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Capture a stiff's signature. The stiff can be poor or an earner, but all were unable to pay the inflated value of the loans (not all were mortgages, some were credit cards, cars, Harleys). When houses, in particular, get too pricey, and wages stagnate, even working people can't afford them, their down money, or their normal schedule of amortization.
Now sell the debt. Syndicate it. Sell it upstream. Insure it with nothing in the pool to pay out on the defaults. The bank isn't holding the paper - they don't give a crap. The investment bank sold the bond, they don't give a crap. The CDS issuer never gave a crap - for whatever reason.
Who is the only party that gives a crap and can do nothing to stop the locomotive? You, the taxpayer. Believe me people, this was robbery and blackmail of the highest order. You are threatened with financial meltdown, lockup of the credit markets. "if we don't do this....'
You can't pay your health insurance, or you have none to begin with. Tough shit. We can't afford a national plan like oh....(you think I'm going to say, Canada? Wrong) our Senators and Congressmen receive? You can't send your kid to college, a good school, because it's unaffordable and financial aid has been cut to the bone (and you ain't seen nothing yet). Tough shit, we can't afford it.
By the way: Our legislators always get the best health care and pension benefits. How's yours?
The mortgage banking system and the investment banking system are insolvent? That, that we can afford.
Suckers, suckers, ha ha, jokes on you. 15B a month in Iraq plus the aftermath of veterans care for a generation. $200B for Fredfan. $85+B for AIG, and on and on and $700B for all them and no one in particular.
We all could have had the best health care and free higher education. The free market would have been forced into CDS defualt (the best medicine for illiquid paper), house prices would have crashed and burned, and become once more affordable for the middle class working stiff.
Commercial paper, short term working debt, would have become tight for a while. We could have borne the pain. We are in for 40 years of much worse.