Maiden Voyage. This is the very first of what hopefully will be a series of periodic newsletters. I am hedging when I say “periodic” – but at least every three months. [If you’ve not signed up yet, go to link here!]
For readers of my website [here], they know that I alternate between objectivity and subjectivity, the latter occasionally morphing into a “rant.” Why? Because I can, that’s why! I’ve spent my legal career trying to grow a practice; going along to get along. I’ve been out on my own for four years, have a satisfying solo real estate practice, and so have fewer toes to step on. In other words, I don’t worry so much about expressing my personal opinion today. Besides, who’s gonna fire me?!
My Own Special Rogues’ Gallery. In these newsletters I will occasionally poke my finger in the eye of: (a) The Big Banks; (b) The intellectually dishonest: and (c) Hypocrites of every stripe. Together, these are the members of my own Rogues’ Gallery, for whom I reserve special attention, ridicule, and finger-wagging.
To be clear, my antipathy toward Big Banks was an outgrowth of the financial crisis – not because I always believed them to be intellectually dishonest or hypocritical. But over the past several years as I’ve observed how they deal with distressed homeowners, I have come to believe that most Big Banks, “institutionally speaking,” fit the mold. And although they don’t seem to dominate the front page of the financial papers as much anymore, Big Bank shenanigans continue today [e.g. Credit Suisse]; the industry still insists upon acting like the scorpion in the following fable:
A scorpion asks a frog sitting on the riverbank to carry him across to the other side. The frog balks, fearful that the scorpion will kill him midstream. “Don’t be silly,” assures the scorpion, “If I stung you, you’d die from the venom, and I’d drown.” Realizing the logic of this response, the frog obliges, and begins to ferry the scorpion across the river. Midway, the scorpion stings the frog, who cries out in pain as he sinks below the water: “Why did you do this? Now we’ll both die!” “I can’t help it,” responds the scorpion, “It’s in my nature.”
Real Estate, Finance and Economics. But have no fear. I will try to keep the rants to a minimum. Anyway, there will be no mistaking them from the more objective articles and reports, which will comprise the bulk of this newsletter. The latter will largely focus on what’s happening today in the conjoined worlds of real estate, finance and economics. Rarely do we see a major event today in one of these areas, without it bleeding over into the others. The 2007/2008 financial crisis is the best example: Big Bank liquidity froze up; real estate followed, and the economy of the United States and much of the rest of the world, soon found itself in what became known as the “Great Recession.” Although the numbers may say we’re not in a “recession” today, if you ask the many families still treading water, they might beg to differ.
My Sources. I will draw upon news and opinion from a variety of sources: The Wall Street Journal; Bloomberg News; The Economist; Financial Times; a multiplicity of smaller Internet sources; and most importantly, state/local data, information and anecdotal reports, from Realtors®, clients, attorneys, and others.
The Private Label Section. While some of the articles found in this newsletter will link to posts on the Q-Law website, I have created a ‘special’ online link titled “Private Label.” It will contain articles only appearing in mys newsletter or those I’ve developed specially for the “Private Label” link. General viewers of the Q-Law website will not be able to access the “Private Label” link unless they are also subscribers to the Q-Law Insider. This newsletter will identify those stories accessible only through the “Private Label” portal. That link will go live very soon. Until then, it will be “Under Construction.”
My Mission. The ultimate goal of this newsletter is to timely identify important events in real estate, finance and economics; to explain them, and if possible, engage in a bit of prognostication. Admittedly, I don’t have the corner on prognostication. Folks are always free to disagree, as they should. But hopefully, readers of the Q-Law Insider will learn a bit more than they knew before. Enjoy! [If you’ve not signed up yet, go to link here!]
 The term “Big Banks” is used as a pejorative term, and is reserved for the large international mega-banks, many of which seem only a click or two away from federal investigation or criminal indictment – not the local and regional banks or credit unions.