Ballad of the Housing Crunch
A song about the impending mortgage crisis
December 1, 2008
Fred Foldvary, Ph.D.

Once upon a time

you were a man who bought

a lot of land!

Speculators like you were buying real estate

with no money down!

It was easy to have a bash.

Banks said please, take the cash!

Now you’ve gotten repossessed.

You feel obsessed and repressed.

You can’t make your mortgage

any m-o-o-o-o-o-o-r-e!

You’re bankrupt now, landless!

Like an unsold house.

Oh, you used to laugh at those who

owned no land.

You were getting richer and richer

just holding sand!

Now you don’t feel so grand.

Now you finally understand.

How do you feel?

How low can you reel?

Like a roiling home!

In 2003 the federal reserve pushed interest rates down

way, way down!

Mortgage brokers came and said,

“You can’t go wrong!

So what if interest rates go up?

So will the land, up and up!

You’re a fool if you don’t invest.

Speculation is the game.

On the contract, put your name.

So, would you care to make a deal?”

How does it feel?

To be thrown out?

To have your money gone?

With no direction but down!

Like a house unsold!

Oh, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

came by the other day

and said,

“We’ll do tricks for you!

We’ll buy your mortgage

and then you bankers can

roll the loan again!”

What a wonderful game they played.

Flipping and flopping, they had it made.

I just wondered who would be last to get paid

when the bubble burst, and then

all the losers cried again.

“Bail me out please, ten times ten!”

How does it feel?

Oh, how does it feeeeel?

To have nothing to own?

Like a rolled up home!

Like a house unsold!

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Inside information on economics, society, nature, and technology.
Fred Foldvary, Ph.D.

FRED E. FOLDVARY, Ph.D., (May 11, 1946 — June 5, 2021) was an economist who wrote weekly editorials for since 1997. Foldvary’s commentaries are well respected for their currency, sound logic, wit, and consistent devotion to human freedom. He received his B.A. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. He taught economics at Virginia Tech, John F. Kennedy University, Santa Clara University, and San Jose State University.

Foldvary is the author of The Soul of LibertyPublic Goods and Private Communities, and Dictionary of Free Market Economics. He edited and contributed to Beyond Neoclassical Economics and, with Dan Klein, The Half-Life of Policy Rationales. Foldvary’s areas of research included public finance, governance, ethical philosophy, and land economics.

Foldvary is notably known for going on record in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology in 1997 to predict the exact timing of the 2008 economic depression—eleven years before the event occurred. He was able to do so due to his extensive knowledge of the real-estate cycle.