Monday, May 18, 2009

More Financial Planning

This is even more horrifying than the Obama stuff.

So a guy who has a prestigious New York Times gig hasn't made a payment on his house in eight months. And the bank hasn't bothered to foreclose on him. And he's sold the story of how he fucked up his financial life as a book.

That's not journalism. It's grifting.

Where was this story during the TARP debate?


Dave S. said...

Can you please explain what is "horrifying" about the "Obama stuff"? Your initial analysis thereof (to quote in toto, "Wow") needs developing.

Anonymous said...

Dave S:
What is horrifying? How about Obama going to lecture every single day that Americans should not live beyond their means, all the while he did exactly what everyone else did. He took a huge risk by living far beyond his means. His risk paid off, others not so much. And now this is the man tasked with developing a plan for how to resolve this crisis and how to deal with people who did exactly what he did only to see it blow up in their faces.
That is scary.

tom said...

I love that Megan McCardle is using this NYT reporter's story as an example of how precarious a writer's life is. This guy may have been making $150k/yr over many years!

It's really just the simple old conservative lesson: you can't support two families unless you are very rich or very poor.

I am praying that there will be an accompanying reality show, or at least a multi-family Oprah appearance.

PG said...

Here is my question: Is anyone to blame for anything anymore? This idiot racks up tens of thousands of dollars in debt and has nothing but excuses. McCardle sympathizes "It's the bravest thing" she'd read in a "long, long time". She understands the lure of being a writer and not making much money but having to pretend you do because your friends make more money. This is all fucking bullshit.
Whatever happened to living within your means? Even moderately so?

Don't want to pay $4K in alimony and child support? Don't get divorced.

Can't afford a $500K loan for a home? Live in a smaller home or in a less expensive neighborhood.

Can't afford the $700 in JCrew clothes and $200 in Baby Gap clothes? Buy your clothes from Target or Walmart.

I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy for this guy, or anyone else in similar circumstances. He didn't lose his job. He didn't suffer a loss that cost him his ability to earn. He got in over his head and continued to let it spiral out of control because his wife liked nice things. Now he gets 9 months of mortgage free living and he'll write a book to pay it all off. He should be fired.

Maybe instead of stiffing my wife on a mother's day present because we don't have enough in the bank to buy something nice I should have skipped my mortgage payment for a few months and written a book about it.
Oh wait, can't do that, I'm not a writer.
They can all go fuck themselves.

gabriel said...

According to a follow-up post by McArdle, it's even worse than it looked at first and it's even more about the divorce and remarriage issue

tom said...

Like the old Saturday Night Live skit (It's a floor wax and a dessert topping!), this is a story of easy credit AND what the heart needs.

For the TV movie: Love in the Time of Liars' Loans?

WershovenistPig said...

Andrews' article reminded me of the David Carr autobiographical Times Magazine piece on Carr's long-term drug addiction and how he physically abused the mother of his child. And yet Carr is accepted as a quirky staffer who covers Hollywood. Ok. the parallel isn't perfect--Carr is covering a frivolous subject matter, and isn't currently taking illicit substances and abusing his significant other, whereas the Times is trusting Andrews with vitally important economics reportage when he's grossly negligent with his own finances. Nevertheless, I recall finding Carr despicable and perhaps unworthy of his Times job even if one is willing to forgive his pasts transgressions. And I feel the same way about Andrews.

So yes, I'm morally linking this Andrews fellow with an abuser of women and drugs. And it feels right.