Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Coronavirus: UK Parents Demand ALL Schools OPEN September, 7 Million Children Abandoned by Teachers - 9th Aug 20
Computer GPU Fans Not Spinning Quick FIX - Sticky Fans Solution - 9th Aug 20
Find the Best Speech Converter for You - 9th Aug 20
Silver Bull Market Update - 7th Aug 20
This Inflation-Adjusted Silver Chart Tells An Interesting Story - 7th Aug 20
The Great American Housing Boom Has Begun - 7th Aug 20
NATURAL GAS BEGINS UPSIDE BREAKOUT MOVE - 7th Aug 20
Know About Lotteries With The Best Odds Of Winning - 7th Aug 20
Could Gold Price Reach $7,000 by 2030? - 6th Aug 20
Bananas for All! Keep Dancing… FOMC - 6th Aug 20
How to Do Bets During This Time - 6th Aug 20
How to develop your stock trading strategy - 6th Aug 20
Stock Investors What to do if Trump Bans TikTok - 5th Aug 20
Gold Trifecta of Key Signals for Gold Mining Stocks - 5th Aug 20
ARE YOU LOVING YOUR SERVITUDE? - 5th Aug 20
Stock Market Uptrend Continues? - 4th Aug 20
The Dimensions of Covid-19: The Hong Kong Flu Redux - 4th Aug 20
High Yield Junk Bonds Are Hot Again -- Despite Warning Signs - 4th Aug 20
Gold Stocks Autumn Rally - 4th Aug 20
“Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note - 4th Aug 20
Gold Miners Still Pushing That Cart of Rocks Up Hill - 4th Aug 20
UK Government to Cancel Christmas - Crazy Covid Eid 2020! - 4th Aug 20
Covid-19 Exposes NHS Institutional Racism Against Black and Asian Staff and Patients - 4th Aug 20
How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom - 3rd Aug 20
Computer Gaming System Rig Top Tips For 6 Years Future Proofing Build Spec - 3rd Aug 20
Cornwwall Bude Caravan Park Holidays 2020 - Look Inside Holiday Resort Caravan - 3rd Aug 20
UK Caravan Park Holidays 2020 Review - Hoseasons Cayton Bay North East England - 3rd Aug 20
Best Travel Bags for 2020 Summer Holidays , Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt and tactical - 3rd Aug 20
Precious Metals Warn Of Increased Volatility Ahead - 2nd Aug 20
The Key USDX Sign for Gold and Silver - 2nd Aug 20
Corona Crisis Will Have Lasting Impact on Gold Market - 2nd Aug 20
Gold & Silver: Two Pictures - 1st Aug 20
The Bullish Case for Stocks Isn't Over Yet - 1st Aug 20
Is Gold Price Action Warning Of Imminent Monetary Collapse - Part 2? - 1st Aug 20
Will America Accept the World's Worst Pandemic Response Government - 1st Aug 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More – Part II - 1st Aug 20
Trump White House Accelerating Toward a US Dollar Crisis - 31st Jul 20
Why US Commercial Real Estate is Set to Get Slammed - 31st Jul 20
Gold Price Blows Through Upside Resistance - The Chase Is On - 31st Jul 20
Is Crude Oil Price Setting Up for a Waterfall Decline? - 31st Jul 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More - 30th Jul 20
Why Big Money Is Already Pouring Into Edge Computing Tech Stocks - 30th Jul 20
Economic and Geopolitical Worries Fuel Gold’s Rally - 30th Jul 20
How to Finance an Investment Property - 30th Jul 20
I Hate Banks - Including Goldman Sachs - 29th Jul 20
NASDAQ Stock Market Double Top & Price Channels Suggest Pending Price Correction - 29th Jul 20
Silver Price Surge Leaves Naysayers in the Dust - 29th Jul 20
UK Supermarket Covid-19 Shop - Few Masks, Lack of Social Distancing (Tesco) - 29th Jul 20
Budgie Clipped Wings, How Long Before it Can Fly Again? - 29th Jul 20
How To Take Advantage Of Tesla's 400% Stock Surge - 29th Jul 20
Gold Makes Record High and Targets $6,000 in New Bull Cycle - 28th Jul 20
Gold Strong Signal For A Secular Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Anatomy of a Gold and Silver Precious Metals Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Shopify Is Seizing an $80 Billion Pot of Gold - 28th Jul 20
Stock Market Minor Correction Underway - 28th Jul 20
Why College Is Never Coming Back - 27th Jul 20
Stocks Disconnect from Economy, Gold Responds - 27th Jul 20
Silver Begins Big Upside Rally Attempt - 27th Jul 20
The Gold and Silver Markets Have Changed… What About You? - 27th Jul 20
Google, Apple And Amazon Are Leading A $30 Trillion Assault On Wall Street - 27th Jul 20
This Stock Market Indicator Reaches "Lowest Level in Nearly 20 Years" - 26th Jul 20
New Wave of Economic Stimulus Lifts Gold Price - 26th Jul 20
Stock Market Slow Grind Higher Above the Early June Stock Highs - 26th Jul 20
How High Will Silver Go? - 25th Jul 20
If You Own Gold, Look Out Below - 25th Jul 20
Crude Oil and Energy Sets Up Near Major Resistance – Breakdown Pending - 25th Jul 20
FREE Access to Premium Market Forecasts by Elliott Wave International - 25th Jul 20
The Promise of Silver as August Approaches: Accumulation and Conversation - 25th Jul 20
The Silver Bull Gateway is at Hand - 24th Jul 20
The Prospects of S&P 500 Above the Early June Highs - 24th Jul 20
How Silver Could Surpass Its All-Time High - 24th Jul 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Geithner's Failed Makeover of the U.S. Housing Finance Market

