Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Is That Quicken Loans Super Bowl Ad an Omen of Another Housing Crash?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Is That Quicken Loans Super Bowl Ad an Omen of Another Housing Crash?

Article excerpt

"Here's what we were thinking: what if we did for mortgages what the Internet did for buying music, and plane tickets and shoes?"

Quicken Loans asked in their 60-second Super Bowl ad Sunday, where the company advertised their new online tool Rocket Mortgage.

Using Rocket Mortgage, future homebuyers can get a mortgage on their phones, according to the ad. And more homebuyers are good for America, the ad suggests, because they encourage patriotic consumption with more people buying more stuff like couches, blenders and lamps.

"What we're saying is that a strong housing market filled with responsible homeowners is important to the economy," Quicken Loan's chief executive Bill Emerson tells The Wall Street Journal.

While some criticized the ad's promotion of unabated consumerism, most took issue with the way it evokes the environment leading up to the 2007-2009 subprime mortgage crisis, especially punctuated by the ending tagline: "Push Button, Get Mortgage." That crisis led directly to a global financial crisis, and then to the Great Recession.

Financial experts and pundits alike took to Twitter:

Rocket Mortgage: Let's do the financial crisis again, but with apps!-- daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 8, 2016

correct me if i'm wrong, but the last time mortgages were this easy there was some sort of global meltdown, right? QPMfe1uxDI-- Josh Petri (@joshpetri) January 29, 2016

The same global meltdown that was interpreted in a recent film.

why did that Rocket Mortgage ad feel like a trailer for "The Big Short 2"-- Walter Hickey (@WaltHickey) February 8, 2016

Based on the 2010 book by Michael Lewis, "The Big Short" explains in detail what happened in the housing market that led to the 2008 financial crisis. Some have described it as the first film to explain the financial concepts and shortcomings of the housing market to a mainstream audience. Director Adam McKay uses celebrities like Margot Robbie and Selena Gomez to explain confusing investment lingo to viewers.

While the movie is both educational and entertaining, it speaks to the fears and financial failures of American homeowners. …

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