"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More on Housing - a long time problem

Edward Pinto: The Future of Housing Finance - WSJ.com:
Mr. Pinto, a consultant to the mortgage finance industry, was executive vice president and chief credit officer at Fannie Mae in the late 1980s.

"A consensus is building around a three-part grand bargain:

• An explicit federal guarantee of a large portion of the mortgage-backed securities created to finance American's home mortgages;

• A tax on these securities to fund low-income housing initiatives; and

• A requirement that issuers of securities meet affordable housing mandates.

This is a dead end for two reasons. First, while supporters of an explicit federal guarantee tell us it will never be called upon, Americans have read this book before and know how it ends.

The second is much less well known but equally deadly: the central role in the recent real estate collapse that was played by the federal affordable housing policy created by Congress and implemented since the 1990s by HUD and banking regulators."

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