Well, the business values ended up being outright fraud (e.g. Bernie Madoff) or shyster business ethics (e.g. the Wall Street securitization scam that created a banking panic that sank the whole world's economy).
Where has this left the American home owner? Here are some facts from a posting on the Calculated Risk blog site:
- Almost 50% of home owners in Arizona are "underwater", i.e. they owe more to the bank than their house is worth!
- There are 14.75 million home owners that are "underwater" across the whole US.
- Just under 20% of all houses in the US are "underwater". Since some houses are wholly paid for, the more interesting fact is that of those with mortgages, 30.6% are "underwater".
What I find utterly unbelievable is that the Republican party which created this mess is poised to win the November 2010 elections. I guess Americans are masochists. They want to give these rapacious reptiles a second chance to destroy the American dream and finish off what is left of a sputtering economy!