Wall Street returns to buying risky mortgages?
News doesn't always reflect reality
Five years have passed since the financial crisis, creating fives years of headlines covering every spectrum of the housing recovery. As a result, an article in Yahoo made the point that when sifting through the financial pages these days, it’s hard to figure out if America is still agonizing over the crisis or wringing hands about the chances for the next one.
The article highlights a feature in DealBook that discusses investors’ interest in delinquent loans starting to increase.
For mutual funds and other institutional investors, the appeal of these bonds is obvious. They have yields of about 4 percent and pay out quickly — often in just two years — if the foreclosure process on the loans in the portfolio goes smoothly. The yields look enticing compared with the current 2.42 percent yield on a 10-year Treasury note.
To Yahoo, these stories are infused with the tone of “Can you believe it?,” “Here we go again” and “Will we ever learn?”
But this coverage says a bit more about how we in the media remain anchored in the old bubble-and-bust storyline than it does about genuine threats to financial health now.
The mopping up of old, broken housing debt is exactly what you’d want to see at this stage, with clearer eyes on property values and cheap capital seeking a home.
In the end, the article argued that this is minor stiff happening around the edges of an economy that is more sober about debt and less pumped about asset speculation.