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As a result of the most recent abuse of good sense and lack of feduciary responsibilty, a lot of banks and a investment houses are stuck with a lot of houses that aren't worth the money they've loaned out on them. The problem then, is that the houses aren't good investments for the short term. We also have a need for housing for many people -- good people. It seems to me that what's missing is two things, not one. The first one is being tackled by the Fed -- spreading enough money into the credit system that these banks can keep operating while the underlying problem is fixed. The second one isn't being fixed. Everyone is classing these loans as total write offs.
The banks need to create a new kind of mortgage. Think of it like an extended sale. Say you, the bank, are invested in a house at 300,000 dollars. With the market dip, its only worth 250,000. You find the right buyer, and you make the deal something like this: Sell it for 225,000 and agree that when it is re-sold or refinanced -- or in 10 years, any difference in value over 250,000 is split 50% back to the back. The bank is betting on the long term real estate market so its a long term win. The homeowner gets an otherwise unaffordable home.
In the end, NOTHING has been better for the US Economy than home ownership. We can criticize details of how the banking system has gotten us here, but that same system is responsible for the the most successful economy ever -- one in which almost anyone can end up a home owner. A very strong case can be made that the huge successes we've had for the last forty years can be tied very closely to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae making home ownership more possible for so many people. Nowhere in the world is that as attainable. If in the end it cost us some tax money to make that system healthy again, it may just be the best investment of our taxes we have ever made. It sure beats 700 mile fences, or thousands of bombs dropped out of airplanes.
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