For those of you who somehow missed or have forgotten the early childhood fable of “The Three Little Pigs,” let me give you an executive summary appropriate for an age of diminishing attention spans and expectations:
There were three stature-challenged boars who symbolized the three basic middle class approaches to home mortgages.
As per usual, The Big Bad Wolf with the bad breath was the traditional metaphor for life’s uncertainties and hazards… like hurricanes, tornados, car crashes, flash floods, disco music, punk bands, Donald Trump’s hair, sub-prime mortgage brokers, derivative debt-swaps, earthquakes, etc.
The piggy who built his house of straw was of course the fool. We are talking major fire and structural problems when vegetable matter is not mixed with clay. No sane mortgage or insurance company would touch it.
The porker who bought a seemingly solid wooden tract home in a nice middle-class suburb was the conformist. Although there are some inherent flammability concerns and potential termite problems, the structure is still insurable for a price.
And of course, the wise piggy built out of brick in a faux colonial style. He had no problem getting a good insurance policy for an affordable price. (This of course assumes that the brick house is not near the San Andreas Fault; a point entirely missed by the Grimm Brothers.)
The stark moral of the piggy fable (obvious, even to kindergarteners) is that prudence will quite literally keep a roof over your head in stormy times.
It is all very neat and tidy, and rather charming in a picture book sort of way. But alas, the economic lessons for most American home and condo owners are not so neat and tidy, or filled with sunny childish certainty.
For all the “wise piggy” real estate owners who are financially solvent and able to manage their debt obligations (a quaint concept from all together different times), the U.S. government is providing you with a spectacular lifetime opportunity:
You get to bail out all the lard heads with the over-leveraged straw, wood, and brick bungalows and McMansions.
The vast majority of hard-working, semi-solvent American taxpayers are now stuck with the bills from our national debt binge; and that includes all you high functioning creative types.
Our nation’s unfathomable and imprudent debts are conservatively estimated at over $1,000,000,000,000.00 (one trillion dollars) for bum home mortgages and another $60,000,000,000.00 (sixty trillion dollars) for inscrutable derivative “debt-swaps.”
Many of these “financial weapons of mass destruction” are owned by European, Arab, and Chinese financial entities.
These lenders from abroad are indifferent to our “exceptional” national hopes, dreams, delusions, pastimes, and brands of Christianity. In the end, their mantra will be:
“Show Me The Money!”
And pay, we will.