There has been conferences going on at the FDIC. Why do I get the feeling that it doesn't really matter?
As I begun to watch the morning segment, there was a really important topic that needed to be addressed. And, I'm not making this up, the moderator is telling the attendees where to find the bathrooms!
I watch these things, and just want to barf, so had I been there, that announcement might have been critical. The nauseating titles of the speakers, their CV's, their "pedigrees," how intelligent and bright they are, blah, blah, blah . . .
I'm sure all the wonderful "titles" really matter to the person who had their loan mod denied then got summarily foreclosed on.
As I watch the conference, I can see they're just looking at the SYMPTOMS. By now we know what they are. We've been in the foreclosure nightmare for 3 years now.
They are looking at the SYSTEMS. By now we know the systems are broken.
What they don't mention a lot of are . . . what for it . . . what for it . . . the PEOPLE!
Watching this conference with the presenters presenting their data, their analysis, their hypothesis, their programs with cutsie anagrammed names: MORE, RADAR . . . oh, and pretty charts, the home owners seem to be a side note. They aren't even called home owners -- it's "borrowers."
There were so many pretty charts that CLEARLY put everything into perspective. The graph that showd the percentage of foreclosures, nice! And the one that showed how much the investors might lose if the loan modifications were actually approved, brilliant.
So people . . . home owners . . . are marginalized, literally, into nice, colorful charts and graphs. They're amassed as faceless and become "borrowers." They are DATA, to be churned up and out so that "policy markers" have a real fun job to do . . . make MORE graphs and charts to present at the next conference.
The symptoms that have wrecked havoc in just a short amount of time . . . was caused by the systems that have been in place FOR YEARS.
BEN BERNAKE . . . and his really long CV was there. Note to Ben: WHO CARES! All the babble about this program, that alliance, he even pitches a new "program." Yeah, that's what we need; another program! Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has a program, and I think Ben stated it served thousands of troubled borrowers. (around minute marker 7:40)
How very impressive. Thousands of troubled borrowers!
Then there's another smartie pants from The Boston Federal Reserve, Paul Willen . . . He's introduced with having a "very esteemed background and pedigree" . . . and is a policy maker and adviser with the Boston Federal Reserve. The minute he gets up to the podium, he states he's only on the panel as a "researcher and concerned citizen" and not as a representative of the Boston Federal Reserve of the Federal Reserve System. (Min. market 16:00)
Oh, and more pretty charts and graphs. He had a lot of pretty graphs and charts.
There was one speaker I liked, Adam Levitin, a Georgetown University Financial Regulation Law Professor, about minute marker 30:00
He didn't use ANY pretty charts and/or graphs.
After him, a guy from FDIC who worked with INDY and had over 130,000 files, and only loan modified 23,000 . . . or something like that.
The trouble I have with these types of powwows is that the home owners aren't talking with YOU guys! The buffer which separates home owners and the pundits is as thick and dense as the Great Wall of China.
What I would love to produce, if I could, is a juxtaposition of the realities of these parallels -- cause they are happening simultaneously.
Imagine a split screen. On one side of the screen these types of conferences staring the talking-heads, the academia smartie-pants, the programs, and the policy makers is running. The blah, blah, blah . . . oh, and the pretty charts and graphs are seen.
On the other side of the split screen we see: the home owner on the phone trying to talk to someone at the "servicers" office trying to get a loan mod, the family packing up, the Sheriff posting an EVICTiON NOTICE on the home owner's house, the damaged empty house the result of a owner who snapped . . .