Remember your childhood summers when you held your breath underwater so long that your head felt ready to explode? For millions of homeowners in America today, being underwater too long has a different impact: they implode.
As the U.S. Supreme Court has explained, corporations are persons just like my readers. The only difference between a corporate person and a human person is that when a human person breaks the law, the human person depending on the offense, may go to jail.
It has taken a long time for the last of these chickens (call them turkeys) to come home to roost from the halcyon days of mortgage lending excesses. But they will have a strong impact on the housing market in the next few years, and on the families that will face this hit on their finances.
I'm not a member of a book club, so I don't know if it's de rigueur for literary associations to throw back a few cocktails and to unsheath verbal knives at holiday get-togethers. If it is, then I was in the presence of a masterful group of readers.
Throughout the campaign, both candidates were short on specifics about their housing policy, to put it very kindly. But what the candidates didn't do or say helps draw out the differences between what housing policy will look like during Obama's second term.
The robo-signing settlement is the latest -- and potentially the largest -- piece in the U.S. housing policy puzzle. Even though it's partly punishment for banks' wrongdoing, it is also another answer by the government to the question of how it can help the housing market.