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Archive | Housing

Out of Order

While JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has been credited for a confident and feisty performance today in front of Congress, he was careful to not criticize their efforts thus far to regulate the financial services industry. Given that JP Morgan has been on the receiving end of federal bailouts, this should not be surprising. Last […]

Should We Cheer The Federal Housing Finance Agency Lawsuit?

Tonight, the NFL season will begin. One of the best aspects of this national spectacle is the fierce competition of evenly matched teams, any one of which can beat, on “any given Sunday,” any of the league’s best teams. While Americans admire league parity in football, they have come to despise the tiered structure that […]

Housing Will Remain a Government Program

Recently, the Obama Administration seemed to flash a rare sign of laissez-faire thinking when it issued a report calling for the “winding down” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two taxpayer-guaranteed institutions now responsible for backing at least 90% of the US mortgage market. In its press release, the Administration acknowledged that the private sector should be the […]

Economics Alone Doesn't Explain the Housing Market Collapse

Economist Peter Schiff writes: “How has the [housing] market found the strength to stop its descent? No one is making the case that fundamentals have improved. Instead, there is widespread agreement that government intervention stopped the free fall. The home buyer’s tax credit, record low interest rates, government mortgage-assistance programs, and the increased presence of […]

The Housing Boom and Bust

Hot off the press is my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell’s 43rd book, “The Housing Boom and Bust.” The book is an eye-opener for anyone interested in the truth about the collapse of the housing market that played a major role in our financial market crisis.             The root of the problem lies in Washington. The […]

The Housing Boom and Bust

In the spirit of bipartisanship, my newest book– “The Housing Boom and Bust”– shows how both Democrats and Republicans ruined both the housing markets and the financial markets. Like so many disasters, the current economic crisis grew out of policies based on good intentions and mushy thinking. For far too long, too many people have […]

False Solutions and Real Problems: The Housing Crisis Revisited

Someone once said that Senator Hubert Humphrey, liberal icon of an earlier generation, had more solutions than there were problems. Senator Humphrey was not unique in that respect. In fact, our present economic crisis has developed out of politicians providing solutions to problems that did not exist– and, as a result, producing a problem whose […]

Lured To Disaster by “Affordable Housing”

Behind the housing boom and bust was one of those alluring but undefined phrases that are so popular in politics– “affordable housing.” It is hard for me to know specifically what politicians are talking about when they use this phrase. But then politics is about evoking emotions, not examining specifics. In looking back over my […]

Re-arranging Deck Chairs on the Housing Titanic

The Portland City Council wants to spend at least 30% of all urban renewal dollars on housing subsidies. Their concern is that skyrocketing home prices have made it difficult for lower-income families to live in the city. Unfortunately, Council members are boxed in by their own ideology of urban planning. A central reason why housing […]

The Human Price of California’s Statist Housing Policies

They say time is money but a lot depends on whose time and whose money. For example, in California the San Mateo County Planning Commission has spent five years deciding what can and cannot be done with the site of an old racetrack that is no longer economically viable. That is more time than it […]

Housing Bubbles

The blazing-hot topic at suburban cocktail parties this spring is whether there’s a bubble in the residential housing market. No wonder. In 2004, existing home prices rose faster than in any year since the 1970s. Some markets are going bonkers. Alexandria, Va., is up 31% in 12 months; San Bruno, Cal., 25%; and parts of […]

Housing Hurdles: The Solution?

Once, after giving a talk, I was confronted by a lady in the audience who asked what some people regard as the ultimate question: “What is YOUR solution?” “There are no solutions,” I said. “There are only trade-offs.” “The people DEMAND solutions!” she shot back angrily. The people can demand square circles if they want. […]

Housing Hurdles in California

A new study shows that you need an income of about $104,000 to buy an average home on the San Francisco peninsula with a 20 percent down payment. Since the average price of a home in this area is more than half a million dollars, the 20 percent down payment itself would be more than […]

Government Created Scarcity: California’s “Affordable” Housing Problem

One of the staples of liberal hand-wringing is a need for “affordable housing.” Last year, the standard liberal solution — more government spending — was proposed in a televised speech at the National Press Club in Washington, in a report billed as a “new vision.” This year, supply and demand made front-page news in the […]

“Open Space” = Housing Ban

A black man waiting at a bus stop called to me as I was bicycling down the street: “You’re the first black man I have seen over here in a long time.” “It will be a long time before you see the next one,” I said, and we both laughed. In a deeper sense, it […]

The Economics and Politics of “Affordable Housing” in California

While Senator Barbara Boxer is trying to get the federal government to declare more than two million acres in California off-limits to development, California’s other Senator, Diane Feinstein, has already brokered a deal that takes 16,500 acres off-limits. That’s about twice the size of San Francisco. Both of these liberal Senators — and many others […]

An Old “New Vision” for “Affordable Housing”

Despite the fanfare of a televised speech at the National Press Club in Washington, a very old and hackneyed set of proposals was unveiled as a “new vision” for the creation of “affordable housing.” The speech was by Richard Ravitch, co-chairman with former Congresswoman Susan Molinari of what is called the Millennial Housing Commission, a […]