Archive for October 4th, 2012

The Big Lie in the 2012 Presidential Election

During last night’s debate, I watched in horror as Obama and Romney both blamed homeowners for the mortgage crisis and ensuing financial collapse.  Even as they disagreed about everything under the sun, Obama and Romney joined in unison, arm in arm, blaming homeowners for entering mortgages they “couldn’t afford.”

Pardon me for interrupting, but what planet do these guys live on?  When I heard it live, it sounded like pure crazy-talk.  I thought for sure, once I reviewed the transcript of the debate, that I’d realize I heard it wrong, or it wasn’t as bad as it first sounded.  Nope.  Sure enough, I checked the transcript, and both Obama and Romney are blaming homeowners!  Check out their own words:

Obama:  “You had people borrowing money to buy a house that they couldn’t afford.”

Romney:  “You say we were giving mortgages to people who weren’t qualified.  That’s exactly right.  It’s one of the reasons for the great financial calamity we had.”

Meanwhile, what was noticeably absent from this entire conversation?  Any mention whatsoever of the real cause of the calamity – how banks were incentivized to loan to every Tom, Dick, and Harry … to create securitized, alphabet soup trusts … by our federal government, which promised to pay the loans in full if the homeowners defaulted.

Yes, as I’ve repeatedly attempted to explain on this blog, including here, here, and here, “our” federal government incentivized banks to lend at the unprecedent rates we saw during the boom by guaranteeing it would pay the banks the full loan amount if the homeowners defaulted.  Hence, the banks had nothing to lose by lending to anyone capable of signing his/her name on a mortgage – if the homeowner paid, the bank had a performing loan, whereas if the homeowner defaulted, the government would foot the bill.  It was a no-lose position for the banks, facilitated by our government.

These crazy lending practices have long since passed, of course, but do you know what’s been happening ever since?  “Our” government has been footing the bill to these banks, one house after another, just as it promised.  As millions of homeowners get foreclosed, “our” government pays these banks, in full.  And what is “our” government doing with those foreclosed properties?  Selling them to uber-wealthy investors, in bulk, for pennies on the dollar.

But, as Obama and Romney said, this is the homeowners’ fault.  Riiiiigggghhhhttttt.  Yup.  We’re the ones who created these garbage loans.  We’re the ones who incentivized the banks to lend – putting them, basically, in a no-lose position.  We’re the ones who profited hand over fist even as the economy around us collapsed.

Oh, no, wait.  We’re the ones who simply bought a house for our family because we had a job and qualified for a loan under the standards imposed by the banks and the government.  Now we’re the ones who lost our jobs, our families, and our dignity, while the talking heads blame us for the collapse.  Gotcha.

This is the Big Lie in the 2012 Presidential Election.  Apparently that’s politics today … hide the truth, conceal the role of the government in the collapse, and put two talking-heads on stage to shift the blame onto the very people whose votes they seek.

Are you disgusted yet?  Well, don’t expect to read about this in the mainstream media.  You see, I’ve told every media member I know about this issue.  Lots of good, competent reporters with whom I’ve done many news stories over the years … but nobody wants to talk about this.  Obama won’t talk about it.  Romney won’t talk about it.  The media won’t talk about it.  It’s the Big Lie … facilitated by, well, everyone.

Mark Stopa

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Client Distinction Award

I’m surprised, pleased, and humbled, to copy and paste an email I just received, informing me of my receipt of a Client Distinction Award from Martindale-Hubbel (an award apparently given to fewer than 4% of attorneys).  Honestly, I’m not sure I even realized such an award existed, but thank you to all of my clients who voted.  Anyway, here’s the email …

You have earned the Client Distinction Award. This honor has been made possible by your clients who have taken the time to compliment you in the following areas:

Communications Ability
Quality of Service
Value for Money

The results have been compiled and you have earned a Client Review Rating Score of 4.5 or higher on a scale of 1-5.

Less than 4% of the 900,000+ attorneys listed on and have been accorded this Martindale-Hubbell honor of distinction.

Before concluding, I thank my terrific staff for its hard work.  I clearly couldn’t have done this alone. 

Mark Stopa

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