Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stop the Meddling With the Market!!

On the front page of the 04 December print edition of "The Wall Street Journal," the headline is "U.S. Eyes Plan to Lift Home Sales." Are you kidding me?? The article states unbelievably, "The plan, which is in the development stage, would temporarily use the clout of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to encourage banks to lend at rates as low as 4.5%, more than a full point lower than prevailing rates for standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgages."

You just read what I read, Freddie and Fannie back loans whose rate is below market. Good grief!! The goal is to extend more loans and "address falling home prices." Doesn't anybody remember the housing bubble? Why does the government think it makes sense to prop up home prices instead of allowing the market to price them? Also, why allow failed institutions to back below-market mortgages? I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone.

Let's take this a step further. This scheme is only for buying a home and not refinancing. However, later in the article, Secretary of the Treasury Paulson says " to reduce the cost of mortgage finance so more families can afford to buy a home and so homeowners can refinance into more affordable mortgages." Huh? Now he wants to subsidize mortgages? Maybe the plan can include only those refinancing with bad credit, as the rest of us suckers are stuck with what we've got.

When I bought my house, I had to scrimp and save to get a suitable down payment, as well as prove employment and the ability to pay. Guess what, I have been able to pay my mortgage, on time, and without any "adjustments." So why should things change now? What should happen is that those institutions that made bad loans face the consequences.

As a taxpayer, and somebody who pays on time, I resent that some new home buyer is going to get a subsidized mortgage. I also resent the fact the lenders are going to rewarded for not applying standard risk models and setting rates. Stop this madness!! If the US government wants to restore both faith in the financial markets, as well as stability, mortgage and home prices should be set by the market, not by government interference (and my money!).

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