Real Estate Law REA 281 &
Real Estate Finance REA 282

Final Exam Part One
Economic Meltdown History

The final exam is to show your understanding of the 2005-2008 market bubble crash. The assignment is to study the list of laws below, and explain how each one did or did not contribute to the crisis.

Cite each law. Please write two pages.

1999: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

2000: Commodity Futures Modernization Act

2004: SEC further deregulates financial institutions

Further Research:

You can also do independent research on the Internet, taking keywords from the list.

Movies and documentaries about the crisis: The Big Short (2015 movie), Inside Job (2010 movie), Frontline: Inside the Meltdown, Frontline: The Warning (2009 documentaries), or Masters of Money (2012 BBC documentary). If you find any more, send them in!

Ownership Society - This was not a law, but a White House initiative to promote home ownership:

Final Exam Part Two
Positive Thinking in Real Estate

If you plan to go into a profession where you will be trusted with fiduciary duty, it is good to know yourself. Part II of the final is an exercise for looking at your values. You will turn in one page based on the issues at the end.

Cynicism: You may hear people say things like, "Real estate school! You will forget everything as soon as you pass the exam!" Actually that is false propaganda, probably to convince people to quickly memorize how many feet in a mile just to pass the exam. Real estate school teaches us the laws of real estate. That's a great thing to know, and remember! Even if you can't remember how many feet in a mile (5,280). My advice is to hit the book, learn the material, and build yourself a good foundation for a career. Knowledge is power, and in the field of real estate finance, knowledge gives you the power to make a good living, while you keep your license and avoid being sued, fined, or censured.

Ethics: Ethics are common courtesies that may only be implied, or written in a pledge or code, but not specifically written into law. Ethical and honest people follow a set of personal ethical standards in addition to the laws. Consequences: Economics is a study in ecology. Anything you do in one area affects the whole system. The world of real estate is controlled by laws and ethics. When somebody comes along and skirts the law, a civil lawsuit or criminal indictment may ensue, and the mechanisms of justice begin to answer the injustice. It can take a long time.

Poor ethics can establish bad neighbor relationships that taint a career, preventing the full abundance that can come to you by developing contacts and a good reputation. Reputations develop over years, and good friends in business are one of the rewards.

General Categories of Unethical Behavior:
Buying influence or engaging in a conflict of interest Hiding important information
Spreading slanderous information
Giving or allowing false impressions
Taking unfair advantage
Personal decadence
Interpersonal abuse
Violating rules
Condoning unethical actions
Permitting systemic abuse
Rationalizing ethical dilemmas

Risk: Real estate finance is volatile business, with a recent history of abuse. Learning the rules will reduce your personal risk. You can't always see what is coming, but knowing what you are doing will increase your chances of survival.

Rich: We don't need to make millions a year to feel rich. Whatever money we earn in business, if we live within our means, and have enough to pay all the bills, half of life's problems are solved. That's a good start.

Common Rationalizations:

"Everybody else does it."
"If we don't do it, someone else will."
"That is the way it has always been done."
"We will wait until the lawyers tell us it is wrong." "It does not really hurt anyone."
"The system is unfair."
"Because we can."
"Might makes right."
"You can do anything for god."
"Business as usual."
"That's politics."
Dishonest language says nothing about "the system," but it does say something about the person who uses such language. Judges do not take kindly to rationalizations.

Please turn in one page based on these ideas:

How you feel when you notice people acting unethically, dishonestly, or relying on rationalizations like those listed above?
What could people do to make society more ethical and cooperative?
What could we do to treat all Americans equally, and all treat each other better?
I'm interested in your ideas. So far nobody has solved these problems! How would you do it?

Informed Learning Evaluation

Please complete this informed learning survey and turn it in with the final to help the instructor improve the class in future semesters. This is optional, but appreciated.

Did you feel that this class took about the right amount of work, too much work, or too little?

Do you feel that you learned the material (or got a good review)?

Do you feel that you accomplished your goal in taking this class?

If you could change something about the class, or give the instructor constructive feedback, what would it be?

Professor Nori Muster, Mesa Community College
click here for contact info.
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