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I’m a chump.

A while back, I went shopping for a mortgage. When I saw the obscene amount of money the bank was willing to lend me, I nearly fell over. Thanks, but no thanks, I said. There was no way that I was willing to assume that much debt. But plenty of others were. Plenty of other people took out mortgages they couldn’t afford, from banks that shouldn’t have lent to them, sparking what is now being spun as the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. And now, the federal government wants to reward them for their irresponsibility, with my tax dollars. The Bush Administration is preparing a plan for the federal government to buy up bad mortgages and other debt, at a multibillion-dollar cost to taxpayers. This is more than the unjust reward of the irresponsible at the expense of the responsible. It’s more than the foolish encouragement of future irresponsibility. It is outright mockery of the people who practice the virtuous financial behavior that fosters personal and national well-being.

14 thoughts on “I’m a chump.

  1. Under normal circumstances, the morons would not have been able to get a loan. They are free, though, to apply. However, government’s own policies changed the equation and forced many lenders to make these loans.

    It also looks like many government policies changed for the worse the way companies report assets and how they are valued by analysts.

    Clinton-era “reforms” took away private sector functions and gave them to the SEC. Guess what? The government is much more inefficiant at discovering when companies are in trouble!

  2. HEY!!

    Just ’cause people are really, really stupid morons doesn’t mean the banks should be able to take advantage of them!!

    Why should anyone signing a contract have to know about stupid things like ARMs or Zero-Down Financing or Interest-Only Payment Plans? That sort of thing is for the experts. Of course, my skullcase being an effective substitute for a vacuum tube means I would never seek to hire any expert to advise me when entering a contract, but that’s beside the point, too!!

    I mean, making completely imbecilic and clotheaded errors in the Real World doesn’t mean that said negative-IQ halfwits get completely screwed by nature, nature’s creatures, or completely random events that could have been spotted 10 miles away with 3 seconds of forethought.

    No, really!

    I know how the world works!

    And I’ll prove it to you! I’m going out later today to spend all my life savings on this nice bridge this guy wants to sell me. I figure I’ll charge tolls and make a heck of a lot more as a result. I should get all my money back in a couple weeks.

    :o9

    .

  3. Even Leslie Byrne has figured this out. ‘Course, it only took fifteen years to discover something (other than the military, where it actually does some good) at which she WON’T throw taxpayer money.

  4. Alright, Ms. Carbone, explained to me that the “them” in the 7th sentence refers to the banks AND the individuals in the 6th. If this is the case and blame is being placed on the financial institutions as well, then I was obviously wrong in my assumption and apologize for misunderstanding the intention of this post.

  5. This is hilarious. “Good Post” Blame the Poor Woot!

    I have always believed that people should be held accountable for there actions; that individual are responsible for their own mental well being. Would you agree that there is no excuse for stupidity? So, to some extent I agree with the comments to this post. However…

    What is so funny to me is that, the lower and middle class, the same people who will be bailing out this mess, are being blamed for it. Yes, the tax dollars to cover this will come from the middle class because we are the majority in this country, you can’t argue that point. “reward them”? You’re kidding right? Reward them with what? More debt? Maybe the blame should not be placed solely on the poor and middle class for their mistakes. Maybe… (wait for it) the banks are a little tiny bit responsible for their actions. Maybe banks/lenders/brokers should have done better financial back round checks and not funded people that couldn’t afford large mortgages (evern if they were getting a bonus each time a new mortgage was signed). Maybe the banks could have done a better job, after all this “Bush Administration” bail out IS for the financial institutions and not for individuals. And let’s save a little blame for those at the top of the ladder; those that made a ton of money before the market crashed, funny how there wasn’t any complaining a year ago.

  6. It’s like a huge chunk of our country just went socialist on us. Crazy hypocrisy.

    Personally, I’m OK with some things being government run, but insurance and home mortgage banks?

    Of course, if the government actually *did* run the Federal Reserve (instead of just pretending) I think we *might* be better off. Then again, I don’t trust either politicians or corporate bankers to be honest.

    Good post, though. Really illustrates the immediate problem with what’s going on right now.

    However, I do think some attention should be paid to the fact that endless inflation and unchecked outsourcing have contributed to our economic woes. But I totally agree with your post. Don’t take out a loan if you’re not 100% sure you can pay it back.

    Hell, I swore off credit cards because I was sick of thinking I’d be fine financially only to find myself unexpectedly out of work and unable to pay my minimums.

    It’s called responsibility people, take it! (I do think you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it, though.)

  7. Then there’s the governmental-economic angle. I find it more than a bit troubling that the federal government owns the secondary mortgage market, a major insurance group, and now (at least potentially) a lot more property.

  8. No, you’re not a chump. You are obviously someone who learned that in life there are (or should be) consequences for our actions. And you obviously are smart enough to realize the folly in living above your means.

    Generally speaking, I feel that a good portion of the current problem is that we have become a society of victims who are all too willing to blame others and have them take responsibility for what WE have done to ourselves.

    So what if the banks were willing to loan people more than they could afford? What about saying, “Thanks but no thanks” as you did?

    But no, I guess the lenders held these folks at gunpoint and FORCED them to take out loans. That is the only explanation I can give for people who knowingly get themselves into these kinds of situations.

    And to add insult to injury, these same people who are facing foreclosure expect that we are willing to forgive their debts and allow them to stay in these extravagant homes. After all, it wasn’t their fault the banks loaned them money they couldn’t possibly afford to pay back.

    What an outrage!

    I’m with you. I resent that I am probably going to be forced one way or another to assume the irresponsibility of others for the greater good of our country and economy.

  9. I agree with you, it's ridiculous.

    When we bought our house a year ago, we made it very clear that we wanted to stay w.in a range that would keep our payments under the BAH that the military would pay us. They would have given us ALOT more, but we *knew* we couldn't afford it. instead of a big roomy house & insane debt, we have a modest, comfy place and the $$ to keep up with the payments.

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