Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm Easily Manipulated

Sigh, the long, rage inducing posts, I have been loathe to avoid. Unfortunately someone in the comments requests that we take on "The New Breed of Deadbeats" and I view this request as flattery, which gets narcissists like me out the door faster than free ice-cream. Here goes.

I am afraid that I am one of those people who have no patience for people who refuse to pay their debts. People who can't pay their debts? All the sympathy in the world, even if they accumulated those debts through a series of stupid decisions.
Excuse me, Megan, but color was invented quite some time ago. You can stop seeing in black and white now. I just love it when she fucking OPENS with a blatant contradiction. Sentence one judges the fuck out of a broad swath of people whose lives are unknown to her. Sentence two claims to give a similar group of people "all the sympathy in the world." Of course, there is no way the Venn diagram of these two people overlap and Megan has the immaculate detective skills necessary to discern the two.

Anyway, fuck those people for whom she has "all the sympathy in the world." Megan's not here to put a spotlight on the troubles of the down-trodden. She's here to chastise the down-trodden and spotlight the troubles of the already powerful. So let's go berate us some deadbeats. What kind?
people who were unequivocally using bankruptcy to game the system--filing and then vacating serial Chapter 13 petitions in order to keep from being evicted or foreclosed out of houses where they'd never intended making the monthly payments.
Those sound like horrible people! Although a sentence later she admits they are "few in number," that doesn't stop her from wagging her finger at them.

So who are these intentional fraudsters, well, according the Megan some were profiled in this Wall Street Journal piece. Let's see what this piece has to say about those serial fraudsters. Those scattered and few deadbeats bent on gaming the system. I'll just quote everything Megan quotes:
Ms. Richey, the teacher, arrived in Palmdale in 1999. In 2004, she and her husband, Timothy, bought a two-story home on Caspian Drive, near Avenue O-8, with a no-down-payment loan. They took pride in the amenities they installed: a powder room with granite countertops, a backyard pool and play area, and the purple-and-turquoise fantasy playroom upstairs for their three daughters.

But the value of the house plunged to less than $200,000 in 2009. Their $430,000 mortgage, with its $3,700 monthly payment, began to look more like an unwanted burden. By May, amid troubles getting tenants for two rental properties she also owned, Ms. Richey decided the time had come to cut a deal with America's Servicing Co., a unit of Wells Fargo & Co. servicing the mortgage on the house.

After three months of wrangling, she says she finally received a modification approval. The new monthly payment: about $3,300, far more than she had hoped. A Wells Fargo spokesman confirmed the bank offered Ms. Richey a modification under the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable program, and said, "The Richeys turned down the lowest payment we could offer."

Ms. Richey and her husband had already been working on Plan B -- exploring the neighborhood's "For Rent" signs.

On one trip, they drove by the house at 3152 Club Rancho Drive. It was bigger than their house on Caspian, had a pool with three waterfalls, and boasted a cascading staircase that Ms. Richey says she could picture her daughters descending on prom night. The rent was $2,195 a month.

. . .

Ms. Richey and her family made the move to Club Rancho Drive in August, when she was already several months behind on the mortgage. With Mr. Robbins's help, she recently sold the house on Caspian Drive for $195,000, money that the bank will accept to settle the $430,000 mortgage debt. She's also considering walking away from the mortgages on her two rental properties.

Showing a visitor the personal touches in her new home, including a $1,800 dining set she bought with some of her newly available income, she notes the advantages of being a renter rather than an owner.

"You take a risk for the American dream," she says. "I don't have to worry about paying property tax, homeowners' insurance, the landscaping, cleaning the pool or any repairs."
So, these people bought a house in which they intended to live. They subsequently went hugely underwater with it. The bank refused ot modify their loan more than 10% so they said fuck it. This makes them evil. OK, maybe, except what about the bank giving them the loans in the first place? What about the mortage broker that took a fat commission on a no-down-payment 500k house? What about the fact that these people were not the intentional "gamers" that Megan describes. THEY LEFT THEIR HOUSE! SOLD IT! DIDN'T EVEN TRY TO KEEP IT! They walked away from a bad investment.

This is the world in which Megan lives: When corporations are losing money because they have to pay union workers a decent salary this is horrible and they need to fuck over the little guy in order to preserve the stockholders. When a person makes a bad investment and is hemorrhaging money, they must stick to the payments even though the contract they signed has a clear foreclosure clause. I wonder why we think she's biased.

