Mortgage Foreclosure Fiasco

Banks are faced with a huge number of foreclosures and that resources they've allocated towards handling them was woefully inadequate.

I’m a bit late to this, but it looks like quite a few banks have managed to create a nice little mess while foreclosing on homes. The problem appears to be that banks are faced with a huge number of foreclosures and that resources they’ve allocated towards handling them was woefully inadequate. Here is what got the ball bouncing on this issue,

But what really kicked off the latest developments was the deposition of a GMAC loan officer named Jeffrey Stephan, which revealed deep and perhaps pervasive flaws in the foreclosure practices of our largest banks.

Stephan admitted in a sworn deposition in Pennsylvania that he signed off on up to 10,000 foreclosure documents a month for five years. He said that he hadn’t reviewed the mortgage or foreclosure documents thoroughly. He quickly became known by the pejorative “robo-signer” for this way of getting mortgages through. This prompted Ally, which owns the GMAC mortgage company, to halt foreclosures in 23 so-called “judicial states.”

Because Stephan also signed foreclosures for hundreds of other mortgage companies, including J.P. Morgan Chase [JPM 40.05 -0.35 (-0.87%) ], the problem is not limited to GMAC. In fact, JP Morgan Chase also halted foreclosures in the judicial states.

Whoops indeed.

And to make matters worse the way securitization has developed an additional problem has cropped up: who has the note on the house?

But as the “show me the note” movement took off, more and more homeowners began to contest foreclosures by demanding to see the notes and, if the loan had been transferred or securitized, the assignment agreements. This typically was not fatal to banks seeking foreclosures. They could make up for the lost notes with lost note affidavits and retro-actively build an assignment chain. The worst that would happen, from the bank’s perspective, was that the foreclosure would be delayed.

In some cases, however, banks seem to have not even been able to manage even this kind of corrective action. Evidence has been produced to show that notarizations have been faked, documents forged, and folks like Stephan have simply been operating as foreclosure bots.

So what does this all mean? Well lots of things. For starters it isn’t at all inconceivable that some of the poor people being booted from their houses are not behind on their mortgage. Indeed some might even own their homes outright, or be up-to-date on payments. After all, describing the validation of foreclosure documents as cursory is likely to be overly generous.

Another thing that it could mean is that it will take longer for banks to foreclose and make this whole process drag on longer than it otherwise would. The implication of this is that it could mean a longer time till recovery in the housing market than we otherwise would have had….which isn’t good for the over all economic recovery was well. Also, there is this problem as well,

In the first place, the slowdown in foreclosure sales might hit the revenues of the banks. The defaulted loans aren’t spinning off revenue and now the foreclosures aren’t producing revenue either. If the foreclosure freezes last long enough, this could it the bottom lines of the banks. At the very least, banks should be adjusting the estimates on the likelihood of short-term recovery values for their mortgage portfolios.

Banks may raise rates to try and compensate for this lost revenue as well as for dealing with this problem in the future–i.e. hopefully making the necessary changes so that the problem doesn’t continue. Also not good for the housing market and the recovery overall.

Then there is a larger issue of who really owns these homes. If the paper work is for all intents and purposes lost, then what? Frankly I don’t know. One aspect of a market economy is that there are strong property rights. But in this case it appears that property rights have been seriously undermined. Again not a good thing for promoting a healthy growing economy. Also there is the issue of increased uncertainty which is often not a good thing when it comes to economic growth. If a prospective buyer is worried about the legitimacy of foreclosures he might delay buying. A lack of foreclosures in a neighborhood might no longer signal a stable market, but one with quite a few foreclosed homes just waiting to hit the market. So buyers might leave the market till things settle down leaving sellers only one real option: lowering the price.

Arnold Kling and Megan McArdle on the issue. A Washington Post article on the topic. This part from the Washington Post is a just a wee bit disconcerting,

But if courts increasingly begin to nullify the MERS model – different judges have issued differing rulings – this could call into question the legitimacy of millions of mortgages, wreak havoc on the real estate market, spur costly litigation against Wall Street banks and ultimately harm the broader financial system.

