Tag: Housing

News Item: Nearly 100 Banks Benefiting from TARP Are on the Brink of Collapse »

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Rapoport (“Bailed-Out Banks Slip toward Failure”, 12/27/2010, p. C1), 98 U.S. financial institutions, which collectively were granted $4.2 billion in handouts under Washington’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), are in danger of going belly-up. The commercial banks imminently in peril, such as the Legacy Bank of Milwaukee...
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Notes on Bernanke’s Apologia for QE2 »

On November 4, an op-ed article written by Ben Bernanke, “What the Fed Did and Why: Supporting the Recovery and Sustaining Price Stability,” was published in the Washington Post. In this article, Bernanke presents an apologia for the Fed’s decision to undertake QE2, the purchase of $600 billion of longer-term U.S. government bonds during...
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Another Crisis Over, Thanks to the Government »

It’s all over the news. “The recession is over.” The mainstream economists say so. This was the longest recession since World War II, I heard on the news (say, I thought the economy was just dandy throughout that war—oh, never mind). The end of this terrible recession into which the free market plunged us...
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New York Times Finally Gets It: “Let Housing Prices Fall!” »

The New York Times finally gets what we on the “free market “fringe” have said from the beginning (under Bush and now under Obama): Housing subsidies, easy credit, bribing banks to refinance those “under water,” and–even worse–extending “first-time homeowner” programs to the nth degree just doesn’t work! Artificial stimulation of housing caused this bubble....
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Affordable Housing »

Five years ago, as the housing bubble was ramping up, affordable housing was a big issue. Today, as housing prices have fallen after the bubble burst, I may be one of the few people who thinks housing prices are still too high. [Also see the recent book, Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis.]...
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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Need To Go »

That’s what Paul Volker says in this interview. I don’t always find myself in agreement with Mr. Volker, but he’s surely got it right in his assessment of Fannie and Freddie. An excerpt: “The mortgage market now is almost a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States government. Almost all the mortgages made now...
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Homebuyer Tax Credit: Debt Financed Public Policy »

As expected by many economists, the Homebuyer Tax Credit did little to nothing to encourage new home purchases and only shifted the purchase of new homes from May to April. Howard Gleckman over at the Tax Policy Center reports on the waste and fraud afforded by deficit financed public policy of this sort, noting...
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Politics, Markets, and The Housing Boom and Bust »

I recently read the revised edition of Thomas Sowell’s excellent The Housing Boom and Bust. One of the most striking things about the role of housing in the financial crisis is the resonance of the “villains, victims, and valiant government” narrative that goes as follows: greedy bankers exploited everyone while the regulators were asleep...
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Did Goldman Sachs Foresee the Mortgage Collapse? »

With the Securities and Exchange Commission now accusing Goldman Sachs of fraud by selling investors mortgage-backed securities that eventually collapsed, one might wonder whether Goldman did, in fact, set up Abacus investments anticipating that it would lose money. This article suggests there were divided opinions within Goldman. Of course, companies don’t take any actions...
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Robert Higgs’s Recent Interview by Libertad Digital (here in English) »

I was interviewed recently by Angel Martin for Libertad Digital, an interesting Spanish website. The interview was posted today. Topics discussed include the recent financial debacle, the current recession, the government’s recent policy actions, and several related, more general subjects, such as “regime uncertainty” and U.S. foreign policy. For those who might be interested...
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