The mortgage finance industry is, in the view of many, just one step away from being a government utility as it is.
But what are the risks of this nationalization of housing finance, and is there a way out?
Peter Roff at Daily Caller has one opinion on the right way to rebuild from the foundation up.
The only way to reduce taxpayer exposure in housing finance is to fully utilize the private mortgage insurance industry. They are the only stable, well-regulated, source of private capital taking credit risk in the housing market right now. The alternative is to increase use of the government’s program that guarantees 100 percent of mortgages — meaning taxpayers are on the hook for the whole loan amount if the homeowner defaults. That is way too much risk, but it’s a risk that policymakers seem content to ignore.
The administration’s policies and price cuts at the Federal Housing Administration – the latest coming on January 26 — are squeezing the private sector competitors. President Barack Obama and the FHA are engineering things so that just about anyone with a modest down payment who wants a mortgage needs Uncle Sam to get it.
To read the full op-ed, click here.