Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Congress Acts - Extends Crisis 10 years

Every one is running around in a panic predicting that we are facing imminent doom if Congress doesn't pass out a bail out bill for Wall Street. Politicians are all about blaming greedy capitalists but greedy home sellers are as much to blame. But people, whether on Wall St or Main St were simply acting in direct response to the incentives that our benevolent politicians have provided for us. Easy money and the Community Reinvestment Act have combined to drive up housing prices to unsustainable levels. Having the government buy these "bad" loans at inflated prices will not solve the problem. Houses in most areas will still be over priced.

How do I know this? Just look at prices of homes in the greater Buffalo area. Housing prices in many areas of the country are still 400-500% greater. Now, I know people will pay a premium for a better location. But once the lending industry is reigned in, most people will not be able to afford a 500% premium. So, they will default or move.

So, I predict that we will (like Japan did) suffer from slow economic growth over the next decade or until we let the free market set housing prices unrestricted by government intervention.

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