Amongst all the endless arguments about how to handle the mortgage crisis, it seems that everyone involved in the mess wants to play the victim. The truth is that everyone who participated in the mortgage mania was a co-conspirator who should face the consequences for their actions.
The borrower knew a ridiculously low teaser rate would change to a much higher one. The borrower with a $40,000 a year income knew they couldn’t afford to buy a $600,000 home. The realtors and mortgage brokers knew it didn’t make any sense, but they got their commission and passed the hot potato. The Street thought they could slice and dice the potato to nothing and collect fat fees in the process. The government said nothing, collecting the booty from higher property taxes and permit fees. And the maestro kept interest rates ridiculously low so everyone could keep the music playing.
The final opus is finished and discordant sounds echo across America that are heard around the world. The mortgage mania could not have existed without the cooperation of all the players who enjoyed working together when real estate prices were on an upward trajectory. If all of the “victims” here were involved in child pornography – from the filmmaker to the person watching the movie in their home, they would all be found guilty and face criminal charges. The same applies to a person dealing in stolen goods, even if they did not steal them.
All the players made conscious choices in creating their reality. Let the millions of people who are fiscally responsible and sat out the game purchase the home or the investment at the value determined in the open market.