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Guaranteed to Fail
by Viral V. Acharya, Matthew Richardson, Stijn van Nieuwerburgh, Lawrence J. White
The financial collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008 led to one of the most sweeping government interventions in private financial markets in history. The bailout has already cost American taxpayers close to $150 billion, and substantially more will be needed. The U.S. economy–and by extension, the global financial system–has a lot riding on Fannie and Freddie. They cannot fail, yet that is precisely what these mortgage giants are guaranteed to do. How can we limit the damage to our economy, and avoid making the same mistakes in the future?
Guaranteed to Fail explains how poorly designed government guarantees for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to the debacle of mortgage finance in the United States, weighs different reform proposals, and provides sensible, practical recommendations. Despite repeated calls for tougher action, Washington has expanded the scope of its guarantees to Fannie and Freddie, fueling more and more housing and mortgages all across the economy–and putting all of us at risk. This book unravels the dizzyingly immense, highly interconnected businesses of Fannie and Freddie. It proposes a unique model of reform that emphasizes public-private partnership, one that can serve as a blueprint for better organizing and managing government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In doing so, Guaranteed to Fail strikes a cautionary note about excessive government intervention in markets.
$700 Billion Bailout
by Paul Muolo
- What does the bill say, exactly?
- Who is making decisions about how the $700 billion will be spent, and what does it mean now that the government is investing directly in our banks?
- Who’s footing the bill?
- What is the impact on homeowners, businesses, retirement, and taxes?
- Where do I put my money in the meantime?
Veteran reporter Paul Muolo shows both the challenges and opportunities of the credit crisis and proposed bailout, including its impact on:
- Mortgages: While rates may be lower, there will be more fees imposed on mortgages. Lenders will be far more cautious in lending, and people who cannot meet their mortgages are likely to lose these homes. This may create a “contrarian” plays in foreclosures and vacation homes..
- Stocks and Other Investments: Is now the time to get into the stock market or is it safer to stick with CDs, bonds, and gold?
- Taxes: With the tax breaks, there will be less tax revenue leading to a huge shortfall to the government over the next few years.
He will offer insight into these areas and many others, including how the structure of the bailout bill allows for unprecedented authority that has altered the financial landscape, perhaps permanently. Will the plan work, and how we can prevent this from happening again remains to be seen, but with $700 Billion Bailout Paul Muolo gives us a critical tool for deciphering perhaps the most sweeping piece of legislation since the Patriot Act.
by Bethany Bezdecheck
by John Waggoner
by Neil Barofsky
Other People’s Houses
by Jennifer Taub
Focusing new light on the similarities between the savings and loan debacle of the 1980s and the financial crisis in 2008, Taub reveals that in both cases the same reckless banks, operating under different names, received government bailouts, while the same lax regulators overlooked fraud and abuse. Furthermore, in 2013 the situation is essentially unchanged. The author asserts that the 2008 crisis was not just similar to the S&L scandal, it was a severe relapse of the same underlying disease. And despite modest regulatory reforms, the disease remains uncured: top banks remain too big to manage, too big to regulate, and too big to fail.
The Mortgage Encyclopedia: The Authoritative Guide to Mortgage Programs, Practices, Prices and Pitfalls, Second Edition
by Jack Guttentag
The bestselling one-stop guide to mortgages—updated for the post–housing crisis market!
The Mortgage Encyclopedia demystifies all the various mortgage terms, features, and options by offering clear, precise explanations.
Fully updated to address the new realities introduced by the housing crisis of 2007, The Mortgage Encyclopedia provides not just a complete description, but also in-depth discussion of the issues that may affect you, whether you’re a homeowner (or homeowner-to-be), real estate agent, loan provider, or attorney. With this handy, comprehensive guide on hand, you have instant access to:
- Definitions and explanations of common mortgage-related terms, as well as arcane mortgage terminology, listed alphabetically
- Expert advice on the most pressing issues, such as whether to use a mortgage brokers, the benefits of paying points versus a larger down payment, and the hazards of cosigning a loan
- The truth about common mortgage myths and misperceptions—and the pitfalls you need to avoid
- Helpful tables on affordability, interest cost of fixed-rate versus adjustable rate mortgages, and much more
So the next time you ask yourself such questions as “Is this FHA loan right for me?” or “Can I negotiate this fee?” reach for this indispensable guide and get the fast, accurate information you need!
by Robert E. Wright
Today’s financial crisis is the result of dismal failures on the part of regulators, market analysts, and corporate executives. Yet the response of the American government has been to bail out the very institutions and individuals that have wrought such havoc upon the nation. Are such massive bailouts really called for? Can they succeed?
Robert E. Wright and his colleagues provide an unbiased history of government bailouts and a frank assessment of their effectiveness. Their book recounts colonial America’s struggle to rectify the first dangerous real estate bubble and the British government’s counterproductive response. It explains how Alexander Hamilton allowed central banks and other lenders to bail out distressed but sound businesses without rewarding or encouraging the risky ones. And it shows how, in the second half of the twentieth century, governments began to bail out distressed companies, industries, and even entire economies in ways that subsidized risk takers while failing to reinvigorate the economy. By peering into the historical uses of public money to save private profit, this volume suggests better ways to control risk in the future.
Additional Columbia / SSRC books on the privatization of risk and its implications for Americans:
Health at Risk: America’s Ailing Health System–and How to Heal ItEdited by Jacob S. Hacker
Laid Off, Laid Low: Political and Economic Consequences of Employment InsecurityEdited by Katherine S. Newman
Pensions, Social Security, and the Privatization of RiskEdited by Mitchell A. Orenstein
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