Munger’s Vision Comes to Florida Foreclosure Proceedings

Recently billionaire Charlie Munger offered this vision of financial justice in a bailout era:

We “shouldn’t be bitching about a little bailout” of the banks, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Vice Chairman Charles Munger told students at the University of Michigan on Sept. 14. . . . Munger feels the bank bailouts were “required to save your civilization.” He suggested that burdening the economy with bank failures would have results similar to the economic collapse in Germany after World War I and led to the rise of Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, “the culture dies” if you bail out individuals. People in economic distress should “suck it up and cope.”

Via Yves Smith & Mother Jones magazine, there are reports that Florida courts are doing their best to make Munger’s vision a reality. According to an account of one judge’s speech to his court:

[He] says that if the bank is foreclosing, he’s not going to consider any evidence that the foreclosure is in error (servicing errors, plaintiff can’t provide proof it owns the note, which means it might not be the right party and procedurally, means it lacks standing to take action). He says he has already heard everything, there is a lot of unemployment in the area; he is going to schedule a court date, but that is merely a deadline for negotiation. In other words, he makes it abundantly clear he has no interest in hearing evidence. When he gets to seeing a defendant after his speech to the court, he rubber stamps what the bank wants without even considering the evidence. And apparently his entire day went like that.

Citing other sources, Smith says “There is actually much more of the same, multiple instances with particulars, with the judge clearly operating from the presumption that the borrowers were all deadbeats and the sale would go forward.” In other words, “suck it up and cope.” The “sanctity of contract” is for AIG (and perhaps other counterparties of Goldman, which Munger’s firm has a big stake in)—not for you.

PS: Now is as good a time as ever to support the University of Miami’s foreclosure defense group.

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