As the Obama administration continues to absorb body blows over its implementation of the Affordable Care Act, another potential crisis looms ever-larger, according to Barron's: housing.
By trying to protect consumers from the excesses of the run-up during the 2004-2006 period, the administration is set to deliver a gut punch to mortgage markets:
Inadvertently, they are assuring that fewer Americans will qualify for home mortgages. This promises to speed-shrink the housing market, which constitutes an estimated 15% of the nation's gross domestic product, versus 18.6% prior to the Great Recession. This, in turn, will ensure that the recovery remains anemic into the foreseeable future, with an average of about 190,000 or fewer jobs created each month -- far short of the 300,000 required to make up for recession-related losses.
Crucial parts already are flying off the train. Banks are exiting from the mortgage business in large numbers, primarily because of the high operating costs and heightened litigation risks imposed by the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law.