Poll Question: Does The US Media Play It Straight With The Public?

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Mortgage and Lending with Bank of England (NMLS#418481) NMLS# 1046286

The reason that I ask this question is that I've been following HR3915 fairly closely as it went through the House3915 makes it way through the US house Financial Services Committee and have read up fairly well on how this whole sub-prime mortgage fiasco has come about.  In following this bill and reading up on this mess, I've done quite a bit of reading, as well as watching news and business news reports on the "crises"!  In all of this reading and watching, I've only heard an occasional murmur about the roll that Wall Street has played in this mess.

While Barney Frank, who if you watch as he chairs the Financial Services Committee comes across as rude, arrogant and either not very well educated on this particular issue or bought and paid for by the banking industry, rants about the evils of mortgage brokers, the true villains in this Barney Frankmelodrama slink off with hardly a mention.  

The fact of the matter is that sub-prime mortgages weren't the cause of this "crises".  In and of themselves, there is nothing evil, immoral or wrong about sub-prime mortgages as long as everybody involved knows what they are getting into.

If the Borrower has been properly disclosed to, the loan was processed per the program guild lines and the guidance provided by the lenders who were purchasing these mortgages and the investors who bought these mortgages were property educated as to what the risks involved in investing in these types of investments, then there shouldn't be a problem.

The reason that there was a problem is that the system broke down.  Not at the originations stage, but rather at the stage where the big Wall Street companies such as Merrill Lynch, Bear and Sterns, etc. etc. pooled these mortgages together along with other non-conforming mortgages and sold these "CDO's" to investors as somethingWall Street Put Makeup On A Pig with CDO's that they were not.  In essence, they put make up on a pig and the Wall Street investors who bought these instruments were all to eager to dance with the made up pig!

Anybody with any knowledge and sense about them should have been able to tell that a 100%LTV Stated Income Loan to a borrower with a 580 credit score shouldn't have been anywhere close to a investment vehicle rated AAA+!  The fact that rating agencies such as Moody's and Standard and Poors rated these CDO's as investment grade is where I feel the crime was commented.  If there needs to be a new law, maybe that law should address these Wall Street Issues!

So, back to my original question;  Does The US Media Play It Straight With The Public?  I don't think so.  You can't tell me that they can't look at this situation and come to similar conclusions than I am.  Why hasn't the role of Wall Street in this mess been reported on to a greater degree?  Does it have something to do with the fact that CBS is owned by a large media conglomerate, as is NBC and ABC?  Honestly, I think so.  

Let me know what you think.  I'll keep a tally and update it from time to time.

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

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Rainmaker
338,442
Gary Bolen
McCall Realty - South Lake Tahoe, CA
CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information
I think they play it as straight as they can, though it is obvious the differences between Fox and MSNBC, for one example. Both claim to report truth, and we know that can be interpreted. Facts can't. And yes, the media is very much corporate America. But Blogs aren't. And that's cool.
Nov 17, 2007 02:09 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,204,765
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team
Bob, I would say no, they don't. 
Nov 17, 2007 02:10 PM #2
Rainer
28,491
Jen Hudson
Windermere Real Estate/M2, LLC - Stanwood, WA
Stanwood, Camano & Arlington, WA

Hi Bob,

I don't think the media plays it straight with the public one bit!  The "mortgage meltdown" is a perfect example as you pointed out.  The part that frustrates me most about the media in my local area is that they rarely ever report facts about how our LOCAL market is doing, then when they do use facts that apply to us, the don't put them in context!!! 

The only thing we hear is about how horrible the market is, how housing prices are falling, how the foreclosures are ridiculously high, blah blah blah.  I work in Snohomish County & Skagit County in Washington State.  My local market is great, but you certainly wouldn't know it by the headlines!  Year to date, our sales this year are equal with 2006 and close to 2005.  Our homes have continued to appreciate and Skagit County has seen some of the highest rates in the nation.  Foreclosures are not an issue in our area, we've gone from 1% to 1.33%.  Our market doesn't seem to attract investors like, say Las Vegas does. 

To sum it up, I have huge issues with how the media reports the news.  I disagree with the majority of the stories they write, but when I see something that is accurate I sent it out to all my clients and colleagues!  Let's celebrate the accurate news and keep our clients informed about what is really going on.

Nov 17, 2007 02:20 PM #3
Rainer
17,652
Max de Vries
Intero Real Estate Services - Livermore, CA
Hi Bob I think that the time has come to stop playing the Blame game. everyone enjoyed the last 10 years. Wall Street did, the lenders did, The Mortgage brokers did, The Realtors did, The investors did and most of all the public did. Everyone was happy. Now we as an industry overall, have to figure out how to fix it.
Nov 17, 2007 02:34 PM #4
Rainer
25,159
Richard Perkins
R PERKINS REALTY - Stockton, CA

I don't feel the media has ever played it straight. They are out for the story. Competition! Who ever get the story out first gets the money! So many ways to tell the story! who's right who's wrong!

The media is negative, Because that's what works right now! I would love to see some positive out of the media.

Also would be nice to see something positive out of the government! The government could fix this if they wanted to. The question is do they want to fix it? 

Good luck to all! 

Nov 17, 2007 02:52 PM #5
Rainmaker
223,010
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

Bob - Didn't read beyond your question. The media is the public face of large corporations. Depending on their other interest, what they choose to present is slanted. Please tell me that you understand that the talking heads are reading cue cards and that what they present is scripted for them. They are not reporters.

