After reading a number of articles dealing with our dire economy and future predictions, I can only wonder in amazement how we got in this mess to begin with. Years ago, communities could count on their local friendly conservative bankers to help them do the right thing in terms of loans. You know, not giving you a loan unless you had the werewithal to pay it back. Establishing an equity position, so if you did default they could unload it without a significant loss. Having you have a viable ongoing place of employment for at least two years and your last two years of tax returns to prove your income just to name a few. I wonder now, as we all endure the incredible pain and uncertainty of our current economy if some of the mortgage giants and banks who caused this mess, think about what they have done and really care at all. It is a different world today then it used to be when i was growing up and looking to buy my first property. I wonder what our economy would be like now, if all our friendly conservative bankers with the old rules were the ones that were the ones giving the loans a few years back. I bet we wouldn't be where we are today. Yes, things aren't like they used to be, and that is not always a good thing.