They don't pay their mortgages:
Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population.
More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.
I suspect that Eric Martin is correct in noting that Zombie Lee Atwater will not be deterred in his quest for brains, but we'll see. Instead of the baroque explanation that blamed ACORN and laws outlawing redlining for the financial crisis conservatives may just point out that the rich aren't "losers" and leave it at that.
Annie Lowrey raises some important questions about what constitutes a "strategic default":
[T]his article epitomizes my broader frustrations with the debate over strategic default. It fails to define strategic default — setting out what characterizes a canny defaulter from one tapped-out and a few months away from insolvency. It says one in seven homes with a million-dollar loan is on the verge of foreclosure — but provides no data as to why that means that their defaulters are strategic. What demonstrates that those homeowners are choosing to give up their mortgages, rather simply realizing they cannot afford them anymore, other than a quote from a CoreLogic analyst? Where are the numbers?
Still, I think this may be the first trend story about the wealthy I've read that actually mattered.