May 16, 2009

Fall Down Go Boom

Devastatingly honest piece from a NYT financial writer. About how he tanked his life with mortgage and credit card debt. Good thing he's written a book about it; not sure how he's going to be able to keep writing as an expert on the subject after the stuff he owns up to in here.

Wish my father had got to him years ago. Could have saved him a world of hurt.


Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Oh my gosh that is unbelievable!!! I thought I was taking huge risks by stealing one or two red smarties instead of eating them all last. My hands are literally sweating after reading that article. One of several things that jumps out at me is that he calls the housing prices "rediculously inflated." (or something like that.) American housing prices have always been a relative bargain compared to ours. And yet we Canadians (bundled up in our parkas and oilskin hats) somehow manage without those incredibly bizarre liars loans and all the other insane permutations. I had heard you could get 50 year mortgages where you didn't even pay all the interest. That extra interested would get tacked onto the principle each month but it was OK because the value of the house would be going up all the time.

Now excuse me. I think I'm going to go apply for the job of personal grooming editor at the Star. Before you bash my fashion faux pas, remember that everything old is new again.

Except those socks. They're just old.

May 16, 2009 4:22 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Sorry to hog all the space here, but I just had to tell you that I just finished re-reading this article and have printed it off (yes, yes... I know we're supposed to be a paperless society but I promise I'll be good after this) and am going to make my 19 and 16 year olds read it. And understand it. There will be a quiz when they're done. I am absolutely dumbfounded at how an intelligent, educated, literate individual like Mr Andrews who knew exactly what slippery road he was headed down, allowed this to happen. Can you imagine the poor, uneducated masses that were victimized by these unscrupulous brokers who convinced them that the Great American Dream was theirs for the taking?

I am beginning to suspect that we have the same parents. My Dad (rest his soul) was meticulous about family finances. The only loan he ever took out was the mortgage. I grew up knowing that at the beginning of each month we had about 15 envelopes that each contained a certain amount of money. Groceries, clothes, gas, electricity, housekeeping... it was all there. When the envelopes were empty, we were done until the first of the next month. No ifs, ands or buts (or butts... for the more mature audience.) Money for a new car was put away every month and when the old one was done we bought what we could afford. If it was a toilet bowl blue Skylark, no one complained.

Out loud, anyway.

Thank you so much, Lorraine, for bringing this article to our attention. Hopefully it will save a few people from falling into the same snake pit.

May 17, 2009 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG. Everyone should read this article. Just reading it made me start panicing and I don't even owe any money to anyone. Wow.

May 17, 2009 12:49 PM  

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