Especially, when reading it after reading this article from James Henry and Laurence Kotlikoff,

The serial collapse of Wall Street behemoths led Uncle Sam to step in and issue his own suspect securities – some $24 trillion (as measured by Neal Barofsky, Congress’ TARP watchdog) in contingent guarantees to all manner of financial creditors.

This is a colossal liability – more than twice U.S. national income. Were another massive bank run to hit Wall Street, say, next week, Uncle Sam would be forced to print trillions to cover these guarantees. But the prospect of getting paid back in watered-down dollars would lead people to run quicker — to get their money and buy something real before prices skyrocketed. Hence, Uncle Sam’s guarantees are ultimately worth what they are written on – paper.

Could this mortgage foreclosure problem be such a crisis? I really can’t tell since with all the securitization, CDOs, credit default swaps, and so forth a byzantine processes have been put in place that makes it extremely difficult to tell what kind of damage could be done if any. Maybe nothing at all as it is just a paper work issue to whoops, that collapse we spent trillions to prevent is going to happen anyways.

[Note: Yes, I’m aware of the MediaMatters claim that the $24 trillion is not the total cost of the bailouts. The $24 trillion is the total value the TARP and TARP related programs could reach, it is a worst case scenario.]

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Government
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. PD Shaw says:

    I’m not sure sloppy paperwork at the banks is new or novel, it’s obviously proportionately larger at this time. And at the outset of the crisis, there were stories about bad paperwork in foreclosures, but as I scanned the stories it seemed to me that the homeowners were in dire straits and were going to lose their homes, but maybe were not getting the time or paperwork they were entitled. Fair enough, they are entitled. Government attorneys should have been all over that.

    But I’m confused by the linked stories about people simply losing their homes without any mortgage. Wasn’t there a legal proceeding? Did the homeowner get an opportunity to defend his home? What am I missing here?

  2. John Personna says:

    On my phone so I’ll be brief. Robo-signers are the second half of the problem. They may have fumbled the conditions for foreclosures. But way upstream of that is the MERS problem. Mortgages must be signed on paper at each transfer. They simply were not. An electronic form was used – possibly putting both mortgage backed securities and foreclosures in question.

  3. John Personna says:

    (we knew, and I commented a year ago that MERS simply skipped the legal requirement to sign and transfer paper copies of the mortgages)

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Where have you been Verdon?

  5. steve says:

    Was off today and had CNBC on in the background. Someone remarked that this can also affect mortgages that are not underwater and are being paid off. Suppose you have your house mostly paid off, not behind on payments and want to sell to move. How will you be able to prove it is your house when it comes time to sell? No one knows where the paperwork is anymore.

    We definitely need our title system updated, but in the meantime, it is a mess.

    Steve

  6. ponce says:

    “The real foreclosure scandal is that it is taking so long to get people who have stopped making payments out of their homes. ”

    Arnold Kling reminding us that Libertarian is just another word for sociopath.

  7. tom p says:

    Got Vaseline?

  8. anjin-san says:

    brought to you by the very seasoned executives that tea party types are holding forth as icons of perfection…

  9. PD Shaw says:

    I think Kling/McArdle are conflating issues of title (ownership) with issues of security interests on the title, and even conflating mortgages with other liens.

    From what I’ve read, the mortgage companies want to buy, sell, swap mortgages on a shadow market without facing any risk or cost of making the transaction public, or informing the property owner. Meanwhile, the guy who installs solar panels on your house without getting paid goes down and records his interest on the public record. Why should the contractor have to buy into a system designed for high-tech mortgage flipping?

    And Kling may not like it, but the government has centuries old interest in knowing who owns real estate for many reasons, but most of all property taxes. It’s not about to get outsourced to some outfit mainly interested in . . . . high-tech mortgage flipping.

  10. john personna says:

    Here’s the chronology as I understand it, I think it will answer PD’s questions by the end.

    In the beginning we signed a mortgage with a bank at close of escrow. The law (in many or all states?) required the mortgage be signed on such a transfer. In the old days that mortgage was held by a bank to maturity, or until another sale, another escrow, another signing.

    When securitization began this signing became a bottleneck. Someone came up with the clever answer to create MERS which would record mortgages and their spilt in ownership through the tranches, electronically. The thing is, that wasn’t strictly legal (or maybe it wasn’t strictly per the mortgage contract). But when you are bundling 10,000 mortgages into 20 tranches and selling them in 10 countries, how could you dot the i’s and cross the t’s?

