Real Estate Bust: What the #$!@&* Happened?

I recently sought out Countrywide Home Loans with the intent of attaining the necessary capital to purchase a base of operations. I completed a one page document of basic inquiries as follows: Income: A Lot. Employment History: Experienced. Ability to Repay: Dunno. Reference: Momma.

The loan officer verified my information by placing a telephone call to my mother who indicated that I had been a good boy and was deserving of the money. Shortly thereafter, $5 Million was placed into my account. I was to be held responsible only for meeting the interest payments over the time frame specified by the fine print. At this point; I would be forced to begin paying down principal and my interest rate would jump to LIBOR plus 15%. ‘Details, Details,’ grins the Cheshire-Cat mortgage broker. I could always dump the property on some sucker-ahem home buyer before the teaser rate expiration.


Days before hosting the Housewarming Party at my luxurious Biscayne Bay condominium, confusion sets in pertaining to who actually held the mortgage loan and to where I should remit interest payments. The loan had been combined with thousands of other mortgages, credit card debt, auto loans, layaway plans, and the $5 owed to your Uncle Frank. This pool of debt was separated into collateralized debt obligations; [CDO] classifications based upon risk and distributed amongst hedge funds, investment banks, mutual funds, and the school board of Lorain, OH. These units were to be held off the books; carried by structured investment vehicles [SIV] that I was told didn’t really exist. Of course, Ratings agencies employed a cosign-tangent-alpha-square root-divisor algorithm to award AAA platinum status to all debt issued in the United States since 1958. I was assured that in the event of disaster the U.S. Treasury and several banks would put together a ‘Big Fund’ called MLEC to purchase BBB CDOs from the SIVs. Got That?


The mood at my Housewarming Party became dour upon the entrance of Bad News Fred, a man who plagued the festivities with sob stories and incessant whining. Over the course of eight years, Fred’s wife had left him to be with a ‘real’ man; Fred dropped out of trade school because the course hours interfered with Happy Hour; and poor Fred was terminated from his position of Turnpike Tollbooth operator due to overall negligence. Indeed, The Republican Party is to blame!


I shouldered the responsibility, traveling to Washington to meet the leader of this Republican Party. I was informed that a Mr. George Bush had not been to work in weeks and that I should book travel to Crawford, TX. Upon arrival, my crisp interrogation was greeted with blank stares and smirks by this gentleman. We spent the weekend fishing, golfing, and shooting off guns-accomplishing nothing. Mr. Bush scribbled the words ‘Rudy – New York,’ and placed a phone call to this person.

The telephone prompted me to submit all personal telephone records, love letters, financial documents, diaries, and embarrassing photographs to the United States Government. Failure to do so would lead to my arrest as a terrorist. The phone call fell into a pre recorded stump speech by Rudy Giuliani: noun-verb- SEPTEMBER 11th. Next, surprise visitors Al Gore, Bill and Hillary arrived at the ranch to play a game of charades with Dubya. I found the interaction pleasant, as all partygoers began to smile and nod approval of every word that I said. Mr. Gore chartered a jet for us back East after mumbling about the environment.

Our entourage became witness to an intense shouting match featuring Jim Cramer, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke. Cramer began to yelp, cavort, and scream that I had ‘no idea’ pertaining to anything in life. Greenspan delved into quoting Shakespeare; while Bernanke chose to ignore the raucous and retired to his library. Shortly thereafter, money was airlifted and dropped from the sky from Blackhawk aircraft.

I giddily grabbed the cash-telephoning Countrywide that I may be able to afford my home. The bank agreed to drop my interest rate to 0% and I was ordered to make payments at my ‘earliest convenience.’