THE UNNAMED VILLIAN IN THE HOUSING COLLAPSE
People across all political affiliations generally agree that the American economic collapse can be attributed to the actions of three major groups: the Fed, who failed to regulate; the banks, who operated like predators; the consumers, who wanted to live beyond their means.
But no one talks about the unnamed villain of the housing crisis that tipped the whole system into bankruptcy. This villain is the NAR.
The NAR stands for the National Association of Realtors, the lobbying group listed at #4 on opensecrets.org’s list of political heavy hitters: an organization about which the New York Times once flatly stated, “You have to wonder sometimes what they’re smoking over there at the National Association of Realtors.”
Over the last decade, the NAR has stayed under the radar while doing a monstrous amount of damage. As the Bloodhound Realty blog says, “It was the NAR that lobbied for each law and rule change that resulted in the housing boom that then led to the current housing crisis.” Yet chief economist for the NAR Lawrence Yun just stated that it was Wall Street. Yun, who has publicly stated he never saw the housing crash coming said “Wall Street lenders went wild and Fannie Mae, along with it’s rival Freddie Mac, chased the market bubble profits.”
The question is who got these loosey goosey lending laws passed. The NAR pushed for each and everyone. They lobbied (spending hundreds of thousands of dollars) for sub-prime lending-catastrophe, the bundling of the bad loans so even more could be made and the unquestioning subsidization of the secondary mortgage market which led to the Fannie and Freddie bailout and then there is AIG. All of these practices have one common denominator the NAR lobbied for them-why because they sell more homes and yield real estate commissions. Who funds the NAR-real estate agents!! These practices that have led to their continued profits off of the exploitation of the American consumer. Every law that caused the current real estate collapse was heavily lobbied for by the NAR.
And make no mistake, they pushed hard. The NAR is the largest trade association in the United States. Of all political action groups, they are the third-largest contributors to political campaigns; since 1990, they have pumped over $30 million into the candidates that promise to fight for regulations that will hurt the public while keeping bad business afloat. Money is abundant as they spent $379,000 on a Rose Bowl float.
Politics aside what is the absolute biggest marketing scam tag line is The American Dream –Homeownership. The American Dream can turn into the American night mare. Why do we think that an advertising campaign every American’s dream is to own a home is a good thing. I want a Jaguar but if I can’t afford it, it should not be the American dream. Especially if I buy one with lousy credit and the government has subsidized my down payment and 90 days into the deal, the car gets reposed. We have been brainwashed by advertising that we are all entitled to a home even if we cannot afford it. Leasing is not a bad thing so stop all this craziness and educate people on what they should buy not on what a lobbying group wants them to buy. Take your left hand and shake your right hand and meet who is responsible for you . It is very simple for Washington DC to stabilize the housing market. Get a lsit of what the NAR is for and vote against it. Trust me this would do more to stabilize the housing market than anything.
Next year, the NAR needs to hire a couple of good economists with that Rose Bowl money. They state that they “never saw the housing crisis coming.” That’s either dishonesty or shameful ignorance, considering that most of the housing information in the media comes from this political group. Perhaps they should also hire an ethicist, as independent groups in the past have found the NAR’s home sale statements inflated by up to 20%.
The NAR ultimately exists for the broker’s commission, the direct way of taking enormous amounts from the public and putting it back in the huge purse of the real estate industry.