There’s always something to howl about

What does it mean that the NAR won’t defend itself from the charge that it was the sine qua non cause of the Great Recession?

I threw down the gauntletand not for the first time:

It was the NAR that lobbied for each law and rule change that resulted in the housing boom, the sub-prime lending catastrophe, the wanton bundling of fraudulent loans, the on-going subsidization of the secondary mortgage market, etc.

The villain behind all the villains in the collapse of the American economy is the National Association of Realtors.

We know they’re spying on us. And we know their PR pimp demonstrated that he got bilked when he paid for his law degree, so poorly does he argue.

So: Why doesn’t the brave National Association of Realtors — the largest, richest, most-powerful Rotarian Socialist corporate-welfare-tit-sucking political pressure group in the land — why won’t it stand up on its hind legs and defend itself?

For a first reason: Because it can’t. Better than any of us, the grand poohbah blood-sucking vampires of the NAR know beyond all room for doubt that it was their legislative initiatives that were the seeds, stems, stalks, branches, trees and forests that caused the housing boom, the housing bust and the Great Recession.

And for a second reason: Because they are actively plotting to do still more, still worse damage to the American economy. They will not stop sucking until they have sucked the body politic dry.

How do we know all of this true? Cum taces, clamas. When you say nothing, you shout.

They don’t defend themselves because they can’t. They know they are criminals. They pray, every sleepless night, that you do not know it.

In fact, the silence of your putative “leaders” does not prove me right. That would require an argument — an argument only I am happy to make. But the fact that the National Association of Realtors does not challenge my arguments is potent evidence that they themselves believe I am correct.

Are you waiting for the NAR to argue that someone else is responsible for the Great Recession — for the ruin of your own finances and for the devastation to be delivered to your children and grandchildren?

Don’t hold your breath. They know they’re at fault. And so do you.


15 Comments so far

  1. Dylan Darling April 1st, 2011 1:26 pm

    Wow… putting it lightly eh? While I agree with some of what you’ve said, I don’t think NAR is the sole responsible party for the “great recession”. American greed has had a big role. How many people do you know that decided they would leverage everything they had and go put 10% down on 5+ rental properties, hoping to flip them in a year or 2. It was huge in our market. And most of them had ARMS so that they could break even with the monthly rent. Then when things started to slow, everyone walked away from their investment obligations. Then the domino effect started…

  2. Greg Swann April 1st, 2011 1:38 pm

    > I don’t think NAR is the sole responsible party for the “great recession”.

    I didn’t say that. I said sine qua non — without which not. Every complicating factor you can name in this financial disaster originated in the lobbying efforts of the National Association of Realtors. If the NAR had been a champion for consumers, for real-property owners, and for tax-payers, instead of being their steadfast enemy, none of this would have happened. Subtract the NAR’s legislative agenda, and the Great Recession would not have happened.

    Doubt me? Name a causal factor and we’ll trace it back to the NAR.

    This is why they won’t say boo. They know their fingerprints are all over everything that matters in this catastrophe.

  3. Brian Brady April 1st, 2011 2:25 pm

    One of your best, Greg. Some unsuspecting, well-meaning REALTOR, will offer a tepid argument agianst your position, in the next 24-72 hours and will get the best education of their life.

  4. Greg Swann April 1st, 2011 3:11 pm

    I’m totally game. If I’m wrong, I want to know it. But I’m convinced that any legislative initiative that can be called a contributing factor leading to the Great Recession can be traced back to the NAR. Definitely worth our effort to figure this out, in any case.

    My belief, as you know, is that every intrusion by government into the marketplace is detrimental. But since housing is so fundamental to our lives, the NAR’s endless wish list of special favors, subsidies, tax credits, incentives, market-entry restrictions, etc., is particularly pernicious.

    Here’s something good that could come of this outsized exhibition of intellectual cowardice on the NAR’s part: The membership could wake up to the benefits of a truly free market. The NAR’s big bosses are all gutless, but they’re gutless because they know they are in the wrong. We have the power to disintermediate them for good, and real estate professionals can become the best, most steadfast defenders of a free market in real property.

  5. Jim Klein April 1st, 2011 3:12 pm

    May I referee this battle? Not the one between you and the NAR; that’s a KO one second into the first round. I mean the one between you and those who don’t see what you’re saying.

    You sound like you’re saying the NAR is the exclusive sine qua non; you’re really saying it’s the ultimate sine qua non. The ratings agencies were the sine qua non as well; without their fraud, the whole thing wouldn’t have happened either. For that matter, IMO it wouldn’t have happened without those professors feeding pablum to those third grade teachers of the NAR executives. This is not about determinism; it’s about the reality of the matter and the actual willful causes.

    And then of course, there’s the ultimate sine qua non, Govco, the sine qua non of every drop of it, including the NAR itself. It goes without saying that idiocy of this magnitude simply can’t be accomplished without guns directing the action. Only so many people are as foolish as all this. Only so many frauds can get away with it in a free market.

    That’s your point, I’m sure. The idiocy and fraud of the NAR–both its own self-destruction and its failure to represent interested parties–is tough to match when one looks around the context. And being a blog focused on real estate, and especially real estate agents, that’s a completely worthwhile point. You should shout it, and shout it until everyone hears.

    So I don’t mean to argue with you. I’m hoping to clarify the issue to others maybe, but I’m especially trying to clarify that you’re screaming, “This is my field and I understand what causes such madness.” You’re pointing out the most sickening aspect to you, and validly so. And for each person in his own respective field, there are other “most sickening” aspects to whatever is ruining their industries and their neighborhoods and their societies.

