TEXT OF LETTERS SEGMENT
Tess Vigeland: Just about every day, we get notes from you. While most of them are financial questions, you also let us know what you like and don’t like about our coverage.
In a recent Straight Story, Chris and I talked about all the flak that former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan was taking for his part in the current economy.
Chris said yeah, Greenspan made our mistakes, but the good stuff far outweighed the bad.
Malcolm Bayless of Dallas, Texas, does not see it that way:
Malcolm Bayless: Greenspan bashing, and for that matter, Bernanke bashing, is far too light. Both of them repeatedly said that there was no housing bubble. If you cannot answer this question correctly, everything else you do at the Fed is relatively unimportant.
Speaking of the housing bubble, we dedicated an entire show to the topic about a month ago. I profiled two families: the Goslins as they locked up their condo for the last time before going into bankruptcy and foreclosure and the Sinclairs, who could no longer afford the $4,000 mortgage payment on a house that’s lost more than half of its value.
Adrienne Hopkins hears us in Silver Spring, Maryland, and she says she usually feels empathy for people in tough financial situations. Not this time.
Adrienne Hopkins: Listening to the two homeowners who are just sanguinely walking away from their homes and their loans really outraged me. To hear them say they were aware of the risks and were willing to take them and now feel entitled to throw away the keys and the debt to start over leaves me disillusioned and cynical.
Craig Fitzgerald of Shaftsbury, Vermont, compared the two families situations to something you’d see on the strip.
Craig Fitzgerald: It’s almost as if they’d lost at craps all night and then tried to leave with there savings intact. That kind of attitude could get your legs broken in Las Vegas.
And finally, in last week’s Getting Personal, we spoke with a delightful woman who’s reached what she calls the “magic age” where she has to start taking payments from her retirement accounts. She revealed, somewhat coyly, that she is 70 years old, but not before asking me how old I am. I happily obliged, but our producers had a little fun with it and artfully covered by admission with a [buzz]. Well, a few of you cried foul, so we asked Lita Powell-Drake, the women many of you thought we had slighted, for her thoughts:
Lita Powell-Drake: To be or not to bleep, that is the question: whether ’tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous age discrimination, or hire a lawyer against a sea of troubles or by ignoring it, end them. But to bleep on Marketplace Money: ay, there’s the rub.
OK, OK, OK, I’m [buzz]. That makes me 31 years away from magic.