Steve Wynn, the billionaire casino mogul had steam coming out of his ears when I spoke to him on the day the big bailout failed. And he wasn’t even a fan of it. Here’s what he said:
“I am totally disgusted as an American by the leadership shown by both parties. We have a deficit, $350 billion. This bailout would cost $700 billion. We’re going to go to a trillion. I watched the debate. Lehrer should have asked them: What do you plan to do? If either one had real leadership he would have looked over to the other and said my fellow Americans, 70% of the budget are entitlements, Congress can’t touch that. Another 30% of the budget is discretionary, but it’s things like national defense. We have as much ability to afford $700 billion as we do being Mary Poppins! America can’t afford another trillion dollars in debt. Our GDP can’t afford it. All Americans are going to pay the price. We’ll have a cheaper dollar and higher oil. We are going to save our institutions, but not by buying assets and bringing them to Washington. If a bureaucracy buys those credits its tantamount to Hari Kari.”
“Those assets should stay where they were created. Warren Buffet showed us the way. The government stiffens the balance sheets of the troubled companies with preferred stock. All you institutions, we’re going to save you, but you have to cut your operating expenses, pay bare minimum salaries, no bonuses, until the government gets its money back. What will happen is the bankers will say tomorrow okay, let people stay in those homes. Instead of the Ditech commercial where you had people saying forget about paperwork. They’ll ask them to show how much they afford. Loans will get renegotiated. Homes will go back to $250,000. The people that live in them will pay what they can afford. The banks will have huge tax losses. The stocks will drop, just like they’re supposed to. This phony inflation in the economy will end. Shame on both the political parties. No more, enough is enough. Shame on both of those guys. Do they both have such a low opinion of us? Obama with his tax cuts and unpaid expenditures. McCain talking about earmarks. Earmarks run for one day. We can’t pay people social security at 65, we have to pay them at 70. What is this constant procrastination of the truth. I don’t give a damn about being polite.”
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.