Why are we always getting such conflicting “professional” opinions, comments, data and statistics? Just flip through the TV stations and you’ll get every opinion thought of thrown at you, which then, causes us to form our own opinions. Right or wrong, opinions are just your feelings of which side of the debate you decide you want to support on any subject. The news stations have invited numerous Economists on their shows these past couple of years and we find it quite entertaining. Have you noticed when listening to an Economist talk, they talk out of both sides of their mouths and are esteemed as an expert? For instance, here’s a “two handed economist” that, in 1985, Krugman’s rant on one hand was higher national debt was a real problem, which we feel has always been a serious problem. Yet today, Krugman, on the other hand, is contradicting himself by stating the national debt is not a problem. Hmmm, As President Reagan was once heard quoting, “What we need is a ‘one handed’ economist” so we don’t get so confused. After all, what does an economist do? They are paid to give their philosophical theories and opinions based on mathematics, statistics, markets and economic computational models. In other words, your best guess will do. Now we know that there’s more to it than just that, but they are never expected to be right all the time… unlike a CPA who had better be right all the time, or he’s fired.
With the downgrade to Fannie and Freddie from Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s downgrade to AA+ for our country… emotions are running high with this economy as many fear the future as seen by the DOW tanking last week and this week. The biggest fears we face as realtors, businessmen and women, and Americans is that of the “unknown.” For what we reported today were “the top 10 reasons the U.S. will not see a double dip recession” and the same day we found another report of “the top 10 reasons a double dip recession has already begun.” So who does one believe? Opinions are spewing from every direction but, the correct one.
What Mark and I know is just this; regardless of what might be ringing in your ears from whats babbled on T.V., if it’s to be, it’s up to me to make my own economy! We feel strongly about this country STILL being the best country in the world with the best opportunity in the world! So when you find yourself being frustrated, or depressed because of your circumstance, change your attitude and put yourself to work by being innovative, creative and driven! Every economy, good or bad, has created new lines of work. Jobs today were never dreamed of 20 years ago. So make your mark by doing something about it.
We believe that as Americans, most of the world can’t fathom what it’s like to have true freedom of speech. Although we see our freedoms eroding with legislation chopping away at the base of Free Speech every year. It’s a blessing to have what we have, yet in the Real Estate community, to be able to speak freely could get you in a lot of hot water. So be mindful of what and how you say things to a client when discussing houses, communities, areas and certain streets. This is one area where freedom of speech is limited, unfortunately. We just hope that the “Fairness Doctrine” gets vanquished each time it’s brought before congress. Remember, our Forefathers defected from a tyrannical government to escape the coerced silence of intellect. As we understand the pros and cons of each argument, it’s more damaging to allow government to stifle free speech. That is when tyranny defeats freedom and the voice of the people become unheard, unwanted and meaningless. Should that ever occur in this land, God so help us!
Has a court judge ever issued a ruling that is completely outside his jurisdiction and feasibly beyond reach of his “long arm of the law?” Well, it’s happening right now and I’m curious as to when and how they might be stopped. Do you remember the political buzz of “Bankruptcy cram downs” a few years ago that the DC gang was trying to pass in the language of the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.” Historically, bankruptcy judges could only modify the terms of mortgages on investment properties and vacation homes in a chapter 13 bankruptcy but not on primary residences. The use of the controversial bankruptcy cram-down has been voted down in Congress several times, but DBRS (corporation credit rating company) says that hasn’t stopped some judges from putting them into practice in the states of California, Texas and Louisiana. So my question to the long arm of the law is; what right do you have as a judge to independently decide to force a bank/lender/ investor to either write down principal balance on a note, change the interest rate, extend the term of years OR all of the above? This is not the law and its ostensible there is a clear violation of law being perpetrated on behalf of judges who clearly are in place to enforce the law, not arbitrarily make it up as they go!
Now don’t get me wrong as I’m not sympathizing with the banks/lenders/investors on this issue. We all know they started this mess by lowering their standards of loan qualifications beginning back with the Community Reinvestment Act of 1970’s under Carter. But that’s another blog for another time. The banks however, should not have to adhere to a judges ruling who clearly has ruled on an issue that is unlawful. Turn the tables to an entrepreneur who has loaned $200,000 to an individual for the purchase of a home. In the mortgage industry he is called a private investor, or hard money lender as the terms of the note are usually much more expensive to the borrower with higher interest rates and abnormal discount points as fees. Is it fair that a hypothetical borrower agrees to specific terms of a loan with a private citizen on his primary home and now needs to file chapter 13 bankruptcy and his judge rules in favor of the borrower that the private citizen that lent the money to the borrower now has to forgive $50,000? Or reduce the contracted interest rate of 12% down to 2%. Or extend his term of 5 yrs for a full payoff to anything longer than that? This is ludicrous. This can bankrupt private investors and banks. Not sure we as Americans are interested in more banks going bankrupt. But if these rogue judges continue ruling unlawfully and nobody stops them…. I can only see the slippery slope to a no win situation for our banking.