    Besides, everyone would pay off their mortgage at maturity or at sale, no biggie, right?

    Unless.

    Unless those mortgages go into forclosure. Now, someone should be able to go into court and say “that homeowner isn’t paying me, he is in default to me

    Ooops.

    The crazy thing unfolding now is that even when someone isn’t paying on a house, there isn’t a clean legal path to who they should be paying, and who should be able to foreclose and resell the house.

    The robo-signers were kind of a band-aid, or a wing and a prayer, on the whole thing. They signed and hoped the courts would buy the big picture … that these people had fallen behind and someone should be able to take title … but whom?

    That is how big this mess is. It’s why potential buyers (like me) should be cautious about acquiring foreclosed property, and why we should definitely be going for the mortgage insurance. Because someone could come back at us for “our” new house.

    Just because the MERS mess is so big (every major bank and mortgage bundler used it), I image that it will have to be glossed over somehow. They’ll have to make MERS legal retroactively … but that smells at least a little, doesn’t it?

  11. john personna says:

    BTW, it is spin to say “the problem is our antiquated system”

    We had a legal system. The right time to change it was before you put a trillion dollars (or whatever) of mortgages into a possibly illegal system.

    As I said above, we may have to gloss over MERS errors, just because that is the least ugly path, but let’s not forget that the MERS architects were …. pretty much crooks.

  12. PD Shaw says:

    Thank you JP,

    A few comments based upon your description.

    1. It doesn’t seem obvious to me that the MERS role is illegal. I would expect most mortgage agreements to have assignability clauses, so that Bank A can sell the mortgage to B, and B to C, etc. What traditionally one would expect is that B would record the assignment and pay the $30 to $50 filing fee that Kling finds onerous. This helps Bank Z with respect to tracing problems in the event of the foreclosure; all of the assignments are recorded at the courthouse. It also protects Bank Z in the event someone else is trying to foreclose by ensuring that Bank Z gets notices of foreclosures. This strikes me more as an issue of the MERS enabling risk-taking behavior in order to save a relatively small amount of money.

    2. You mention going into court, which means the homeowner had an opportunity to present a defense. What happened? If I received a foreclosure notice I would show up in court with a stack of monthly cancelled checks to a company with whom I can show I have a mortgage agreement. Did they have that opportunity, did they know what to do with it? Did the legal system fail?

    3. The Robo-signers sound like criminals to me, though perhaps poorly paid ones at that. They should go to jail. The supervisors who had to have known the task assigned could not be accomplished in the given time should go to jail as accessories.

  13. PD Shaw says:

    And I think the fingers need to be ponted at the Attorney Generals in all 50 states for not closely monitoring this situation since 2008 when reports of shortcuts and bad paperwork on foreclsoures were first circulated.

  14. steve says:

    This from Salmon is pretty important. Opens the door for more legal action.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/10/13/the-enormous-mortgage-bond-scandal/

    Steve

  15. Rick DeMent says:

    Long story short … this is what happens when regulations are weak and the desire to make money is strong. What Verdon, King, McArdel et al, won’t say is this is an epic fail of the “free market”. King talks about how cumbersome the “outdated” model of property recoding is. Well you know sometimes things need to be handled just so or else it gets out of hand.

    It’s also telling that the biggest concern some people’s minds seems to have is that people behind on their payments won’t get evicted fast enough. The invisible hand of the free market crosses it fingers while the faithful defenders of the free market all-hogs-to-the-trough capitalism tell use we need more deregulation, not less.

  16. Duracomm says:

    ponce said,
    “The real foreclosure scandal is that it is taking so long to get people who have stopped making payments out of their homes. ”

    Arnold Kling reminding us that Libertarian is just another word for sociopath The economy can’t start to recover until the housing market finds its real value and reaches bottom.

    In the meantime renters and the economically disadvantaged who can’t afford houses at their current artificially inflated prices are being punished by your sociopathic “compassion”.

  17. john personna says:

    (Before I start I should mention that I said “mortgage insurance” when I meant “title insurance.”)

