arrested_development

The fourth season of “Arrested Development” is, after seven years of hints and speculation, finally on Netflix.

The show’s always had a political bent and the latest iteration is no exception. But while the first three seasons deal with the Iraq War, what with George Sr. making “lightly treasonous” deals with Saddam Hussein and Lucille forcing Buster into the Army because of taunts from a Michael Moore-like documentary maker, the fourth focuses on what the housing crash did to this family of real estate developers.

Here are a few of the more blatant political notes – and the real-life events that inspired them. Spoilers abound, so proceed with caution.

Tobias and Lindsay’s NINJA loan

In the third episode, “Indian Takers,” Lindsay and Tobias Fünke decide to make a new start (or, to use the spelling from Tobias’ license plate, “ANUSTART”) by buying a home together. They inform their realtor James Carr (Ed Helms) that they have no income coming in, no assets, no credit, no jobs, and no work ethic. No matter — Carr offers them a “NINJA” loan, available to borrowers in exactly that position (“No Income No Job and no Assets”). They end up with guest gatehouses and a mansion that looks like this:

mansion

NINJA loans are, shockingly, a real thing. Or at least they were, before the housing crash. But they’re slightly different from the kind of loan that Tobias and Lindsay get. NINJA loans, also called NINA loans (“No Income No Assets”) weren’t loans made to people who actually had no income or no assets, necessarily; they were loans where the lender didn’t ask for asset and income information from the borrower.

Read more here.