Saturday, October 4, 2008

A time of Crisis

I remember in 2004 I was signing up for a checking account in California while I was working at summer job. I was returning
to school in a couple months so I really pay too much attention to the banking officer's push for me to try to
qualify for a special 0% interest loan for 24 months. But as I said no a couple different times and she piled
on incentives they had for young people to their first home I was struck by the oddness of the whole situation.

I was 22, working out of state, returning to school and leaving the state in 2 months, and my initial deposit
to open the account was not even large amount. She enthusiastically presented to me this program for getting
people 'like me' into a house. I had Economics with a former VP from the Federal Reserve who described in some
detail how the Fed sets rates and they fluctuate over time. Interest rates and Inflation was at an all time low
in 2004, but I knew all that wouldn't last much longer.

From this and other experiences it was obvious the level of aggressiveness exerted upon customers who probably didn't
understand the fundamental forces which affect the true cost and value over time was risky at best and illegal
at worst. It took 4-5 years for some of the effects of these loans to come to fruition.

1 comment:

Stas said...

Wow, Marc, that's nuts. What a dumb offer... No wonder crisis is here. Too bad it's spreading beyond the U.S.

Thanks for another great post. You rock the house!