Realtors and mortgage brokers are being hit hard in their pocket books thanks to this financial crisis, but when they each met at their respective conventions they were in store for things they had never seen before. In the case of the mortgage brokers' convention, they were forced to deal with unwanted distractions, while on the other end, Realtors were surrounded with fun distractions.
The mortgage brokers' convention was met by herds of protestors and at one point a vigilante ran up on stage and attempted to arrest Karl Rove, a former advisor of President Bush, according to the New York Times. That was in addition to the constant heckling from protestors during the convention. Typically, after the convention, attendees will go to a local bar and network, but according to one attendee interviewed by the New York Times, “…there wasn’t anybody there last night.” This had the attendee longing for the old days when the most distracting thing might be streakers running across the stage.
At the Realtor convention there were definite signs of distress among the participants, but the atmosphere was much more upbeat. Venders at the convention attempted to distract the attendees from the downbeat market by keeping things lively and fun. According to the Los Angeles Times, vendors did things from handing out life vests to setting up skee-ball and other games for attendees to play.
While these two professions have both been devastated by the crisis, it is apparent that one in particular is bearing the brunt of the blame for creating it. I think a case could be made that Realtors had just as much--if not more--to do with creating the crisis than mortgage brokers, though. But the truth is that, while they both had a part, neither should bear the blame. The government and homeowners played critical parts as well, so in my mind, no one is exempt from blame. Heckling mortgage brokers and blaming them for the crisis we face today is ludicrous. Instead, why don’t some of these homeowners look in the mirror and start asking themselves some tough questions.