(Notes from a conversation with Karl Lueders… as told to Karl Lueders):
So Karl Lueders is likely going to vote for Barack Obam!a in the ongoing Anybody But Bush variety show, but even Obam!a proves his theory about what skills good Presidents must possess: an ability to delegate responsibility (to responsible people), a calming influence on television and the best speechwriters.
This quote from Obam!a, in response to the Fed’s decision to “brace” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from further carnage, shows that his free-market advisers might be riding on a separate bus (taken from Monday’s MSNBC article, “Treasury, Fed to prop up mortgage giants:”
“Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said the government’s main concern should be ‘to make sure that home ownership remains attainable and affordable for American families. Second, any measures should protect taxpayers and not bailout the shareholders and management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.’”
What part of that scares you? Isn’t it the term “attainable and affordable?” Hasn’t that been the mantra for lenders for the past five years figuring out how to pump out loans to mortgage-starved Wall Street bundlers? Karl Lueders knows this might seem counterintuitive that what we all do for a living, but the reason why this market blows is that homeownership shouldn’t be – by definition – attainable and affordable for all Americans.
Lueders knows there are people younger and more successful than him that live in nice houses with smaller loans. “Do I deserve a break for being older?”, asked Lueders. “If I was to wait until I was 40 to buy my first house, do I get credits for waiting so long, do I deserve a proportionally better house that factors in my age, even if my funds are lighter than my more successful neighbor?” (Answer, by the way: no.) What Lueders assumes Obam!a means by “attainable and affordable” is that there will always be homes in every price range, which is usually dictated by location and quality of construction. (By the way, you can check out the recent Denver metro market statistics here, proving that there are still a lot of homes below the “average price.” Thanks, Vali.)
The problem with presidential candidates is that they can’t be “handled” at every turn, so every once in a while, you get a somewhat candid answer. If this is one of those times, should we assume that Obam!a rents? False: Obama actually owns a mansion in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood (purchase price approx. $1.65 million, of which he got a $1.32 million!!! loan). If you live in Chicago, they call that a business lunch.
Do these kinds of things disturb Lueders? According to Karl, they should bother everyone. “I wish my candidate’s cached memory was slightly more adroit, so he wouldn’t make such semantic errors which sound like quotes from the Liberal Handbook,” said Lueders. As he stormed off, however, he yelled over his shoulder, “Am I going to change my vote? Probably not… at least Obam!a was speaking English.”
Ed. note: I couldn’t catch up with Lueders, but I think he was referring to John McCain’s weigh-in on the same Fed decision. So in the interest of equal time, here’s Johnny (words actually spoken by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior policy adviser.) from the same article:
“Republican rival John McCain believes the measures announced Sunday ‘are consistent with the goal of providing support for a path through the current duress toward steps that include regulatory reform, market discipline and mission focus.’”
Hey Obam!a, now that’s good speechwriting!