Monday, July 14, 2008

Our Friends, Fannie and Freddie

First, I just want to express how swamped I've been lately. I've been at work at least 9 hours a day the last couple of weeks and had every minute pretty much filled with various projects that are all coming together at the same time, with some being intensely schedule driven. My nights have also felt busy since I usually have activities going on at every turn and when I don't, I try to catch up on cleaning and chores. Adulthood... sucks sometimes.

But anyhow, something that has really been on my mind the last week or so has been the fiasco of what is Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two largest mortgage lenders in the US. If you've been reading the news, they're lost about 75% of their value this year and are in serious trouble. Thankfully, in order to prop up our ailing economy because of the buttload of terrible fiscal decisions by banks, the government, and the US population in the last 5 years, the government is stepping in to aid Freddie and Fannie.

I should be happy by this since it's getting my stocks turned back around in the right direction and should be a step in getting this economy to at least level out, but I'm really not. As I've said before, these types of bail-outs are helping those institutions and people who have made terrible decisions and allowing them to "get away" with these egregiously bad choices while the responsible people and institutions are penalized by receiving no benefit.

I don't want to see my tax dollars getting spent on other people's sub-prime mortgage woes. Why should I be punished and have a chunk of my money go towards someone else's mortgage, one that they no doubt can't afford when I was rational, reasonable, and sane when I bought the house I did and stayed within my means? We're implicitly rewarding this bad behavior by saying if those bad decisions are widespread enough, we'll help you out. If the value of my house and the economy wasn't so dependant upon this whole mortgage mess, I'd say let every bank and institution that made these crazy sub-prime mortgages and participated in bad lending practices go belly up. And let every person who can't pay their mortgage to hit the street with a permanent blemish on their financial records and credit reports.

Yeah, I'm a little bitter about the whole thing, but it's because responsible people always get screwed by these types of situations and scenarios. Where's the reward for being smart? If anything, it just reinforces the belief that you don't need to be too responsible because someone will bail you out or pick up your slack. It's sick and if this nation is ever going to be more than a second rate world power in the course of this century, there needs to be some serious overhauling of institutional and personal fiscal policies. Our nation is getting to be too stupid when it comes to managing money.

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