Out of Control Policy Blog

The Financial Crisis, In Rhyme Form

By economist Karl Case:

The volume of mortgages written back then
Stunned imaginations.
In a single quarter in 2003,
A trillion in originations!
But something happened late that year
That caused long rates to rise.
And that was the end of the refi boom.
It came as quite a surprise.

With refi's gone, so were big fees,
But banks still had money to lend.
And the search for buyers to fill the gap
Seemingly had no end.
The Fed kept pumping through 2005
To keep short rates very low.
And Greenspan gets a share of the blame;
His halo has less glow.

Of course the key for all to see
Was a robust housing market.
Buyers could borrow lots of cash
And a house was a good place to park it.
A summer home...a new big house,
No one seemed to care.
Homes were made of bricks and land,
The value would always be there.

Read all verses here (warning, it's long).

Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


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