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I see a new trend in coverage of the foreclosure crisis: buyer backlash. Now, that everything has truly gone to hell with the economy, and the banks don’t seem to have any answers, the pointed fingers are extending past them to the people that wanted loans in the first place. Check out their lust and delusion! Wag, wag, wag, go the fingers.
I have evidence of this trend! In fact, I have two prime examples (so what if they’re in the same publication—-it’s a good one.)
Ahem. Check out this month’s Portfolio magazine, which features Bob Toll of Toll Brothers—-famed builder of McMansions and sprawling subdivisions—-on the cover. As the article states, Toll’s company is hurting these days: “Through the first nine months of 2008, Toll Brothers‘ new sales contracts were down 49 percent from 2007, and 76 percent from 2005. The company reported a series of huge losses and has been forced to take massive write-downs—-about $1.5 billion to date—-on the value of its assets and landholdings.”
The quote next to his gently smiling face on the cover reads: “It was not just our greed, but the greed of our buyers.”
Read the story, and you’ll find that Toll’s business persona doesn’t necessarily indicate his personal preferences. He doesn’t live in a McMansion; he lives in a 19th century farmhouse. He’s an ardent democrat. He is “given to fulminating against the growing gap between most Americans and the vulgar rich—-what he calls the ‘me-first aspect of society.'” And how does he reconcile the fact that he markets homes to “me-first” people?
“I don’t believe we’re building houses to make politics,” he says. “I believe in building houses to fulfill a market’s desires.”
Buyers—-they overextended themselves, not me, he seems to say. You don’t see me taking out any loans I can’t pay.
More evidence to come!