Why Canada avoided a mortgage meltdown
Suppose we agree that we would like our society to have widespread home ownership and a property-owning citizenry. Does it take government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with implied taxpayer guarantees, tax advantages for the interest paid on home mortgages, and government pressure for "creative" mortgage lending to achieve this? The Canadian experience shows that it doesn't. Canada makes a useful comparison for the U.S. Both countries are rich, advanced, stable, have sophisticated financial systems and pioneer histories, and stretch from Atlantic to Pacific. But Canada has no housing GSEs. Mortgage interest is not tax deductible.