Blowing Bubbles: Getting Ready for the Next Bust

January 9, 2012 10:53

Last September the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, announced it was suing the nation’s 17 largest banks—some of which the government had recently bailed out—for selling risky mortgages to the two GSEs. Yet just two months before, the Department of Justice “requested” that a number of banks lower lending standards for minorities with poor credit ratings, threatening them with discrimination charges if they failed to comply. – The Freeman

By Richard W. Fulmer Jan/Feb  2012 The Freeman



The Fed is still pushing its easy-money policies with a vengeance, down-payment subsidies for low-income home buyers are still available for the taking, and lenders are still being pressured to ease standards for minorities and for low-income home buyers. The thinking appears to be that if housing prices can be driven back up to their pre-bust levels, everything will be fine. Homeowners who are currently “underwater” (meaning they owe more on their homes than the homes are now worth) and all those banking and investment houses that saw the value of their mortgage-based securities plummet will supposedly be back in the black.

There is only one problem with this scenario: The pre-bust price levels are not sustainable. We have the bust to prove it.



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