i'll give you "crippling"
anyway, he closes with a bit of opinion to which i will take issue: "an upsurge in foreclosures this spring and summer would be crippling to any revival of the housing market".
over in japan, over 20 years ago, they had an asset bubble burst to rival ours of a couple of octobers ago, and they never, not yet to this day, forced their banks to accurately reflect the true value of their bad loans on their books, or to clear out their relatively-worthless real estate collateral via foreclosure or other means. coincidentally, their economy has effectively shrunk over those past 20 years, and their real estate market has never recovered, though their bankers and their politicians and their real estate professionals continue to collect their fat paychecks for doing worse than nothing. NOT a pretty picture.
yet, here in this country, with the compelling example right there to teach us, we are slavishly sticking to that same dead-end road, with dire warnings of "cripplings" that better describe japan's results than anything that would happen here were loans to be cleared, real estate to be sold, and business resumed.
think about it--the jamoke who contributed to the collapse still has title to the real estate involved in his or her bogus mortgage deal, the banker who holds the worthless paper still has his or her fat-bonus-paying job, and the politicians who have propped the whole sorry mess up are still down there in washington, or up here on beacon hill, negotiating away our nation's prosperity and very future in a debt-soddened mass of financial destruction, and the people who would otherwise be able to afford a home at what SHOULD BE fair market prices and interest rates, are stuck paying the tax bills on top of all their other misery.
foreclosure auctions of all these bad loans' collateral properties would be LIBERATING. yes, the jamokes who reneged on their repayments would be cast out. yes, the bankers whose banks would be shown to be the insolvent morasses of perfidy that they are would be out of their jobs. yes, the politicians who were bought by the process would be unfunded lame ducks, ripe for replacement by more honest people. and you can spare me the wailing and rending of garments for those "poor homeowners" who borrowed more than they could repay. there's a reason promissory notes are legally binding, and this here is the perfect situation for us to follow through on our principles. besides, at their true values, those folks would be able to move back in with a new restructured mortgage anyway.
but all of this waits on fearmongering and misplaced dread. "crippling"?
the other recent story worth noting is from the reuters feed today, citing the investigation of the major criminals in this historic real estate swindle and their manipulation of the london interbank offer rate, which allowed them at the time to continue the swindle and sham of apparent-but-not-actual solvency to avoid collapse when they should have been forced to collapse.
these are crimes of the most profound, far-reaching and economically devastating sorts. they allow a criminal class of fraudulent bankers to perpetuate themselves at our expense, exhorting us against "crippling" ourselves by their dissolution.
or, as lord acton first and most aptly put it: "the issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people vs. the banks".
yes, lord acton, yes.