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Dateline’s “Mortgage Madness”

NBC’s news magazine took a good, long look at the cause of the mortgage crisis last night.

Dateline doesn’t break a lot of new ground.

But starting with the story of Paula Taylor, whom Countrywide loaned $260,000 to buy a condo near Boston with monthly payments of $2,100 on an income of $1,600 a month, it presents a clear and concise explanation of how millions and millions of bad loans were made.

NBC points a telling finger at all the major players — lenders, Wall Street, ratings agencies, Congress and yes, the borrowers themselves.

“So much blame to go around,” the report says, “and yet so few willing to acknowledge it.”

When an executive says Standard & Poors had no way of knowing how risky the loans were, Harvard law professor Elisabeth Warren shoots back: “I’m sorry, the only people who can say ‘We never knew,” are people who didn’t want to know.”

It’s worth watching.

Comments (2)
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2 Existing Comments
  1. Cherill said:
    on March 23rd at 09:54 pm

    Hmmm…It dosen’t take a 5th grader to figure out you can’t pay this mortgage on this income….I blame Paula for thinking she can pay the note and the loan officer who pushed it through…now, are us responsible working people going to have to bail her out living in our modest $100,000.00 homes???? Sorry, can’t seem to feel sorry for her….

  2. maggie said:
    on March 26th at 02:01 pm

    cherill, I agree! the idea that Paula can sit there and say ‘they ran the numbers, it’s their fault I’m in this mess’ is NOT taking responsibility for her own actions.
    it’s a mindset that is infuriating. that we are rushing in to help a swathe of people who view life through a window of ‘THEY have to save me from myself’ is just wrong. and it sets the scene for all the people who are responsible bearing the burden for people who lack self control or an ability to ‘gut check’ themselves.
    How exactly, is that a good policy?