This is a brief post from the road.
One benefit (?) of driving all day long is that you get to hear all the radio ads you’ve been missing as a denizen of cyberspace. Well, one radio commercial I’ve heard over and over and over and over again through six states is that one that begins “MORTGAGES SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!” You know the one I’m talking about, right?
Now, the commercial is patently ridiculous on its face. I have to hope that even dumbasses realize that if mortgages were in fact illegal, they wouldn’t have gotten the loan to buy the house they’re living in, and they would still be paying rent to Mr. Potter. (Oh yes, did I mention that A Wonderful Life was on during Christmas? And that it seems eerily prescient of the world we live in today?) But these commercials are running everywhere, 24×7, and clearly telling consumers “You’re getting ripped off by the banks if you take out a mortgage!”
What got me wondering is whether that commercial and others like it, which constantly denigrate banks, call mortgages illegal and immoral, and talk about how you can transform debt into wealth and all other sorts of nonsense are having an effect nonetheless on the real estate market. Wall Street Journal the other day profiled a homeowner who walked away from an underwater mortgage, despite being able to pay. I just wonder if there’s a connection at all between these guys who are hawking whatever debt consolidation or credit counseling services they’re offering using fairly… ah… hyperbolic language and the increasing social acceptance of “strategic defaults”.
For that matter, after being bombarded by those messages on the drive to work and the drive home, I have to wonder how many people would even want to take out a mortgage at all.
Meh. I’m probably hyper-caffeinated and prone to random thoughts on the long roadtrip, but… man, those commercials are starting to get on my nerves.