wasn't responsible to keep a pulse of our nation's economic health? He wasn't responsible for telling Americans our economy was sound?

  • Banker-I don't have HIV trust me
    Sept. 23, 2008 4:58 p.m.

    Re: to Gus,

    "So the individuals who took out loans on houses they could not afford, relying on the idea that housing prices would continue to rise, hold no responsibility for their loss. Are you serious? This was not rape."

    Are you serious or just delusional? It is no wonder that we are in this mess since it is easy for people who are as screwed up as you to get elected when the people who vote for them are so stupid. Most of the people who took out these mortgages did so in good faith and based on informed judgment. If a doctor tells someone the best course of treatment is to receive chemotherapy many will take their word for it because they don't have time to go to medical school anymore than home buyers have the time or the financial resources to go to business school.

    "This was more comparable to someone having consensual relations with a stranger they know is a high risk for HIV, without protection, and then getting HIV and taking no responsibility on themselves."

    It's more comparable to someone having sex with someone who claims to not be a high risk of HIV.

  • Confused
    Sept. 23, 2008 4:14 p.m.

    Mantra,
    Isn't it the Democrats that are leading this bailout?

    Are they not in Control? Or is it just easier to blame someone else for thier failed policies?

  • to Gus
    Sept. 23, 2008 3:31 p.m.

    So the individuals who took out loans on houses they could not afford, relying on the idea that housing prices would continue to rise, hold no responsibility for their loss. Are you serious? This was not rape. They chose loans that were risky, because they thought the housing market was a sure thing. Nothing is a sure thing. You do not invest what you can't afford to lose.
    This was more comparable to someone having consensual relations with a stranger they know is a high risk for HIV, without protection, and then getting HIV and taking no responsibility on themselves.

  • Gus Talwynd
    Sept. 23, 2008 2:37 p.m.

    What a cop out! This is like blaming the employees for Enron, Tyco, and the massive frauds perpetrated by deceitful executives.

    The problem of the recent financial meltdown is largely a result of the loss of oversight so that these financial institutions could operate without any accountability. Others have documented specific changes in legislation, supported by the Bush administration, that allowed this mess to occur.

    The support by the Bush administration for unbridled business practices to increase profits regardless of the long-range social implications is truely a condemnation of the new conservatism representative of the Republican Party today. This is just the continuing legacy of Ronald Reagan where business should be able to work unfettered.

    The bottom line is profit by any means. This can only occur when oversight is eliminated, and it occurs when those at the top abbrogate their responsibilities and their social contract with the citizens of the United States.

    Blaming common people for this disaster is like the typical blame cast at a rape victim for the rape. It is absurd. Saying that they are responsible for voting in the politicians who perpetuated this obscenity is ridiculous. The responsibility belongs at the top, not the bottom.

  • Stewart
    Sept. 23, 2008 11:44 a.m.

    I don't accept the statement that we are all responsible for the financial mess that the country finds its self in. This is a republic and we elect people to advocate for us, not to simply turn the capitalistic machine loose on us.

    I am a capitalist, but knowing that it runs on greed, and would eat its own children without control and oversite. At present many of our elected representatives in congress are representing capitalist and globalist interests over the general citizenry. Often they are so influenced by "trickle down economics," that they think they are doing what is best.

    We in Utah are a central part of the problem. We continue to elect Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) to the Senate. He and Sen. Shelby were the leading republicans on the Senate Banking Committee for a decade up to Jan 2007.

    This problem was identified as early as 2003 and this Senate oversite committee did nothing over four years. They actually went to the foxes in the industry to ask what they should do about guarding the hen house. These same foxes, with feathers in their teeth, told them that the hen house was doing just fine.

  • KVC
    Sept. 23, 2008 10:56 a.m.

    Let's be real honest here. Which political groups are most likely to push for policies that make it easier for lower income individuals to purchase homes? Which groups have a belief that home ownership is a sort of entitlement? Which side of the aisle seems more likely to push to make it easier for low income workers to obtain a mortgage? Which side would harass banks who make it difficult for those with lower incomes to get a mortgage and would push to approve even those with bad credit?
    I cannot picture anyone except the left pushing the ideas that led to the housing crisis. If you think otherwise, you are disingenuous, and are just hate Republicans.
    What would happen if Republicans stopped all of these loans for the low income earners and prevented them from buying houses? They would have been labeled, as they always are, as only looking out for the rich, and preventing the poor from moving up. Now they are being blamed for allowing the left to cause this to happen. It is a no win for Republicans, no matter where they stand.

  • peperlake
    Sept. 23, 2008 9:32 a.m.

    all you repubs out there looking to pin this problem on democrats need to get a life. neither party is to blame on this one. you can blame Gengrich and the push for deregulation or you can blame the others for not enforcing the regulations that there are. both parties are guilty. this bailout will only make the economic crisis go away for a few years. it will take decades to pay this bailout off. we are only paying bills with our gov. creditcard. we will fall on our faces even harder than we would now by adding intrest.

  • Democratic mantra??
    Sept. 23, 2008 9:20 a.m.

    Frank, Frank, Frank... you realize that its a Republican President who came up with this bail out plan and wants the Democrats to pass it without question.

    In true Capitalism, businesses that make mistakes go away. If there is a need, another business will step up.

  • When...
    Sept. 23, 2008 8:12 a.m.

    will we ever learn??? You cannot borrow your way out of debt. The age old adage applies here. If you keep doing what you've always done and expect a different result, you are insane. We, the people, and those we continue to elect to represent us and spend our confiscated money, are insane.

