Friday, March 23, 2007

Wiki Letter of Opposition to RE Bail-Outs

While I have been cowering in my anti-terrorist shelter for the last few weeks I am sure most of you have learned from other more worthy sources that Senators Clinton and Dodd have proposed bail-outs (and here) for subprime lenders, banks, and defaulting borrowers (here is a summary of the pros and cons of such a bail-out if you are so inclined).

I suppose most property owners are in favor of this potential legislation as it would be indirectly in their self-interest. And I am certain the fact that the 70% of the nation that consists of property owners and who are also, presumably, voters is not lost on Senators Clinton and Dodd, both presidential hopefuls.

However, unlike my property owning brethren, I am absolutely furious about these potential bail-outs. Not surprised, mind you, as we were all predicting this eventuality over a year ago here on this blog and elsewhere. But I am still angered by it nonetheless.

All we can do is write to our elected representatives and express our objection to this proposed bail-out. Since so many people these days don't bother with writing letters to their representatives, I created a wiki (if you don't know what a wiki is, here is a definition) for this blog where we can collaborate on a letter of opposition; I've already written the bare-bones first draft that I hope people will edit into a killer letter. I called the wiki the Marin Real Estate Bubble Wiki; it is also linked to in the right-hand margin of this blog, near the top.

If you want to contribute to the letter, send me an email stating your desire. You will get an emailed "invite" from me with simple instructions on what to do to join. If you contribute, we can create one heckuva letter.

The cool thing is that anyone can view the wiki letter. Anyone can copy-and-paste it into an email or word processor, edit it, print it, and send it off. This way people who want to send a letter but don't want to be bothered with writing one can use ours as a basis.

Here's a list of senators with their contact info. Copy the letter, personalize it, and send it to these people who work for us.

I've experimented with wikis before and have been quite satisfied with the results. Here is a letter that was a collaborative wiki project and that turned out rather well I think.

And if you are in favor of the bail-outs? Well, you're out of luck. Write your own damn letter.


Blogger Westside Bubble said...

Excellent! We need to focus on what happens next in Washington. The housing bubble community could rally a lot of contacts to elected officials across the country with a message like "no taxpayer bailout of predatory lenders, that also keeps house prices unaffordably high.."

Bearmaster is very concerned:

"A massive Socialist bailout for subprime borrowers is being cooked up in Congress right now. The very thought of it makes me sick. Now is the time to let Congress know exactly what you think."

From the LA Times, "Clinton: Industry 'clearly broken'". A key quote:

"As this crisis worsens, mortgage tsunamis will ravage working-class neighborhoods across the country," warned John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. "Sheriffs will be knocking on people's doors only to find keys and furniture left behind."

Taylor called for legislation to create a national rescue fund to support beleaguered borrowers and stricter standards to eliminate predatory lending.

Allowing borrowers to refinance under easier terms "is the most sensible way for Congress and the administration to deal with this problem," ....

What would those "easier terms" be, if borrowers can't afford anything but below-market rates and/or negative amortization?

See also OC Renter's exposing of two current sob stories in the LA Times.

Housing Panic just picked up this theme too.

Mar 24, 2007, 2:10:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

Please spread the word about the existence of my wiki letter. Not that it is anything great. But people can simply copy and paste it into an email or whatever and send it. Easy-peasy involvement.

Mar 24, 2007, 2:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not at all surprising that the government and the candidates are getting involved and want to fix this. Elected officials, self-serving folks that they are (for the most part), don't want the economy tanking because their careers would tank with it (a la "throw the bums out"). And what presidential candidate in his/her right mind would want to step into a new administration with the Iraq war AND the economy in tatters? My bet is on quick governmental action in the standard band-aid fashion (well before the 08 election), followed by surprisingly little effective regulation of the industry. These folks have a huge vested interest in the stability of the housing and lending markets. They simply won't leave it be to burn on its own.

Mar 24, 2007, 5:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are back, keep up the good work

Mar 26, 2007, 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a pro-bail-out letter I found over at iTulpi:

Dear Congress,

We made a fortune in real estate during the housing bubble. Now that it's collapsing, my industry is screwed. Can you please rescue me and my pals with a tax-payer bailout? Throw in a couple of bucks from the private sector to make it look good.

Our annual contribution toward your next re-election campaign is enclosed.



Les Rippemoff
Chairman, Housing Bubble Racket Realty Group

Mar 26, 2007, 2:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot the iTulip url:

Mar 26, 2007, 2:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scream and rant all you want, Marinite. The Fix Is In, and "Let Them Eat Cake!" is all you can expect from Your Betters.

The groundwork for the Big Bailout is being laid even as you speak; tear-jerker stories about Poor Victims (and Their Children, Their Children, Their Children...) losing their Homes because of all those Snidely Whiplash Loans that were Forced Upon Them by Those Capitalists. Bread and Circuses ramping up for the 2008 Elections.

And, in 2009, the Big Bailout goes down. Comrade Hillary Herself throwing out handfuls of cash to Those Poor Victims (and Their Children, Their Children, Their Children) as She rides booted and spurred past them...

Hope you like the taste of Cake...

Mar 28, 2007, 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like is writing letters for people who oppose the bail outs too.

Mar 28, 2007, 5:26:00 PM  
Blogger J at IHB and HFF said...

Bloggers, unite to stop the bailout by joining the new "Not One Cent" team blog (click my name/profile for details).

Thank you.

Mar 31, 2007, 1:21:00 PM  

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