Politics / US Housing Feb 16, 2011 - 03:44 PM GMT

By: Michael_Pento

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleTo counter the increasing demands that government reduce its micromanagement of the economy, last week the Obama Administration offered a fig leaf in the form of a white paper entitled "Reforming America's Housing Finance Market." In addition to marking the official end of the Bush era "ownership society," where increasing the level of home ownership was a national priority, the document contains a recommended regulatory overhaul of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (together known as Government Sponsored Enterprises "GSE's"), that intends to bring the share of government owned home loans from the current 95% to 40% over the next 5-7 years.


In the report, the Obama Administration makes the important admission that government interference in housing had dangerously distorted the market. And, while the goal of reducing the government's footprint in the housing market is certainly laudable, the reform plan is not only too little too late, but fails miserably to address the nucleus of the problem. Even if all the recommendations are adopted, the government would actually extend its explicit guarantees to bail out failing lenders. Most importantly, the proposal completely overlooks the most significant government distortion of the housing market: the Federal Reserve's manipulation of interest rates. Thus, this plan will insure that government's role in the mortgage market will likely expand in the years ahead.

Banks are in the business of borrowing on the short end of the yield curve and lending on the long end. Since interest rates are generally lower for shorter time durations, banks make profits by capturing the spread. But if the gap between long term and short term rates narrow, or sometimes vanish completely, banks have a much harder time operating. Rapid and dramatic changes in interest rates also expose banks to money losing risks.

In a free market, whenever the supply of savings contracts the cost of money tends to increase. Those rising interest rates curb the demand for borrowing and increase the propensity to save. Conversely, increased savings rates lower the price of money, thereby encouraging more borrowing. Consequently, in a free economy market forces tend to stabilize interest rate volatility. However in the United States interest rates are anything but free.

When interest rates are set by a few people behind closed doors, as they are by the Federal Reserve, massive distortions can occur in the supply demand metric. For example, the S&L crisis of the late 80's and early 90's was brought about by the loose monetary policy of the 70's. Rising interest rates, which were a direct response to rising inflation, soon found S&L's paying out more on their short-term borrowed funds than they were collecting on their long term assets. The consequences for those imbalances caused by our central bank rendered nearly one thousand banks insolvent.

To mitigate this problem, early in the last decade banks began turning more and more to securitization as a way to unload the mortgages on their books by packaging and selling loans to outside investors. Not only does securitization bring in fees and reduce banks' risk exposure but it also sucks in more capital to the real estate market, while increasing financial sector profits. It's no wonder that the securitization market grew to over $10 trillion in the U.S. before the credit crisis of 2008. On paper this was a good solution to the problem, but additional government involvement in the securitization market threw in a monkey wrench.

Given the size and diversity of the investment market in the U.S. and around the world, there was adequate private demand for securitized mortgages. With relatively low risk and more generous yields than government debt, pension funds and other institutional investors bought heavily. However, as the Federal Reserve continued to lower rates and as the government engineered housing boom finally went bust, this private label demand dried up almost completely. The GSEs now provide financing for 9 out of 10 mortgages. Therefore, the real estate market today is virtually 100% distorted and manipulated by government forces.

Treasury Secretary Geithner--the President's main pitch man for the program--touted the proposed solution of a hybrid federal reinsurance plan that would include a standing federal catastrophic reinsurer for private guarantors of mortgage-backed securities. The government has already clearly shown that its erstwhile implicit guarantee is now in fact explicit for GSE debt. That condition would remain intact. However, now government involvement would also morph into an explicit guarantee to reinsure private label mortgages. Therefore, in typical government fashion, the proposed reforms are merely a repackaging of the previous sham. Even if the plan were to be successfully carried out, the GSEs would still account for nearly half of all mortgage financing. Only now the government would also back private insurance for private label MBS with yet another explicit guarantee in case of emergency. Who can doubt that such conditions will inevitably arise? As to how this can ever satisfy the need to remove moral hazard or getting the government out of the housing market is beyond me.

In other words, there is no meaningful governmental withdrawal from the market. Most importantly, the plan does nothing to address the Fed's role in making interest rates much lower and more volatile than they would otherwise be. Unfortunately the housing market will remain in government control for years to come and another real estate crisis will inevitably occur

For in-depth analysis of this and other investment topics, subscribe to The Global Investor, Peter Schiff's free newsletter. Click here for more information.

By Michael Pento
Euro Pacific Capital
http://www.europac.net/

Michael Pento, Euro Pacific Captial as the Senior Economist and Vice President of Managed Products.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules