Read the Fine Print

In everything – real estate contracts, buyer brokerage agreements, gym memberships, massive bailout bills that may fundamentally alter our financial systems …

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Really? I mean, Really? Government has powers granted to them by the people.

Hat tip: Waldo

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  1. Keith September 23, 2008 at 15:18

    If you can believe Morning Edition, the Wall Street Correspondent with whom they spoke stated that this is the single largest transference of power from the legislative to executive branch ever… Easily surpassing the PATRIOT Act.
    If that doesn’t scare you….

  2. Laura Cannon September 23, 2008 at 15:27

    My response to Paulson and Bernanke: ‘Maybe’ to the bailout, ‘No (do you think we’re morons?)’ to your fine print!

    Great post, Jim!!

  3. Andy Kinley September 24, 2008 at 06:56

    Thank you for the post. When Bush, Bernanke, and Paulson tell us that this must be passed now it is clearly a power grab. Buying the worst MBSs with taxpayer money will not fix the economy. The creators of this mess (Fed and investment banks) should not be “creating” the fix and getting bailed out. It was quite recent that Paulson told Congress he wouldn’t need to use his bazooka and that the US economy was fundamentally strong. He was lying (or didn’t have any idea what was going on). This bailout will only keep housing prices artificially high. Unfortunately, once the unemployment continues to climb things will get worse.

  4. JR Jackson September 24, 2008 at 08:50

    Somewhat related to this topic, I was taken aback by the comments of CAAR’s Dave Phillips this morning in the Daily Progress. The whole need for this rescue package is the near collapse of the financial system we experienced last week.
    Yet, Mr. Phillips states: The turmoil on Wall Street will not affect Charlottesville’s housing market, Phillips said. “Unless you’re in the financial business, it’s not going to affect you,” he said.
    Oh really? The downfall of the financial system isn’t going to affect people outside of Wall Street? That’s rich. For starters, the collapse of the UVa endowment would lead to massive layoffs in the area. The evaporation of retirement savings would lead to a massive spike in foreclosures and cause staggering deflation in home prices. Local and state governments would be forced to engage in across-the-board layoffs and elimination of all but the most necessary services. Schools would be forced to cut staff significantly. Unemployment would soar into the double digits.
    Now, back to the Progress story: He also recommended ignoring what he sees as the media’s negative spin on the economy. “You can’t believe anything they say,” he said. “They’re trying to drag the economy down because that makes good news.”
    Wrong, Mr. Phillips. Last week, several major money market funds “broke the buck” as a result of redemptions. That wasn’t a creation of the media’s imagination. Lehman Brothers failed and AIG would have had it not been for gov’t intervention. AIG has more than $1 trillion in assets. That’s a company that does business in every community in this country.
    I think the time for Realtors to play economists in their comments to the press has come and gone. Mr. Phillips’ remarkes are simply misguided and misinformed and serve to cheapen the commentary he provides on the subject he is actually qualified to address: trends in the Charlottesville real estate market.
    For what it’s worth, until the rescue package’s fate is determined, I would urge anyone considering a major purchase such as a new home to hold off. If nothing is done, Mr. Phillips and everyone else will find out just how closely Wall Street and Main Street are linked.

  5. Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog September 24, 2008 at 15:24

    JRJ, Lots of comments like yours are appearing over on the Bubble Blog.

    Dave Phillips is giving REALTORS ™ a bad name, isn’t he?

  6. Andy Kinley September 24, 2008 at 16:00

    JRJ – I completely agree with you.

    Dave Phillips – please defend your comment from the DP. Were you misquoted or are you misinformed?

  7. Dave Phillips September 24, 2008 at 23:52

    I have explained the context of these quotes on the Bubble blog. This was a 40 minutes presentation, not a press conference, and the context of my comments are not represented in the article. Like I said, you can not believe anything you see in the press.

  8. Pavel September 25, 2008 at 08:20

    It seems that this year in particular mainstream media is becoming less credible each day. Just look at the partisan bickering of CNN vs. FOX or Huffington Post. What happened to reporting without a slant?

  9. Waldo Jaquith September 25, 2008 at 12:42

    Like I said, you can not believe anything you see in the press.

    Wow. For the public face of a major local industry, that’s a pretty stunning thing to say. In seven years of following the local media about as closely as anybody, this is the first time I’ve seen somebody in a position like yours say such a thing.

    If I worked for a media outlet (well, I do, but not a relevant kind), I’d be a whole lot less interested in interviewing you, given a) your open contempt for my work and b) the apparent enormous likelihood that you’d claim that you’d been misrepresented by me.

  10. Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog September 25, 2008 at 14:39

    As a point of clarification we should note that Mr. Phillips is himself not a Realtor. This detail is important to Realtors themselves, who require training to receive the designation, and it may be important to buyers.

    Phillips holds an RCE from NAR: he has been certified as a Realtor Association Executive. He also holds a CAE, a Certified Association Executive designation, from the American Society of Association Executives.

    These clarifications go along with the original topic of this post, “Read the Fine Print.”

    But they also resonate with Waldo’s points.

  11. Cloudy Crystal Ball September 26, 2008 at 14:03

    Not only does Phillips’s lack of licensure as a real estate agent indicate his status as an unqualified commentator, but the fact that he is NOT a REALTOR(R) also means that he is exempt from their Code of Ethics.

    So, no only is he NOT a practicing agent (never has been), but he has no obligation to conduct himself in an ethical and honest manner.

    For him to make public statements and then pretend that it is the reporter’s fault people don’t like what he says, is cowardly.

    Please notice that Phillips isn’t claiming that he did not make those statements, just that he’s upset because he got caught feeding one line to one group, saying what he thinks they want to hear, when he REALLY would have said something else to the public at-large.

    If you read his comments on the Daily Progress article site, he makes the statement that he was only talking to “business leaders” and that he would have given a different “soundbite” for public consumption.


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