Friday, January 8, 2010

Man Bites Shark

I was grabbed by the ominous starkness of Chris Schedel’s photo, White Homes: Near Elgin, Illinois, when I saw it on the New York Times’ homepage yesterday. It accompanies a terrific piece by Roger Lowenstein in this weekend’s magazine about homeowners who default on their mortgages by choice.

I was heartened to learn that for once the intelligence of the American public has been underestimated. When lenders chummed the real estate waters with subprime mortgages, the desired feeding frenzy ensued. After taking the bait, however, homebuyers are not taking as kindly to the switch. Instead of repaying their loans out of some sense of moral obligation (as the players banked on--literally), they are doing what the Big Boys do. When an investment is unprofitable, cut your losses, learn your lessons, and move on. That's one for the free market, right?

Check out Chris Schedel's website for more images of Midwestern suburban housing subdivisions.

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