Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

A Housing Solution that Focuses on (Gasp!) Houses


Mortgage-based fixes miss the point entirely.

Every once in a while, the most important news story of the day is the one the Wall Street Journal allots a mere 200 words.

In a move that will soon be greeted with quiet mutterings of "I should have seen this coming," British Prime Minister Gordon Blair announced today a shift in the focus of initiatives aimed at reviving the ailing housing industry, and by extension the rest of the economy.

Until this point, much of the government-directed efforts to fix broken housing markets -- both here and abroad -- have focused on the mortgage side of housing transactions.

This should come as no surprise, as Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs (GS), Merrill Lynch (MER), Lehman Brothers (LEH) and Bear Stearns -- er, JPMorgan (JPM) -- had staked their reputations -- and balance sheets -- on those mortgages.

Foreclosure prevention has attempted to preserve the integrity of the loan by extending its ability to keep generating cash for the lender. If a family or 2 were helped in the process, all the better. But with trillions of dollars in securities propping up the world's financial system based on unreliable monthly payments from struggling American consumers, the mortgage was saved in favor of the property itself or its inhabitants.

HOPE NOW and Project Lifeline have been our bureaucrats' best effort at keeping people from being kicked out of their homes. Anecdotally and by the numbers, the results have been less than awe-inspiring.

As part of a larger economic reform package, Brown is taking a decidedly different approach. Any homeowner behind on his mortgage and facing the risk of repossession will have his situation evaluated by a "money advisor," who, according to the Guardian, will determine whether nor not the loan is worth salvaging.
< Previous
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opin= =3D =3D3D ion about the performance of securities and financial markets by = the wr=3D iter=3D3D s whose articles appear on the site. The views expresse= d by the wri=3D ters are=3D3D not necessarily the views of Minyanville Medi= a, Inc. or members=3D of its man=3D3D agement. Nothing contained on the web= site is intended to con=3D stitute a recom=3D3D mendation or advice address= ed to an individual investor =3D or category of inve=3D3D stors to purchase= , sell or hold any security, or to =3D take any action with re=3D3D spect t= o the prospective movement of the securit=3D ies markets or to solicit t=3D= 3D he purchase or sale of any security. Any inv=3D estment decisions must b= e made =3D3D by the reader either individually or in =3D consultation with = his or her invest=3D3D ment professional. Minyanville write=3D rs and staff= may trade or hold position=3D3D s in securities that are discuss=3D ed in = articles appearing on the website. Wr=3D3D iters of articles are requir=3D = ed to disclose whether they have a position in =3D3D any stock or fund disc= us=3D sed in an article, but are not permitted to disclos=3D3D e the size o= r direct=3D ion of the position. Nothing on this website is intende=3D3D d = to solicit bus=3D iness of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Mi= ny=3D3D anville mana=3D gement and staff as well as contributing writers wi= ll not respo=3D3D nd to em=3D ails or other communications requesting inves= tment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Featured Videos