More to the housing credit crunch

To the editor:

In response to stories about the credit crunch:

OK, let’s be clear: There is more than one investor in most ‘investment’ real estate transactions.

I never sold an “investor” a home during the boom. I do clearly understand why many homeowners are upset that their home values have dropped as multiple vacant homes in their subdivisions are foreclosed upon.

Yet, they may be worse off than they know.

Who funded those mortgages? It wasn’t Countrywide or Wells Fargo or Aegis. Those are technically just mortgage servicing companies. It was an investor. That’s why Countrywide and so many other lenders don’t have money to lend right now. Because investors have stopped putting their money into those kinds of funds. This is no different than going to your bank to borrow money. The money they lend you is money that others have deposited with them in interest-earning vehicles.

But don’t let that fool you. This is not some wealthy magnate sitting in a posh Manhattan penthouse with money to burn and ever-so-grateful for the tax writeoff. Those ‘investors’ were you and I. Our uncles and cousins. Our co-workers. Your 401(k) and mine, too.

It is investment funds that were pooled and invested — and maybe later traded up to the higher interest-earning hedge funds that are now worth nothing due to this subprime lending fiasco.

Much as many of you would like to see the “investors” take a beating because you feel they took a risk and lost, I’ve got news for you: That investor may well be you.



Flags waved

To the editor:

I walked out of my house on Sept. 11 and put up my American flag and my U.S. Marine Corps flag. I am a veteran. I then put two flags on my truck window, one on each side, and went to work.

I went across Commerce Street as far as possible, and then to Lake Mead Boulevard, turned left and entered Interstate 15. I went south to Tropicana Avenue and exited. I saw only one flag displayed at half-staff, at a Terrible’s gas station.

What happened to patriotism? Why does no one care? Have we forgotten already what happened six years ago?



Drug solution

To the editor:

The Sept. 2 commentary, “The war on drugs is lost,” was right on that point. It’s been lost from the beginning because it was never a problem in the first place. And the only thing this “war” has accomplished is to create the largest, most violent and corrupting (from the White House to the ordinary street cop) black market this nation has ever seen.

It makes Prohibition look like a Sunday outing in the park.

The writer touched on the solution to the drug problem, but only slightly — and never cited the real solution. Then a letter writer wrote in to suggest that the solution is to execute drug dealers.

The real answer, however, is very simple and we don’t have to kill anyone. Take the profit out of the illegal drug business and it will dry up and blow away like a leaf in October.

How do we take the profit out of drugs? Make them all legal again. When they are legal there will be no market for illegal drugs.

Those who use drugs are, in my opinion, pretty stupid — but that is their problem. It is not a problem for which the government has any responsibility.



Post follies

To the editor:

I must comment about two of your reprints from The Washington Post in Sunday’s Review-Journal Viewpoints section.

The Post’s Sept. 5 editorial regarding the Second Amendment questions the precise interpretation — whether it guarantees ownership of firearms to individuals, or if it actually only protects states’ rights to form and maintain a militia.

While I subscribe to the latter, I realize we’re almost 217 years into a gun culture that is difficult to control by laws. In 1791, no one had any conception of the murderous types of guns that would come to be developed and the havoc such weapons would cause in the hands of private individuals.

Therefore, I heartily recommend that the United States (all 50 of them) amend the Second Amendment to preclude ownership of at least repeater-type firearms — either sidearms or shoulder weapons — by the public.

As for the Post’s Sept. 6 editorial, it indicates that the Constitution requires a count of every person residing in the United States, “legal or otherwise” as such a census is critical in “determining political representation and the allocation of funds.” Excuse me? Illegals (from any country and/or of any ethnicity) are entitled to political representation? I thought this was reserved for citizens.

And — except for dire health needs in emergencies and education through high school — I do not see how or why the “allocation of funds” should include such people.

Helen Richman


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