Friday, December 7, 2007

Ambivalence About Lending

President Bush came out yesterday with a "compassionate" proposal to ease the mortgage woes of millions of Americans. It wasn't a bad political move, either. I would like to be a big person. I would like to be noble and say, "How Wonderful!" But I'm not.

Having once, way back in the 80's, lost everything, having been forced by a lender unwilling to work with us into selling our home at a considerable discount, a lender who then turned around at the closing and slapped us with punitive “fines” which ate up our substantial down payment, as well as the extra thousand towards the principal we had paid for years, leaving a grand total of $494.00 out of the nearly hundred thousand in those two items, I have a skewed perspective on the matter.

For years in Florida I have watched people, twentysomethings in particular, who would have scoffed at the ramshackle four room Cracker home we bought later- the one with a mortgage the size of a motorcycle payment- buy large faux Mediterranean homes with price tags they could not possible afford. Snug in my now quaint cottage, I watched an impending train wreck.

But now, it seems I was wrong. There are so many of them that letting them learn the hard lessons we were taught could torpedo the economy. The situation reminds me that not long after our financial collapse, Donald Trump found himself in a similar situation. Of course, they didn’t take him to the wall, they way they did to us. They helped bail him out. It’s kinda like that commercial where the big banks use the little guy as a matchbook to prop up a wobbly table. Oh, well, one of the things you learn early on is that life isn’t fair.

For a more positive take, read this column at Townhall.

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