In the media frenzy over housing and the markets, ABC’s Chris Cuomo broke new ground August 13. His “Good Morning America” report about the “drama on Wall Street” disparaged the stock market – a market he said was “crashing.”
“To a certain extent the stock market has always been a form of legalized gambling,” Cuomo said, “where Wall Street tries to cash in on bets made on the right companies. But for many financial institutions the chips were the mortgages of hard-working American families, in danger of losing their homes, or now never getting a chance to live the American dream.”
The result of this “gambling,” Cuomo later said, was that “A slight increase in a rate can be a burden, or it can mean that they literally cannot afford to buy a home, and that will be a tragedy that goes far beyond the crashing of the stock market.”
“Crashing”? Markets aren’t in recession, let alone a crash. Thursday’s triple-digit drop (213 points) came only a few days after a triple-digit increase (505 points from August 6th – August 8th). On top of all of this, the three big markets are up for the year. The Dow is up 6.2 percent, while the S&P 500 is up 2.5 percent and the Nasdaq is up 5.4 percent.
Still, Cuomo presented the tale of Gary and Heidi Cecere, a couple in upstate New York who had their mortgage pulled when attempting to purchase a house. Although a mortgage isn’t a constitutional right, Cuomo played on viewers’ emotions with interviews of the Cecere children lamenting how nice it would have been to “come home to my own room, my own bed, and a big yard.”
Gary Cecere went on to talk about the grand plans they had for the house: “We were gonna put a pool … right here … maybe a little front porch.”
The Cecere family was trying to purchase a $410,000-dollar home and then add a pool and a front porch. The median price of a home in New York State is $250,000 as of June 2007, according to the New York State Association of Realtors. Yet Cuomo didn’t question the price of the home the family was seeking.