Friday, September 26, 2008

An allegory

Lets imagine that a water utility, as a cost-saving measure, shortened a water-filtering cycle and started pumping out water that was harmful to downstream users. At the same time, homebuilders and homeowners decided to build more cheaply and leave a filter out of household plumbing. People start getting sick. An uproar ensues.

What should be done? Is culpability the big question here? Government should move right in and assure that people have clean water, by assuming the expense of doing so and figuring out a way to get paid back. It's not a moral question, but a practical one.

People have been getting really worked up about the moral side of the current crisis. The investment banks are easy to point fingers at, because they're opaque and mysterious, but at the end of the day people are mad at them because they earn a bunch of money.

There's a fair amount of anti-Semitism mixed in here too, especially when you start talking about Goldman Sachs. How many messageboard references have I seen to "throwing out the moneylenders from the temple."

Anybody to took out an aggressive loan or did a cash-out refi and got in over their heads was playing the same game as the investment bankers. And/or maxed out credit card debt and snatched up an F150.

I have a 30-year fixed mortgage, and 1996 car with 175000 miles on it, and a portfolio all in registered product, hostage to ERISA. I'm getting raped in this deal, and I ain't bitching. It is what it is.

What have I done with my money through all of this? I put a roof on my house, donated to a soup kitchen, and am getting my windows painted, and I'm tired of listening to red state day traders whine about freedom and taxes.

I'm going to Greece.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you impute too much knowledge to the home owner. The mortgage is a lot more complex than a water filter.

On a side note, I bookmarked your blog on my home computer and it always comes up Oct. 31 2007 because that was the date I bookmarked it and I didn't correct to the generic URL. Anyhow, in light of where we are, you should reread that entry. When reading it last night I had thought it a recent, yet unfulfilling, blog.