Monday, October 18, 2010

Wyatt Cenac on strategic defaults

I'm behind on my Daily Show viewing, so I just saw this: Wyatt Cenac on the strategic default crisis. He caught the Mortgage Bankers Association acting with supreme hypocrisy and I hope it stung. This is the best correspondent bit since Ed Helms' piece on Guns for Tots from 2005 (possibly a re-airing of a 2003 piece). Brilliant.
Cenac: To better understand the complexities of home mortgages, I caught up with the head of the Nevada Mortgage Bankers Association, Jon Copeland.

[cut to sit-down interview]

Cenac: If I get the house, how long should I wait before I default on it?

Copeland: Um, you're going to never default. You signed a promissory note --

Cenac: But the Mortgage Bankers Association defaulted on their $79 million headquarters in Washington, DC.

Copeland: [stammers]

Cenac: [gestures as if to say, "Well?"]

Copeland: Correct.

Cenac: If they did it, why can't I?

Copeland: For the association to default doesn't mean that it was the right thing to do.
Note that Mr. Copeland is not the villain of the piece. The real flaming hypocrite here is John Courson, head of the national MBA.

UPDATE: Both the Daily Show and I are way behind on this story. The Wall Street Journal broke this story back in February; the Journal's story is hidden behind a paywall, but boston.com has its own article that links to the Journal piece.

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