Be a Hero, Barry

This is the third of three columns on human behavior and systemic problems.  The first column covered in general how our complacency allows us to be taken advantage of, especially when information technology is involved.  The second column, based in part on my friend Ralph’s mortgage problems, showed one example of how a class of investors has been able to keep millions of Americans trapped in high cost mortgages, creating a sort of economic time machine that benefits one group at the expense of the other and the nation. This third column, addressed to President Obama, is about a cure for that specific mortgage problem — a cure that would also […]

Mortgage Reality Distortion Field

This is the second of what now appear to be three columns about how we as a people allow ourselves to be victimized, whether by unscrupulous computer hackers or unscrupulous computer bankers. This part is about the bankers — the guys whose bonuses were too big to be discontinued.  Part three will present a possible solution to this specific systems problem…

A year ago I wrote a sad little column about my friend Ralph and his difficulty getting his mortgage adjusted.  Ralph had lost his tech job, there was this federal program to help people in his position lower their mortgage payments, but for some reason it just wasn’t working. […]

The Not So Bad Bank


piggy-bomb-bank02We’re seven weeks into the Obama Administration and still looking for a way out of both the banking and housing crises.  TARP didn’t seem to work, at least not as its designers intended.  The new housing plan hasn’t been well received and now that more details are out you’d think there would be an even more negative reaction, but the press doesn’t seem to have even noticed the details were released last week.

Had anyone actually read the press release they would have noticed the Obama plan is no longer limited to refinancing 105 percent of a home’s purchase price, but offers instead what’s essentially a 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage for homeowners and […]