Thursday, September 25, 2008

Absolute Power Corrupts, Absolutely

Last night on my way out of campus, I called Andrew to chat. I wasn't aware that Dubya was speaking last night, and I called at 8:57. So once Andrew told me, I flipped it over to NPR and listened to El Presidente tell me.... NOTHING. I already knew that the mortgage backed securites are failling. I already knew that our economy is terribly shakey right now. I already knew that people are going into foreclosure because they can't refinance or sell their houses and they had terrible ADRMs. But when I thought about it a little more, I realized Georgie's speech wasn't really intended for me. It was intended for people who really don't know what was going on and could therefore be scared into thinking that rubber stamping a bill with vague outlines for $700 BILLION dollars is a good idea.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that a bill that would inject some MAJOR funding into these failling banks and investment companies is a bad idea. On the contrary, I feel like we need to do something, and do it quickly. However, I would be very unhappy to see a bill pushed through that didn't have a lot more oversight than Bushie wants. Giving $700 B to Paulson to do what he wants with it is not going to help the situation. We need more people giving the okay. Not too many people - too many cooks in the kitchen, and all that - but no one person or small group of likeminded people should have that control. I don't want all that money to be wasted. I want it to be injected where it needs to be injected and I really want some educated people figuring this out. What I don't want is the people who got us into this mess in the first place to be handed a blank check and be told "here - go have fun". So Mr. President, good for you for admitting this is a time for government intervention. This is more than the market correcting itself. But we need more oversight on this money. We need more control over what's going on with our economy. I'm no socialist, but oversight and control over vast amounts of money never killed anyone.

Also... it isn't fair. I know I sound like a petulant 5 year old, but it isn't fair! I saved money for a down payment. I took a second look at the offers of 100% financing and scary ADRMs. I signed a 30 year fixed mortgage that I COULD AFFORD! I bought a condo instead of a house, because despite what the banks were telling me, I couldn't afford a McMansion. I've never been late on a single mortgage payment. But no one is going to try to help me - no one is going to fight for my interest rate to be lowered. Why can't I get a letter in the mail saying "hey, you were responsible, you didn't buy more than you can afford, you pay your mortgage on time... Good for you. Take a half percentage point off your interest rate". I know that it is in everyone's best interest for these people to keep paying their mortgages. I get that. But I did the right thing from the beginning, someone give me a prize! You WANT to buy my mortgage! I'm a GOOD borrower! (someone give me a prize, dammit!)


Anonymous said...

Someone will give you a prize after the financial markets get over their current (possibly justified) hysterics. Good credit and a good mortgage will likely be more valuable as financial institutions become increasingly hesitant to lend money and credit continues to contract. I don't know what that will get you (satisfaction at not being part of the problem?) but at some point there will likely be some economic recognition of your careful approach to your finances.

Meghan said...

I was thinking more along the lines of a shopping spree. Or maybe a TV.