Friday, November 5, 2010

Banks as Bad Neighbors

Tax the Deadbeats, Tax the Banksters | Emptywheel: "The narrative the banksters and their enablers have used to fight a foreclosure moratorium focuses on property values. If we put off foreclosures, they argue, it’ll have detrimental effects on the local community, not least by (continuing to) drive down local property values.

Now, the entire premise ignores the fact that the banksters have been sitting on a bunch of shadow inventory for years; the banks have been in no rush to foreclose on these properties and write down the losses, and Treasury has been happy to string out foreclosures to avoid a hit on the housing market.

But there’s another problem with that narrative.

If property values are falling because the properties are falling into disrepair, that’s partly the fault of the banks.

If property values are going down because no one is mowing lawns and preventing squatters, then that’s partly because banks are deadbeat neighbors who are not paying for the upkeep on the houses they own."

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