Shame on the Republican candidates for president. Shame on them for showing up at debate specifically targeting the U.S. economy with not one credible, rational, even reputable notion of what to do about the nation's housing mess. It baffles the mind that this sector of the economy, responsible for about 18 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, is in freefall, and yet eight potential new leaders of this nation not only don't understand the problem but don't have a clue what to do about it.
My favorite, and I write this with as much sarcasm as a computer keyboard will afford, is the argument that the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill is to blame for housing's current despair. Foreclosures, falling home prices, negative equity, nil consumer confidence, record low home building...yep, gotta be Dodd-Frank.
"If the Republican House next week would repeal Dodd-Frank and allow us to put pressure on the Senate to repeal Dodd-Frank, you would see the housing market start to improve overnight," Speaker Newt Gingrich told the crowd in Michigan last night. His reasoning is that, "It kills small banks, it kills small business."
Increased regulation has certainly made the life of a banker today tougher, but the fact that there was zero regulation ten years ago allowed and encouraged reckless behavior on Wall Street. It created the supremely negligent subprime mortgage trading bonanza that brought down big banks, little banks and homeowners alike...and threatened to take down the entire U.S. economy. Were we to do nothing to change that?