I recently moved on (”Forward!”) from 30+ years in finance, last 23 of which was in a line whose customers are lenders of and investors in real-estate-backed loans. There were some who gave you that “need a bath”/”hold-on-to-your-wallet” sensation to be sure, but many others who were in it for the long haul and truly appalled at what the banksters pulled off in the decade leading up to the latest housing bust.
Bill Black, an expert in sniffing out and prosecuting loan fraud, has their number: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_K._Black - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_AuvLTJNh0 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9HKKyNPe4k -
In our home, we refer to real estate types as “Bruno,” as a salute to the Mafia that rules that industry in the NYC area. During my years up in the City, I got to know them fairly well through marriage and my wife’s professional sojourn through the trucking/construction business. Ouch!