Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rotting Mess

Sometimes the posts I write come easily--with many waiting in the queue for publication. Sometimes not. This is a "not" week--already. I've enjoyed waaay too much birthday (nod to the Berenstain Bears) this past weekend. It's been a continuous celebration, and now I'm tired and tapped out.

I can homeschool and care for the kids. I can help run our business and the household. I can go to the movies and out to dinner with my husband. I can travel to visit my son at college and go on a two-hour hike with the entire family and some friends while there (even enduring the endless diarrhea-in-the-bushes-wipe-with-a-weed of my preschooler). I can spend an entire day in the snow in Idyllwild with my family and good friends--even though there wasn't much snow (ice, whatever--it's all the same to me). I can plan a birthday party for my little girl. I can formulate my posts and attempt to entertain you--in addition to doing other writing tasks. I can check my e-mail and respond to everyone who needs a piece of me. I can chase the dogs away from my fruit/vegetable table over and over and over again, while plotting my "real" garden. And I can try to keep up on the real estate news. But I can't do ALL of it in the same four-day time period while being home for a total of only four hours--outside of sleeping, that is.

There. That little whine made me feel much better. I do live in Whine Country after all. Yes, it's a reference to the behavior of children, but, every once in a while, a woman has to get it off her chest, too. You know what I mean, ladies? So I make no guarantees this week, except for the fact that I will try my best to publish regularly, as usual.

All that being said, I do have a little something for you now. I almost didn't post this because I thought that the doom and gloom bubble blogs would have beaten it to death already. I checked quickly and didn't find a reference to it yet. I could be wrong. (By the way, I really, really enjoy Housing Doom, but haven't had a chance to read it regularly. I wanted to link you to an excellent older post that the blogger wrote about being personally responsible for a mortgage which ended in a short sale. She paid the difference, even though it was forgiven, because she made that commitment when she signed the loan docs. But I can't find it now.)

The article that I'm referencing is about the FBI looking into whether or not Wall Street firms hid the risk of mortgage securities backed by subprime loans from investors. This is my favorite quote from the piece: "Prolonged close scrutiny often turns up all kinds of dubious practices that in normal times are under the radar." And that, my dear readers, is exactly my point in highlighting this story.

So, tell me, is something illegal and/or immoral if those against whom the act is perpetrated benefit also? I ask this because no one was complaining before everyone started losing money. Now the fingers are pointing in all directions. Guess what? It was just as illegal when the boom was here as it is now that it's over. You can argue that the investors in these securities were so greedy that they wanted to be blind to the risks. Does that make scamming them legal? If there was any integrity involved with the process in the first place, Wall Street wouldn't be having this problem now--and, due to the excitement of the market at the time, the firms may have made just as much money as they did performing these possible criminal acts. The more we peel away the flimsy plastic wrap that was holding the subprime market together, the more we find that the center is a stinking pile of rotting mess.