Monday, March 24, 2008

Sounds too Good to be True?

University of Chicago economist Gary Becker writes the media reports a trend of escalating foreclosure proceedings on families (and businesses) in almost all parts of the country. He writes, "People are making too many excuses for their plight (some are legit)saying that they didn't understand what they were getting into and wish to shift the blame elsewhere. Isn't that a common failing especially in the "want it now" era, the "keeping up with the Jones" era,and in the greed of many builders who didn't have a buyer before they built?

He says the "blame game" goes on in not only the sub-prime mess but in divorces, crime, schools, abuse...)investments, etc.

He says "Successful attempts to shift the responsibility for bad decisions toward others and to society more generally create a "moral hazard" in behavior. If individuals are not held accountable for decisions and actions that harm themselves and others, they have less incentive to act responsibly in the first place since they will escape some or all bad consequences of their actions". (now and in the future)

Since I just received my Schedule K-1 from my investment in 1994 in the Peoria Chiefs Baseball team showing my 13th year of consecutive losses to report to my tax man, I naturally look for someone to blame. Myself, I guess for investing in something that sounded too good. It turned out good for the community but bad for at least this investor who has been looking for a buyer of my shares. Since 1998, I've had only one legitimate? offer of $1.80.

The prospectus showed a potential of $153M for the first year out a Meinen Field and suggestions of a better return after the new ball park was built. Too good to be true? For me, yes. Responsibility for a bad financial investment? Mine, I but I do have an excuse, if I had any control over the club, changes would have been made and perhaps a wealthy playboy buyer sought. That won't happen because in a limited liability company you usually have "very limited" input as to how the LLC partnership is run and managers of the club appear to be very well paid.

In the meantime, my shares like many foreclosed properties are for sale. Difference is my shares are paid for and owned by me.

If things are presented to you and you are not sure of what you are hearing and don't hire an attorney to read the fine print, you are probably stuck.

Join the crowd.

Any buyers out there?

1 comment:

AdamB said...

I don't know much about the Chiefs, but Gary Becker is an ubergenius.