CRISIS PART II: HOW DO WE KEEP OUR HEADS WHEN ALL AROUND US ARE LOSING THEIRS???
I am the kind of person who likes to look back and see where things could have been done differently. I do like to see where mistakes were made in order to avoid them in the future...So, take a look at this post I wrote in March of '09. I think it deserves a re-take, especially with what is going on right now with the Banks (BofA Especially) freaking out at what could be their "Waterloo". Unlike the battles that Napoleon was fighting when he met his, the battles being fought now are within the banks themselves, as they sort through the ethical and legal fiasco that still exists somewhere in the heap of MBS' that are now spread across the globe. It appears that the banks actually covered up the real facts about the housing crisis. They hired thousands of people to do the dirty work of signing documents stating that homeowners mortgages were scrutinized carefully before foreclosure, when in fact they were not! What is horrifying to me is the idea that the problems are so overwhelming that the banks peered into the abyss, saw the truth, then shut the door before the news could leak out into the light of day!
The banks are also dealing with the fear and anger of the homeowners who remain poised at the edge of the precipice, waiting to see if the banks will help help them out or throw them to the wolves.
"These are the times that try men's souls"...the times that will change most lives with a sweep of the housing broom. I wanted to share again the moment in time that we all were facing as the world seemed to melt around us and as the die was cast for the next decade or more:
March 8, 2009
ON September 18, 2008 the President (GW) woke up from a sound sleep and got a call on his red phone, probably from his treasury secretary, Paulson. "You won't believe what I just found out!---CitiGroup is about to go under; no more money in the coffers!"
President Bush: "How could this happen?" Paulson: "I don't know boss but it is happening and the rest of the banking community is lined up right behind them....there is no money!".(Citi is the largest bank in the world with account holders in every major country).
President Bush:"How do we stop this? Get the CEOs and CFOs of all major banks on a conference call right now; we have to act immediately!".....and thus begins the biggest and most shocking wave of planned failures and bank bailouts any government has ever had to face.
I don't know if that is exactly how it unfolded, but you get the picture:
It is election time and all the preparation for a new president has taken the wind from the sails of the current administration. All the hype and the enthusiasm for the new leader has blinded most in the media to fall in line behind a historical and very charismatic new president.
Very little attention was paid to the "undertone" of suspicion about this new, young and vibrantly brilliant leader. No one wanted to let their better judgment surface for one single moment---it may not be correct and where would we be then? The media allowed the gnarly little voices, claiming "Marxist" connections and "Socialistic tendencies" to disappear in the flurry of the campaign.
Now, I don't know if these claims have a grain of truth in them; I do know that what is happening right now in the minds and hearts of my family, loved ones and fellow professionals is total and utter fear and terror of what we may be facing very soon...... But, back to the scene:
As each day passes and we still don't know what our government is really doing to protect it's citizens, the fear and terror is paralyzing---people don't know what to do.....Do we wait to see? Do we speak up and maybe embarrass ourselves? Do we march? Do we crawl back under the covers and maybe even maybe turn off the TV and radio and not listen to any more of it?
Do we, as a nation, demand that we be informed of every detail in this debacle? Do we concede to the lulling sounds of the people now in charge: "Things will get worse", "This is just the beginning, more will fail", "This is as bad if not worse than the Great Depression" and on and on and on.....Do we need to hear this from our leaders? I think not!! I think we have every right to expect a positive, protective attitude; that is what is required to lead us out of this abyss....Do we need to cower and wait for the "inevitable"???
We are NOTmade of that "stuff"! We are Americans and we do have the ability to turn things around...and fast! We are in need of a shot of Adrenalin right now---maybe a quick glance at what we have accomplished when it comes to this country's Hellish experiences from the past:
- 9/11-2001Symbolic of just what we are experiencing right now--a complete collapse of our financial systems; a "flat-lining" of the life blood of our monetary systems. We survived it; some brave souls didn't and it is in their memory that we are obligated to fight this "veil of fear" that is controlling us right now.
- 1929-The great depression took it's toll on a multitude of institutions and human beings; but most were able to rise again, up from the ashes of that frightening time. WE CAN SURVIVE A COMPLETE BREAKDOWN OF OUR FINANCIAL NETWORKS AND SYSTEMS!!!
- 1860's-Civil War---CIVIL WAR! Think of it and think about how people dealt with THAT one! What a soul-stirring experience it was when it was brother vs brother, father vs son, uncle vs nephew, neighbor vs neighbor and on and on.....I hear it was hell! But we survived it! As a people and as a country in solidarity, we came through that and we never looked back---this nation moved forward.
We, as a nation have always pulled together to get ourselves out of the way of a cataclysmic event! We can and we will get through this one!
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY. The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
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