Anybody interested in seeing a great movie on the mortgage meltdown should watch the 2011 film, Margin Call, written and directed by J.C. Chandor. The film is a fictional characterization of a boutique Wall Street firm that figures out that the trading algorithms most of Wall Street was depending on to gauge the risk of their mortgage backed securities business was flawed and that a complete collapse of the system was only days away. The entire story takes place in a span of less than 24 hours and includes a brilliant 3AM boardroom scene, where the company’s CEO, played by Jeremy Irons, contemplates the most draconian decisions any CEO will ever make. Irons utters one of my all-time favorite movie lines, “There are three ways to succeed in this business: cheat, be smarter, or be first. Well I don’t cheat, and while I think we have some pretty smart people, it’s a lot easier just to be first”. The film which was made for less than 4 million dollars features an all star cast including: Irons, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey, Simon Baker and Zachary Quinto. There are about a thousand stories that could be written about America’s greatest financial crisis, but this is definitely one of my favorites.
It has been long understood that a nation of stakeholders makes for a strong union, and for that reason, closing the minority homeownership gap has been a goal and a topic of discussion for decades.
Between 2008 and 2012, more than six million people lost their homes to foreclosure, property values lost almost 40%, and non-distressed home sales fell to all-time lows. It was, without question, the worst real estate market since the great depression. Not surprisingly, the historic dip in the market was followed by a decade-long bull market, the likes of which we have never seen before. Residential real estate is a cyclical market. The...
There is a saying that goes “when the tide rolls back, you can see who is swimming naked”. When the market is strong, it covers a lot of weaknesses. With interest rates moving up, inflation on the rise, and the economy heading towards a possible recession, we’ll find out soon how solid the foundation of the real estate market has been, and more importantly, which companies and agents have built a strong, recession-proof business.