From Rationalitate – The WaPo finally realizes the root cause of the subprime crisis
Agencies like FHA and HUD, and pseudo-private agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were the government’s tool to manipulate the market for mortgages, and manipulate it they did: 40% of all mortgages are financed by lending companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which hold $5.3 trillion in outstanding debt, and receive tax breaks (read: subsidies) to the tune of $6.5 billion a year.
Part of the irony of Bush’s “ownership society” is that it requires taxpayers to fund it. While on its face home ownership might seem like the paragon of private property and private ownership, it’s really not in very high demand in the actual free market. While America does indeed have very high rates of homeownership, it’s in spite of the market, not because of it.
(I don’t really agree with the phrasing, “it’s not really in high demand.” I think almost all people desire to own their dwelling, but at a price that makes sense for them.)
“Experts” often say how important it is for people to “own” their homes. I agree that ownership is great. But, at what cost? Market distortions that create bubbles? Wealth transfers from the less fortunate and landlords to “owners” of homes?
“Ownership” isn’t best for everyone, especially the “owners” of a junk loan…