The media has longed since ceased to be the 4th estate.

Nov 17, 2007 02:54 PM #6
Rainer
79,929
Daniel Sundberg
Crystal Springs Real Estate - Kentwood, MI

Bob, the media never plays fair.  They only play to those that pay their bills too!  The credit crunch was the result of many years of bad lending practices, and nothing less.  

Another thing to remember is the only news the media likes is bad news. I hate to say it but that is how they roll. 

Nov 17, 2007 02:58 PM #7
Rainer
83,422
Rey Gallegos
Supreme Lending (NMLS ID #2129) - Las Vegas, NV
FHA, VA, Home Loans Las Vegas, NV
Bob, Not just no, BUT Heck no!  They will publicize whatever sells the most papers, gets the most viewers, and clicks!  If whatever that may be is not a real story they twist around until it resembles a real story.
Nov 19, 2007 10:13 AM #8
Rainer
155,621
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Well, I don't think that we need to keep a tally any more...the nay's have it!  Just remember this when you read something in the paper or see it on TV that things aren't always as the media would like us to think!

 

Thanks for the comments and the input!

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Nov 20, 2007 08:00 AM #9
Rainmaker
111,102
Lewis Poretz
Apex Home Loans - Annapolis, MD
Business Development Manager
No No No No No     ummmm  can you say Media Hype?
Nov 20, 2007 01:03 PM #10
Anonymous
Belle Thomas - "Subprime" mortgagor

I was discouraged from making a down payment - yes!  I was!  Sitting on over $20,000 in the bank as the mtg. broker was well aware - but there'd be no problem getting a 100% mtg.  something about Neighbors Plus 100 or some such nonsense...

My credit was FINE!

Property appraised as needed.

I got to the closing table and, for the first time, saw a GFE far different from any I'd seen before and another faxed document I'd never seen that stuck me with almost  $72/mo for 20 years.  That was $120 over the max. monthly payment I adamantly said I needed to meet my other obligations.

Later, found out that my credit wasn't what it "should be", but when I askd for specifics each item was readily explained - nobody asked before (surprise! surprise!)  My FICO score was NOT 648, it was over 710.  Awww....that's  tooo bad, Mrs. Thomas....maybe we can help you out in several months...or a year or so.

This doesn't seem to pass the smell test, doya think?

 

Nov 20, 2007 01:07 PM #11
Rainmaker
111,102
Lewis Poretz
Apex Home Loans - Annapolis, MD
Business Development Manager
smells stinky to me    where are you located? You can find a reputable mortgage person right here on Active Rain!
Nov 20, 2007 01:50 PM #12
Rainer
155,621
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Belle:  I don't know if you'll get see this comment, but it sounds awfully smelly to me what happened to you.  And not to be unsympathetic to you in any way, but if what you are saying is correct, then it would be covered by existing laws.  You should have received a GFE for the program that you were going to be placed on within 3 days of when your loan application was signed.  You should have also received a Federal Truth in Lending Statement within 3 days.  If you didn't, you have cause to sue that originator and the lender who underwrote your mortgage.

If you do see this comment, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to see what I can do to help you.

Lewis:  Thanks for the comment!

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, inc. 

Nov 21, 2007 04:50 AM #13
Rainer
155,621
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Belle:  I don't know if you'll get see this comment, but it sounds awfully smelly to me what happened to you.  And not to be unsympathetic to you in any way, but if what you are saying is correct, then it would be covered by existing laws.  You should have received a GFE for the program that you were going to be placed on within 3 days of when your loan application was signed.  You should have also received a Federal Truth in Lending Statement within 3 days.  If you didn't, you have cause to sue that originator and the lender who underwrote your mortgage.

If you do see this comment, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to see what I can do to help you.

Lewis:  Thanks for the comment!

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, inc. 

Nov 21, 2007 04:50 AM #14
Rainer
155,621
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Belle:  I don't know if you'll get see this comment, but it sounds awfully smelly to me what happened to you.  And not to be unsympathetic to you in any way, but if what you are saying is correct, then it would be covered by existing laws.  You should have received a GFE for the program that you were going to be placed on within 3 days of when your loan application was signed.  You should have also received a Federal Truth in Lending Statement within 3 days.  If you didn't, you have cause to sue that originator and the lender who underwrote your mortgage.

If you do see this comment, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to see what I can do to help you.

Lewis:  Thanks for the comment!

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, inc. 

Nov 21, 2007 04:50 AM #15
Rainer
155,621
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Belle:  I don't know if you'll get see this comment, but it sounds awfully smelly to me what happened to you.  And not to be unsympathetic to you in any way, but if what you are saying is correct, then it would be covered by existing laws.  You should have received a GFE for the program that you were going to be placed on within 3 days of when your loan application was signed.  You should have also received a Federal Truth in Lending Statement within 3 days.  If you didn't, you have cause to sue that originator and the lender who underwrote your mortgage.

If you do see this comment, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to see what I can do to help you.

Lewis:  Thanks for the comment!

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, inc. 

Nov 21, 2007 04:50 AM #16
Rainmaker
325,871
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD

Bob,

You make a good argument. Looks like Congress has started the blame game from the wrong end, mainly the mortgage originator end. What about the opposite end, the investors who were buying these securities? They bought them because the yields were delicious, partly because the rating agencies made them look better than they actually were. Investors buying this paper created the market for subprime mortgages.

Nov 21, 2007 08:36 AM #17
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