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Lending / The Ticker

Bank of America Merrill Lynch concludes Dodd-Frank killed housing

Not coming back to life soon, either

Bank of America
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Two analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch are celebrating the 4-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank, the financial reform law, by calling it “persistent financial repression.”

Analysts Chris Flanagan and Adam Katz joined a chorus of voices using the birthday opportunity to express displeasure of the legislation and disdain in the inability to effect more meaningful reform — that is one that promotes more responsible mortgage lending.

“In testimony to Congress on QRM this week, Mr. Frank noted changing the US residential mortgage market was foremost among the very purpose of the statute,” said Flanagan and Katz.

And change that market it did — by sucking the life out of it.

“We think persistently low mortgage application volumes and this week's extremely weak new home sales report for June and May are natural outcomes of the legislation,” the analysts write, adding they don’t expect the next four years to be very different.

“Given that Dodd-Frank is the law, we see little reason to anticipate meaningful change in the mortgage production or housing environment of the past four years,” they said. “We also see the statute's regulatory expansion as a dimension of persistent financial repression, which also includes abnormally low nominal interest rates.”

Note: the BofAML analysts penned the opinion in the most recent Securitization Weekly Overview.

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