She goes on, but I can't. It's just more of the same shit. She actually tries to throw in a claim that companies don't behave this way to preserve their reputation. I guess that's why Union Carbide spent money cleaning up Bhopal. They didn't want to ruin their reputation by letting thousands of people continue to leave in industrial waste. No, corporations know not to do bad things.

Whatever. I'm done again. If you want to go over there and read it, be my guest, but there's faster ways to raise your blood pressure. May I suggest Pink Himalayan Salt?


Downpuppy said...

Consistency in labelling is usually a good thing.

Of all the Meganical atrocities on that page, the little one that I remembered was that she doesn't know principle from principal(of a loan balance).

Just because it so clearly places her as a member of a set contained in the intersection of (ignorant) and (immoral).

Tanta was less than 10 years older than Megan.

You can call me Elle. said...

Yay! Thank you for taking her to the proverbial shed of wood. :) I can't believe a person like Megan is paid to spout the crap she does. She is a fucking moron, who makes me so angry I can't even constructively criticize her. She succeeds in reducing her critics (me, at least) to spitting profanity laced invective (or is it invective laced profanity?). And that is why it is good this blog exists: solidarity! No one should have to put up with these feelings alone.

Clever Pseudonym said...

Leave it to Megan to have "all the sympathy in the world" for people who dig themselves into debt by running up obscene amounts of credit buying luxury crap they neither need nor can afford. I have ZERO sympathy for idiots who live beyond their means and find their pockets empty when it's time to pay the piper.

Also, people, people, people. For someone who's obviously overly-familiar with her thesaurus, she could have figured out a way to not use the same word three times in the space of two sentences.

Downpuppy said...

She's back for a second round -

With (of course) the same level of ignorance/pretense that the mortgage market consists of banks making & holding loans, just like in Bedford Falls.

NutellaonToast said...


Seriously, I can't even... what the... ugh.. she starts right in with the misrepresenting other people and not linking and... ahg... just fuck her.

Clever Pseudonym said...

What a load of strawman crud in that follow-up post. I don't read many blogs, but I really wish she'd offer a bloody link when she's making statements like "liberals think that people who can't afford their mortgages because they spend all their money on cruises and trips to theme parts aren't doint anything wrong." Where has ANYONE made that argument?

And she's got her holiday gift guide for books up, too. They're all books about economic crises and the Great Depression. Who in the hell gives shit like that out as Christmas presents? Her gift guides might be the stupidest shit she's ever written.

Susan of Texas said...

Gah, she's obviously worried that the actions of others will prevent her from being able to afford a house. Too bad missy, you should have thought of that before you elected the administration that gutted the financial system.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

If you want to go over there and read it, be my guest, but there's faster ways to raise your blood pressure.

CALL 911!

/Captain Clown @Sadly,Non

NutellaonToast said...

Wait, is 911 a Batman Animated Series ref?

Anonymous said...

Don't get Megan started on Welfare Queens!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe an economic blogger is so ignorant about economics.

The lender bears the major risk in any loan that is inadequately secured. Why? Because they gave the borrower the money and want it back. Any economically "rational actor" is going to default on a loan with a $3,300 payment if they can get the same type of housing for $2,000. This is utterly rationale, but Megan sees economics as a doctrine that only the wealthy should be able to live under. For everyone else, economic theory doesn't apply.

Anonymous said...

Also, Megan's too ignorant of economics to know that freeing up money on interest payments is also a good thing for the economy overall. When the borrower has more money to spend on stuff other than debt, people get more work.

Downpuppy said...

She finally gave a hint what she was relying too - Brad Delong listing her as stupidest thing he'd read today. (She says "all week", but she gets that wrong. Of course) Which he explained as:

Brad DeLong said...

But that's not what she's doing: she is claiming that homeowners are under some moral obligation to pay off debts that they have not incurred because we should have structured contracts differently. That's just silly.

Unknown said...

After reading this really stupid column/blog of her's, I wrote a comment on her site that basically said that landlords, unlike banks, actually perform credit checks on tenants, and would probably pick up on the bankruptcy. I noticed a few days later that the comment was deleted. Coincidence, I'm sure.

From her column/blog on moral hazards (whatever that is) she writes(?) - "Scott Sumner is a very smart guy, and I quail to disagree with him, especially on macroeconomic topics." So, I had to look up quail, since I don't think Megan was describing herself - the definition is: "to draw back in fear; lose heart or courage; cower" - does she have a clever usage thesaurus to show how witty she is? It must be the English major in her....

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