  • MEB
    Sept. 23, 2008 7:56 a.m.

    Democrats who blame this whole mess on Republicans are being disingenuous. Republicans who blame this whole mess on Democrats are being disingenuous. Both have plenty of blame to share. Neither is standing on the moral high ground.

    I lived through the S&L crisis. I can't believe our politicians want another $700M to fix what they should have been watching all along. They all should be fired, and new ones (with term limits) should replace them.

  • Kevin
    Sept. 23, 2008 7:56 a.m.

    Wait a minute, ECR. Enron and the S&L's broke laws. There are laws on the books that could be enforced, like for fraud.

    However, government encouraged and facilitated the risk. Now risk is going to be concentrated into one managerial entity, with the taxpayers having to pay. This is incredibly dangerous from a risk management perspective.

    It's like state governments that peddle lotteries and Keno to it's citizens, and then cry for the need of more gambling regulation.

    Borrowing got us into this mess. Everyone's borrowing. Now enter government with $700B of more borrowing as a remedy. It's just unbelievable.

  • KVC
    Sept. 23, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    This bailout is ludicrous. I have debt and am expected to pay it back. I took out a reasonable mortgage I knew I could afford. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were terribly mismanaged by obama's financial advisers, and yet they are getting large severence packages financed by the government.
    Personally I do not care how much corporations pay their CEOs, as long as the government is not asked to help them out. Once you come to the American people for money, you are no longer free to make that decision as you are resonsible to your financial backers, US.
    I do not believe we should bail out any mortgage or corporation. Who gives me my money back if an investment goes bad? Who bailed out the Enron investors when they lost everything? No one. You cannot bail out a select few. It is either everyone or no one, and I vote for no one. Personal responsibility is the hallmark of a free society, so quit sticking out your hands and suck it up.
    Obama supports a government subsidized society for everything. Personally I think he is wrong. It is an "on your own" society, at least it should be.

  • Voice of Reason
    Sept. 23, 2008 7:42 a.m.

    The current meltdown is at least partially directly teaceable to laws passed introduced and passed by the left in the Congress, most notably anti-"redlining" laws. And no, it wasn't just Demos - too many Republicans voted for these absurd laws as well. But Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, their two principle proponents, should resign NOW.

    Partly as a result of these laws, mortgage companies got in the habit of writing way too many risky loans for people who couldn't afford them and couldn't pay them back. Would there still have been a market correction if these ridiculous laws hadn't passed? Probably, but the numbers strongly suggest that we wouldn't be seeing the failures of Fannie & Freddie, and the AIG, Lehman, etc. bankruptcies if the Demos had left well enough alone.

    It clearly wasn't too little regulation that has caused the current meltdown - it was politicians meddling in financial markets they didn't understand for purely political reasons that contributed in large measure.

    In the end, the sad irony is that the Democrats wound up hurting most those they wanted to help the most: those with low income and bad credit.

  • The mantra
    Sept. 23, 2008 7:35 a.m.

    The marching song of the Republicans is now "Nationalize and Bail out Wall street". The myth used to gain power is now evaporated. Democrats as usual are for the people.

  • Charles
    Sept. 23, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    Frank, I actually agree with you. There is no personal responsibility any longer. The more we bail people out for their poor decisions the longer we create government dependency.

    It's time to line up a bunch of prosecutors and go after the idiots who did these things at the companies. Take their bonuses back after they have been convicted.

    be sure to ask Chris Dodd and the other Demos about their luxury loans.

    Anon, put away your childish blinders and yes, look at the issue with the facts. We know, that's asking too much of you - the blame "neocons" for everything poster...

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 23, 2008 6:59 a.m.

    The Democratic mantra? Was it only Democrats taking those risky loans? Are the board rooms at AIG and Lehman staffed only by Democrats? Did Hank Paulsen switch parties recently?

  • michaelh
    Sept. 23, 2008 6:16 a.m.

    I will not take part in the blame. I opposed Carter and Clinton the authors of our demise. I am not a Democrat, I never invested in Freddie or Fannie the intuitions Democrats created so they would have their own banks to loot. I pay my mortgage and I am relatively debt free. I do not support Obama the second highest looter of Fannie. I supported the seventeen times Bush tried to stop the looting of these Democrat monstrosities. If you are Democrat you are to blame.

  • ECR
    Sept. 23, 2008 5:36 a.m.

    Frank - take a moment to examine the record dating back to the 80's when the S&L's were deregulated. Move forward 15 years and see how deregulation fostered the Enron disaster and then look at the legislation deregulating even more financial institutions in the last eight years, allowing insurance companies to get into the banking business without the regulations of the banking business and you see an unfortunate but predictable pattern of disaster. After the worldwide tragedy of the Great Depression rules were put into place to guard against the same thing happening again. Politicians that we have elected (well maybe you elected) have been the conduit to undo those safeguards over the past 70 years leaving us with a gun to our heads today. Either we suck it up and finance the bailout of these companies or we watch the world fall into another great depression. It is not because government was too heavy handed it was because government was too leniet, relying on the integrity of the market and those who manipulate it. Let's not make that mistake again.

  • Hear! Hear!
    Sept. 23, 2008 4:20 a.m.

    This bailout is insane. It's like providing another luxury liner for the rescued crew of the sinking ship while hauling in a bunch of people who didn't even take the cruise, telling them to hop on and bail faster.

    It is hogwash and baloney.