Or - An Idiots Guide to the Mortgage Mess
1. As part of a Powerful Banking Cartel (PBC) have an easily bought Congressman in D.C. sponsor a bill deregulating your market.
2. Write a Bill that allows Mortgages to be packaged into Securities which can be gambled on in the Stock Market, and also allows your bank to merge with an investment group. Call it something cool and progressive like The Financial Services Modernization act.
3. Give your Congressman's wife a high powered position + multiple financial perks to those Congressmen also signing on. Attach the Bill to the Federal Budget Bill - pretty much forcing it's signage.
4. Merge your bank with an investment brokerage and then loosen your banking rules to allow unemployed, low pay, risky credit persons to obtain housing loans.
5. Set up call centers overseas and call people from government lists (also available to banks under deregulation) - such as unemployment rolls. Offer no money down, 6 month deferred payment, VARIABLE interest housing loans.
6. Promise purchasers that under the law their loan can't go up by more than a percentage point (true under regulation- untrue now, under deregulation).
7. Through the next few years, watch housing prices go through the roof. Watch an artificial economy and jobs market grow around a skyrocketing housing market.
8. Place (stock) bets that chunks of Mortgage Backed Securities will fail.You can do this because the deregulation laws that you helped write now let you gamble on the stock market because you can be a Bank AND an investment broker too!
9. Jack up the interest rates on the housing loans in certain sectors at critical times, tripling or quadrupling the average monthly homeowners payment.
10. Make money on the stock bets - then also take the properties and land when the purchaser can't afford the new rates and defaults.
11. Set up backroom operations to rubber-stamp the hundreds of thousands of mortgage defaults.
12. Act horrified when all the rotten Mortgage Backed Securities fail at nearly the same time because you and your buddies got too greedy and overplayed the market.
13. Beg the government for money because you know that the Economy has been riding an artificial housing bubble for 7 years - not a real economy driven by production, growth and manufacturing. And that that economy is going to be in the toilet for at least 10 years.
14. Make money on the back end by taking properties on defaulted loans and converting them to rentals until the housing market stabilizes and you can re-sell them.
15. Spend millions to crush any politician that threatens to re-regulate your market by blaming the politician for the state of the current economy.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has called Senator Phil Gramm "the father of the financial crisis" due to his sponsorship of the Act.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has also argued that the Act helped to create the crisis.