September 25, 2008

You Are Now the Proud Owner of the Housing Crisis

Over at Awearness, I have a column up on the significance of the fact that we the people (or “the public” or “society” or whatever we are) now effectively own the majority of real-estate capital in the United States:

Most don’t think about it this way, but this is what happened when Hank Paulson decided to spend taxpayer money (along with some borrowed from China and some more the Fed just printed up) to bail out all those banks and mortgage lenders and take responsibility for their debt. Paulson and friends are now even considering buying up bad loans, which we means that we the people would own tons of actual houses, and not just the capital used to finance them.

I don’t think anyone is particularly excited about our latest collective purchase; publicly owning real estate doesn’t exactly fill you with the same sense of pride you felt upon buying your first home. Indeed, the vibe I’m picking up here in the so-called “financial capital of the world” is something close to widespread panic.

While Der Spiegel has been talking about a general financial meltdown, of the shattering of the foundations of American capitalism, in reality most of the problems are centered on one sector—housing. More specifically, they’re all related to the intersection between government-financed loans—especially those designed to increase minority and low-income homeownership—and Wall Street. 

It’s a complete disaster, but, hey, at least we now collectively own it!

Subscribe to Taki’s Magazine for an ad-free experience and help us stand against political correctness.


Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!


Daily updates with TM’s latest