I've been following the whole Congressional activity regarding the subprime home loan mess. I've also followed, with great interest, the activities being done by the individual states on the matter. My conclusion? The states seem to have a clearer picture and the federal government doesn't have a clue.
I can understand, and agree, that the primary task should be to help those that were the victims of those predatory loans. Yes, there were probably a few people that were stupid and didn't ask the right questions and shut their eyes becuase they were going to get what they weren't otherwise qualified to receive. But let's be blunt about this...no consumer held a gun to any mortgage lender's head and forced them to offer this predatory loan.
After helping out those victims, the next step is to find those responsible and hold them accountable for this mess. This is where the states have it over the federal government. The states are beginning to investigate the originators of these predatory loans to determine how much they actually disclosed. Unfortunately, this is being driven by the fact that many shareholders lost tons of money and not the fact that people were conned and lied to. In any form of government or corporations, doing the right things has NEVER trumped making loads of money. As long as they can make obscene profits, they can always justify their methods and buy off officials to look the other way (need I mention ENRON?).
So, who is to blame for the current subprime fiasco? Well, that's easy to figure out. Follow the money!
1. Who made the most money from the subprime con?
2. Who knew enough to minimize their losses?
And why isn't the money being followed? Because, more then likely, it will lead to those that we have entrusted to protect us and to put our interests before their own. The powerful people. Who might they be? I will let you draw your own conclusions.
And I'm sure that everyone who was involved in this fiasco can justify their actions or inactions. Many will say that it was not their responsibility to look out for the consumer, that they were grown adults who should have been more diligent, etc. Yes, we've heard all of the justifications...from con artists.
One of the more interesting aspects of the aid being discussed by Congress is to ease up the bankrupcy rules. Hmm, I distinctly remember our congress making the bankrupcy rules more stringent against their own contituents' wishes, BUT it was exactly what the banks and lenders wanted...to be able to suck the life blood out of consumers with Congresses blessing. So, who should pay the consequences? Not the consumer!
But there is an old saying:
If You Aren't Part Of The Solution...You Are Part Of The Problem.