    I learned of these things from Calculated Risk and Tanta, before she sadly passed away. Here was an early piece (2009): MERS v. Kansas

    Got it? I didn’t think so. MERS’ claim that its loans are “inoculated against future assignments” is an unmixed, but also unenlightening metaphor. Inoculation most commonly means exposing someone to a pathogenic organism or other immunologically active material in order to promote the development of antibodies. I can’t think of anything in the MERS process that can be profitably compared to either a pathogen or an antibody.

    I think one of the causes of the recent foreclosure halt was that judges questioned title at the foreclosure. A MERS printout (or equivalent) was not sufficient.

    I’m not sure what else could have been done, re. PD’s Q1, but it seems to go back to that (audacious?) claim by MERS that they had “inoculated against future assignments.”

    Re. Q2, I don’t know, there is something about judicial foreclosure states and non-judicial states. That might mean that the burden of proof is different in some, but the underlying condition could “roll over” in a sense, if the non-judicial states get as concerned.

    Re Q3, I’m afraid these signers might have been selected for their ability to not understand what they are signing. In that case, jail the people who hired them.

    Re. states attorneys general, sure. And also what happened at the SEC? These mortgage backed securities were sold on the basis of having title and recourse.

  18. Duracomm says:

    Reposting with formatting fixed to avoid confusion.

    ponce said,

    “The real foreclosure scandal is that it is taking so long to get people who have stopped making payments out of their homes. ”

    Arnold Kling reminding us that Libertarian is just another word for sociopath The economy can’t start to recover until the housing market finds its real value and reaches bottom.

    In the meantime renters and the economically disadvantaged who can’t afford houses at their current artificially inflated prices are being punished by your sociopathic “compassion”.

  19. john personna says:

    My link didn’t go:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/10/mers-v-kansas.html

    and from “got it” to “antibody” was a quote from that page.

  20. john personna says:

    Breaking news on the legality of MERS and the possibility of a “putback” wave:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/39655299

  21. Duracomm says:

    Rick DeMent said,

    Long story short … this is what happens when regulations are weak and the desire to make money is strong.

    What Verdon, King, McArdel et al, won’t say is this is an epic fail of the “free market”.

    No this is what happens when the government keeps rewarding bad behavior and bails out financial institutions that screw up. This has been going on since long term capital management blew up and the problem keeps getting worse.

    The fact that the Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie and Freddie own so much of the bad mortgage debt conveniently wrecks the talking point that it was a free market problem.

    If the government enterprises fannie and freddie had not been a willing buyer for all of the packaged up mortgages there would have been

    1. A lot less money to be made packaging up mortgages

    2. A lot less production of packaged up mortgages.

  22. john personna says:

    Duracomm, I’ve layed off finger pointing … really because it seems so obvious that there is no reason to belabor it. Government has had its mortgage failures on fraud and private companies have had their failure and fraud.

    I’m sorry though, if you’ve read my links you’ll see there is no way you can make the MERS problem into a government problem. Government didn’t have hands on it at all.

    This is like freddy and fannie frauds of 10 years ago, but it is not connected.

    If government failed at anything it was at appropriate regulation and oversight of banks and securitizers … something you probalby aren’t seeking.

  23. john personna says:

    BTW, the timeline is that private mortgage backed securities started blowing up and then congress got freddie and fannie in their to buy their crap, to save the financial system. Before that freddie and fannie were opperating at fairly high lending standards. Higher than anyone else anyway. And, still in recovery from their fraud period they were under more scrutiny at that point than the private lenders.

    This is one more reason “TARP worked.” Not so much by “working” as by laying off losses on various government entities.

  24. john personna says:

    (I’d get rid of freddy and fannie myself, but even so I’ll only give them the blame they deserve.)

  25. Duracomm says:

    Here is a happy little post with the opinion the MERS fiasco means three things, that would be doom, doom, or doom.

    Don’t Listen To Me, Listen to Legal Experts

    In the best-case scenario, the banks are lying (again) and it will take a year to sort out (during which time they will bleed like a stuck pig on their servicing costs and obligations.)

