I read this and I started laughing. It's almost touching when the New York Times tries to make a banker a sympathetic figure.
Bankers are crying because people who can pay their mortgages are now refusing to, basically daring the bank to foreclose on them knowing full well that the banks will either renegotiate the loan on much more favorable terms to the consumer, or playing a game of chicken -- delaying foreclosure until the very last minute because who wants a house worth less than the mortgage attached to it, and what bank wants to take possession of said property? The public is now in a position to blackmail the bank, which is a far cry from how the banks conducted business just two years ago...when they had the power to blackmail us.
Well, you reap what you sow. You wouldn't be in this boat if you followed reasonable business practices which, in part, meant only lending money to people who seemed as if they were likely to pay it back. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know about Barney Fwank, and Chris Dodd and Fannie and Freddie and how they forced you to make bad loans, but then again, I wonder how many campaign checks from Citi, Chase, BofA and Nationwide have Barney and Chrissy's name on them? Don't tell me you didn't hedge your bets and send support to the men who held knives at your throat. Don't tell me you didn't speak up when George Bush tried to reform Fannie and Freddie seven times because a fat faggot and a second-generation con man held guns to your heads. Barney and Chrissy had power, and you sucked up to them.
Now you get to pay for it.
And you can also blame the President, the other asshole you fawned all over, because he made it possible for people to get government funds to cover payments while the mortgages were re-negotiated, only to see most of those recipients default again within six months. It pays not to pay your mortgage nowadays; you get free money, sympathy, and government attention. Why would I want to pay any bill nowadays in the knowledge that, eventually, the solution to the problem will simply be another government bailout. Speaking of which, the TARP money you guys got was supposed to fix your books so that this wouldn't be a problem, but no -- you used the money to shore up stock prices and then cashed in your personal options to enrich yourself, and then used the inflated windfalls you got on public stocks that went from $1 to 4$ to try to weasel out of the TARP requirements. Yeah, that worked out well, right?
Well, then don't be surprised when people stop paying for things they otherwise could afford. The precedent has been set. By you, and the government. Be prepared when this "Fuck them! I'm not paying..." mentality extends to credit cards, revolving credit lines, car loans, college loans and much, much more. Especially since you now charge more interest than the Mafia. To the idiot who regularly buys a Big Mac with a credit card, that costs $20 with interest by the end of the month, and then pays the bill; I hope you enjoy it and don't be surprised when the banks start to refer to you as "Dear Valued Customer..." and offer you a lot of really cool stuff --along with astronomically-higher fees for everything...
Update: The government may now be walking away from Mortgage Modification. (H/T Instapundit)