Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Moving beyond money for nothing

Essay: Roadmap to Recovery
Published on Dec 3, 2008

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by CareyBot

At the end of the day the current credit meltdown can be tied to one thing: easy money.

Regardless of how many times we hear terms like "CDS," "CDOs," "synthetics," and all the other buzzwords of the high-finance world, it comes down to giving too many people too much credit -- credit that they didn't have a chance to repay once the housing market went sideways.

While there are many examples, the ever-popular option-ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) -- particularly in areas like California, Las Vegas and Florida -- allowed people to buy homes at seven to 12 times their annual income by using negative amortization and a rising housing market to mask a dangerous gamble that the market would let them flip the house before they had to make a fully a