    In the medium scenario they get sued to Mars and, which he didn’t say but I will, all wind up eating the bad paper which forces them into resolution – shareholders are wiped out and bondholders take a nice chop-chop.

    And in the worse-case scenario the title companies say “fuggit” and it all blows up instantly.

  26. john personna says:

    Should I kid Joe a little bit and say since the market’s up it’s no problem?

  27. Duracomm says:

    john personna said,

    Duracomm, I’ve layed off finger pointing … really because it seems so obvious that there is no reason to belabor it. Government has had its mortgage failures on fraud and private companies have had their failure and fraud.

    What you call finger pointing others call failure analysis. If you want to prevent another blow up the cause of the current must be understood. The idea that it was lack of regulation and free market run amok is simply not supported by the facts.

    I’m sorry though, if you’ve read my links you’ll see there is no way you can make the MERS problem into a government problem. Government didn’t have hands on it at all.

    Your link is my bookmarks and I was going to post it but you linked it first. My comment your responding to said nothing about the MERS situation.

    If government failed at anything it was at appropriate regulation and oversight of banks and securitizers … something you probalby aren’t seeking.

    The problem was not lack of regulation the problem was government enterprises fannie and freddie were making the market for packaged up mortgages.

    Once again, if the government was not an eager buyer (with little due diligence) of large volumes of packaged up mortgages fewer packaged up mortgages would have been produced.

    There may have been a bubble and collapse but it would have been a lot smaller if the government had not been busily leveraging the banks and home buyers stupidity.

  28. PD Shaw says:

    jp: I’m not familiar w/ non-judicial foreclosures, the difference between the two systems might be very big. I would expect where I live that if you were foreclosed on and didn’t avail yourself of the opportunity to challenge it, you are going to be s.o.l.

    Here is a draft law review article via Naked Capitalism that identifies the legal problems with MER.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1684729

    I’m still not sure MERs is illegal, per se, but the Missouri Court of Appeals decision suggests that by splitting the mortgage instrument in two, the security interest is converted into an instrument that is not enforceable by foreclosure. This would in many ways be worse than an illegal transaction.

    The paper also suggests that alternative recourse may be available if MERs provides an unenforceable system, such as equitable mortgages.

  29. john personna says:

    The fact is that in the mortgage boom, the final bubble of the credit crisis, freddy and fannie were minority players.

    That is fact. They were not the ones making the loans, and they were not the ones buying the loans.

    The vast majority went from banks like Countrywide, to wall street frims like Goldman Sachs, to buyers like the Texas Teachers Fund.

    You are entitled to a different outlook, but not to different facts.

  30. Duracomm says:

    john personna said,

    This is one more reason “TARP worked.” Not so much by “working” as by laying off losses on various government entities.

    I prefer to phrase it this way

    This is one more reason “TARP worked.” Not so much by “working” as by laying off losses on various government entities american taxpayers.

    Once again government used taxpayer money to richly rewarded stupidity on the banks part.

    When you reward stupidity you will get more of it.

  31. john personna says:

    I read that abstract JD, and I agree that there is a need to rebuild. (“This Article concludes with a discussion of steps needed to rebuild trustworthy real property ownership records.”)

    Overarching “legality” may never be … well the question may be avoided, but a lot of rebuilding.

  32. john personna says:

    Sure Duracomm, we taxapayers and savers are being penalized big time.

    That doesn’t justify a false history, of course.

  33. john personna says:

    Barry Ritholtz (is he a laywer?): Time for Criminal Charges To Be Filed . . .

  34. Duracomm says:

    john personna said,

    Sure Duracomm, we taxapayers and savers are being penalized big time.

    That doesn’t justify a false history, of course.

    No history needed just present fiscal facts.

    The fiscal fact is that fannie and freddie bought a good amount of packaged mortgages.

    The fact is that these purchases helped make the market for packaged securities and contributed to the housing bubble.

    The fiscal fact is that the taxpayer is now responsible for the financial losses of the government sponsored enterprises fannie and freddie.

    Fannie and Freddie: Budget Busters

    Fannie and Freddie have long defended themselves on the grounds that their underwriting standards weren’t nearly as bad as those in the private sector.

    But they’ve certainly been better at socializing their losses; firms that controlled maybe half of the mortgage market will end up costing the taxpayer four times as much as the other troubled financial institutions.

