Thoughtful Thursday – Bailouts and Fiscal Responsibility

Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Clip ArtWatching what’s happening in the markets, I feel like I’m on the edge of a cliff, waiting to lose my grip (and my money). I think many Americans feel the same way.

So today’s Thoughtful Thursday is about this bailout everyone is discussing and my . . . upset with it.

I know we need to do something. But I want whatever is done to not heap yet more burdens on the large majority of Americans. You know, those people who get up every day, go to work, pay their taxes and pay their mortgages on time.

How do so many Americans do that? Fiscal responsibility. A strange idea to some, I know. That means you don’t spend more than you earn and you don’t borrow more than you can pay back.

When I got my first mortgage, I knew the bank would only lend me a certain amount of money based on my salary. The bank also knew that I intended to live in my home and maintain it.

The banks that are stable seem to have stuck to that principle. Homeowners are a good risk in general and when the system works, its good for both the banks and the homeowners. Banks make their money on the interest rates and homeowners build equity in their homes.

Somewhere along the line, some banks forgot this. They started giving loans well in excess of what people could afford to pay. They reduced their standards for credit. They allowed real estate speculators to buy beyond what they could which drove up housing prices, creating a bubble.

Well, at least that’s my take from what I’ve been reading lately.

So then what happened? People couldn’t pay their mortgages. Housing prices dropped and those properties which seemed like gold turned to lead and speculators walked away from the properties without paying their mortgages. Foreclosures skyrocketed, driving down home prices for all of us who have been faithfully paying our mortgages and obviously, threatening the existence of all these mortgage companies and our economy.

Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac. Did they use unsound practices in granting mortgages? If they did, who is responsible and why are you and I footing the bill?

Should we ask the CEO of Freddie Mac? In 2007, the Chairman of Freddie Mac got nearly 19.8 million dollars in compensation. You can click here to read more about it! Of course, nearly 14.3 million of that was in stock options, so maybe now it’s not worth 14.3 million. The article goes on to say “If Syron resigns or is fired with cause, he will owe the company $1.25 million. But if he is fired without cause, he will pocket $19.1 million.”

Do you think there’s cause? Do you think that many Americans have a right to be royally pissed about this bailout?

This inquiring mind wants to know what you think.

For me, I’d like to get the economy stable, restore the market’s balance and get home values stabilized. For many of us, our home is our nest egg. But I’d also like to know that this bailout isn’t going to reward CEOs, speculators and those who are found to have improperly received mortgages. Not to mention that I’d like to make sure that regulations are put in place to prevent this from happening again.

0 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday – Bailouts and Fiscal Responsibility”

  1. Just finished reading Death Calls. I DID enjoy it. I get the Nocturne series as part of M&B’s Intrigue series on subscription. Look forward to seeing your books in there. I’ve enjoyed the Nocturne series. It would be interesting to see if you plan on including any psychic/mediumship in your writing. You touch on it but I’m not sure if that’s an interest of yours or not. As I am both I enjoy reading about it too. Keep up the good work.

  2. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

    Ceo’s don’t deserve $19M, no matter what they do for the world, and especially not for what the do TO the world.

    Years ago there was a musical called Marat/Sade. One of the lines from one of the songs went “we want our rights, and we don’t care how! We want a revolution…NOW.”
    It was about the French revolution, but that line came to my mind after listening to the president the other night. This is scary.

  3. What I find so surprising is how everyone on Wall Street is “surprised” by what happened. Publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and business mags have been saying for years that the mortgage/housing bubble was going to burst. And anyone with an ounce of sense knew it was inevitable (0% down? C’mon!). Why did I know it was coming and the CEOs and the government didn’t?

    And I’m all for quick action, but there’s NO WAY anyone should give the Treasury Secretary near limitless power with no oversight, as he requested. That’s what those CEOs had, and look what they did!

  4. My blood pressure goes up when I think of where we (americans) are today as a country. The wants of a few have been paid for by the blood and sweat of others. Greed and the lust for power of some have caused unbelieveable problems for many. I’m not saying we may not have contributed to some of it, but by far the few at the top are always getting away with things and getting paid to do it. We need to go back to a time when people actually lived by the golden rule.

  5. I live in a modest ranch house that we bought in 1990. Every time I look at buying a new car I have to say to myself. “Can I justify buying a car that cost half as much as I paid for my house?”

    I have never understood those people who live out in the part of town where the streets are paved with gold and all the enormous houses are painted within a range of colors that could generously be called beige and have mortgages in the 300,000-500,000 dollar range (our house cost us $54k – adjust for your local markets, I’m in the midwest. I know it’s different on the coasts and that’s not what I’m talking about -. It’s nothing special but it’s fine.) Yes, I probably could have qualified for a house in the $200k range but why? I think it’s symptomatic of the selfishness of a generation that has never had to wait for anything. Going to college without working for it, getting a job out of school with a six figure salary, buying cars that cost as much as my house.

    I’ve worked hard all my life, paid my taxes, I put myself through school while working full time and have contributed the maximum to my 401k since I was 25. So in spite of my frustration with the current state of the financial markets I have to say I am all for the bailout if it will keep the financial markets from collapsing and crushing us all underneath them. I take some small consolation in the fact that the people who profited from the real estate bubble have likely lost most of their speculative gains in the recent collapse. But I’m really really not going to be happy if all my hard earned money goes down the tubes at the end of this mess.

  6. I agree with Fannie. Will the CEOs get theirs off the top if there is a buyout? Along with the thought that those of us who work need to bailout everyone else, I got this e-mail this morning.

    THE JOB & THE URINE TEST

    I HAVE TO PASS A URINE TEST FOR MY JOB. So, like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem.

    What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don’t have to pass a urine test. Shouldn’t one have to pass aurine test to get a welfare check, because, I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their butt, doing drugs, while I work. . . .Can you imagine how much money the State would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

  7. It might seem strange to some people, but I’ve never had a mortgage. When we built our first home, we lived in an apartment we owned. We paid for our house as we went. So when we moved in we owned it free and clear. When my husband got sick, we sold our business and put our house on the market. It was way too large for just me as I was disabled. We bought a mobile home and paid cash for it so I wouldn’t be faced with payments. I am 65 now and still live in the mobile home. I feel sorry for people who work and pay their bills. It’s the big businesses I get angry with. They prequalify people trying to buy a home so they know what they can afford. People shouldn’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Live within your salary. Then when the Joneses lose their home, you won’t. I don’t look forward to taking on this burden we are facing. These CEO’s should be giving back some of the big bonuses they have made, not be rewarded for putting this country in the mess it is in. I have never understood what they did to earn this kind of money. I’ll get off the soapbox now. Have a great day and hugs to all.

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