Romney: let the housing market “run its course and hit the bottom”

For those not able or inclined to watch the video, this was what Mitt Romney had to say yesterday to the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

As to what to do for the housing industry specifically, are there things that you could do to encourage housing? One is: Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up. The Obama administration has slow-walked the foreclosure process that has long existed, and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.

To give you a sense of just what Romney’s talking about, sans the corporatist free-market jargon, here’s D-Day:

I like the notion that the Obama Administration is the one slow-walking the foreclosure process. Anyone who’s looked at the issue for 10 seconds knows it’s the banks, effectively, who have slow-walked the process, in part by violating the laws governing the process. Courts have stopped foreclosures not because they are operating on high and responding to some Kenyan version of a Bat-Signal; instead judges with some sense of fairly enforcing the laws stopped them, because banks committed fraud by using false affidavits and fabricated or forged documents.  So they can’t legally determine ownership of the underlying properties.

In fact, in Nevada, where Romney was sitting when he made this statement, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has sued Bank of America over these illegal foreclosure processes, along with generalized fraud and deceptive practices on loan modifications and fee pyramiding. Nevada is one of the key areas of the country where the foreclosure crisis is at its most acute. And virtually every resident there has been touched by abuse at the hands of their lenders. So more than perhaps anywhere else, Romney using Andrew Mellon’s “Liquidate everything” strategy just isn’t going to fly.

By my lights, this just adds further supporting evidence to my contention that yesterday was a very bad, no good, terrible day for Mitt Romney. Not only did he come off like a whiny and entitled country club jerk—so much so that for a minute I thought he was the villain in a teen chick-flick about the sexy cheerleader, the angsty loser, and the polo-wearing rich boy who keeps them apart—but, earlier in the day, he was able to embody the bloodless, pitiless CEO patrician; the guy who lays off your father, brother, and uncle so he can buy another yacht.

For the past few months I’ve been of the mind that Romney would be able to beat Obama rather comfortably in 2012. I thought he had markedly improved as a campaigner. But if he has s’more days like yesterday in him, I might have to reconsider.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a freelance journalist and blogger. He considers Bob Dylan and Walter Sobchak to be the two great Jewish thinkers of our time; he thinks Kafka was half-right when he said there was hope, "but not for us"; and he can be reached through the twitter via @eliasisquith or via email. The opinions he expresses on the blog and throughout the interwebs are exclusively his own.

Comments are closed.