Harper’s Article on “Stopping Payment” on Homes and More

Worth Reading: Harpers look at movements to take on banks over MERS and stop payments on loans. It's hefty reading, so it may only be for the dedicated, but I'd take a gander.

Essentially between the MERS mess people can take on the banks, it's got a bit of a movement behind it. This is reminiscent of other movements dealing with financial law, and might just combine with similar movements (anti-tax, state sovereignty, local control, etc.). It also has potential to combine with Occupy Wall Street.

It also means that the anger with the housing mess has a chance to mutate into something else, and banks have to keep up  . . . which they're not to good at.

Steven Savage

Frustration Friday: Narrow Perspectives, Broad Problems

I have a college degree.  People like myself will have a much lesser unemployment rate than people with less education.

I live in Silicon Valley.  I have access to jobs and jobs resources others may not have if they're not in a region like that.

I am in my early 40's.  I'm not old enough that my age is an issue in my career – in some cases, it's an advantage.

I try to stay aware of what it's like for other people, those with different education, those with different locations.  My experience in this economy is not the experience of others – in fact it may be radically different from what they experience.  I count myself fortunate that I have friends around the world in different situations as there's someone there to kick my butt when I think the rest of the world lives like I do.

It's tough and I'm a news junkie – I still follow what's up in Greece.  But I worry that I – and others – may not have the broad perspectives we need to help solve the economic problems the world faces.  Or at the very least our perspectives will be too narrow and we'll inadvertently forget those who suffer who aren't like us.

The Great Recession has hit people hard, but who is hit and how hard they're hit varies radically by education, location, profession, and more.  My experience is probably not your experience, your experience is not your best friend's experience, and so on.  The pain is not distributed evenly.

So in the months and years and decades to come as we all hopefully work to solve the fallout from the Great Recessions, repair our economies, humiliate the incompetent, and lock up the right people, I worry we'll loose perspective.

Will those of us in the regions that are ideal for geeks forget those that aren't – and those with economic problems?

What of those of us with the degrees that let us find jobs – will we forget what others are going through?

Will those of us old enough have the experience to get jobs forget the young?

Will those of us young enough to not worry about our older age forget those who are already aged – and will we be surprised when we're their age?

I worry we won't keep the proper perspectives.  That we'll push for recoveries and policies that affect what we think is everyone but is really just us.  Then we won't notice the half-baked ideas we've pushed and asked for didn't quite do it – because we'll move in our own spheres and circles, until we painfully realize just how connected the world is.

Steven Savage

Frustration Friday: The Thing We Lost

Yes, I know the Great Recession has caused many, many losses.  If I wasn't a news fanatic I wouldn't be able to avoid the stories anyway – and as it is, I seek them out.

Everyone talks about the loss of money.  X billion dollars vanished. 

Everyone talks about the loss of jobs.  This country has Y percent unemployment.

Everyone talks about the loss of national prominence.  The whole world is going through a self-esteem crisis apparently.

What no one is talking about is that among all this there's been a huge loss of something else, a resource that can be made and destroyed – and once destroyed is hard to remake.

That resource is TRUST.  The pundits and economists don't talk about this nearly enough.

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