Get weekly updates from Reason.
Today's Top Topics
Recent Research and Commentary
How the Private Sector Can Return to Mortgage FinanceMay 3, 2012
The mortgage finance market has leaned heavily on government support over the past few years. More than 90 percent of mortgages originated in 2011 were securitized by government entities using taxpayer funds to guarantee investors against default risk. This support cannot continue forever. The status quo perpetuates many of the policies that contributed to the housing bubble and consequently promotes an unstable mortgage market. In order to avoid another crisis, and to reduce the $5.8 trillion in liabilities for taxpayers, the government must exit mortgage finance and private capital must shoulder mortgage default risk. There are several roadblocks facing this transition, including subsidies for government-sponsored enterprises, Dodd-Frank regulations, legal complexities for mortgage-backed securities, and a profound lack of confidence in the models used by credit rating agencies to assess mortgage investments. This policy study examines the nature of these roadblocks and proposed solutions to ease the path of the private sector taking back housing credit risk from taxpayers.
It is time for another edition of the Durbin Swipe Fee Watch. This time we look at a $1 billion subsidy for gas retailers that the Durbin Amendment has created. Consumers are still getting the shaft with this regulation.
The idea former FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair proposes in her Washington Post op-ed is completely crazy, but that is the point. She is just articulating what Fed policy is for the financial system, suggesting it for the population as a whole, and showing it to be crazy on both fronts. Here is a guide to understanding the Bair tongue-anchored-to-cheek op-ed.
Fed Chairman Bernanke told the National Association for Business Economics conference this week that the labor market was still in “deep” trouble and so we should expect ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) to continue for the next several years. Putting the politics aside, what Bernanke is essentially saying is that he prefers the trade off of propping up stock prices versus encouraging savings.
Last night on Freedom Watch I questioned Fed Chairman Bernanke's ability to be self reflective after he suggested to Congress that they take care to "do no harm." While that is great advise and all, right now the Fed is actually causing harm, primarily to savers with its never ending zero interest rate policy.
Many of you are likely familiar with Redbox and their 28,000 locations nationwide. For the past few years Redbox has slowly eaten into the customer base of groups like Netflix and helped to put the nail in the coffin for Blockbuster. Why wander through shelves looking for a movie or wait for a film to arrive in the mail when you can just head down to a Redbox at a neighborhood grocery or convenience store, flip through a computer screen, and get the movie you want now? And for just a buck each! Well, until now.
View Resources by Type
- Moody’s Sounds the Alarm on Student Borrowing
August 5, 2011
- Dear Congress, Your Credit Application Has Been Turned Down
Why should the American people keep extending credit to Capitol Hill?
A. Barton Hinkle
May 20, 2011
- Obama Isn't Fooling Anyone
The president is no deregulator
January 19, 2011
- Please Stop "Helping" Us
How consumer protection laws harm consumers
December 30, 2010
- Why Do the Poor Stay Poor?
Prosperity is impossible without property rights.
December 9, 2010
- Congress Forces Millions to Cut Up Their Credit Cards
The changing shape of plastic in America
December 1, 2010
- Montana Wants Money for Nothing
When states vote for cheap payday loans, they wind up with no loans at all.
November 4, 2010
- The Tax Man Cometh
Obama's tax plan will hurt small businesses and damage the economy.
October 15, 2010
- The Return of Debtor’s Prison
Collection agencies use the criminal justice system to pocket credit card debts.
October 7, 2010
- Government Officials Say Sweeping Financial Overhaul Is Coming
New financial regulations could make things worse if Congress isn't careful
March 23, 2009
Experts: Consumer Credit and Borrowing
- Shikha Dalmia
- Brian Doherty
- Katie Furtick
- Nick Gillespie
Editor in Chief, Reason.com and Reason TV
- Katherine Mangu-Ward
Managing Editor, Reason
- Adrian Moore
Vice President, Policy
- Julian Morris
Vice President, Research
- Anthony Randazzo
Director of Economic Research
- Samuel Staley
RSS Feeds: Consumer Credit and Borrowing
Media ContactChris Mitchell
Director of Communications
Your tax-deductible gift can help us promote individual liberty, choice, and free minds and free markets.