Did the 2009 first-time homebuyer tax credit actually help anyone? Economist Dean Baker says yes — just not the people it was intended to help. In a new paper published by the Center for Economic Policy Research, Baker argues that the tax credit led to an enormous transfer of wealth to sellers and lenders, at the expense of buyers. (Oops.) The paper also shows how the credit pulled demand forward and incented buyers to pay what Baker says was “too much” for their homes, exacerbating the nation’s problem with so-called “underwater” homeowners. Read the report here. — Paul Jackson

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