It’s hard to know where to draw the line in all of this financial mess.Â As citizens we all pay a portion of our income to the government for services and a safety net.Â We shouldn’t expect the government to bail us out of our bad business decisions but we should hope to be caught if we’re falling.Â Even the Obama Administration has added an emotional component to the housing situation, pleading for time to work this mess out so that people don’t lose their homes.Â In most cases these people won’t become homeless, they’ll just no longer be homeowners.Â There is a difference.Â And it should be handled differently.
There will always be a sector who will try to take advantage of the situation and the government.Â That’s human nature and I think those people should be tied to an electric fence for a while, but that’s another whole story.Â For the most part, I think it’s in the banks best interest to work out what they can and take back the rest.Â Just because someone’s underwater is no reason to take back the house or the loan.Â Pay your damned note, you signed a contract, honor it.Â If your financial situation hasn’t changed, you’re still making good money, no one’s lost their jobs and the payment hasn’t gone up, pay your damned note.Â Business is cyclical and that includes real estate.Â If you thought it was never going to adjust you’re an idiot.Â Hopefully you’ve learned your lesson and will wait for the cycle to come back, because it will.Â Land is the only thing in the world that is absolutely finite.Â You can’t make any more land on earth without filling in the ocean.Â On the other hand, those teaser rates killed people.Â I saw them.Â 1% for the first year and then they adjusted to LIBOR plus.Â I know what LIBOR is, but trust me, they didn’t.Â Some asshat LO told them it was the most stable rate they could be tied to and they believed them.Â London Inter Bank Offered Rate.Â Here‘s a nice definition of it.Â Yeah, interest rate swaps are based on it.Â It’s really just more bullshit that no one understood.Â Those notes are hopeless and those people are for the most part already out of their homes.Â For everyone else, there’s options.Â The banks need to get to the party and people need to get to the party.Â If there’s some way for the people to make essentially a minimum payment on the home and keep it, negotiate it.Â If they just can’t make it, they’ve got to move on.Â It’s a building.Â It’s a house.Â Your home is where you are.Â I’ll never understand falling in love with a piece of property.Â Home is where my dogs are.
Notice how all of my solutions involved the parties to the transaction and none of them involved the government?Â Well, that’s why I’m pissed off this morning.Â General Motors got their safety net last fall and didn’t do a goddamn thing with it.Â Same with AIG.Â I think they both need to follow the natural course of the life of a corporation and go die.Â Yep.Â Let’em fail.Â Be gone.Â The last Detroit built automobile I ever bought sits in my garage.Â It’s a 1966 Ford Mustang.Â I think it’s the last decent machine that Ford built.Â I used to own a 1974 Chevrolet Camero.Â That was the last decent machine built by General Motors.Â They did not understand where the world was going and they continued their horrendous business practices in spite of all the writing on the wall.Â They deserve to die.Â Let them.Â They deserve to die for building and marketing the Hummer.Â I’ll never understand this American obsession with bigger.Â It’s a bully mentality to me.Â I’m all about better.Â Maybe it’s because I’m short.
In 1985 the German engineers at BMW sat down with a directive: Make the vehicles more fuel efficient.Â And they did.Â They can still build a ridiculous engine, like the one in the 760i or the 540i, but they also designed a hydrogen engine.Â They have a luxury automobile that they’re looking to bring to market (I think it’s available at around $130k but I don’t have time to look this morning)Â That’s the sort of vision that is missing from General Motors.Â Can you name their hybrid?Â Thought not.Â Actually I know they have a $70k Cadillac Escalade that still gets crappy mileage.Â There’s a total of eight.Â Two pickup trucks three versions of the SUV, a Saturn SAV, a regular Saturn and a Malibu.Â Bet you’ve only seen the SUV version and they get 22mpg after all of the chest thumping.Â Essentially, a piece of shit.Â And we’re supposed to bail these guys out.
I don’t believe we should be bailing out GM, but if we do, just like you and me, there are strings attached to government money.Â One of those strings found it’s way around Rick Wagoner’s neck.Â As it should be.Â He hasn’t steered that company in the right direction so why on God’s green earth would be bail them out and let the same drunken sailor sail the ship?Â One of the precepts of AA is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.Â If you’re going to take government money, we’re going to expect change.