OpinionIndustry News

Thank God for eRealty

Brad Inman comments on a tumultuous decade

At the turn of this decade, unease was a state of mind. In 1999, change was accelerating and danger was lurking, but not where we expected. Disaster was purportedly coming from "Y2K," the computer-programming glitch in the digital rollover from "99" to "00." Y2K paranoia fizzled within a few seconds of this New Year, new decade, new century and new millennium. What no one predicted 10 years ago was the coming financial cataclysm. At the time, subprime loans did not go by that name and represented less than 1 percent of new mortgages. If you were not qualified, you could not buy a home. We entered the U.S. debt decade, in which the good life was associated with extravagance vs. prudence, debt trumped savings, big bested small, and strutting reigned over humility. Leverage equaled luxury. The results: The '00s will go down in economic history as one of the worst decades of the last 200 years -- proof that financial innovation can be very dangero...