Friday Funnies

The origins of the mortgage meltdown


NEXT: Dereliction of Duty

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  1. mildly amusing, but utterly predictable. I'll call that another strike against the Friday Not-So-Funnies.

  2. I like it.

  3. Replace "should" with "must" - the essence of government is force.

  4. not funny, misses the point
    In recent hearings congress hasn't been upset over the people making bad loans, just that they made money.

  5. Give the Friday Funnies a break. They're better than the cartoons you'll find anywhere else.
    I realize we have high standards for Reason, but if you saw this in your local paper, you'd be thrilled that someone had such insight.

  6. If you people want to see UNfunny, go look at "NewsBusted." Some weeks they literally define the word as they unwittingly confirm the "conservatives have 0 sense of humor" meme.

    This 'toon was pretty good, IMO, because congress DID make banks do questionable loans through the CRA. Part of this was due to a false accusation of racism against bankers who took traditional care in lending WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, and the news media has done a shitty-at-best job of covering that fact, so the humor-industry needs to again take up the slack.

    And the problem with the "making money" part (which could be another cartoon) is that CEO salaries, while certainly excellent these days, don't seem to correlate with CEO excellence. That suggests an underlying moral problem or an underlying market problem to many people, including me.

  7. Needed a Greenspan cameo.

  8. Any Bok cartoon that isn't terrible, I will count as a win. So today is a slight win.

  9. Thomas,

    Chip Bok is my local paper's cartoonist (The Akron Beacon Journal). Well, at least he was, until he took a buyout to get the hell out. No idea where he'll be published from here on.

  10. There are better political cartoonists out there. Tom Tomorrow of "This Modern World" and Jen Sorenson of "Slowpoke" are two I like, not that they would necessarily fit in at a libertarian magazine.

  11. I guess something so true simply can't be funny. Right?

  12. A truly funny, laugh-out-loud political cartoon comes along once or twice in a lifetime. The only one I can remember was the congressman running away from the capitol shouting, "They're shooting looters!"

  13. The CAAA* has rated todays Friday Funnies L. Viewer discretion is advised.

    *Comics Aficionados Association of America.

  14. Don't you understand? Lending to poor people wasn't the problem, lending to rich people was.

    "Fucking millionaires- they never pay their bills."

  15. Something with "You, alright? I learned it by watching you!!" would have been funnier, although the whole premise is a bit weak.

  16. not bad, pretty good, even.

  17. Good enough for me.

    Friday funnies are the baby seals of Hit and Run.

    Maybe that keeps the streets safer for bipeds.

  18. There are better political cartoonists out there. Tom Tomorrow of "This Modern World"

    Plainly you're blind and your only conception of "humor" lies in a vague description of the word "funny" that someone gave to you once upon a time and probably in a foreign language you don't speak.

  19. Silly because it is so wrong. Granted, Congress and INVESTORS both encouraged Fannie and Freddie to lend (and encouraged home ownership through mortgage deductions), but that would not have caused anywhere near the problem if banks had not gotten in the act in such destructive manner.

    Basically, Wall Street figured out how to make money off the interest on loans and off of repackaging the loans as securities. Once that happened banks went well beyond any implied mandate from congress.

    Blaming, mortgage mess on people who took out the bad loans is like blaming McDonald's for selling you hamburgers. No one forced the banks to lend or to repackage anything.

  20. the correct punchline is:

    "I learned it by watching you"

    but to be fair, you would need to change the set up a bit.

  21. I think Slate's cartoons are bomb. Some of them can be wordy, at times, but they are generally better drawn and much more interesting.

  22. Too obvious to be funny. But then again, there's a congressmen out there who need the obvious beaten into their skulls. Maybe one of them will see this cartoon.

  23. I actually think this one is okay. Then again, Butters thought Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull was pretty good, even though the horrible truth was right before his eyes.

  24. Actually, US bankers learned this business strategy from China's central bank. Who's been taking a lot of loans from China, I wonder?

  25. the correct punchline is:

    "I learned it by watching you"

    Kolohe - that's the second time you've been beat to a good joke. You're like the Bridesmaid of Comedy.

  26. So Bok bolted from the Reekin' Urinal...

    What you're saying is that there's no way in hell anyone should ever buy one of those shitty papers ever again? Man, the ABJ has fallen a long, long way.

  27. I'm with Badger.

    While Congress did, indeed, rather more than recommend that institutions reach beyond their traditional bases, it was the institutions and those who leveraged the crap out of their real estate investments who killed the goose.

    Here in SoCal, we watched real estate prices increase several hundred percent over the course of 3 years, and saw the mortgage market simply flooded with posers who would help potential home buyers blatantly scam the system by artificially inflating their incomes to match the artificially inflated home prices.

    My wife and I were offered "deals" where the broker literally pooh-poohed any negative ramifications that we brought up and offered to record our income as more than twice what it actually was in order to get us into a house whose bullshit appraised "value" had doubled in the single year we leased it. That kind of behavior was commonplace, and that's not Congress' doing.

    At our previous location, as we were preparing to move out, our landlords were selling both the house we were living in and one down the street which was their childhood home, inherited after their parents passed. As we stood in the street talking, she said, "People are so stupid. I know lots of homeowners who are flipping their houses for under 10% profit. Anyone with any brains wouldn't flip it for less than 30%. We're making double on your house, and more than 700% on my parents' old place!" This was an old neighborhood and they were the only ones selling anything. The rest of the neighborhood was disgusted by their predatory behavior.

    BTW, we're still renting, now in our 5th house in 6 years due to market churn.

  28. Butler-

    Shit like that sounds more like a fraud problem than a deregulation problem. There are laws against fraud. Both the lenders and the borrowers deserve what they get coming for knowingly getting in to shady deals like that.

  29. Colonel:

    It's definitely a fraud problem. Definitely made more attractive by relaxation of the rules. And most importantly, definitely exploited by someone other than Congress.

    I'm not sure we'd be in this situation without massive fraud. It's easy for me to understand how it might go down.

    And I agree with you about who deserves what, too. I'm just sayin' ... not Congress.

    They set the speed limit and encouraged pushing it, but that's all they did.
    Those who broke that limit are culpable, IMHO.

  30. I'm open to the idea that the limit Congress set was too high, and so it shares culpability ... that it was not breaking the limit that got us here, but more like people trying to drive 2 cars at the same time because you get paid per car with a bonus for pushing the limit.

  31. I bring you my love.

    Every moment
    I try to remember
    the light af
    an hidden report,
    when my memory
    outshines, when
    your love disappears....

    Francesco Sinibaldi

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