Fascinating, in a rather sickening way, article by a New York Times economics reporter detailing how he, despite full knowledge of the economic abyss awaiting, made a series of decisions that mired him in debt and foreclosure.
What's striking to me is that most of his decisions were made over a base of emotional turmoil. He had recently divorced after a lengthy marriage and found a new love. His desire to create his own personal dream vision of his future relationship, a desire that flew in the face of financial common sense, was overwhelming and at that time, 2004, there were plenty of lenders willing to help him down the road to ruin. Pocketing chunky commissions all the way, of course.
The article attempts to spin the personal crisis in terms of the easy lending available at the time. Certainly, that played a big role. But, more fundamentally, it reveals the levels of self-delusion that we are capable of embracing when family and inter-personal relationships are disrupted, broken or made anew.
We are not very rational creatures at the best of times. Throw that type of emotional turmoil into the mix, and it is easy to see how supposedly savvy people make the most bone-headed of choices. I wonder if this man went through any counseling or analysis at the time of the break-up of his first marriage. Maybe that might have grounded him more. Maybe it might have even saved that first marriage.
All speculation, as we get little meaningful background from the story. Maybe the book it is clearly designed to promote will be more insightful.