Business That Makes You Feel Funny

Feeling funny? I don't mean in a good way. Readers are emailing me on several topics. Here's part one.

Regarding the root cause of this financial crisis--the mortgage meltdown:

Dana B. says there's plenty of blame to spread around: "The banks were pushed by the Government on one hand to write these loans, and forced on the other hand by Sarbanes-Oxley to mark to market. Once housing prices started to correct, there was no escaping this doom. The builders, whom I worked for in the "boom" years not only SHOULD have known better, they DID. Inventory is a four-letter word for a homebuilder, always has been. These executives had their nose right in it all along, and knew they were over-building. Anyone with a month's worth of business experience knows what happens when a market gets saturated..."

Tony W. says a lender-appraiser cabal at fault, with middle income families fearing: "they needed to buy soon or else they'd be priced out of the market...the irony is, the real story is not about subprime loans, it's about commissioned loan officers who feared losing business by not closing a loan because of a low appraisal. The real problem at hand is the lack of disclosure and several lack of understanding (by consumers) of the relationship between the lender and the appraisal company...and appraiser who was honest about market conditions and prices was run completely out of business..."

Regarding the takeover of Washington Mutual:

From Tim J.:
"The New York Times reports that the chief executive of Washington Mutual, who was on the job just 17 days, is eligible for $19.1 million in run the failing bank less than three weeks...that would work out to $1.12 million per day (assuming he worked weekends). If he worked eight-hour days, it works out to $140,000 per hour."

Mike G. is a cruel, cruel man: Jane:
"I bet you are having a great day covering the Wamu collapse and the collapse of your USC Trojans against the Oregon State Beavers."

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email