While the nation\’s lenders ran amok during the boom, Andy Beal hoarded his money. Now he\’s cleaning up–with scant help from Uncle Sam.
\”Banks are on a prayer mission that somehow prices will come back and they won\’t have to face reality,\” Beal says. And that reality, according to Beal, is going to get a lot worse. \”Unemployment is going over 10%, commercial real estate hasn\’t even begun collapsing and corporate credit defaults are just getting started,\” he says. His prediction: depression, without bread lines this time, thanks to the government safety net, but with equal cost to society.
As for the cause of this mess, Beal points a finger at the government for giving its imprimatur to just a handful of credit rating agencies, then insisting that money market and pension funds buy only paper with top grades. He also blames government for luring people into debt by backing everything from bank deposits to Fannie and Freddie to student loans.