    And when it’s all stripped away, it’s always the same thing…it’s the gun versus the mind. And the gun on these issues translates to one thing only…the State, in whatever local, national or global manifestation it occurs. So if I were to argue, I think I’d say that maybe you give most looters too much credit. The source of the idiocy at the NAR, or any other org managing any other large group of people, is always and exclusively the force…not the craziness that the looters display, which ultimately is just a fear of the force being used upon them. The mantra of our times is that you’re either eating at the table or you’re on the menu. Any Greek essays notwithstanding, most animals prefer to eat.

    I don’t know if any of that clarifies or confuses, but I’m pretty sure it’s right. As I noted earlier, the real implicit premise of our times, for all of us, is, “Maybe logic doesn’t hold.” I figure that we’re in for quite a ride, when reality straightens us out about that.

  6. Greg Swann April 2nd, 2011 3:28 pm

    Jim: I understand what you are saying, and, obviously, I agree with you. Even so, taking account that you can’t raise cattle without feed corn, it still doesn’t make sense to call an ear of corn a bull.

    I said this in a comment yesterday, and I think it sums this matter up

    Subtract the NAR’s legislative agenda, and the Great Recession would not have happened.

    Doesn’t mean that banksters would not have come up with other flavors of larceny. But all of the crimes associated with the Great Recession originated with the National Association of Realtors, and would not have occurred without their lobbying efforts.

    I doesn’t do to equivocate about this. The sine qua non cause of the Great Recession was the NAR.

  7. Teri Lussier April 2nd, 2011 10:40 am

    I can kinda sorta understand the NAR for not coming here to your posts to defend themselves- the Lion’s den and all- and okay maybe I can see why they wouldn’t show up on my post, even though I’m as scary as a newborn pup, it’s here on BHB, but I don’t understand why they aren’t defending themselves anywhere at all. The “NAR is listening”, well okaythen but now y’all got to get to ‘splainin’. People who have nothing to do with BHB are questioning your motivation and decision making abilities. So now the tables are turned- “REALTORs are listening” where is the dialog? Disturbing in so many ways.

  8. Michelle DeRepentigny April 2nd, 2011 12:17 pm

    What bozo decided to label Bloodhound as “(not a friend of NAR’s)”? Although I am not a very active writer here, I am on the sidebar as well as as being very involved at my local board as a VP, & a vocal supporter of RPR.

    I doubt they will ever take Greg up on his challege, it would appear that they don’t have the debate skills necessary for that. 🙂 However, if they had an ounce of social media savvy, they could have contacted one of BHB writers that only views them as evil some of the time to attempt to engage this community.

  9. Robert Worthington April 2nd, 2011 1:08 pm

    For this grand post, Greg Swann should be flown into midtown Manhattan and do the chalk board with Glenn Beck. In fairness to NAR, NAR can call the “red telephone” hotline if Greg gets anything wrong.

    Greg I stand with you on this post. As a matter of fact, I pay nearly double in MLS dues annually because I refuse to be a member of a local board which also forces me to be a member of NAR. I’d rather my money go to the mls, instead NAR.

    BTW maybe NAR’s PR pimp can explain by his quarterly predictions of the house market are mostly the opposite.

  10. Jim Klein April 2nd, 2011 4:44 pm

    Don’t worry, I’m not even close to arguing about something so important. In fact, I’ll even contribute some epistemology.

    It looks like hunger for many Americans isn’t too far off; various lesser miseries are already commonplace across the middle and lower classes. This isn’t “because” of the Great Recession; it IS the Great Recession.

    Similarly, these miseries aren’t ultimately “because” of the NAR. They ARE the NAR!

  11. Paul Francis April 4th, 2011 5:08 am

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye…

    Same reason why nothing is being mentioned about the latest Case-Shiller reports suggesting that the $8,000 first time homebuyers tax credit was a failure.

    All endorsed / pushed by the NAR and NAHB… at a cost of Tens of Billions of dollars.

    Everybody is suggesting that we are heading to a double dip in housing prices… nobody is mentioning that that is because we had an artificial stimulus this time last year.

    Because mentioning that… would be an admission of guilt that the tax credit only helped delay the inevitable.

    Kind of like that NAR campaign in late 2007 where it was a great time to buy… and sell real estate.

  12. bob lilley April 4th, 2011 1:15 pm

    Everybody has a seat at that table! The politicians wanted everyone to enjoy the american dream, investors wanted higher and better returns, banks wanted to lend more money, homeowners wanted to own rather than buy (and use their home like a second income!). And, yes, Realtors who should have known better got caught up in it, too.

    now that our little scheme didn’t work out, we use our time trying to find someone to blame.

  13. Teri Lussier April 5th, 2011 6:45 am

    As the silence from the NAR staff becomes more disturbing with each day, so does the deafening silence of the late, once-great And to think, all this time I’ve told myself little lies, preferring to believe that the Zombie Vendor level in the was low enough to be non-toxic, but now it’s obvious that not only is the Vampire Cabal after our blood, the Zombies are clearly feasting on Vampire brains. A horror show in three parts.

  14. Jim Klein April 5th, 2011 7:34 am

    That’s it, Teri! You got it IMO. The scary part is that this is only setting the table for the horror show. “Philosophy moves the world,” and you nailed the philosophy.

  15. Brian Summerfield April 5th, 2011 8:00 am

    “Doesn’t mean that banksters would not have come up with other flavors of larceny.”

    Greg, you toss this off as an afterthought, but I see it as a key point. You say the sine qua non of the Great Recession was NAR, but it was in fact systemic flaws in the global financial system. Without collateralized debt obligations or credit default swaps, there would have been no Great Recession. And NAR had nothing, nothing, to do with the creation of those “innovations” of finance.

    Brian Summerfield
    REALTOR Magazine