  35. John Personna says:

    Well, if you care about how it happened, you have to care about the sequence of events. Those facts.

    Sure, at the end of it when Freddy and Fannie were re-swallowed by the federal government they were used to take on more mortgage debt. Sequence matters.

  36. John Personna says:

    You know, if you want to hate on Freddie and Fannie for the things they actually did, go ahead. I’m not a fan of them.

    It’s just dishonest to make them “sin eaters” for the things they didn’t do. Let the real culprits own up to those.

  37. Duracomm says:

    John Personna said,

    Sure, at the end of it when Freddy and Fannie were re-swallowed by the federal government they were used to take on more mortgage debt. Sequence matters.

    In other words government meddling in the housing market through the government sponsored enterprises fannie and freddie were a big driver of the housing fiasco.

    The primary point I have been making is that absent the government enterprises buying the packaged mortgages the market for packaged mortgages, along with the housing bubble, would have been a lot smaller.

    The massive losses at fannie and freddie caused by their purchases of bad mortgages is concrete proof of this fact.

  38. Duracomm says:

    The nonsensical nature of the “unregulated free markets caused the housing market problem” is illustrated by current events.

    Right now government actions are inflating another housing bubble and laying the groundwork for additional economic destruction.

    FHA Out-Guarantees Fannie and Freddie Combined

    The government isn’t really curtailing the activity of the government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — it’s just pushing business over to the Federal Housing Administration instead.

    In fact, the FHA was the guarantor of choice in the first-quarter. It backed more loans than Fannie and Freddie combined

    Luckily, the government has a seemingly unlimited tolerance for risk. After all, taxpayers have deep pockets — or at least, China has a strong appetite for Treasuries.

  39. Steve Verdon says:

    Michael,

    Where have you been Verdon?

    Work has me rather tied up at the moment. I’ve seen a number of issues I’ve wanted to post on, but damn this work thing.

  40. john personna says:

    Duracomm, you keep playing with the timeline. I say:

    Sure, at the end of it when Freddy and Fannie were re-swallowed by the federal government they were used to take on more mortgage debt. Sequence matters.

    You say:

    In other words government meddling in the housing market through the government sponsored enterprises fannie and freddie were a big driver of the housing fiasco.

    How can something that came after be “a big driver of”?

  41. Duracomm says:

    John Personna,

    Unless I’m missing it I find no links from you on describing this timeline you keep talking about.

    Here are the facts:

    Government sponsored enterprises purchase substantial amounts of bad mortgages. This created a market for them whenever they were bought.

    That is the moral hazard of the whole government sponsored enterprises issue

    Furthermore government agencies fannie, freddie, and FHA are supplying around 90 % of the current mortgage market.

    Absent government bumbling around the housing market the housing market bubble and the fiscal crisis that occurred when it blew up would have been much smaller.

    This has to be recognized and the nonsensical idea that the problem was caused by “unregulated free markets” has to be buried if we are to avoid another government induced fiscal meltdown.

  42. john personna says:

    The wikipedia page on the Financial crisis of 2007–2010 covers it pretty well:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%932010

    Subprime mortgages remained below 10% of all mortgage originations until 2004, when they spiked to nearly 20% and remained there through the 2005-2006 peak of the United States housing bubble.[46] A proximate event to this increase was the April 2004 decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to relax the net capital rule, which permitted the largest five investment banks to dramatically increase their financial leverage and aggressively expand their issuance of mortgage-backed securities. This applied additional competitive pressure to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which further expanded their riskier lending.[47] Subprime mortgage payment delinquency rates remained in the 10-15% range from 1998 to 2006,[48] then began to increase rapidly, rising to 25% by early 2008.[49][50]

    The key there is that “the largest five investment banks to dramatically increase their financial leverage and aggressively expand their issuance of mortgage-backed securities”.

    After that “This applied additional competitive pressure to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which further expanded their riskier lending”

    But they didn’t gain a real big share. There are graphs which show that. See the illustration in this page:

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2008/09/once-again-it-w.html

    That graphs shows the sequence that I’ve been talking about.

    So basically, suck it. You’ve been arguing without the facts all along.